November 27, 2018 10:01 pm

Wednesday, Chuck and Gary Go Ultra with Ultra-Running’s Elite

Imagine yourself at the start line. You’ve prepared, you’re ready for the task ahead. Then, suddenly you remember that you have to run more than 50 miles, maybe even 100 miles. You instantly become terrified and almost faint right there. (That’s how I imagine myself on the start line of an ultra-running event.)

Could you handle it? Our guests can.

On this week’s episode of Playing with Science, hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly catch up with ultramarathon runner Ann Trason, who has broken 20 world records over the course of her career, and Shawn Bearden, a.k.a. Dr. Ultra, to go inside the world of ultra-running.

Photo of Ultramarathoners competing at the Sahara Race 2011. Photo Credit: John Doe, from Wikimedia Commons.

Shown: Ultramarathoners compete at the Sahara Race 2011. Photo Credit: John Doe [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons.

We cover it all, from nutrition to mentally preparing yourself to take on one of these ultra-events. We start by defining what an ultramarathon is and how that definition can vary depending on who’s talking. You’ll hear about the different events including the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race which is the world’s longest certified road race. Find out how runners prepare their calendars depending on which events they want to partake in.

Dr. Ultra breaks down the bioenergetics of distance running and how the body functions during ultra-events. You’ll learn some ways to improve your running and Dr. Ultra tells us the most important aspect of training. We also look at the importance of recovery during training as well as “training your gut.” Discover more about terrain training. We also discuss the placebo effect and its benefits during training.

Explore the psychology and mental side of ultra-running. Ann tells us about one of her most memorable races in South Africa and how she turned on the jets during an unexpected moment. You’ll also hear about her nutrition strategy during her racing days and how Ann deals with the “post-race blues.”

Please join us tomorrow night for Ultra-Running, with Ann Trason & Dr. Ultra, right here on our website, as well as on our Playing with Science channels on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Ian Mullen