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3 Injury Prevention Exercises from The Run Experience

We’re excited to partner with our friends at The Run Experience at this year’s Peak Ultra.  They will be on site Friday night to offer a free clinic they’ve designed just for our race, and will offer a free mini-clinic for the 10-mile fun run participants on Saturday morning!  Not only that, they are giving anyone who registers for the Peak Ultra a free 30-day subscription to their program.


3 Injury Prevention Exercises for the Lower Leg from The Run Experience

At The Run Experience, we’re always coming up with new injury prevention exercises for YOU, our runners! In this post, we take a look at some of Coach Kirk’s favorite “go-to”s for the lower leg!


Just like the car that you depend on to operate properly day in and day out, your running body needs REGULAR maintenance.

When either of these breaks down, chances are that some preemptive investigation could’ve helped us avoid the setback altogether.

We believe in getting your injuries BEFORE they get you. Using 5-7 minutes of your day to help prevent months of injury/recovery/time on the couch is ALWAYS worth it.



The best part about all of our injury prevention exercises is that you can do them at home with easy to find objects!

So take a minute and go grab a broomstick.

Don’t worry, we’ll explain further.

Got it?

We’re going to use it to get deep into our calf (and soleus specifically) because I think we can all agree how tight these guys get during and after a run.

Here’s how the broomstick bash works:


  • Find a kneeling position on the ground. Butt sits back on the heels.
  • Now you’re going to sandwich the broomstick between your hamstrings and calves.
  • From here you’re going to start using the stick like a rolling pin.
  • Use your arms to apply as much pressure as you’re comfortable with.
  • Start just below the knee and work your way down to the top of the achilles.
  • Alternate between rolling the broomstick forward/backward and making a “sawing” motion side-to-side when you get to a particularly tight spot.
  • Spend about 2-3 minutes working down the length of the calves.

Why do we love this one so much?

As runners, we take the brute of our daily workouts in our legs. And more specifically, in our lower legs.

Our achilles’ tendons always seem to be the most tender, but the reality here is that the problem starts with the top of the chain, the calf.

Regularly taking care of these muscles will help to lengthen and calm the impact on the achilles’ tendons.



All you’ll need for this one is a pair of lacrosse balls, or 2 balls of similar size and density.

We’re going to use them to get after your peroneals and the posterior side of your tibia (shin).

These muscles control your footstrike, pronation, supination, basically how and why your foot hits the ground the way it does.

Like the calves, they get tight QUICK!

Here’s how the inversion/eversion sandwich works:


Have a seat on the ground, with one leg bent “indian style” in front of you.

  • Place one lacrosse ball under the side of the shin closest to the ground.
  • Place the other lacrosse ball on the other side of the shin, creating a “sandwich” of lacrosse ball, shin, lacrosse ball.
  • From here you’ll use your hands to apply pressure, just to the ball on top of the shin.
  • Once you’ve found a level of pressure you can deal with, begin to circle the ankle.
  • Also try flexing and pointing the foot, switching circle direction, etc.
  • Work up and down the shin, using this same technique, and spending more time on tighter areas.
  • Spend 2-3 minutes on each leg.



Learn more about the Peak Ultra!

Natural Running Form – Tips on Efficient Running for Distance


We’re excited to announce that coaches Nate Helming and Kirk Warner from The Run Experience will be presenting two clinics at the 2017 Peak Ultra!  Visit our event page for details.


Getting Ready for the 500, 100, 50, 30 or even 10-mile run

No matter the distance, efficiency is key.  In this video Nate Helming shares 4 do’s and don’ts of  natural running form to help you begin to understand how to get your body to work for you on the trail.

We are all naturally inclined to run,  it’s human. You did it without a second thought as a child.  Remember – running is a natural thing.

4 Do’s and Don’ts

When you notice an issue, don’t fix technique in a vacuum, ask why your body has adapted to move in a negative way.  The Run Experience recommends a  top-down approach.  Posture and position are king (check out the quick posture drill in this video.)

Watch for:

  • Shoulder and arm swing.
  • How to avoid arching your back (& why.)
  • Pulling mechanics.
  • Foot strike. 

Want more?  Register for the 2017 Peak Ultra and we’ll get you set up with a free one-month subscription to The Run Experience and you can meet Nate and Kirk in person.



Peak 100 – It will break you, multiple times. And yet you will love it.


There are so many amazing runners that show up for the Peak Ultra, Brian Nephew is definitely one of them!  Thanks Brian for trying to explain the Peak Ultra:


5:30 a.m. race day and it appears I am either at the wrong place, have the wrong day, or am the only one signed up.   After all what kind of race starts at 6am on a Friday morning?!  I notice lights up the driveway coming from a dilapidated shed.  Out of the light to the sound of techno music, wearing a headlamp walks a wild eyed, sleep deprived, ball of energy– ‘Welcome to Peak Ultra’.  Our race director! Or as I learned through my time on the mountain, a tour guide through suffering. The only cowbells you will hear are from the cows in the fields below; it will take more than cowbells.   There are no inspirational prerace speeches;  words won’t be enough.  There are no race time PR’s.

There is a magical system of trails that will lead you to places few will ever visit.

Flashback to the 2014 Peak Ultra 30
I had actually been here before, the year prior for the 30 mile (which by all reasonable calculations was 35 miles). On that day I had the most personally inspiring experience.  I witnessed people attempting to run 500 miles.  Something I wasn’t aware was even possible. Not only did I witness it, I had the opportunity to share miles with one of them. That short time made me start asking myself ‘What is possible, what am I capable of?’  I started thinking about how comfortable life had become and yet how discontent I was becoming.   Maybe I needed a good dose of suffering to create an appreciation of my life, and maybe that suffering would quiet this inner drive for things that aren’t essential.

At mile 25 I had the moment, after a long uphill climb as I doubled over, someone on MILE 495 ASKED ME ‘Are you Ok?’

Back to the  2015 Peak Ultra 100
With a running resume consisting of 2 half marathons and the previous year Peak30 my thirst for more of that experience drove me to the 100. It’s brutal, relentless and unforgiving.  It will break you, multiple times. And yet you will love it.   I choose to keep what I found in me on that course to myself.  There is a secret being held on that mountain that selfishly I don’t want to share. I connected with some incredible people I hope to always stay in touch with.   Sometimes you finish by crossing the line;  and other times that’s actually the start………….so I will see you in May….In the Pony barn, and on the Stairs, and at Shreks, and in the Labrynth……. No not there, you can’t see anything in there.


Brian Nephew’s Peak Ultra 100 by the numbers:

1 super awesome family
100 miles
44hours  (I was the ‘King of Pain’ winner – longest time on course)
6 shirts
5 socks
4 shorts
3 pairs sneakers
3 hats
unimaginable amounts of glide
3 full sit down meals
4 hours of Taylor Swift
0 sleep
A handful of memorable hallucinations. Maybe it never happened.

Thank you Pete Coleman, Ryan Jones, and most of all my wife Shontel for epically crushing 30 miles.
And Kale Poland for ‘Are you Ok’, ….  I’m working on being awesome.




Off the Grid and Super Moosey: Back to Nature at Vermont’s Peak Ultra – Travis Macy


Race Report from Travis Macy:

I’m thankful for races that have big fields, sponsor expos, online coverage, prize money, and my beloved Katy Perry (hey, even us counter-culture ultrarunners need to have at least one guilty, mainstream pleasure) blaring at the starting line and, if we’re lucky, again at aid stations.

I’m equally thankful, however, for races in our sport that are still off the grid.  For races, that is, like the Peak Ultra, where the key take-away from the RD’s pre-race meeting is that the terrain you’ll be passing through is, “suuuuuper moosey.”  For races where some deep mud and some steeper hills make for even slower mile splits–but no one cares because that’s the way it’s supposed to be in an ultra anyway.  Where bushwhacking meets river crossing meets running down a trail/drainage that’s filled with thick, crackly leaves covering rocks/ankle-breakers.  Where the best and hardest parts of the course have badass, backwoods names like Bloodroot and The Labarynth.  Where, if you want to be a local, you have a wide range of vehicle choices: Subaru Outback or Ford F-250.  Period.  For races that take you back to nature because nature is literally all over you by the time you finish, and where you feel like a little kid exploring the outdoors in unexpected ways–because that’s what you’re doing all day long alongside like-minded people who are rooting for you while you root for them.

Before the race, Hoka One One Elite runner Larisa Dannis told me, “this race holds a special place in my heart.”  Larissa has been around the block, having run 5:59:11 for 50 miles.  After the race, I see what she means about this race and why she wants to come back every year.

I’m thankful I got to the do Peak Ultra 50-miler while it was off the grid; this course is an epic adventure, and it’s not going to be a secret much longer.

Hoka One One / Vitargo athlete Travis Macy is the author of The Ultra Mindset: An Endurance Champion’s 8 Core Principles for Success in Business, Sports, and Life.  He encourages you to check out the Peak Ultra ( in Vermont so you can learn just what “Super Moosey” means.  And, for the record, he only listens to Katy Perry when racing.

Learn More about running 15, 30, 50, 100, 200 or 500 miles at the Peak Ultra.


6 Tips for Your First Trail Run

Thinking about taking on the Peak Ultra?  This year ultra runner, coach and author of “The Ultra Mindset” Travis Macy will be joining us.  We have some amazing athletes this year taking on distances from 30 to 200 miles, but if your new to the sport you can join the fun with our 15 mile run.  This is an amazing opportunity to get a taste for the world of Ultra Running and Trail Running.  Join us Friday evening for the free Q&A with Travis and win one of the copies of his book we’ll be giving away at the race!

The Peak Ultra takes place on the beautiful Green Mountain Trails in Pittsfield, Vermont and in the Green Mountain National Forest.  This race is all about testing yourself and your limits.  No matter if you are a seasoned pro or new to ultra running, I think you’ll find Travis’ video helpful.

learn more about the Peak Ultra.

How Persistence at the Peak Ultra changed Nick Bautista Forever


500 miles, 9 days.

I first attempted the Peak Races 500 mile back in 2013. I made it 460 miles before my body could not move forward any longer.
I returned in 2014 to finish what I had began. Stepping foot back onto that mountain was like visiting an old friend with whom I had an intimate and complicated relationship with. A plethora of emotions flooded me.
The previous year, the mountain taught me how to suffer. The following year, I planned on reaching that level of suffering once again, but to take it even further. To break my body and my mind in order to become something, someone new.
It started the same; rain, mud, cold nights. Soul crushing climbs. Quad bashing descents just around the corner. I could see the mountain change. I ran. And I ran harder and faster. I could not let myself take a break or rest or power hike while on the mountain. I could rest when it was time to sleep.
After a while, I no longer became a runner in a race, on a treacherous course. I became part of the mountain; the rocks, the trees, the animals. It assimilated me, and it was in my bones. I was a speck of dirt on this giant. The repetitive circling became a meditation. Each step forward I was stripped of the petty things in life. I was breaking myself, and becoming aware of another self. Yet I was nothing.
I was silent on my last loop. I finished in 9 days, in the dark, how I wanted it. Quiet and calm. I was scared to finish, though. What was I going to do when I finally stopped? I thought about continuing on regardless of reaching 500 miles…
The very first finisher back in 2012, my dear friend Willy Syndram, said to me, “This will change you forever.” The person who stepped off of that mountain was not the same as the one who got there 9 days previously. There are no words that can explain, only tears and a heaviness in my heart. That mountain is sacred to me. And I will return…
Nick Bautista
NB Endurance Coaching and Personal Training, LLC

Learn More about running 15, 30, 50, 100, 200 or 500 miles at the Peak Ultra.



Author, Coach and Ultra Runner Travis Macy at the 2015 Peak Ultra


Author and coach Travis Macy will be running in the Peak Ultra 50 this year. He will be giving a free talk to help racers get their heads ready for the 2015 Ultra, whatever distance they run.  His talk will include a quick overview of nutrition, hydration, gear, pacing, and mindset for Peak Ultra; he’ll then open up to questions about this event, competing around the world, his new book, and anything else that’s on your mind!

Travis Macy is a speaker, author, coach, and professional endurance athlete. He is the author of The Ultra Mindset: An Endurance Champion’s 8 Core Principles for Success in Business, Sports, and Life, and he holds the record for Leadman, an epic endurance event consisting of a trail running marathon, 50-mile mountain bike race, Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race, 10k road run, and Leadville 100 Run, all above 10,200′ in the Rocky Mountains. Travis lives with his wife and two young children in the mountains around Evergreen, Colorado.

Learn more about running the Peak Ultra with 15 mile to 500 mile options.






500 miles in 9 days – Kale “Cleetus” Poland


Only 4 racers have completed the 500 mile distance at the Peak Ultra.  One of them is Kale  “Cleetus” Poland who finished in 9 days. Here are his memories of the event.


After I take the turn from VT-107 to 100, I make a conscious effort to not put the pedal to the floor for the final 13 miles on the way to Pittsfield.
Don’t get me wrong- the small, charming mountains rising up from the river along that road are worthy of gawking at length… but the anticipation of what I am headed to far exceeds my willingness to rubberneck.

The mystique surrounding the trails at Peak is well-known amongst those who make the annual pilgrimage there.
There is an energy within that forest that cannot be denied. I’d been there to witness it multiple times within the past 5 years, but hadn’t truly felt the extent of it on my own until last year, at the Peak 500.


We began on a Thursday afternoon in late May.
Incessant rain dominated our first few days on the trail. We were muddy, constantly wet, and tired. The forest seemed dark and imposing- perhaps compounded by the daunting task that lay ahead.
I believe the sun finally made an appearance on day 3. New England forests in general are very dynamic during this time of year, as everything begins to come back to life after a long winter. This was especially so here on Joe’s Mountain. The flora changed from deep green to bright and vibrant…growing right before our eyes. The grass and ferns, not much taller than ankle-height at the beginning, grew to knee height. Over the final few days, I became almost attached to certain parts of the trail that I’d run or walked by over 40 times, having literally watched them grow over a week and half. A haunting forest suddenly became inviting, even during the final night when things were at their toughest.

A few days after finishing, I chatted with fellow finisher Nick Bautista. We both expressed feelings of difficulty in leaving the trail and assimilating back to the “real” world. After knowing the whereabouts and condition of seemingly every root, rock, and plant, it is very hard to not know how the trail is doing. I know how silly this probably sounds, but when the only thing you have with you are your thoughts, suffering, and nature around you, the attachment becomes very real.

Peak Races are polarizing, but in a good way. You will have some of your worst moments on these trails.  There is a good chance you will end up at rock bottom, and you just may stay there for a long, long while….but never forever. The collective energy of this place and the people around it will raise you up.
You will learn, adapt, and then have some of your best moments here- and while those good and bad moments may not last forever, the memories will.
And those memories will change you.

Kale  “Cleetus” PolandPeak_Ultra_Kale1

Find out more about the Peak Ultra, register now for distances from 500 to 15.



Reflections on the Peak Ultra and Running 500 miles


by Ultra Runner Michelle Roy

I have 3 DNF’s at the PEAK 500
and they are my proudest accomplishments as an ultra runner.

It is quite possible that many of you will, like I did, fall in love with
this mountain and these trails and PEAK will become your bliss.  I can
promise that each of you that decide to take on the challenge of PEAK,
regardless of the distance,  will find a part of yourself that you never
knew existed.  These are no ordinary trails….you will know what I
speak of when you pass through the labyrinth and the day becomes
evening.   You are on a mountain that holds memories.  A mountain that
has silently witnessed amazing feats from ordinary people.  What will
you take away from your PEAK experience?  I can assure you that you will
be challenged.  You will suffer moments of doubt, maybe even fear, but
whether or not you cross that finish line in the time given or with the
number of loops expected you will have accomplished something great.

I have always said PEAK is about the extra loop. As in life it is about
challenging yourself to take that extra step when you body says “I am
done”.  It is not for a medal or your name listed as a finisher it is
really about finding your inner reserve, tapping into it, and pushing
yourself farther than you ever thought possible.
Welcome to the PEAK family…

Learn more about this year’s Peak Ultra Race.