No Meat Athlete Radio: An Interview About My First 100-Miler

By now, if you’re a regular No Meat Athlete reader, it’s likely that you’ve read (fine, skimmed) my 4500-word recap of my first 100-miler last weekend. I’ve loved reading and responding to the comments, and am truly humbled by the nice things you’ve all have had to say.

Well, here’s some more for you! No Meat Athlete Radio has a minor obsession with ultrarunning, so we couldn’t let my first 100 go by without an episode dedicated to it.

But to make sure this didn’t just turn into an audio version of my text recap, we did something a little different — Doug (himself an ultrarunner eyeing his first 100) and I didn’t exchange a word about the race until the tape was rolling.

So these are Doug’s questions, my answers — two budding ultrarunners chatting, unrehearsed, about a first 100. As a result, there’s a good bit different here from my written recap, with a lot of “inside the head” stuff that’s easier to express in a conversation than in writing. I think you’ll take away some valuable nuggets from our conversation.

If nothing else, it’ll help you pass the time on a long run this weekend; listening to podcasts got me through a lot of mundane miles in the training for this race.


Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The importance (or not) of sleep the night before an ultra
  • Pacing strategies and walk breaks in a 100
  • The single biggest mistake I made
  • The low point, and inside “the moment” where it all turned around
  • What I warned my crew not to listen to me about
  • Why a negative outlook before the race actually helped me
  • Advice for beating wet feet, and a crucial piece of equipment I forgot to bring
  • What it’s like to run through the night on trails
  • My eating strategy for the race
  • Drinking only to thirst instead of to a schedule
  • What’s so great about Hoka One One’s
  • The reason the whole thing wasn’t quite as hard as I expected
  • How a friend helped me decide not to have a time goal
  • What the recovery has been like
  • What’s next? (Hint: RAGNAR!)

Click the button below to listen now:


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Links from the show:

Books we discussed:

Shoes we discussed:

Thanks for listening!



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  1. Jon Weisblatt says:

    Hey Matt,
    I’ve been out of country on vacation for a while and just recently returned and saw your updated blogs. All I can say is Awesome, Awesome, Awesome!!!!!! You have accomplished so much mentally, emotionally, spiritually, as well as physically. After saying how I wouldn’t even know how to begin training for an ultra, you have provided enough information that I no longer have an excuse.
    Congratulations again. Long live the long slow run!!

  2. Great podcast. As someone mulling a 100 miler, this information is very helpful.

    One thing I will take to heart from this podcast is the value of not setting a strict time goal. Like you described in the podcast, I know the sensation of following a pace group during a marathon, and feeling the group slowly slip away …. and then getting passed by the next pace group. More than once the thought entered my mind “I can’t make my goal time, I’m not feeling good, maybe I should just quit”. It can be become a “reason to quit” — if you let it. And I suspect there are enough potential “reasons to quit” during a first 100, no need to introduce another. Especially one that could lead to a physical reason to quit, brought on by trying to stick to a goal pace rather than listening to your body.

  3. Motorina says:

    Downloaded Rick Roll’s podcast on your recommendation. Unimpressed. 23 mins in and still on trailers and adverts. Yours is better.

  4. As someone thinking about ultras, although maybe just casually now, the podcast was awesome. I’ve done shorter races, half marathons almost casually at times, and an ultra is on my thoughts if not on my schedule yet

  5. Jenn Gutierrez says:

    I’ve been thinking about Ultras myself, but I have a very serious problem – I am the clutziest person on the planet, and am afraid of tripping on a stick/rock/etc. In your experience out on the course, was this a potential hazard – or did you find yourself becoming a human Gazelle and easily able to jump over any object in site?

    • Hey Jenn! Once you get used to trail running, rocks/roots/etc aren’t so big a deal … you still have trips and falls every once in a while when you get lazy or tired, but they’re usually not bad because you’re not running very fast in an ultra. If you’ve never run trails though, it’s important to do it some before race day so that you get used to the things you referred to but also to build strength in the different muscles that it requires from road running.

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