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Ultra running tips from pro runners Josiah Middaugh and Hillary Allen

Ultra running tips from pro runners Josiah Middaugh and Hillary Allen

Hillary Allen and Josiah Middaugh Hillary Allen and Josiah Middaugh
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Setting big, scary ultra-endurance goals. UltraSignup race tips series 1 of 3.

Hey, there! Whether this is your 1st or 50th ultra-marathon, we wanted to share some strategies to help you find the kind of success that matches your personal dreams and goals. It all starts with motivation and inspiration that comes from within you. No one can push you as far as you can push yourself — which is why it’s also important to choose wisely when it comes to picking how far you want to go.

Choose a BIG goal.
This kind of goal isn’t something you can accomplish overnight. It might be years away. It might be something that comes at the end of next season. It’s the kind of big, giant goal that comes with smaller goals that help you get there. Don’t look for a goal that’s impossible. Find something that challenges you without breaking you.

Figure out what you need.
When defining a goal, you might start with your weakness or areas you want to improve. Get out of your comfort zone, but don’t start with taking a gigantic step. Make a plan. Do plenty of research. Focus on one thing at a time. Get support from friends, maybe even a qualified coach. Choose race goals that help you in that one particular area. If it’s elevation, maybe pick a shorter, higher way to train. If it’s speed, look for flatter, faster ways to train.

Break down the big goals into smaller ones.
A few little successes will give you motivation and a craving for bigger successes. Achieving small goals creates confidence and a sense of accomplishment that will bring you closer to your big goal. Desperately throwing yourself at a giant goal and failing over and over will only lead to disappointment. Take things one step at a time.

Grind it out.
Stick with your goal. This is where you’ll find out who you really are. You’ll be tempted to lose motivation. Find your rhythm and do something, anything goal-related every day. Your training plan should include recovery days for your body and your mind. Get rid of the barriers that get in the way of your daily grind. The holy grail of endurance training is consistency, injury prevention, and faster recovery between workouts. If you can do those three things, you’re going to keep improving and you’re going to get faster.

Gear up.
Keep GO Sleeves® Calf Sleeves in your toolkit, and possibly the knee sleeves as well if you need them. They are a two-in-one combination of kinesiology tape and compression sleeves. The knee sleeves help you deal with knee pain and swelling while getting support at the same time. You can achieve a faster recovery time by using GO Sleeves® Calf Sleeves between training sessions and after races. Personally, I use the GO Sleeves any time I’m doing any training that creates tightness in my Achilles tendon — like extreme vertical or interval training. They make a remarkable difference in reducing the soreness I might experience between training sessions.

Go for it.
All your hard work is leading to something. It could be your next race. It could be a goal date (like a milestone birthday). Maybe your next race is just a stepping stone to next season or beyond. The point is, you’ve got to have a way to track the execution of your big goal. You might give it all and fall short on your first attempt, but you’ll gain something that will set you up for success later. There are no losses when every attempt is an opportunity to learn. Setting a big goal and working towards it is a process that is often more about the journey than the destination.

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Skyrace endurance runner Hillary “Hillygoat” Allen was ranked #1 in the world in 2017 when she seemed to defy death itself after experiencing a life-threatening 150-foot fall from a ridge-line while competing. After 14 broken bones and 11 months of recovery, Allen healed up, defied the odds, and placed 2nd in her next race.

Since then, Allen has made a complete recovery, currently running her most challenging events ever, but not without the help of intense rehab and technology from GO Sleeves. GO Sleeves for Calves have helped her counter muscle tightness and soreness while improving blood flow and lymphatic drainage to her calf muscles, Achilles tendon, and shin splints.

Learn more about Hillary’s running tips and sign-up for her newsletter at

Josiah Middaugh is a 15-Time XTERRA USA Off-Road Triathlon National Champion and 2015 XTERRA World Champion

Recent XTERRA Hall-of-Fame inductee Josiah Middaugh’s achievements precede him with 15 XTERRA USA National Championship wins, a 2015 XTERRA World Champion Title, 3 Fat Bike World Championship wins, and 6 USSSA National Snowshoe Championships. He’s a pro on and off the track, with a Master's degree in Kinesiology and his own premier athlete coaching business. Middaugh understands the importance of injury prevention, management, and recovery – making him the perfect GO Sleeves team athlete to share how GO Sleeves have helped him and the clients he coaches in their recovery and training regimens.

Learn more about Josiah’s coaching practice for endurance athletes at

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