Ultrarunning is an endurance sport that pushes both mind and body to the limit! Joining us today to tell us how it’s possible to successfully navigate 100 miles of treacherous terrain, is Dentist and Ultramarathon Runner, Arden Young. After winning her first ultramarathon in 2016, Arden has never looked back, even going as far as taking a break from her 12 years in dentistry to focus on her ambitions as a runner. Our guest explains how running can be the best stress reliever and how racing events help goers to form connections and build relationships. She then goes on to shed some light on all her races from the past year with a focus on the Sinister 7, while detailing the physical and mental preparation required before each race, how COVID impacted the racing community, and how the road and trail races differ from each other.
Arden’s cooling techniques for running in intense heat lead us to an interesting discussion on other cooling methods, and we learn how she fuels herself while on the trail. We talk about her favourite distances to run, why she can’t sleep the night before a race, why having a team is vital in this so-called solo sport, and how she goes about pacing herself during a race. At the end of the day, ultrarunning is all about staying mentally and physically fit, and Arden shares a Spotify playlist that, if you wish to take up running yourself, should make those many hours on the trail a lot more bearable.
Key Points From This Episode:
- A warm introduction to today’s guest, Ultrarunner and Dentist, Arden Young.
- When and how Arden first got into running.
- Running as a stress reliever.
- Unplanned first marathons and the joys of trail running.
- What motivated Arden to start racing.
- Why race days are magical.
- How a race win cemented her commitment to the sport.
- Arden describes the race test and how it helps foster community and relationships.
- Her running journey after completing her first race test.
- How she ended up at the Sinister 7 Ultra; double the distance of her previous longest race.
- Nate’s support of Arden that ended in a puking session.
- The mental resilience that our guest has built up over time.
- Walking through a year of Arden’s races.
- How long it takes to recover from an ultramarathon, both mentally and physically.
- The impact COVID has had on racing.
- How road running differs from trail running regarding how they affect the body.
- Exploring various cooling methods, and how Arden adapts to running in intense heat.
- The amount of water she drinks during a 100-mile race and how she carries it.
- How she can tell during a race that her body needs fuel, electrolytes, and water.
- Whether she prefers to refuel with liquids, solids, or both.
- The particular foods she enjoys eating during a race, and why.
- Using the bathroom during a race.
- Her favourite distances to run.
- A 100-mile race: everything, from how she prepares to running the race itself.
- Taking a closer look at how she mentally prepares for a race.
- The value of having a team, even in a solo sport.
- Why Arden struggles to sleep most nights before a race.
- Whether she still gets nervous before a race.
- How she paces herself while running.
- Her mindset during the first half of the race and how it changes throughout.
- Riding the waves and staying mentally fit.
- The music she listens to while running.
- Arden’s goals for the future.
“I could go for a 20, 30-minute run and it would just give me a break from all the stress. I’m such a perfectionist, so dental school was a pretty stressful time. I was really lucky that running was there for me in that way.” — @ardenlyoung [0:03:37]
“It hasn’t always been a win. Honestly, a lot of the thing that keeps me coming back [to racing] is the relationships, the community, the people that enjoying my life from this.” — @ardenlyoung [0:10:16]
“I think that that’s another thing that I come back to, being goal-oriented, being a perfectionist. I finish these races, I’m like, “That was good, but I know I can do it better.” It just keeps driving you.” — @ardenlyoung [0:13:35]
“At one point, I was like, ‘Elsa, I’m starting to panic. My knee hurts so bad.’ She’s like, ‘Well, don’t cry. I can’t handle crying.’ These are the conversations we had. A lot happens out on the trail. You make some lifelong memories, and you do some silly things.” — @ardenlyoung [0:25:56]
“At Javelina, I was running with people that are my inspirations, but they’re also starting to become my friends. That’s been a really cool part of this journey in the sport.” — @ardenlyoung [0:41:32]
“The women’s trail running scene is really being elevated in this last year or two, with more women winning races outright. Times getting faster and faster. Lots of records are being broken. It just pushes everybody to that next level.” — @ardenlyoung [0:41:56]
“I’m not an adrenaline seeker. I’m usually a safety Sally. I can be a little bit kamikaze going down[hill], just because, I don’t know, I trust my feet. It’s fun. It’s a big reason why I got into the sport.” — @ardenlyoung [0:52:04]