Geoff Roes Quotes

American Athlete

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Geoff Roes About Running
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Featured QuoteDoing the races is almost a secondary thing for me. It's really more about running every day.
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A desire to win is one of the reasons I love to compete with other runners, but it is certainly not the main reason. Winning is instead just really sweet icing on the cake of the competitive experience.
At any rate Western States should be a really exciting event to be a part of again this year. It's been fun and exciting to start thinking about it a bit more in the past several days. But it's also really fun and exciting to be back here in Juneau where there are so many enticing places to run that I'm much more excited about where I'm going to run tomorrow than any runs I have planned in the future.
At some point thus the question becomes: why race at all then? I'm still not to the point of seriously asking myself this question. I still get a lot of satisfaction from competing with others at something we've all put so much time and effort into. 29 days out of 30 I prefer to just be out running through the mountains at a mellow pace, exploring the terrain around me, but about once a month it's really fun to line up and push myself physically and mentally in conjunction with and in competition with dozens (sometimes hundreds) of other like minded folks.
Certainly on 100-milers you are burning off a lot of fat as your fuel. I know some runners will go out on five-hour runs and not eat much of anything during the run to get the body used to running on stored energy, but I kind of take the whole opposite approach of just training very similar to racing.
Certainly you can 'train' in this way no matter where you live, but here in Juneau everything is kind of closed off in an idyllic little bubble, and it's pretty easy to escape the pressure, stress, and anxiety of competitive running and of many things in life. This combined with the challenging terrain and the thriving running community makes Juneau the perfect place to prepare for a race like Western States.
Depending upon the trail and conditions, I expect to be on a 50 mile course between 6 and 9 hours.
Doing the races is almost a secondary thing for me. It's really more about running every day.
For me I think I end up a little burnt out mentally before I even start a race when I focus on one specific event for too long. I operate a lot better when my most important run is my next run and not some run several months in the future.
For me it's like just taking some down time. I've raced 10 races in 10 months.
For me, the easiest way to have a sustainable and healty relationship with running is to constantly remember how simple it is.

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I don't care to try to compete at high levels, like my highest potential.
I don't ever planned tempo.
I don't feel like a pro runner, and the sens that it feels like a job by any means.
I don't plan any kind of workouts.
I felt surprisingly good and it's always fun to win.
I got a definite plan in mind. I'm doing the Iditarod Invitational Race up in Alaska next February. It's 350 miles. I've attempted it twice and dropped out both times. So I'm going to take another shot at doing a really long one.
I got to run all day. I felt really relaxed and really content pretty much all day. I didn't run very hard, but I never really slowed down either. I took a lot of time at aid stations. Not because I needed to, but because everyone was so friendly and fun to talk with that I didn't want to leave.
I just go out run and see what happens. I don't take anything for granted.
I just love to do lots of, slow, kind of strenght building, endurance building type training, lots of terrain, ups and down, and I pretty much never do, like speed specific stuff.
I just try to eat a lot, as much as I can, all the time.
I like to be in good shape so I can cover a lot of ground, kind of explore.
I really focus on building just strength and endurance. I do a lot of long runs, but also do a lot of really steep vertical and a lot of runs where a lot of times when I'm out, I'm just hiking, because it's too steep to run.
I really like a mixture of the races. I really like some of the big, high focus, maybe high pressure type races, combined with some lower key races.
I really like knowing and understanding the land, especially the land surrounding the area that I'm living and that I choose to live.
I think 'home' is more a state of mind than an actual place. Right now Juneau is home. 2 weeks ago we were in Colorado and I felt entirely at home.
I think a big part of why I feel so satisfied by being in this area, or really I've never lived since I've been running in the mountains so much, it's just feeling that familiar with the whole surrounding area, makes it easier to have... compassion for the place that I'm spending all my time.
I think it's really important when learning things from other runners, or from experiences in running, play with those things for ourselves for a while, and incorporate it in our running, and see if it works, and if it doesn't work, be totally willing to let go, and not feel like you need to run 180 miles a week because Tony does, or drink beer at aid stations because Dave does.
I think it's so important in the longer stuff to manage and to focus on the low points, because you gonna have these really extreme low points in almost every race.
I think of myself as just a runner. I enjoy getting out, exploring, exploring my surrounding area, that definitely my primary interest in running.
I think some people have a tendency to want to copy what other people are doing, too much. But at the end of the day, it's just running.
I think something that makes people really strong runners is keeping that perspective of how simple it is.
I think ultras are in this extreme growth period right now. At some point, it's going to slow down. At that point ultras will be in a more sustainable spot. In terms of what that will look like, I don't know.
I think what separates Juneau from most other places I've run is just how many great trails there are that lead almost instantly into very wild places.
I travelled to France for the UTMB and caught a cold, plus had an unfulfilling race experience.
I want most of the climbing done before the temperature makes it to 80 degrees.
I was really trying to have a good solid run today to get my confidence back.
I'll be running, but not with any kind of focus on training until next month.
I'm doing a lot of just really rugged mountain runs with lots of vertical. That's what I enjoy the most, anyway. It's not a conscious decision; it's just more of what I enjoy doing.
I've developed a style of running that works for me and so I haven't tinkered much with going all that minimal or doing much barefoot myself. But doing some barefoot running does force you to run with a pretty efficient and logical stride and form. If you can use that as a tool and not overdo it, I think it's a great thing.
I've had some tough races I've won and I've had some easier races I haven't done as well in.
I've just been running day to day more than I ever have. Even now, with the race at the end of this week I find myself thinking more about what run I'm going to do tomorrow than the run this coming weekend. This might sound like a careless and crazy approach to such a highly contested race, but I've had more fun than ever training for this race, and the more the line seems to blur between training and racing the more I seem to enjoy all of it, and the better my races seem to get from a performance standpoint.
In Juneau, you can start a run from the middle of downtown and within 5 minutes be in the type of remote wilderness that in most places you can only access with several miles of driving and another several minutes of running.
It makes it easy to get excited when you love the product. I've finally found the shoe I wear to train and race.
It's been over two years now since I last trained with any serious structure except for the structure that is a lack of structure.
Juneau has a lot to offer beyond trail running.
Last year I won Western States. This fact has potential to put a huge amount of pressure on me this year. So far I haven't felt too much of that pressure. I'm planning to do everything I can to have a good race, but I think a big part of this will be how relaxed and laid back I remain about the whole thing. In many ways I think my ability to do this has become one of my biggest strengths as a competitive runner.
Maybe the 2 hours in a 100 miles race when you're feeling really crappy, if you can deal with that, I think that you can reasonably maybe run, that stretch, several minutes faster per mile that you might otherwise if you're not prepared for that.
Mostly I just want people to tap into the idea of becoming stronger runners by deeply enjoying their running. The number one aim of this camp will be to have fun while we are out traveling by foot through one of the most beautiful places in the world.
My next race is always 'the race of my life'.
My whole approach to nutrition on race day and after my runs is to try to get my body to process carbohydrates so consistently and efficiently that I try to burn as little fat on runs as possible.

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