The RunRunLive 3.0 Podcast Episode 3-272 Dave Riddle US Ultra-Runner

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Link epi3272.mp3

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<Introductory Comments:

Welcome to the RunRunLive 3.0 podcast.  This is episode 3-272.  Today we have a great talk with Dave Riddle, one of the best current ultra-marathoners in the USA.  David had won the JFK 50 miler and represented the USA team at the world 100k championships. He just happened to work in the same office as Jim our editor.  It took us awhile to match schedules with me traveling and Dave competing at Hood to Coast – but we worked it out and have the conversation that ensued for you.

In section one we will do our best to answer the question how to take that first step out of your comfort zone and why would you want to anyhow? 

In section two I’m going to talk about how to take on hills in a race without attacking them. 

I am through the cement mixer of racing that was September.  I capped it off last weekend by racing the Harvard 10 Miler on Saturday and then the Holdenwood trail 10k on Sunday.  Now I have to rebuild and recover through the Denver marathon in a couple weeks to race at Ft. Myers in November. 

Yes – I ran 6 races in 5 weeks from August 31st through last weekend.  Two of them marathons.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, when it comes to training and racing you should probably ‘do what I say not what I do’   

Saturday I was still concerned about my hamstring pull so I warmed up well and went out slow with the back of the pack for the first couple miles.  You should really warm up for races.  I go out and jog at least 10 minutes and then stretch.  If you can time it right you want to go into the starting line warm.  

This Harvard 10 miler has at least 1,000 feet of elevation gain.  It’s got some monster hills. One big one around mile 2 and another big one right around mile 8.  In the middle miles it roles with some shallower ups and downs.  

After a couple miles I felt pretty good so I started to pick my way through the pack.  Eventually I came up on the shoulder of a young guy who was racing a decent pace and I stuck with him.  Through the middle miles we were cruising through some 7:00 minute miles and seeing paces in the 6’s on the down hills. 

I knew I couldn’t attack the hills with the hamstring pull so instead I just focused on form and turnover and literally spun up the hills, like when you drop a bicycle into the Granny gear.  By starting slow, accelerating through the middle and respecting the hills I was delighted to turn in a average of 7:44 min per mile without hurting myself.  Very happy with that. 

I was planning to run easy with the club the next morning, but I got a note that said some of them were running this trail race 10K the next town over – so I went over and ran that instead. 

I wasn’t planning on racing but I got caught up with Bob, who is a couple years older than I and an enthusiastic trail runner.  It was two loops of a 5K course and Bob went out like a scalded cat with the 5K runners.  I just tucked in a few yards behind and held on to him trying really hard not to pull anything. 

It was a hilly cross country course that reminded me of running on the XC courses in prep school when I was a kid.  Once more I managed the hills with turnover and form instead of attacking them.  We finished the 5K loop just around 8 minute miles and I pulled over to have a cup of water and wait for Bob to come through.  We went back out for the second loop at a much more leisurely pace.  

At one point an older guy passed us and it turned out he was the winner of our age group. We didn’t know – he was only 100 feet in front and we could have easily caught him.   Bob kept trying to get me to attack the hills and I’d tell him to have fun and catch him on the back side.  It wasn’t until the last little rise into the finish line that I let myself push and, of course, that tweaked the hamstring that I had been judiciously protecting through two days of racing. 

That’s it. No more racing now.  I plan to recover and build again through Denver and into Ft. Meyers. 

I talked with Coach and reviewed the plan I had put together.  We decided I have definitely been over-racing and probably been over-training without enough focus.  I’m going to cut back to 4 days of running a week. With a spin and two core workouts on the off days.  I’m going to group the workouts to maximize benefit and recovery.  Tuesday tempo with Wednesday Zone 2 recovery.  Move my Thursday Tempo to Saturday and move my long run to Sunday to practice running on tired legs.  

I also put up a blog post on my site about how to create a simple Spreadsheet based training plan and import it to MS Outlook so you can see it in your calendar.  If you’re interested. 

I posted two recipes that people were asking about.  I posted my Volcanic Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing recipe and my modification of Dirty Girl’s Kale Salad.  

All of this wonderful stuff can be found at

Now – speaking of recipes…I unpacked my juicer this weekend and did some juicing.  This device is a trip! It’s like the old BlendTech commercials where they used to blend baseballs and cell phones on YouTube. 

You take your fruits and vegetables and you cram them down the input chute, there is a great rendering and dry pulp shoots out one side and juice dribbles out the other side.  You can toss anything in there and it gets juiced.  Throw in a whole beet and with a great thwacking sound you get beet juice. 

One thing that becomes immediately apparent is that there isn’t much juice in some things.  Cucumbers and apples have lots of juice, Kale leaves not so much.  

I made two of the recipes.  I made the “Mean Green” and the “Sunset Passion”.  I have the recipes if anyone wants them.  They weren’t bad.  They were a little hard to get down, not so much because they tasted bad, but because my big brain was getting in the way telling me they were yucky.  

As far as the experience.  It takes a lot of produce to produce a small amount of juice.  I think I’d rather just eat the produce.  The amount of waste produced is staggering.  For two cups of juice I created a couple quarts of brightly colored garden mulch.  The high-speed, violent, mechanical rendering of produce is fun, but having to clean out all the bits and pieces afterwards is a bit of a hassle. 

One last point.  I don’t know if the juice is good for you, but if you’ve got problems with ‘the trains running on time’ (which I don’t) the juice, especially the beet juice will expedite traffic immediately upon consumption.  You can literally hear it work through your GI like Drano through a hair clog. 

Next week we’ll try ritual bloodletting. 

On with the Show!

Section one:

How to take the first step out of your comfort zone -

Featured Interview:

About Dave Riddle


Twitter:  @rundavid1

David began running competitively almost 20 years ago and never lost the fire.  To this day, he continues finding new challenges and competitions to keep himself inspired and motivated.  He was a decent distance runner in college when he ran track and cross-country at Auburn University, but he soon found his true strength in ultramarathons shortly after graduating.  Professionally, he is an aerospace engineer and balancing a full-time career with the training and racing responsibilities of a competitive ultra marathoner is definitely a challenge that he embraces.  David enjoys a variety of ultra events including road and trail races, but leans toward the flatter events since he doesn't have much elevation to train on near his home in Cincinnati.  Some of David's notable results include winning the JFK 50 Mile in 2011, 5th place at the IAU World Championship 100k while representing the US in 2012, and an 11th place finish at Western States in 2012 in his first attempt at the 100 mile distance.

Section two:

Racing hills with cadence instead of brute force -


Well my friends that was fun wasn’t it?  I am able to get some nice momentum going when I can use a weekly cadence.  I liked the part when Dave said that even the skinniest person has 70,000 fat calories in them.   If you want to read more about David you can read his blog at or follow him on twitter @RunDavid1.

I’ve gotten some great emails from some of you over the last few weeks.  I love to get them.  Sometimes I don’t know how to respond because it seems from your end it’s takes great effort for you to break through whatever is holding you back from talking to me.  

I apologize if I seem brusque in my response.  One of my habits is to use very few words in my emails.  That is ironic considering how loquacious I am in this avatar.  I often kick of kerfuffles in my professional world with people who don’t know me with the relative paucity of my responses. I’m not mad at you, or anything like that, it’s just how I interact on email.  

To summarize my points: 1) I like hearing from you. 2) If you want something specific from me feel free to ask and 3) I may respond with “That’s pretty cool Bro, I’ll check it out.” To your 5 paragraph email. 

It also brings up a point that I will discuss at length in an article in the future, which is that community is important to a healthy balanced life. It is as important and mental health and physical health.  Part of why we all do this is because we need the community.  

The online community replaces or at least shores up the physical communities that we have lost to a faceless suburbia in our modern times.  I know that.  To go along with the necessity of community is the fact that to be part of a community brings with it responsibility.  It’s not a one-way street.  I know that too.  The internet, and this podcast give me the opportunity leverage technology to join with my extended community outside of physical space.  I respect that.  Shoot me an email. I promise to answer. 

I think last week, or the week before I was talking about this stressful time of year and how it is full of stress-triggers that can derail us.  I thought I’d share a couple of my personal relaxation or pseudo-meditation tactics.  

The first one I use is your standard meditation.  I have a mantra – just a series of three nonsense words that I repeat.  I close my eyes and focus on those words and watch those words scroll across the insides of my eyelids.  By focusing on those words I can quiet the noise in my mind and let it go.  This is one of the ways I can let stress go or fall asleep when I’m restless. 

Another one I use to sleep on airplanes.  I imagine myself on the inside of a sealed glass container.  I am on the inside.  The screaming babies and chatty people are on the outside.  It is quiet and peaceful on the inside of my pod.  I am happy and peaceful there and I drift off to sleep because I can no longer hear the disturbances on the outside. 

I don’t know if you can use something similar but it’s fun to try. 

I have been in the office all week working on various things.  I’ve been very productive writing and reviewing content. Next week I’m going to interview Loren Fogelman who is the author of a book about the mental aspects of competing.  It’s a great chat. 

As always, if you want to support the show go to my website and check out one of my books. 

Thanks a bunch, 

Have a great week!


Outro Bumper

Thanks for listening folks I appreciate your support.  RunRunLive is a free service for you because I like writing and telling stories.  

I also love to meet folks so feel free to reach out to me at Gmail or any of the other social networking sites.  I’m CYKTRussell.  And as you know that’s Chris-Yellow-King-Tom-Russell with two Esses and two Ell’s. 

My Website is and most if not all of this content is posted out there.   If you want the show notes to magically show up in your inbox when I publish a show in a beautiful HTML wrapper you can subscribe to the mailing list at my site.  It’s a useful thing if you are moved by something I say and would like to see if what I wrote is the same thing! It also has all the links to everything and everyone I talk to and about. 

Other than that, thank you for your attention, do epic stuff and let me know if I can help. 


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Chris Russell lives and trains in suburban Massachusetts with his family and Border collie Buddy.  Chris is the author of “The Mid-Packer’s Lament”, and “The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy”, short stories on running, racing, and the human comedy of the mid-pack.  Chris writes the Runnerati Blog at  Chris’ Podcast, RunRunLive is available on iTunes and at Chris also writes for ( and is a member of the Squannacook River Runners and the Goon Squad. 


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Direct download: epi3272.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 6:58pm EDT





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