The holder of the Fastest Known Time for the 2,200-mile  Appalachian Trail gives his 5 quick essentials for training for ultra and endurance running


[1] Take it to the max

Try to reach 60-70 percent of maximum exertion level three times a week. This isn’t a full interval workout, rather one step back from that, where you’re building lactic acid in the muscles. After a while, add a high-effort lactate producing workout, and eventually interval training, pushing your effort level above 90 percent.

[2] Get cross

Mix your training up by replacing one or two of the runs with hiking, swimming, cross-country skiing, tennis or even a walk on an inclined treadmill. And have regular massages to help rejuvenate the muscles.

[2] Strong arm tactics

It’s important to help the supportive muscular system for injury prevention. I do up to three days of strength training per week, for the upper and lower body, as well as functional core strengthening work. I’m a physiotherapist and know that lots of sitting leads to tightened hamstrings and hip flexors. I advocate stretching, but we don’t need to be gymnasts. I also do some occasional yoga too.

[4] Fuel right

Many runners eliminate certain food groups from their diets without finding healthy alternatives, resulting in a drop in health and performance. Eat whole foods — the less processed the better. I mainly eat whole, plant-based foods – healthy fats, whole grains, legumes, soy protein, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. I eat organic foods as much as possible and try to eat locally grown, seasonal foods, supporting small, local, organic growers when possible.

[5] Have fun but listen

Finally have fun with your workouts, but also listen to your body and don’t be afraid to rest.

Scott Jurek is sponsored by CLIF, Pro-Tec Athletics, Ultimate Direction and Brooks