My guest today started his ultrarunning career earlier than most.
He proved that letting kids run far isn’t necessarily a bad thing when done correctly.
Aaron Iles finished his first ultramarathon at the age of 16 and has continued to push his limits.
Against The Grain
From a young age, Aaron was unique when it came to running.
He preferred to run longer distances when compared to other kids his own age.
At age 11 he ran his first road race which was 5 miles.
A year later he completed his first half marathon and only 2 years after was his first marathon at age 14.
By the age of 16, he finished his first 50k and 50-mile distance the same year.
Aaron attributes his successful increase in distance to a gradual buildup in miles and staying injury free.
The day Aaron remembers feeling like a “real runner” was June 1, 2003.
He ran for an hour and recorded his run in a running log, which he has done for every run since for the past 15 years.
This Episode Is Sponsored By: DKMS
The majority of miles Aaron logged while growing up were solo.
The schools he attended did not have cross country running programs.
That changed when he was about to enter his senior year of college.
The college he was attending added a cross country team and Aaron made the decision to shift his focus for a year.
Ultra training went on the back burner and Aaron made it a goal to place nationally and make All-American.
Having never had a coach before or train with a team, Aaron wasn’t sure what to expect.
The experience turned out to be the best decision he could’ve made.
He was pushed harder than ever before and found himself having fun at the same time.
Respecting His Gift
Aaron is aware that is the ability to run long is a gift which is one reason he continually works to his potential.
Like most runners, he is not perfect when it comes to making time for the little things to stay healthy.
At the age of 19, he began experiencing back issues that forced him to start physical therapy.
Aaron admittedly practiced, “reactive medicine,” at that time.
He didn’t worry about the injury until it became his problem.
The 3 months of physical therapy gave him valuable knowledge that helps him stay healthy and train hard.
2018 was Aaron’s most successful year of running, with 6 ultras completed and 3 top 3 finishes.
He is continually pushing his limits, with his sights on a possible 200-mile race in 2020.
You Vs. You
Aaron keeps coming back to running for numerous reasons.
Traveling and exploring the world are more enjoyable when he’s in shape.
Fastpacking has allowed him the opportunity to travel to various parts of the world and explore on foot.
Running is one of the only sports where limits are constantly being pushed.
Most people will never win a race, but that doesn’t stop them from running.
The definition of success varies from person to person.
When a runner succeeds by their definition, there is joy in it.
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Stay connected with Aaron by following him on Instagram.
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