My guest today is someone that looks forward to a good adventure anywhere he can find it.
He’s not picky about where the adventure takes place, as long as he’s surrounded by good company.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Nate Hanley today.
Nate Hanley was always naturally athletic and participated in various sports while growing up.
The only running he did was typically geared toward sprinting short distances.
He always stayed active in the gym throughout college and after.
Running didn’t enter his life until he was an adult and he switched careers.
His new job was much more stationary and Nate felt the need to include more cardio in his life.
Around that time, Nate had some friends that stayed with him for a few days because there was a race nearby.
Unbeknownst to him, the Algonquin 50k took place a short drive from where he lived.
That information would end up influencing the type of runner Nate would ultimately become.
A Quick Escalation
Nate had a lot of questions for his friends about the Algonquin 50k.
He wasn’t familiar with ultras at the time and was intrigued.
By the end of his friends’ visit, Nate had committed to running that same race the following year.
Leading up to his first 50k, Nate did races of various distances to prepare.
He crossed the finish line of his first 50k in 2019 and that catapulted him into the world he is in now.
The day after the race, he immediately signed up for his first 50-mile race the next month.
Without realizing it, Nate had previously signed up for a road marathon that took place one week after his first 50.
Nate went head-first into the ultra world and hasn’t looked back.
Nate learned from early on to use what was in his backyard and make the best of it.
That didn’t stop him from seeking adventure wherever he could find it.
In the last few years, Nate has gravitated toward doing running adventures.
One race that he has done requires participants to kayak or canoe 6 miles across the water before they can begin the run.
Nate enjoys the logistics required for these adventure races.
He is always seeking new challenges and frequently has friends that will join in the fun.
Traveling Isn’t Just For Races
Nate loves to do epic things in epic places regardless of if there is a race or not.
Typically he likes to build vacations around whatever adventure he is planning.
Rim to Rim to Rim (R2R2R) is a 48-mile trek around the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
The route has an elevation change of 22,000 feet with an ever-changing weather pattern.
Nate and a friend wanted to accomplish this challenge, but they did their research to ensure they were prepared.
The challenge is self-supported and if a serious issue arose, the only way out is to be rescued.
Heading into the challenge, Nate and his friend chose to take it slow.
Nate has plans to do R2R2R again in the future, but rather than do it in one day he wants to spend more time exploring.
Nate approaches each race or adventure with different strategies because no two races are the same.
Some things he considers are if he’s doing it solo versus with someone, the terrain, distance, and weather just to name a few.
His training stays relatively constant regardless of what goals he is working towards.
Nate believes in varying his training and spending time working on his strength in the gym.
He tries to set realistic goals going into each race.
His strategy has worked for the most part with only one DNF.
The DNF occurred at mile 85 of a 100-mile race in which he was pulled due to hypothermia.
Even though he didn’t finish the race, Nate enjoyed the experience.
Regardless of if a race experience was positive or negative, Nate walks away with more knowledge than he started with.
Each experience adds tools to his mental toolbox.
The distances never get easier, but Nate gets better at tackling them.
Nate has found that with longer distances it’s not IF issues will arise, but WHEN they will arise.
In order to be successful, he has to be prepared to adjust his plans.
Nate has completed two of the three 100-mile races that he has started.
Each race has provided different challenges, but Nate approaches each of them by being as prepared as possible.
Create A Strong Foundation
Nate is a huge proponent of strength training.
He rotates periods of heavy lifting into his training and dials back on the intensity as race day approaches.
Nate believes that well-rounded athletes are better prepared to attack anything thrown at them.
A strong foundation is critical to ensuring sustainability.
He prefers to focus on quality workouts rather than specific mileage in training.
Since running has entered his life, Nate has more purpose and structure associated with his goals.
Running has translated over to life in many ways.
Mentioned In This Episode:
- Algonquin Ultras
- Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail
- Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim (R2R2R)
- Grand Canyon: Rim2Rim2Rim Facebook Group
- Ribbon Falls
- New Jersey Devil 100
- Devil Dog Ultras
Stay connected to Nate Hanley by following him on Instagram.
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