My guest today checks quite a few trail and ultra runner boxes.
His Instagram running photos are awe-inspiring, his beard is on point, and he has multiple 100-mile finishes attached to his name.
Nicklaus Combs and I will go a few easy miles as he shares his many adventures along with his ever growing list of what’s to come.
The 100-mile distance has humbled and humiliated Nicklaus more than any other distance, yet it still remains his favorite.
Prior to graduating from college, Nicklaus would never have called himself a runner.
Post graduation he moved to the D.C. area and discovered nearby trails to explore.
His once to twice a week running quickly morphed into 6-7 days a week.
The first marathon Nicklaus ran was a 1-mile loop course on blacktop in the middle of summer.
His less than ideal marathon didn’t sway him from setting his sights on new distances and he signed up the following day for a 50-mile race.
Once he opened the Pandora’s box of trying new distances and connecting with the running community he couldn’t contain it.
Ultimately it is the people and the community that keep him interested and engaged in the sport.
Training the Mind And the Body
Nicklaus was admittedly naive when it came to the world of ultras and what it would demand of his mind and body.
Experience has helped him gain confidence in his abilities and what to expect.
Through trial and error Nicklaus shared some key tips he’s learned:
- Going out too fast is detrimental in any distance, but especially in one when you’ll be running for 8 or more hours.
- Figuring out nutrition is critical.
- Don’t forget to strengthen your mental side.
- The best 100-mile racers are not necessarily the fittest ones on the course, but have the strongest mental game.
- You can’t prepare for it all when conquering a new distance.
- Recovery is more important than ever when running ultras.
Nicklaus learned and applied many of these lessons throughout the course of one year when he finished four 100 milers.
The excitement about a new sport or hobby can fuel questionable decision making and Nicklaus is not immune.
Nicklaus has had more than enough to keep him busy the last few years.
Along with life’s normal responsibilities he also added marriage and training for multiple ultras to his already busy schedule.
His hectic life hasn’t slowed him down, but rather has increased his love for trying new challenges.
Finishing Nolan’s 14 is on the top of his list in the not so distance future.
Nolan’s 14 is an unofficial race which requires 100 miles with 14 summits all at over 14,000 feet.
To be considered a finisher the route must be completed in under 60 hours.
Other details for the challenge can be found on the website.
Nicklaus won’t attempt anything unless he is as prepared as possible and can make the commitment.
Mentioned In This Episode:
- Fat Dog 120 Trail Race
- Georgia Death Race
- Javelina 100
- Nolan’s 14
- San Juan Solstice 50 mile ultra race
- Virginia Happy Trails Running Club
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