WS Training Secrets Revealed

I’m sure you’d rather read about the training secrets of guys like Hal and Graham who’ve actually won WS, but since neither of them is likely to reveal his secrets (although lc did get a handful of gems this weekend from Hal) this will have to do for now.  Below are ten WS training secrets of AJW and mine.  Please excuse the third person.

Blogging Away

Blogging Away

AJW 1: Psych out the competition with hot air.

LB 1: Blog obsessively about Western States.

AJW 2: Practice peeing with blood in your urine in training so you’re ready for it on race day.

LB 2: Practice puking in training so it doesn’t faze you in the race.

AJW 3: Do huge volume track workouts and run them in reverse order (fastest first, slowest last).

LB 3: Do the same damn races each year leading up to the race: Truffle Shuffle 4 mile, Way Too Cool 50K, Pear Blossom 10 miler.

AJW 4: Reinventory all the trees, rocks, and hills on the course each year so you can have 1000 intermediate splits.

LB 4: Spend a week training on the course in April.

AJW 5: Hide tire chains in the bushes off I-80 so you can reuse them on your rental car for training runs on the course.

LB 5: Eat at Mr Pickles in Red Bluff on the way down to the course and Marysville on the way back home.  When you’re really fit, wear your Mr Pickles t-shirt while eating there.

AJW 6: Lick your balls (or is it your arm?) in the sauna to determine if you’re over your sweat hump.  This may require the use of a partner.

Magnum JW

Magnum JW

LB 6: Deplete your body of sodium on long runs to encourage your body to hold onto it.  This might help you achieve #2 also.

AJW 7: Go to the ski area, ride the lift up and run down.  Repeat until your quads are toast.

LB 7: Go to Rooster Rock, walk up and run down.  Repeat until your quads are toast or you blow out your tibialis anterior.

AJW 8: Wear the oldest pair of shoes you have in January and February to beat your feet up.

LB 8: Make fun of AJW’s secret training methods.

AJW 9: Dress like Magnum PI.

LB 9: Shave your legs.

AJW 10: Drink four beers the night before the race.

LB 10: Paint your toenails the night before the race.

So there you have it, our top ten WS training secrets. What are yours?


  1. @AJW – Some new things for you to try…

    1. Soak your feet in lighter fluid and light them on fire.
    2. Drink wine instead of beer the night before the race.
    3. Tie rocks to your legs to increase resistance.
    4. Eat wasp juice.
    5. Train 200 miles a week like Anton.

    @Drama Queen – Of course you have a pink one!

  2. 1. change your training strategy each year
    2. enter a 24 hour mountain bike race on a single speed and drop after 14 hours
    3. run only day one of the training camp runs on the course and add on to the river
    4. eat anything in sight

    – and the only one worth anything –
    5. wear shorts soooo ugly even LB is envious

  3. yellow shorts has it sewn up in the clothing department. I’ll add,

    1. Drink from all the natural water sources on the WS Trail in hope that one of them will induce the much needed weight-loss before race day.
    2. Wear the same socks all 3 days at training camp so nothing new can possibly make you nauseous.
    3. Run in the heat hard enough to induce an out of body experience and shut your kidneys down
    4. Clothe and shoe yourself by answering questions in Western States trivia contests
    5. Go prospecting for gold on the WS trail to fund your race.

    Cheers, Paul

  4. Hi Craig. Yeah, I did #3 on Monday (Green Gate to the Finish). I woke up on Monday morning with a gout-ish big toe (in itself a sign of dehydration). Knowing gout can cripple me, I took a seriously strong medication (colchicine) that morning. Despite the previous two days, I had fresh legs so I ran GG to Quarry Road really hard (on maybe half a bottle of water), hydrated at Quarry Road with coke and completed started to unravel on the climb to 49.

    My breathing was out of control, legs were wobbly, my head was light and dizzy and I felt like I was floating out of my body at one point. It seemed like I really wanted to pee but nothing came out. Luckily, at No Hands I had enough of my wits about me to admit I was in bad shape and the aid station crew managed to revive me with ice-cold Gu2O and salt caps. Two days later, I still feel slightly hungover. Yesterday was a complete write-off.

    Lesson learned, hydrate well and that sort of medication is not supposed to be mixed with ultra-running.

    Cheers, Paul

  5. 1. show up to a 92 degree recovery run in a black training jacket and hat like Mackey did last week.

    2. lick a 9 volt battery to get used to the acidic taste in your mouth.

    3. watch “Race for the Soul” 2x daily beginning June 1st.

    4. have your family quiz you on various split times based on different projected finish times.

  6. I only first heard of Western States in 2007, so my only other outlet for old time ultra running is Ray Krolewicz. I was too busy in the 80s watching Magnum PI and Madonna.

    How about watch Race for the Soul with a space heater pointed at your face and your kids hitting you in the lower back with a baseball bat?

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