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April 29, 2012 Comments (6) Musings, Training

Vegan Ninja Death Camp: Ultramarathon Training




Happening Now: “Final Thoughts” video posted at bottom and headed out the door for 30 mile run.


6 days; 134 mi (164 mi by end of Friday); 20,000 ft vertical; (4) Summits 

Everyone trains for ultras in their own unique way. After 7 years in this sport, I have taken bits and pieces from others as well as the trial and errors of my own experiences, to create the methods and techniques I use to prepare for these events.  I personally subscribe to a high mileage training plan. I seek to run very consistently, emphasizing a long run or two per week.  I work hard at keeping my effort at a sustainable level in those long runs, using a heart rate monitor. I only run more intense efforts on a limited basis, to stay injury free and maximize my effort to build aerobic efficiency rather than speed. This is also because I am usually training for a 50-100 mile event.  I am aware of my heart rate zones with greater accuracy than others, thanks to a recent lactate threshold test by Cindy Stonesmith. I firmly believe in the fact that intense physical training like this demands the nutritional and physiological support of a diet rich in colorful plant-based nutrition. I also use Bikram Yoga to mitigate overuse injuries and keep my body in check.

It is my personal philosophy that the “goal” is to be the best we can be… the “why” is because we are grateful for the opportunity to be alive. As I move into the final phase of training for my first 100 mile race of the year, I go into a beast mode! For two weeks, I put myself through a “Death Camp”. The mileage, the vertical, and the adventure is at an all time ridiculous level.

Because of my position here at Trail and Ultrarunning, I thought it would be interesting to carrying a video camera through my Death Camp and produce this post for our readers. I’m not suggesting that this is the best way to train. I am not claiming to be elite or any more knowledgeable than anybody else who runs these races. I simply thought it would be interesting to share my Death Camp experience with an audience of athletes who love this sport as much as I do. At the very least, I think you will enjoy seeing what Colorado has to offer trail runners! With that said, I hope you enjoy these videos…they give you and I a glimpse into the crazy awesome Vegan Ninja Death Camp!!!

Intro to Death Camp:


Day 1, 11 miles, 3,400ft vert

Day 2: Checking in

Day 2: 15 mi, 300ft vert & Vegan Recovery Smoothie!

Day 3: 53 miles, 7,700′ vertical. Amazing day!

Watch more video of CO Mountain Ninjas on

Day 4: 15 mi and random clips from the past 48hrs

Day 5: Checking In

Day 5: 18 mi, 5,800ft vert. S. Boulder, Mesa Trail, Green Mountain, Bear Peak, So. Boulder Peak. Don’t you meet the coolest people on mountain summits? We met Ryan Krol and his dog “Honey Bear”, on Green Mountain. Good luck at Big Horn Ryan! “A” is for Awesome…and we took a moment to capture the awesome at each summit. Run long, eat plants.

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Day 6: 17 mi, 2,800 ft vert. Mesa Trail and Doudy Draw in South Boulder. The goPro batter died…one pic says it all.

Day 7: Final Thoughts Video- 30 Miles today



6 Responses to Vegan Ninja Death Camp: Ultramarathon Training

  1. Jer, awesome post. The video is a great idea…and good luck in all this training! I am still working up to that kind of distance and elevation changes, but I hope to be there some day. Strange question: you look like you are running in some 3/4 length tights. Which ones are they?I have 2-3 parts of pants that are like that, but I have been wanting some tights to run in. How do you like them? Thanks again for the inclusion of the blog. All the best. -Jonathan

  2. EnduranceJer says:

    Hi Jonathan! They are “Mountain Hardware” brand and yes, I like them. A few of my running partners AND my wife like to make fun however! Wear at your own risk 😉

    Run happy,

  3. Sherpa John says:

    HA! I saw that Anton Cover in Runners Roost today. Good use of that magazine on Day 2. lol

  4. mkreuzer says:

    Great stuff Jerry. Can’t wait to hear about the 53 miler today.

  5. Living the dream you are. Enjoy!

  6. Missing Nail says:

    You are correct on the support of family. Without them we could not reach our goals. I always remind my wife that she is the reason I can run ultras. Without her support it wouldn’t work and it wouldn’t mean as much. Take care of your family and your body and the rest will follow. Great stuff-thanks for sharing!

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