We all have goals. Some are more ambitious than others.
Not everyone dreams of running a hundred miles on the regular, but most of us are pretty darn impressed with anyone who does.
Meet our very own Kara Henry, Senior Brand Manager. Not only is she a part of the CW Family AND a mom, she’s also a top-ranked Ultramarathon runner who’s sharing guidance as well as a heavy dose of inspiration.
Even if your idea of long distance is one more lap around the neighborhood (or maybe that’s just us), Kara’s tips below can help anyone interested in upping their game and working physical challenges into busy life schedules.
Read on to see how she uses CW to support her exercise-induced recovery routine and for focus on those long, long runs.
CW: How did you get started running?
Kara: I started way back in middle school...my science teacher was the cross country coach and I wanted to suck up to get a good grade. I walked all the practices and had never run before. Then, I ended up winning my very first race and I became hooked! (p.s. I got an A)
What was your longest run?
100 miles. I’ve run the Leadville 100 three times and am planning on another 100-miler this fall. To answer the two questions that just popped into your head – yes, there are bathrooms. No, you don’t sleep or take breaks.
Wait, how long does it take to run 100 miles?
Oh man, ideally as quickly as possible ;) The fastest I’ve ever run a 100-miler was at the Leadville 100 in just under 20 hours. It was one of those days when things went magically well.
But first time I ran Leadville it was in roughly 28 hours…I can promise you it’s easier to get it over more quickly!
So how many miles do you end up running in a week?
It depends on what part of my training cycle I’m in, anywhere from 50 to 100 miles a week. Each day has a purpose, whether it be just a few slow recovery miles, a long hilly mountain run, or some fast speedwork. Gotta have a plan!
My longest training run at one time is usually around 30 miles. But when you’re training for a 100-miler it’s more about the big back to back days. For instance, in the peak of my training I did 20 miles on Saturday morning, 20 miles Saturday evening and then 20 miles again on Sunday morning. It’s all about time on your feet when you’re tired!
You’re a Senior Brand Manager at CW hemp, when do you find time?!
I get up really early! 5am is my jam. I also have a baby at home so it’s a lot of schedule-juggling with my husband, daycare, work, commuting, and all the crazy stuff that makes up the rest of life. I find that if I get up and get the hard work done early, the rest of the day is a piece of cake.
In terms of training, what’s the difference between running marathons a few times a year and being an ultra long distance runner?
The mileage for both types of training may be similar, like 50-80 miles a week. But training for ultras is usually on trails in the mountains. Ultra-training is time consuming, for sure, but to me it’s more fun. I get to spend a lot of time playing in the mountains and calling it ‘training’ instead of logging miles on the roads!
Tell us about some of your favorite accessories and gear. What’s a must?
A good headlamp is a necessity for early morning workouts and night runs.
I also don’t head out for a long run in the mountains without a lightweight, packable jacket. You never know what type of weather you’ll run into at high altitudes, even on a hot summer day.
How do you sustain your energy on long runs?
I’m lucky that I have a strong stomach! I’ll pack basically whatever I have in the house-- bars & chews or chips & a sandwich-- whatever really! My main focus is just keeping a steady stream of calories coming, there is nothing worse than a crash in energy.
When and how do you use CW as a part of your routine and what for?
I take CW Everyday Plus Mint Chocolate every night before bed. I notice that I recover from exercised induced inflammation* and it also helps me find a sense of calm at the end of the day*.
Do you have any tips for someone who is just starting out, trying to build up to their first half marathon?
Have fun with it! If it’s not fun, what’s the point, right? Find a training partner or a group to keep you motivated, it’s so much more fun with friends.
Also, listen to your body and take time to recover when you need it. Getting a few extra miles in isn’t worth an injury setback.
Strength! I find that adding in other workouts like weight lifting, Pilates and yoga keeps the rest of my body strong and balanced and helps me to avoid injuries. It also keeps it fun, I love to mix it up and try new workouts.
Mental focus: how do you motivate yourself when you don’t feel like training?
Focus isn’t a problem for me (partly with thanks to my daily CW!), but it is really important in long distance running, and ambitious goals in general. I know exactly what I need to get done every day, and I focus on accomplishing that, checking the box and moving on to my next run…or meeting, or workout, or daycare pickup, or brewery stop, or errand, or whatever (you get the point)!
Any other guidance you want to share?
Life is busy and hectic but there’s always a way to fit in SOMETHING for yourself. Running and training is my thing so I work hard to fit it into my life. I find that having a plan for every day helps cut down on scheduling issues or excuses. Get out there!