155 episodes

The best routes: what are they, who did them, and how fast?

Coming to you every Friday: interviews with FKT-setters and other athletes in the world of Fastest Known Times.

The podcast of FastestKnownTime.com.

Fastest Known Podcast FastestKnownTime.com

    • Sports
    • 4.8 • 128 Ratings

The best routes: what are they, who did them, and how fast?

Coming to you every Friday: interviews with FKT-setters and other athletes in the world of Fastest Known Times.

The podcast of FastestKnownTime.com.

    Scott Jurek: Back on the Appalachian Trail 6 years after his FKT - #155

    Scott Jurek: Back on the Appalachian Trail 6 years after his FKT - #155

    Scott is the best US Male Ultra Runner ever.  That may change, but for now, no one can match 7 consecutive wins at the WS100 plus wins at other marquee events.

    He set the S-N FKT on the fabled Appalachian Trail in 2015, with a desperate effort at the end, eclipsing Jennifer Pharr Davis' time by 3hrs 13mins.  The next year Scott's friend Karl Meltzer lowered it by 9hrs 29mins, then "the Belgian Dentist" Karel Sabbe demolished the overall AT FKT by doing it 41days 7hrs 39mins.  

    Scott and his wife Jenny co-authored, "North: Finding My Way On The Appalachian Trail" and were the 3rd ever guests on the Fastest Known Podcast.  Karel was actually our 2nd guest ever (take a look and listen - three years ago and these episodes are worth it).

    Time to catch up!

    On August 4, Scott went back for another go.  This time with plenty of preparation and knowledge, unlike the first time when he and Jenny "On-sighted it".  How did that go?

    "I started to feel my left quad on the 4th day. I shifted weight to the right, then that tightened up badly. I tried to slow down and walk it off, but that is not possible on the northern section of the AT."

    Very disappointing.  Listen as Scott describes his specific training for this effort, as well as nutrition specifics.  He feels that starting in the north, where the terrain is more difficult than in Georgia may have been a factor.

    "You don't get warm by sticking your head in a furnace."

    It's still too early to think about this, but we have to ask .... will he go back?

    "I still have so much to learn, and I still have more to give.”

    "You had to go and wake the dragon". - Jenny to Scott

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Can the air quality be too bad to exercise? With Dr Kevin Shilling - #154

    Can the air quality be too bad to exercise? With Dr Kevin Shilling - #154

    This year, hundreds of square miles in the western US has been on fire, resulting in terrible air quality which often has exceeded EPA guidelines.  Dr Kevin Shilling is a long time ultrarunner, was 10th at the HR100 this year, and is a pulmonary physician based in Salt Lake City.  So we ask him an important question:

    When does air pollution get so bad it's better not to exercise?

    "That depends on how badly you want to go for a run."

    He really did say that!  Kevin provides intelligent, balanced, nuanced, and personal answers.  Four factors are:

    How healthy are you, are you experiencing any problems, how does it feel?
    What is your level of effort? An easy hour is different than a hard workout.
    When was the last time you ran?  If yesterday, maybe take a day off and wait for better conditions; if you've already taken 3 days off, well ...
    What is the AQI?  Over 100 might be unhealthy for some people while over 150 can still be tolerated by most; an AQI over 200?
    "I wouldn't do it."

    Check the Air Quality Index where you live right now.  If you live in some parts of the west, checking the AQI may become as common as checking the weather report.

    • 41 min
    Let's hear this again: UTMB Champ Courtney Dauwalter Talks about the Colorado Trail

    Let's hear this again: UTMB Champ Courtney Dauwalter Talks about the Colorado Trail

    It's a great time to re-air our 2020 interview with Courtney Dauwalter who - only 1 week ago - won her second consecutive Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc title, setting a new women's course record in the process. On top of all that she was the 7th finisher overall.

    During 2020 when UTMB was canceled, Courtney turned her attention to setting an FKT on the Colorado Trail, going from Durango to Denver. In this interview she discusses why the attempt was eventually stopped and much more. This is our most popular episode of all time and for good reason!

    ORIGINAL SHOW NOTES

    Courtney once ran 279 miles ... and received a "DNF"!  Huh?  How did that happen?  

    "They ring a bell when it's time to start, and if you don't go right then, you're out.  That's it."

    "It takes two to tango, two to keep the game going, to see what's possible."

    From choices of candy, to Bronchitis on the Colorado Trail, and the amazing world of Big's Backyard Ultra, Courtney offers wonderful, simple, and helpful insights.

    "Running is so cool … it’s such a cool way to explore, and to spend time with people, and with ourselves.”

    "Running is a choice ...to live our lives however we want, to make choice to do or not do things.  I'm choosing every day to run and explore these long distances because I love it.  To keep this perspective every day is helpful, and I feel very lucky for that."

    • 41 min
    Zack Beavin: From "Mediocre College Runner" to a 40 mile hilly race at a 5:54 pace! - #152

    Zack Beavin: From "Mediocre College Runner" to a 40 mile hilly race at a 5:54 pace! - #152

    "Mediocre"?  I don't think so!

    Zack has done 7 ultra races and won all of them.  And he's from Kentucky, proud of it, and why maybe you haven't heard of him.

    "I like the east. It's green. I'd like to try some things out west, but I'm happy here."

    Zack graduated in 2017 with a double degree, went to work ... and quit 3 days later.

    "Running is what I love.  Yes, I took a pay cut, but this is what I want to do."

    Find out why.

    This episode is sponsored by Speedland

    Speedland is a brand new shoe company, founded by two longtime designers
    from Puma, Nike, and Under Armour. Their debut shoe is the SL:PDX, likened more to a piece of equipment than to a shoe. It is trail footwear made from the most premium components available today.

    Listen to this trail-runner-wish-list:

    1. It’s the first shoe ever to feature BOA’s Li2 Fit System, dual dials with multi-directional incremental dialing for a perfect fit.
    2. The midsole uses a new formulation of Pebax foam for ultimate energy return.

    3. Then there’s a Carbitex carbon-fiber plate with asymmetrical flex – stiff in one direction, flexible in the other.

    4. Finishing it off, the SL:PDX uses a Michelin wrap outsole with a customizable lug pattern that can be adjusted for any terrain.

    When we say it’s all there, it’s all there. Plus, Speedland gives back 10% of all profits to outdoor organizations chosen by their athletes, and once the shoe reaches the end of its lifecycle, you can send it back where it will be disassembled and recycled.

    Check out the Speedland SL:PDX over at runspeedland.com and follow them on Instagram at @runspeedland. Drop them a note if you have any questions.

    • 35 min
    Ride and Run: the long history of horses and humans running trails - #151

    Ride and Run: the long history of horses and humans running trails - #151

    Riding and Running on trails is more connected than you know!  The Western States 100 originally was a horse race, not a running race.  And this year Susie Kramer did both, with one of the fastest combined times ever.  With a broken toe, after her horse stepped on it.

    "I guess some scar tissue had formed, so the pain wasn't too bad."

    Yeah, endurance horse riders are tough.

    Ride and Tie is a very tactical and exciting race, always on trails at least 20 miles long, with two runners alternating riding one horse ... got that?  Courtney will explain it!

    "My 14 year old daughter said, 'Dad, if you will learn to ride a horse, I will start running and we can be a team.' When your daughter says that, there is only one answer!"

    This is NOT like riding a bicycle - these are dynamic teamwork events with a human and horse, both of whom have minds of their own.  As Courtney describes Coda:

    "He can't stand to be behind another horse. It's like, 'You decide how fast you want to go; trot, canter, gallop, doesn't matter, because I'm going to pass you."

    "It's like he trained the other horses - they would move to the side when we came up, whether their rider reigned them over or not."

    Courtney goes first in this Episode, describing the strategic intricacies of Ride and Tie, and we note many of the top ultra runners of the era who also were Ride and Tie competitors.

    Susie is next, who describes why she thinks riding the Tevis Cup is harder than the running the WS100.

    This episode is sponsored by Speedland

    Speedland is a brand new shoe company, founded by two longtime designers from Puma, Nike, and Under Armour. Their debut shoe is the SL:PDX, likened more to a piece of equipment than to a shoe. It is trail footwear made from the most premium components available today.

    Listen to this trail-runner-wish-list:

    It’s the first shoe ever to feature BOA’s Li2 Fit System, dual dials with multi-directional incremental dialing for a perfect fit.
    The midsole uses a new formulation of Pebax foam for ultimate energy return.
    Then there’s a Carbitex carbon-fiber plate with asymmetrical flex – stiff in one direction, flexible in the other.
    Finishing it off, the SL:PDX uses a Michelin wrap outsole with a customizable lug pattern that can be adjusted for any terrain.
    When we say it’s all there, it’s all there. Plus, Speedland gives back 10% of all profits to outdoor organizations chosen by their athletes, and once the shoe reaches the end of its lifecycle, you can send it back where it will be disassembled and recycled.

    Check out the Speedland SL:PDX over at runspeedland.com and follow them on Instagram at @runspeedland. Drop them a note if you have any questions.

    • 1 hr
    David Bone: 89 FKTs, all in the UK! - #150

    David Bone: 89 FKTs, all in the UK! - #150

    89 FKTs is a lot!  And 51 of them have been in 2021, including sometimes 2 in one day.  I presume this is intentional?

    "I used to race more, but the pandemic caused me to focus on where I live.  And we have a huge history here - some of these routes go back hundreds of years."

    "It's always about the journey, not the goal.  But FKTs are great - this has provided the structure for me to learn and explore in my own surroundings."

    We discuss how new Routes are Approved (it's subjective).  And we discover that I once (or twice?) dis-allowed a new Route David had Submitted - dang - I'm called out on my own podcast!

    David has interesting stories and a great perspective on discovering FKTs in the United Kingdom:

    "It's like "brutalism" - on one hand it looks ugly and un-loved, but there is so much there."

    "This one route was an absolutely wonderful find - there as a huge amount of crazy graffiti and old architecture in an industrial section of old London, including a boat being used as a sauna - you wouldn't find this if you didn't know about it."

    "You don't need to "win" - there's great richness in the stories people are sharing, the logistics and the techniques of FKTs."

    "More people need to find out about these things."

    This episode is sponsored by Speedland

    Speedland is a brand new shoe company, founded by two longtime designers from Puma, Nike, and Under Armour. Their debut shoe is the SL:PDX, likened more to a piece of equipment than to a shoe. It is trail footwear made from the most premium components available today.

    Listen to this trail-runner-wish-list:

    1. It’s the first shoe ever to feature BOA’s Li2 Fit System, dual dials with multi-directional incremental dialing for a perfect fit.

    2. The midsole uses a new formulation of Pebax foam for ultimate energy return.

    3. Then there’s a Carbitex carbon-fiber plate with asymmetrical flex – stiff in one direction, flexible in the other.

    4. Finishing it off, the SL:PDX uses a Michelin wrap outsole with a customizable lug pattern that can be adjusted for any terrain.
    When we say it’s all there, it’s all there. Plus, Speedland gives back 10% of all profits to outdoor organizations chosen by their athletes, and once the shoe reaches the end of its lifecycle, you can send it back where it will be disassembled and recycled.

    Check out the Speedland SL:PDX over at runspeedland.com and follow them on Instagram at @runspeedland. Drop them a note if you have any questions.

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
128 Ratings

128 Ratings

beadubclimber ,

Addicted to this podcast!

The hosts do a great job picking the guests and questions. Well done!!!

kjburt ,

Great Inspiration!!

Love this podcast! Great inspiration for long runs. Buzz & Hillary are great moderators & help bring out the coolest stories of the athletes they interview. Thank you!!

P's Turn ,

Encouraging for older runners

I like DIY adventures and can’t run a 5 min mile. The FKT fits the bill as an older runner with distance and endurance becoming my new norm. I still like listening to those with rockets on their trail shoes. 5 stars

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