The Ultimate Challenge by Walt Esser 90 page perfect bound ISBN 1-884778-96-8 Published by Old Mountain Press., Also see Walt's second book, Running With the Wind. To order, send check or money order for $12.95 plus $1.50 P&H to Walt Esser, 108 Tiercel Ct., Cary, NC 27511. E-mail the author
The Ultimate Challenge is

Table of Contents

A Perspective on Running
Chapter 1: The History of Ultra Marathons
Chapter 2:  Ten Principles for Effective Ultra Marathon Training 
   More is not necessarily better
   Practice long slow distance (LSD)
   Learn to walk again
   Incorporate periodic tempo running
   Pace evenly for optimal performance
   Take a break
   Stay hydrated, stay hydrated, stay hydrated
   Eat different foods during the long runs
   Take the time to include your family and friends
   Persevere and smile
Chapter3: Selective Cross Training
   Cross-Country Skiing
Chapter 4: Altitude Training and Acclimatization
   Training at Altitude
   Running at Altitude
   Altitude and Heart Rate Monitors
   Recovery at Altitude
   Heat Acclimatization
   Cold Acclimatization
Chapter 5: Exercise Physiology and Endurance Performance
   Cardiovascular Functioning and Aging
   Your Heart Rate and Running
   Maximum Oxygen Consumption
   Skeletal Muscle Response to Training
   Lactate Threshold
   Muscle Endurance, Resistance Training, and 
   A Physiological Overview of the Aging Process
Chapter 6:  Race Day Survival Tips
   Ensure adequate rest
   Know the course and aid station locations
   Know the aid station cut-off times
   Brief crew and pacer regarding expectations
   Place drop bags as necessary
   Start slowly and stay with your pace
   Eat and drink at regular intervals
   Be pro-active against nausea
   Be mentally prepared
   Use good judgment
Spirit of the Wind
Sample Training Week
Sample Weekly Summary Sheet

The Ultimate Challenge

“This book contains a treasure-trove of tips for both beginning ultra runners and seasonal veterans from an author who learned them on the trails.”

     Blake Norwood, Race Director, Umstead 100-Mile Endurance Run

 “A comprehensive application of basic endurance training principles and racing tips that is ideal for the novice ultra marathoner while its in-depth chapters on altitude training and physiology will appeal to the most seasoned athlete. This book is the ultra-marathon training bible.”
     Cid L. Cardosa Jr.
      Marathon and Ultra Marathon runner, 4-time Hawaii Ironman finisher and 2-time Race Across America Team finisher.

A Perspective on Running
Man has been running from the beginning of time, when survival depended on swiftness of foot. Today, in our technological age, running for most people is optional. Men and women choose to run for multiple reasons, including health, fitness, competition, stress release, and fun. Those select Runnerfew who choose to run ultra marathons are a special breed. Why? Because they choose to accomplish something that is beyond the grasp of most people. They have eagerly and enthusiastically accepted the ultimate challenge to compete in long-distance running events. They endure all the aches, pains, and heartaches of running hundreds of training miles just to participate in one race. Hopefully there will be some enjoyment and fun mixed with all the hard work. The “Journey” is experiencing everything that goes on in the heart, body, and mind. The “Journey” is the destination. On race day, all the hard work, all the sacrifices, and all the planning will pay off with dividends beyond description. Completing an ultra-endurance run, regardless of where you place, will satisfy your inner being and bring a smile to your face every time you see yourself crossing the finish line. Fred Lebow, former New York Road Runners President who died in 1994, said quite honestly, “In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say,  “I have finished.” There is a lot of satisfaction in that.” 

About the Author
Walt Esser has been running competitively for over 35 years.  He has run hundreds of races over the years ranging in distances from 5k’s to ultra marathons. Ultra marathons completed have been the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Leadville Trail 100, the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run and multiple other 40 and 50 mile trail runs.  Walt has a BS degree in Health and Physical Education. This is his first book and he hopes that aspiring endurance athletes who read it will be inspired and accept the challenge of running an ultra marathon.  Walt lives and trains in Cary, North Carolina and Frisco, Colorado.

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