1 HR 16 MINS

A Look into The ULTRA Mindset – Travis Macy

January 31, 2018

“It’s the final kilometers to the finish, there’s six teams together, and everyone’s basically just going full bore.”

When it comes to ultra-distance racing, what’s more important: Grit or fitness? Endurance athlete Travis Macy chats with Drew about what it takes to overcome challenges on the trail, and in life.

Photo credit © Wouter Kingma

2:28 Growing up with adventure. Watching dad during early days of Leadville “It’s all good mental training.”

4:20 Meeting dad at the 50 mile wind station, having a picnic with the family.

8:00 “Running with the Buffalos” at Colorado University. Adam Gaucher and his quest to win the National Championship. Showed Coach Wetmore I put in the work.

9:41 Pretty soon, I was racing around the world, at the highest level of that sport (adventure racing).

13:00 The importance of the story you tell yourself. Mental training for the suffering that comes with life.

14:36 Adventure is subjective, it’s yours to define.

16:00 The training grounds of Colorado.

17:40 Orienteering with traditional map & compass.

21:46 “The Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge” One of the biggest races of the year. Team Solomon/Crested Butte” with JB Brown, Eric Sullivan Denise McHale.

24:04 Sleep deprived. Body’s about six time zones off, and then it’s time to start the biggest race of the year.

27:15 The “Adventure Triathlon Prologue” was Bike, Run, Swim, Kayak, Run, and then Kayak again over the course of 2 or 3 hours.

29:00 On land – you have a lot of different terrain features, that’s one thing. Navigating out in the ocean, that’s a daunting task.

31:57 Camping on an island, just taking it all in. Next day was a 55 Kilometer open paddling section. That stage was uniquely challenging.

33:30 Next to the boarder of Saudi Arabia. Inside the tents were intricate pillows. An incredible feast, meats & cheeses.

35:57 At 4:30 a.m. we get up and get ready to hike 100 kilometers over the “Empty Quarter” the largest expanse of unbroken sand dunes in the world.

36:40 Moment of truth. “Are we going to put in the work?” You can get on the air-conditioned bus right now, and head back to sip drinks poolside at a five-star hotel. We made the right choice. We headed to the starting line.

41:19 100 degrees, no shade. Nothing but sand dunes. We chose Gore-Tex shoes, to keep the sand out.

43:40 JB had a huge blood blister underneath his toenail. Do enough ultra-running and you gain experience with messing with a range of blisters and other maladies.

45:00 Not the most sanitary conditions for minor surgery. That’s adventure racing.

47:47 With the sun coming up, we see a mother camel with her new baby, still dripping wet.

49:00 Twenty four people, full speed, sprinting down this dune. Won the stage.

51:35 Things aren’t going to be ideal. The most important things in life are often the hardest.

53:30 I made some crucial mistakes, we dropped out of podium contention. That’s life.

54:41 Pay attention to the stories you tell yourself. You can choose whether to believe them or not.


Vasque footwear

Ultimate Direction. Niche brand backpacks & jackets. Well designed.

Injingi socks. Like them for ultra running.

Native Eyewear.

Scott Bikes. Spark RC 29er.


Ultra Mindset – Travis Macy

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

Mindset – Carol Dweck

Homegrown – Ben Hewitt

How to Raise a Wild Child – Scott Sampson


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