Running Your First Ultra: A chat with Krissy Moehl

There is a certain lure to the legend of the ultra marathon. To be on the trails alone for 50 miles or 100 miles yet having the support of a crew to feed you, body and soul, through your own incredible journey is both terrifying and life affirming.

The community is what drew Krissy Moehl into the sport and the challenge is what pushed her to create a 16-year ultra running career filled with wins, top finishes and other impressive bench marks.

Moehl shared her story and her advice for newbie ultra runners with Women Empower Active and two of the most powerful pieces of her advice were simple:

1. Develop awareness of your body.
2. Check in with your motivations.

In her new book Running Your First Ultra, Moehl said she most wants readers to learn awareness of their own body. The body will tell you what it needs and and as you pay attention you learn to decipher those messages.

“If there’s something that comes out of that book for runners or non-runners or whoever reads it, is just your own body awareness,” Moehl said. “Check in with your body. Why are my eyes so tired? Maybe don’t drink another cup of coffee, take a nap. Listen to what really benefits your body and what helps you just exist in the day. As an ultra runner the demand for that becomes much more important.”

There are also are demands for flexibility, particularly when it comes to finding your motivation, your “why” for training which, even for experienced elites like Moehl, can become a taxing question.

“I think the why actually changes,” Moehl said. “There’s different motivations at different times in life and going through two decades of this I feel like I have seen that. It’s real easy to say I love running and I’ll always be a runner but there are definitely different motivations that have seen me through different years out here and I check in with those.

“There definitely have been years when my why is ‘Why do I own so many running shoes? Why am I going for another run today?’ I definitely have those periods, sometimes months at a time where I still consider myself a runner but it ebbs and flows in how involved I am with it.”

Watch the entire interview here: