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Sunday, November 14, 2010
RunnerDude Chats with Ultra-Endurance Athlete Toby Guillette
Read on to learn more about this amazing young man....
RD: I believe you were born in my neck of the woods (Durham, NC), but shortly after, your family moved to Massachusetts. I see you’re now based in San Diego. I ran the Rock-n-Roll Marathon in San Diego several years ago. It’s a beautiful city. What brought you to the west coast?
TOBY: You got it! I relocated to San Diego after earning a degree in Sociology from George Washington University in D.C. My plan was to work at REI until my PeaceCorp application processed, but I fell in love with the west and have since both found and created myself here.
RD: You’re an Ultra-endurance athlete, outdoor-adventure blogger and social media expert. That’s quite a diverse load on your plate. Share a little about each and how you manage to wrap it all into (I must admit) an envious career.
TOBY: I’ve always been an athlete and I share my adventures with all my family and friends via the web. Since my brain is completely wired for social networking, an Internet-based career has been the natural path. Now I work at the Active Network where I have been able to fuse all of my passions into an exciting career in social media marketing.
RD: You must be unbelievably busy. When you do have free time, how do you spend it?
TOBY: I keep a full schedule with work, training and social life. It takes a lot of planning to fit it all in, but I’m at my best when challenged to balance it all. In my free time I coach endurance athletes, take lots of photos, enjoy craft beer, watch movies and plan fun adventures with my friends.
RD: You started running at age 23. What got into it?
TOBY: My brother encouraged me to train for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon with him. I’ve always been inspired by him so I dove right into training and ramped up too soon. I ended up with really bad Achilles Tendonitis from training and couldn’t run the race with him. I could barely walk. So I became fascinated with figuring out what I did wrong and ended up cracking the code on my potential as an endurance runner. One year later I ran the San Diego 100 Mile Endurance Run, during which my brother paced me for over 15 miles through the night.
RD: Had you been a sports oriented kid? Did you grow up in a sports oriented family?
TOBY: It seems like my brother and I played every sport, but it all started with competitive swimming and then baseball. Our parents have always been supportive. We even had our own batting cage in our backyard. We both played a lot of soccer too and had a record-setting high school soccer season my senior year of prep school. I learned the value of hard work early on and have leveraged it to really take my running to a new level.
RD: What do you enjoy most about running? Is it the mental? Physical? Both?
TOBY: I enjoy the daily and annual structure of training, the goal setting process, the health benefits and the amazing people and places I’ve discovered along the way. Most of all, it’s helped me become a more positive and productive member of society.
RD: Do you ever get burned out with training? If so, share some of your strategies for pulling yourself out of a training funk.
TOBY: I’ve learned to set my year up to peak with a couple key events. Plus, I try and have a break in the summer and the winter for rest, too. But most of all, cross training helps me keep things interesting. Any given week I may run five times but I’ll also fit in a session or two of rock climbing, mountain biking, swimming, yoga and functional strength training. This typically helps me avoid injury and burn out.
RD: Do you have a favorite training food? What other favorite foods do you include in your training? Do you ever concoct your own training recipes?
TOBY: My body does best on a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, meat and as gluten-free as possible. But if I could fuel on only burritos and craft beer I definitely would!