Travis Macy Q&A: how to train mentally for ultrarunning, life

Kelsey Dayton
Travis Macy Running Garage Grown Gear Review

Saying Travis Macy is an ultra-athlete is a bit of an understatement. The Colorado-based runner has finished more than 100 ultra-races in 17 different countries. It takes discipline, well-conditioned legs and lungs and mental fortitude to compete at the elite level in ultra-races.

We caught up with Travis as he celebrates the launch of his book The Ultra Mindset, which hits stores today, to find out more about his training regimen, his new book and his favorite pieces of garage grown gear.

What does the book cover?

It’s a little bit memoir and sharing training principles. Chapter one is all about good mental training and that’s kind of the idea that when you are facing some struggle or mental challenge, you can tell yourself one story, “woe is me” and “it sucks,” or you can tell yourself,  “oh this is good mental training and I can learn from it and apply  it in other ways.”

Chapter two is about how there is a lot to gain by emulating other people who have already achieved the same goal you are going for. I think we can learn a lot from watching people and emulating people and what they do. That’s something I picked up on with racing, but that same principle you can take away to your professional life or parenting or relationships or working with other people.


What is your favorite type of race?

I really like all of it. Before I had a family and kids, a week long adventure race was a great way to see a lot of the world and meet people. Now that I have two young kids, ultra-running has been a great fit. It’s been fun to go back to my roots as a runner.


Travis Macy Headshot Garage Grown Gear Ultrarunning

When not running what do you like to do outside?

I grew up in Colorado in the mountains and I love being outside. That’s why I do this, because it allows you to be outside and be in the sun and disconnect from technology. I like family time outside, just playing with my kids. We go on a lot of hikes.


How often do you train?

I train six a days a week. For me, I found having a day I don’t run is really good for my body and for my mind and for my family just having a break from it. I run 10 to 15 hours a week.

For me, time and quality and vertical gain are more important than mileage. Since I live at altitude and I do a lot of my training in the snow and on technical terrain, mileage isn’t quite as applicable, but I usually run about 70 miles a week.

I also coach adult endurance athletes and for most of them there are time limitations due to work and family. I think by focusing on quality workouts you can usually get pretty fit. I also do a bit of cross-training with weight-training and core. In the winter I like doing ski mountaineering training. It has great cross-over for ultra-running and its great aerobic training.


Any cool pieces of garage grown gear you love or recently discovered?

Three things come to mind. Hoka One One shoes. Those started with these two French guys in their garage. They guys were able to grow it to a decent point where they became so popular they were purchased by Decker’s Outdoors and the brand continues to grow and is now pretty popular.

I also really like Ultimate Direction packs. They make hand-helds and hydration packs. When I was growing up, Ultimate Direction was the only company out there making these water bottle holsters. To see that stuff develop over the years into stuff that is so high tech now is pretty cool.

Then there is this company Vitargo, that makes a carbohydrate drink mix and it was started by a guy in his science lab and he has a master’s degree and realized this stuff works pretty well. It’s been a pretty helpful nutritional piece to my training.


If you had carte blanche to purchase 3 items on Garage Grown Gear’s store, what would you choose?

1) Flag Bison Trucker Hat by Surf Wyoming because who wouldn't wear a sweet Wyoming bison hat for ultra running?


2) The Prodigy Junior Ultralight Down Quilt by Enlightened Equipment. I love camping with my kids, and everyone needs a sleeping bag that fits right.


3) The youth sized Northern Lites Snowshoes. I've been racing in Northern Lites Snowshoes since, well, about the time when I was a kid.  Kids love playing in the snow, and we really enjoy family snowshoe outings.

Want to buy Travis Macy's book, The Ultra Mindset? And win free stuff, including a discount to Garage Grown Gear's store? Use this form ...


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