Welcome to Episode 69 of the Final Surge Podcast where we welcome world record holder Camille Herron. In 2017 Camille won Comrades, set two American Records and two World Records. Camille has had an interesting journey which has been riddled by injuries and we discuss how she has overcome those and what she has learned to make herself a stronger runner. We also talk about her secret weapon in an ultra race, beer. Camille was great to talk to and I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did recording it. We are now on Spotify so please remember to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play or Spotify, wherever you consume it.
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In recent weeks Camille has set a 100-mile world record 12:42:39, a 100km USA track record of 7:36:39 at Desert Solstice and then went on to run for 12 hours and set a 12 hour All-Surface World Record 92.708 miles.
She is the new Ann Trason and arguably, she will be in for a shout as ultra-runner of the year.
How did you get your start in running?
- Basketball player ran for first time in middle school
- In high school focused on running
- Tulsa University scholarship but a lot of injuries
- Became hobby runner after that
What exactly did your running look like after Tulsa?
- Hobby run
- Husband ran professionally
- Was running long as recreational about 70 miles a week
- Husband started coaching
How do you go from always injured to running 70 miles a week?
- Frank Shorter: Run for stress relief
- Started running slower
- Biomechanics and physic courses: Started feet strength/barefoot
Where was your minimalist running in relation to Born To Run?
- 3-4 years before
- Very minimalist shoes from Boulder Running Company
Moved to minimalist running and your husband is coaching you, where did you jump back into competitive running?
- Longer distances seemed to be better
- Focused on qualifying for Olympic Marathon Trials
- 2007 Marathon debut
- Ran 2:38 at Twin Cities and it took off
When did you make the jump into ultramarathons?
- 2009 MarathonGuide.com sponsored
- Started doing back-to-back marathons
- Grad school, how to enhance bone recovery
When you talk back-to-back marathons how often are you talking?
- A few weeks apart
- 2011 David Monti of NYC Marathon suggested ultra running
- 2013 made debut
- Underperformed in the first ultra
We see injury problems from growth spurts, which you had. You also studied bone recovery. What advice would you have now for those struggling?
- Did too much high intensity
- Focus on easier aerobic volume development
- Don’t be afraid of mileage as much as intensity
- Recover with easy days easy
When did you do the first ultra?
- 2014 first Comrades but got sick and ended up in the emergency room
You had done marathons, you understand the wall. So what was the first ultra like, was it like you expected or different?
- Was too cautious
- Could have pushed more
What is your diet like?
- Meet and potatoes, wholesome southern diet
- Eat Taco Bell or Subway day before races
What about fueling during a race?
- Naturally good fat burner
- Diet analyzed and was 50% carbs, 36% fat, 14% protein
- Take in 60-90g carbs/hr
- Take gel every 30 mins and sip on sports drinks as needed
- Will have a beer or whatever body tells me to have
You have a beer during a race?
- Helped settle stomach
- If tired of eating gels will have a beer
We are at the end of 2017, can you walk us through what a year looks like for you as a competitive ultrarunner?
- Have had major highs and lows
- Started with some trail race in New Zeland
- March in a race 10 weeks before Comrades tore MCL
- Took a few weeks off and came back slowly walk/run
- Won Comrades off injury
- 3 weeks later Western States, fell and got a concussion
- Leadville ran into issues with pelvic pain
- Won Comrades to two DNF and being broken
- Tunnell Hill 100
Did at least 8 races this year, a marathoner may do 2-3 races a year. How do you recover so quickly?
- Family heels quickly
- Studied recovery in grad school
- Use active recovery always walking twice a day after a race
I saw you earlier this month at Desert Solstice. We went to see Zach Bitter, but he was out. We saw what you were going after. After 11.5 hours of running on the track in a 1/4 mile circle, you still seemed to be smiling so much.
- In love with running
- Love what you are doing
Broke Ann Trasons 12-hour record which has stood since 1991?
- That is why I was smiling, felt great
What was the hardest part of running for 12-hours on a track?
- Concentration, cannot zone out like on trails
- Hard to get into the zone
How hard is it to get going again after you have to stop to use a restroom or something?
- It was hard because it was warm
- Took 18-minute break, had to start off walking before really got going again pushing
You had two World Records this year, now what for an encore in 2018?
- Been fun to break the records
- Want to try for the 24-hour record
- Need to redeem self on trails
- Goal to win Western States and Comrades in same year
You are very active online, where can people find you?
The Final Surge… 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite endurance/running book? – Lore of Running
Current trainers you are wearing? – Nike Zoom Fly
Favorite race? – Comrades
Favorite meal or recovery drink? – Cheeseburger and Fries with Beer
Your favorite workout – Long runs with heart rate progression
Team Final Surge