Ryan Spitz- Owner Shasta Trail Runs

  1. What got you into trail running?
    • My endurance bug was planted after graduating college.  I have always been into health and fitness and challenging my body both physically and mentally.  Back in 2006 when my mom was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma I did two things out of the norm- I bought a motorcycle and signed up for the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon (more stories to be had at a later date)  From there, I quickly gained exposure to the Triathlon world and for the next couple years raced in Half Ironmans and did my first full- Ironman Arizona in 2012 and again in 2015 (bettered my time of 11hrs 15min to 10hrs 7min).  A good friend of mine- Blake Hern who has quite the impressive endurance and race background spoke to me about some Ultra Marathons he had done  and in 2015 did my first Trail and Ultra Race- the SD 50.  From there I was hooked!  I then signed up for Kodiak 100 in 2016 and quickly learned that I tend to go big or go home from a race standpoint and go straight for the big stuff and haven’t looked back
  2. What’s your “Why”?
    • To inspire with a kingdom and legacy mindset.  To inspire my kids. My beautiful wife. My Family. My Friends. Those around me.  Myself.  As I was never a natural endurance runner but through hard work, consistency and always wanting to tap into an environment of accomplishing what seems impossible I fell in love with Ultra Marathons and endurance events.  I hope to inspire everyone that we are meant to dream big and by faith nothing is impossible.  Will it be hard. Yes.  Is there potential for failures along the way. Yes.  Can you find yourself frustrated and disappointed. Yes.  But that is just a snippet of the journey.  Every mountain has its valleys and every valley has its mountains.  When you make your reason bigger than just yourself, it allows you to endure more than you could by you alone and you create a culture of “why not” around you that is nothing but infectious.
  3. What’s the greatest challenge you had to overcome?
    • Myself.  It is so easy to get in your head and paint this picture of what you believe your training, fitness level, nutrition and strategy need to look like leading up to a race.  When things don’t go as planned, injury may creep in, other life priorities come up and sideline your training (which they should as I am a husband and father first), if you don’t release the ability to stay fluid and take your “perfect” training plan off its pedestal it will derail you.  Remembering that it is a selfish sport a majority of the time, sacrifices become part of the gig, whether its sacrificing sleep so you can get in the training you need/want to do, getting more creative on how you can fit in different workouts or multiple short workouts throughout the day, or sacrifice a workout all together to be the person you are called to be- at the end of the day just make sure you aren’t compromising the wrong things and staying balanced.  And I thank my Wife for being that “self check” to make sure I don’t sway too far one way.
  4. Describe your “perfect” day on the trail
    • I’m a simple man so for me it remains pretty simple- single track, vert to gain the views of mountains and the wilderness,  no agenda just loosing yourself in the miles.  Always a fan of starting the day with the sunrise on the trails or finishing with the sunset.  It brings a sense of solitude and gratitude.
  5. What has been your nutrition and gear strategy?
    • Again I like to keep things simple and it took me a few years to get it right as I run hot but Tailwind and Salt Tabs have been huge in my success to get me through my workouts and races.  I will throw in cliff bars if I need some more substance but I pretty much fully rely on Tailwind.  For gear- I used to always run with handheld but would always get a side cramp and got the Orange Mud Double Barrel Pack and it has been a game changer.  Holds all of my hydration and nutrition I need and beyond comfortable.
  6. What is a large goal you are striving for?
    • Aside from going sub 24hrs in a 100mile race, while my wife may think I’m crazy- I have Bigfoot 200 on my sights
  7. How do you balance job, family, friends, training, racing schedule, etc?
    • Coffee, lots and lots of coffee.  But in all seriousness the support and backing of my wife is what makes it all possible.  Without her motivation to get me out of bed on the early mornings that I am struggling to get up, her love and ability to hold down the fort while I am either at work or out training it wouldn’t be possible.  During the peak weeks of training life can get a bit nuts but going into it with a combined plan and realistic expectations is what makes or breaks your ability to thrive and push through it.  Go into the week knowing what needs to get done, where you are going to get your training in, how long things are going to take, preparing and planning your food, clothes, week logistics and then get out and DO IT!
  8. What’s your advice for the busy person who struggles to find the time for training?
    • Sometimes you have to get rid of the good to get to the Great.  Think about your days and what are you doing (or not doing) that at the end of the day isn’t serving a larger purpose and those are the first to go.  Do you never have time to stretch or do some quick conditioning and core work but you find yourself waiting for the microwave or oven to have your food ready?  Congratulations- you just found some time to compete against the clock while you wait.  Were you hoping for a long run but now find yourself short on time- no problem find some hills or turn on the speed and kick your butt for the time you do have.  Do you need to meet friends or family for dinner, go to the park, meet at an appointment- run instead of drive there.  You can have them bring a change of clothes for you and this is where Nasty Wipes (one of my favorite Partners) come into play and gives you a shower/refresh on the go!  At the end of the day- just get creative and find those gaps where you can take advantage but be prepared that an early morning or late evening run may be the answer so become best friends with your headlamp.
  9. What’s the greatest training advice you ever received?
    • While training for Kodiak 100, I don’t exactly remember who or where i heard it but is actually some of the best and simple advice:  “For the first 50 miles- Dont be STUPID. For the last 50 miles- Dont be a WIMP.”


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