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FKT! Going the distance with Regina Massingill

A conversation with Regina Massingill, Ultra Runner, and owner of 12 FKT’s (Fastest Known Times).

Peter Foster, USA Triathlon certified coach. Dec 2023

PF: Congrats on your FKT of 39 hrs and 8 mins for the Big Bend 100, which you completed last week.

RM: Thanks, it was a goal that was a long time in the making after much prep’ and planning.

PF: So how did your journey in ultra running get started?

RM: It really got going during the Pandemic, when I had a great urge to be outdoors and running.

PF: What was your prior experience in endurance events?

RM: I completed a couple of Ironman distance triathlons and did my first 50Km run in 2018.

PF: And how did you go from there to doing something like The Big Bend 100?

RM: It has been a steady progression in distance, building from 50 to 100, 150 and beyond.

PF: So how do you train for an event that is 100 miles long?

RM: I use interim events as a training vehicle. I’ll choose something that is similar in terrain or offers a step change in distance to practice for the full event.

PF: On a weekly basis, what is your typical long run distance?

RM: Only about 8 miles. I build endurance through the progression of ultra-distance events.

PF: And where is the breakthrough distance in that progression?

RM: I’d say at 100 miles. That is when you are going to be running all day and night. The overnight period is the biggest mental hurdle. You are alone and wondering “Why am I doing this?”.

PF: And why is that?

RM: For me it is about exploring my full capability and testing my limits in the great outdoors.

PF: What other strategies do you use to tackle the mental strain of an ultra-distance event?

RM: Gosh, I have so many songs in my head! Often it is a mental strain just to keep on task. I might find myself slowing to a stroll and must jolt myself back into running mode.

PF: What about pacing and rest?

RM: I will often have a nap at the rest stops. That really helped me in Big Bend.

PF: How about recovery, how are you feeling now, 10 days after Big Bend?

RM: I had some swelling in my ankles but otherwise OK. I crashed on the couch last weekend!

PF: So, what’s next?

RM: I managed to get a much-coveted spot at the Hawaii HURT Trail 100 miler in January – I am looking forward to some travel and adventure on Oahu!


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