Hal Koerner, a longtime North Face ultrarunner with over 90 podium finishes in ultramarathons around the world, has penned his first book — a thorough and readable guide to preparing and training for ultrarunning. His writing is conversational and provides the feeling of listening firsthand to Koerner as he dispatches his status as seasoned veteran in the role of mentor.
Koerner follows a logical progression through the main components of preparation — physical, mental and logistical. Many of his insights are common knowledge among those who have participated in numerous ultramarathons. That said, for those new to the sport or those looking to explore longer and more difficult events, Koerner’s years of experience and hard-won knowledge comes distilled in a succinct read.
Koerner offers recommendations on training, nutrition and hydration, gear, maintenance and self-care, interacting with and mediating your environment, what to expect, seek out, avoid and be aware of come race day and building a personalized training plan.
Unlike other accounts written by ultrarunners, yet similar to training manuals and programs for marathon and shorter distance-running, the final chapter of Koerner’s Field Guide is dedicated to building a personalized ultramarathon training plan. Koerner offers his advice on types, frequency and intensity of various types of workouts and also offers 16-week training plans for 50K, 50 miles, 100K and 100 miles. Koerner’s sage knowledge is apparent in the nuanced insights only imparted to those in the sport with extensive experience, both positive and challenging.
— Ian MacNairn