‘Whatever Doesn’t Kill You…’ An Interview with an Endurance Freak

It sounds like you spend a lot of time working out. What do you do to avoid injury?

I’ve had five knee surgeries so I’m familiar with injury. I used to focus on volume and hours per week. I now train with much less hours per week than I used to. I think overuse injury happens more due to the volume of training than intensity. I probably train a third less. I used to do like 20 hours a week and now it’s more like 12 to 15. I used to get caught up in numbers of miles and hours.

Do you vary your workouts?

Yes, a lot. I vary from workout to workout within a week and within a training cycle.

What are some unique challenges of the GoPro Mountain Games?

Altitude is definitely a factor . I live and train here but it’s still a factor in the race. It takes its toll on you. Pegging it hard at high altitude you can definitely come up short. That’s a big factor, and the brutalness of the courses are tough. There’s so much climbing; a lot of climbing on the mountain bike, climbing in the trail run and a time trial that’s all uphill. There’s nowhere to hide in these events. There’s nowhere to hide on these courses. If you’re lacking any fitness it’s going to shine through.

Have you ever done any other events at the Mountain Games?

I never really felt the need to do any more. Those four events, I’m pretty maxed out.

How does the Ultimate Mountain Challenge stack up to some your other multi-event races?

I think pretty similar, but because UMC has individual events I can hit each one harder so it takes me longer to recover after the weekend.

You clearly train a lot. What kind of work do you do?

I’m a personal trainer at Dogma Athletica in Edwards. I also coach for triathletes and runners and have a master’s degree in human movement.

What are some of your favorite pieces of equipment?

First off, my mountain bike is a Felt Edict 9. It’s kind of a dream machine there. I’ve got it pimped out with Enve wheels. I feel pretty lucky to have some top of the line equipment this year.

Josiah on the Vail podium with his family

What’s your road bike?

A Felt time trial bike with Enve 8.9 wheels.

And what shoes do you choose for the trail run?

I run in Salamon S-Lab Sense Ultras. Those are amazing, great all around shoes. I’ve done a half-Ironman with them, Xterras and trail races also. They are great, very versatile shoes.

And I understand you use a sit-on-top kayak?

I’m not a serious kayaker. The last two years I’ve used a sit-on-top. Before that I used a kayak that I bought at a garage sale for $100. I’ve now gone to the low-stress route and I rent a sit-on-top. It costs me a little time but not a lot. Maybe like 30 seconds.

Thanks for your time, and good luck on the race this year!

Sean McCoy

Sean McCoy is the Editorial Director of GearJunkie, and 5+ other All Gear websites.

He has been writing about hunting, fishing, trail running, camping, skiing, and more for 15+ years.

Prior to GearJunkie, he was the chief photographer for the Virgin Islands Daily News and former Editor In Chief for GearJunkie. Based in Denver, Colorado, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.