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Scott Jurek cel­e­brates on the sum­mit of Mount Katahdin. Face­book photo.

The 41 year-old ultra run­ning leg­end, Scott Jurek, com­plet­ed the 2,168-mile Appalachi­an Trail in record time. He fin­ished the trail in 46 days, 8 hours, and 7 min­utes. That’s only 3 hours faster than the last record set by Jen­nifer Pharr Davis in 2011. He aver­aged near­ly 50 miles a day.

From Springer Moun­tain in Geor­gia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, he bat­tled through a torn quadri­cep, a stom­ach bug, and a severe­ly strained knee. His wife, spon­sors, and friends ran with him and sup­port­ed him along the way. For all he went through though, the Appalachi­an Trail Con­ser­van­cy does­n’t rec­og­nize speed records. There’s no tro­phy at the end. No offi­cial recog­ni­tion. The records are kept in the heads and jour­nals of hik­ers, and they add only to the lore of the trail.

Jurek, who first gained fame as a veg­an run­ner fea­tured promi­nent­ly in the best-sell­ing book Born to Run, is near­ing the end of his his­toric career, and this record may be his last.

Here are some shots of his sum­mit cel­e­bra­tion.


How to Recover from an Ultramarathon

When it comes to races as stren­u­ous as ultra­ma­rathons, the recov­ery can often be more dif­fi­cult and painful than the train­ing. You don’t want to stop fit­ness alto­geth­er, but you don’t want to do too much so you can let your body rest and heal prop­er­ly. If you’re feel­ing lost, here are some things to keep in mind:

trStay Active
Don’t go over­board, but a lit­tle bit of car­dio will help keep blood flow­ing to the areas that need it and keep mus­cles warm so lac­tic acid doesn’t stick around and cause fur­ther pain.

Eat Right
Pro­tein and carbs are real­ly going to help restore some of your ener­gy stores lost dur­ing an ultra­ma­rathon, so eat up. And in a time when your immune sys­tem is ham­pered a bit by the phys­i­cal effort you’ve just exert­ed, it’s impor­tant to make sure you’re eat­ing bal­anced meals to keep any sick­ness at bay.

Sleep. You’ll feel a lot bet­ter. Nothing’ll take care of the tired­ness post-race like a good sleep. Post-race, account for a good nap and an extra long night of sleep.

lpMas­sage it Out
Whether you use a foam roller, lacrosse balls or actu­al­ly get a sports mas­sage, the tar­get­ed man­u­al ther­a­py is going to hurt so good. It’ll help you man­age the mus­cle inflam­ma­tion, keep the blood flow­ing and help with cramp­ing. It can also help ensure your mus­cles heal prop­er­ly and scar tis­sue doesn’t build up.

Keep it Cool
After a long run, your mus­cles are going to be pret­ty inflamed and like­ly cause some pain. Icing can help keep the inflam­ma­tion down so you’ll start feel­ing bet­ter soon. But nev­er put the ice direct­ly on your skin unless you want a nice burn.

Warm it Up
Treat stiff mus­cles to heat, whether by heat­ing pad or hot bath. But don’t heat inflamed mus­cles, since that’ll just make ‘em worse.

zsStretch it Out
Your body is going to feel pret­ty tight for a lit­tle while, so com­bat it with some tar­get­ed stretch­es. Don’t force it though, or you might find your­self in a whole new world of pain. Ease into it and stretch often.