Training For Ultra's Training Diaries - Issue #22



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Guest: Kaitlyn Yonke

Episode Title: Learning to Believe in Herself and Her Team

Bio: Kaitlyn Yonke is an ultrarunner, music therapist, and running coach in Denver, Colorado. She currently runs with The Adrenalin Project. She is also the head coach at Run Infinite. Kaitlyn found running to keep herself grounded while pursuing her degree and subsequent music career. Although her running origins were more functionary, she eventually fell in love with the sport itself in addition to its many benefits. She met her husband while running across the United States with MS run the US. Couples who run 3,260-mile relays together stay together! Kaitlyn is quite the ultrarunner, has finished the Leadville 100 twice, holds the White Rim Road FKT, the High Line Canal FKT, and placed 4th at Swatch Accent 2021. In the new year, Kaitlyn will be racing in the Arches Ultra in Moab, UT. In her spare time, Kaitlyn paints, makes jewelry, and hikes the 14er with her parents (her dad has a super cool adaptive trike)! Part of Kaitlyn’s success as an ultrarunner is due to her unrelenting belief in herself - she will complete anything she sets her mind to.

You may also like:

The Training For Ultra Podcast with Rob Steger: Episode 57 - Gary Stotler's Return To Leadville (

The Training For Ultra Podcast with Rob Steger: Emily Hawgood - From Crushing Western States to UTMB (

The Training For Ultra Podcast with Rob Steger: Episode 55 - Addie Bracy Interview, UTMB stories w/ Kaci Lickteig and Majo Srnik ( 


Quotes from podcast episode:

Quotes from podcast episode:

“My way to decompress or my way to problem solve is by going out on to the trail.” - Kaitlyn Yonke 4:51

“You can take an emotion and take an instrument, and you can conceptualize it… You can play how you feel.” - Kaitlyn Yonke 10:14

If you are doing something creative, then you are doing something good for yourself.” - 12:13

“I was never an endurance runner.” - Kaitlyn Yonke 20:10

We think we have this road map handed to us for our lives. Like we can read it, it is clear it is perfect. When my dad was diagnosed with MS, we were all handed new road maps in a different language upside down, no compass, and we didn’t know how to read it. Our road map had changed for our lives because we knew what MS would do to our lives.” - Kaitlyn Yonke 25:26

“My dad is my best friend, and he is my hero, and he has taught me everything I know about how to be the athlete I am today.” - Kaitlyn Yonke 29:05

“We can't fight MS alone.” - Kaitlyn Yonke 36:07

“Sometimes it takes a team. MS takes a team… I have taken that into everything else I do… That is the biggest slice of humble pie I have ever been given.” - Kaitlyn Yonke 38:00

“I try not to overdo it because our bodies are finite… I don’t want to be that person that hates running because they can't do what they used to be able to do. I want to be able to do this until I can't.” Kaitlyn Yonke 46:09

“We live our days on a different scale, and I like how he sees it every day is our new 100%.” - Kaitlyn Yonke 53:24

I have this mindset that I may sell myself short, and I thought maybe I just had the performance of my life, and I wanted to see if that was a mistake and so I decided to try Leadville again… It solidified that I could do these hard things and I to the caliber that I think I can.” - Kaitlyn Yonke 1:01:58

“Going through Twin Lakes feels like the song from Cheers.” - Kaitlyn Yonke 1:02:57

Trails need to be more accessible. We need to have more inclusion in the outdoors… Even if it’s a mile at a time, those people are seeing parts of the trail they have never seen before.” - Kaitlyn Yonke 1:07:29

The point wasn’t to get the fastest time. It was to show people we can do things together as a community.” - Kaitlyn Yonke 1:08:00

“He and his guide were just having the best time. He wasn’t in first that’s okay. That usually isn’t always the point. The point is to complete and for joy and his smile while running and talking to his guide you couldn’t trade that for the world and there needs to be more of that.” - Kaitlyn Yonke 1:13:27

"We live our days on a different scale... every day is our new one-hundred percent."

Episode Timeline:

1:15 Running to cope with a high-stress career

2:20 Introductions

4:10 Kaitlyn’s work as a music therapist

7:45 Diverse clientele

8:45 Running with music

9:20 Art and brain plasticity

14:00 Being an advocate

15:30 Band nerd origins

20:20 College and running

25:00 Father’s MS diagnosis and a new road map

30:25 Bike MS

31:55 Marathons, injuries, and MS Run the US

37:00 One step at a time

39:20 Loveland Pass

41:00 First Ultra

42:40 Coaches versus training plans

43:10 Gaining confidence

46:00 Reflections on athletic longevity 20-30 Ultras in

47:30 First ultra finish line

48:30 Leadville

52:00 A father’s influence

53:00 Grieving the living and giving 100%

55:30 2017 Leadville Start

59:30 Future goals

1:02:00 Second Leadville 100 finish

1:06:30 FKT’s and trail accessibility

1:10:00 Other-abled and marathons


Social Media:

Instagram: Kaitlyn Yonke (@kkroo917) • Instagram photos and videos Website: The Lockwood Foundation (

Sponsors: The Adrenaline Project is sponsored by Stance, Smith Optics, and Receptra