Training For Ultra's Training Diaries - Issue #23


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Guest: Nick Coury

Episode Title: Nick Coury Sets a New American 24-Hour Record

Bio: Nick Coury is an ultrarunner, entrepreneur, and software developer from Arizona. He started running in high school and ran his first ultramarathon when he was 17. Nick is well-known in the ultrarunning world for cofounding the Arivaipa running company along with his brother Jamil Coury. Aravaipa efficiently organizes over 40 prevalent races every year and Nick even met his wife, Lauren, at one of their races. After his first ultramarathon in 2005 he applied his innovative mind to his ultrarunning training and is seeing some amazing results. He has finished Hardrock five times and has twice been a member of the U.S. 24-hour team, and placed first in this year’s 6 Days in the Dome 100 Mile. Nick’s training philosophy is eclectic and embraces aspects of sports psychology, nutrition, negative splitting, and more detailed in his blog (linked below). Nick’s approach to the infamous “pain cave” is fascinating as he focuses on how to stay in his happy place and not necessarily on how to get out of the pain cave. As they say, prevention is the best cure, and Nick’s strategy has worked for him - his most recent ultrarunning victory happened last Saturday at Desert Solstice when he broke the American men’s record for most miles run in 24-hours. Nick ran 173.05 miles in 24-hours! Nick is a great interviewee as he provides a unique perspective on both the business and the racing sides of ultrarunning. He has achieved great success in both and genuinely wants to help his fellow runners have an incredible race. A fun fact about Nick he once hosted Yiannis Kouros!

You may also like: 

The Training For Ultra Podcast with Rob Steger: Jamil Coury and Aravaipa Strong (

The Training For Ultra Podcast with Rob Steger: Episode 72 - Jake Jackson Ultra Trucker (

Quotes from podcast episode:

“My dream with Desert Solstice is that it grows so competitive that I can no longer qualify.” - Nick Coury 11:48

“I probably still could go further.” - Nick Coury 16:30

I hope that my record does not last that long. If anything, I hope to reinvigorate and inspire more to go after this kind of thing because it is incredibly difficult, but it’s not impossible.” - Nick Coury 18:23

“I had mostly failures in the 24-hour before this.” - Nick Coury 18:53

“I have to hit 16 hours and feel like the race just started.” - Nick Coury 20:53

“Lauren jokes that the 24-hour has been the third wheel in our relationship for too long now.” - Nick Coury 22:57

“There was one lap where I came to a complete full stop… I couldn’t run a step for several seconds.” - Nick Coury 47:20

“The remarkable runners, they are not the ones who never have any issues because no one has no issues. It is the ones that are ready to adapt to any issues that come up and get past them and not let that be the excuse for why they stopped, why they slowed down, why they can't make it to the end” - Nick Coury 52:33

“You do want to be optimistic in the long term, but you need to be completely realistic in the short term.” - Nick Coury 58:43

“You can go out with all the big aspirations you want, but if you are not really realistic about what it takes, then you are not going to get there.” - Nick Coury 59:35

“I have never had a huge bucket list for running. I have just tried to enjoy everything that I decide to go after.” - Nick Coury 1:06:20

“This never was on my bucket list. It was beyond what I imagined.” - Nick Coury 1:06:36

“I just love to run in general.” - Nick Coury 1:09:15

Episode Timeline:

3:20 First ultras and designing Desert Solstice

7:30 Why December?

9:10 The build-up to the 2021 Desert Solstice

12:20 Breaking the record

19:00 Mentally expanding your distance

23:15 Finding the run/life balance

25:00 Race day

27:05 Gear and nutrition

32:15 Optimized Fat Metabolism

36:13 Hydration and heat mitigation

38:45 First laps and negative splitting

40:50 Music or no music?

41:10 Flow state and finding your rhythm

42:45 Stomach issues and heat mitigation

50:00 Staying positive

51:47 Being mentally prepared

53:30 Realizing you broke the record

58:00 The Stockdale Paradox

1:01:30 Running with Jake Jackson

1:04:10 Future goals

1:07:27 Nick’s advice for fellow runners


Social Media:

Instagram: Nick Coury (@nickcouryruns) • Instagram photos and videos Twitter: @nickcouryruns Facebook: nickcouryruns Nick’s Blog: Nick Coury Runs Business Website: Home - Aravaipa Running

Sponsors: Nick runs for the Aravaipa Racing Team which is partnered with Rabbit and the Vespe Elite Team.