Ultra runner Jacob Puzey took just shy of an hour off of the 50-mile treadmill World Record to become the new record holder. The First Endurance runner traveled to The Running Event trade show in Orlando, Florida to take on the challenge.
When asked what motivated him to set his sights on this record, Puzey said “Most people are busy and don’t have time to train full-time. One of my goals of tackling the record was to show that it is possible to have a family, a mortgage, and a job (other than running) and still set and achieve challenging goals.
I also really enjoy locking into a pace and rolling. I tend to do best when I am able to run just below my threshold and focus on fueling. I had never really tested how long I could go at that effort so I figured this would be a good opportunity to test my limits in a controlled environment.”
With a lengthy race resume full of course records and wins, including winning the Canadian 50K Ultra Championships and the Grizzly Ultra 50K earlier this year, Puzey didn’t spend much time prepping specifically for the treadmill record. In fact, since moving to a colder climate in Alberta, Canada, Puzey has only run 1-2 times a week on a treadmill (less than he did when he lived in a warmer climate), mostly for the reason of convenience and to be close to home and caring for his new baby daughter. For Puzey hopping on the treadmill was easier than driving to a trailhead or a gym to fit in a run.
For Puzey hopping on the treadmill was easier than driving to a trailhead or a gym to fit in a run. “With limited time you try to fit as much running as you can into that window. I did a 22-mile long run several years ago as part of a build up for a marathon but I didn’t run longer than two hours on the treadmill in this particular build up.”
One would think the task of running on a treadmill for 5 hours at a sub 6-minute mile pace would have a huge mental component on top of the obvious physical one but Puzey views it differently. “Honestly, as long as I am moving, I don’t get bored. I grew up in a really simple farm town without what most people would consider scenic places to run. I never developed the need to be constantly stimulated with scenery. I fell in love with the simplicity of running. I consider that a huge advantage because I simply don’t get bored very easily. In fact, I really like long track workouts or long runs on treadmills or country roads. The crowd also really helped my motivation. I had several friends and supporters stop by and wish me well. I really appreciate all of those who stopped by the booth and cheered me on. It helped tremendously. Music helped to keep me rolling – a short playlist with artists ranging from CCR to Wyclef Jean with some of my favorite songs with good tempos that I replayed a few times when things got hard.”
I fell in love with the simplicity of running. I consider that a huge advantage because I simply don’t get bored very easily. In fact, I really like long track workouts or long runs on treadmills or country roads. The crowd also really helped my motivation. I had several friends and supporters stop by and wish me well. I really appreciate all of those who stopped by the booth and cheered me on. It helped tremendously. Music helped to keep me rolling – a short playlist with artists ranging from CCR to Wyclef Jean with some of my favorite songs with good tempos that I replayed a few times when things got hard.”
The previous record set in 2014 by Italian Vito Intini was 5:57:31 hours. Puzey ran 50 miles in 4:57:45, near 60 minutes faster on his record-setting attempt. With no obstacles or outside weather to contend with, the only thing that slowed him down was one quick bathroom break. To fuel the record-breaking effort, in addition to some potato chips, Puzey summarized his nutrition. “I consumed four Optygen capsules before the run, 40oz of EFS Fruit Punch Drink on the run, four EFS Liquid Shot flasks (Vanilla and Wildberry) and one packet of Ultragen after the run.”
When the going got tough for Puzey he explained what helped him push through “Having Amy and Ashima there made a huge difference because I didn’t want them to make such a long trek without me actually doing what I had committed to do. Amy wrote some special quotes on sticky notes that she posted on the console of the treadmill and then she showed me pictures of our kids when things got hard. They are my inspiration and the reason I do what I do. They have been my main training partners over the past six months since Ashima was born so it felt right to have them there by my side. I was also encouraged by the kind words of those in attendance at the Running Event, as well as the well wishes I had received prior to the attempt.” There was a huge crowd at the scene of the Running Event trade show, cheering Puzey and urging him to run his way into the history books as he shattered the record, setting a new 50-mile treadmill world record in 4:57:45 (watch here).
“I was taught to do the best I can with what I’ve been given. I have always known that I have the ability to endure just below my threshold for a long time. Most races are shorter and test other skills and abilities which I don’t possess. This challenge enabled me to test myself against myself and now I have a better idea of what I am capable of doing.”
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Connect with Jacob & keep up with his antics.
First Endurance Athlete Profile: http://firstendurance.com/sports/running/jacob-puzey/