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Editors Letter Fast Adopters vs Thorough Trainers

December 16, 2015
Alix Headshot 3

Alix Shutello, CEO and Editor

Editor’s Letter

It’s time for a change.

I launched Endurance Racing Magazine back in 2010 with the thought of creating a publication that would cater to the “endurance lifestyle,” and designed content for those who venture beyond 26.2 miles or past the Ironman to ultra distances. I embraced the magazine like it was a new family member, and have given it a lot of love and dedication.

But something was off. This summer, I started pondering what this magazine means. I’ve met and talked with some of the most prolific endurance athletes in the world, and even more of the regular Joes and Josettes who have ventured in to the “endurance” distance world. In my conversations with people who are NOT at the point of going ultra distances, I discovered that there is a romantic notion about going the extra mile – but for many, the journey to get there can take years. Others simply go for it, without a lot of thinking, planning or training; they set their minds to running 100 miles and they make it happen.

The dichotomy of these two types of athletes is minimal. Those who jump into the ultra world (fast adopters) do so because they are compelled to. These athletes are motivated not by the journey so much as they are by setting quick, obtainable goals and accomplishing them. Those who need more time, or the “thorough trainers,” enjoy the journey. The training becomes a way a life; a never ending quest to commit to steady change over time. These are athletes who evolve, who hunger for information, products, services and other things to keep them informed as they move up on miles run, swum, cycled, canoed, hiked or walked.

And then it hit me – after interviewing hundreds of people over the years, I realized what endurance really means and who this publication is ultimately for.

Fast adopters and thorough trainers encompass the embodiment of athletes from around the world. Anyone who is driven to get outside and work on their fitness is working on one thing: Building endurance and ultimately sustaining it.

Endurance is a word synonymous with that “thing” inside of us which drives us to achieve our goals. I don’t care if you are a training to run your first 5k or completing your first sprint triathlon or running your 75th 100-miler or finishing an Ironman, “endurance” is about working toward a goal – a common goal – to go farther and/or go faster and/or just get to the end of the distance you’ve decided to complete.

So we are turning the magazine in that direction.

So is this publication for you?

Robyn-Benincasa-FEATURE-Cover-1-halfThe athletes I’ve talked with run the gamut of the human race: they are single, or divorced, or married without kids or married with kids. I’ve interviewed single parents with young kids who compete regularly and juggle parenthood. I’ve seen cancer patients shake off their disease and complete some of the world’s toughest races. I’ve seen paraplegics complete Ironmans. I’ve seen the blind run with a companion and complete ultra marathons. I’ve interviewed recovering alcoholics, ex-smokers and ex-obese athletes who have overcome great challenges. I’ve listened to spouses who “don’t get it,” and spouses who do. I’ve interviewed couples who compete either together or separately. I’ve interviewed people who’ve had to drop out of epic races they spent months training for, only to come back and persevere. I’ve talked to folks who’ve run through the roughest terrain on the planet in the extreme cold, or the extreme heat, over extreme distances, locations and altitudes. I’ve talked to people with past addictions, or folks who are or were depressed, or even people like me – adopted, and carrying the emotional baggage of that. I’ve interviewed the mentally strong and the mentally weak, the challenged, the motivated, and the occasional person who just wants someone to run with.

I’ve talked to pregnant moms who had to stop training because they were bleeding and couldn’t go on or risk the health of the baby. I’ve talked to people who have run and fallen with serious injury, or who’ve been hit while training on their bikes (way too many to count, unfortunately). I’ve seen athletes recover from many months off from broken backs, torn ligaments and broken collarbones, and I even know a person or two who completed ultra races with broken bones! I’ve been asked to cover races and have watched people – really watched people – compete. I’ve taken their pictures, talked with them before and after the race. I’ve seen people stuff bananas in their socks, chug Coke, and drink beer while completing. We all have distinctive, quirky habits that make us unique and fun.

This mishmash of experience is the endurance experience. It is the endurance community. From those of you who got off the couch after putting on 100 pounds and who now exercise and complete regularly to those athletes who are getting excited about the 560-mile Uberman race I posted on Facebook, we are all part of the same ilk.

Stay tuned for changes this January.


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