Ras Jason Vaughan is an ultrarunner, fastpacker, and adventurer who lives in the Okanogan Highlands of Washington State with his wife Kathy. Together they blog and podcast about their adventures, philosophies, and life experiences at UltraPedestrian.com.
My ultrarunning goals are not the same as some people's. I'm not out to be the fastest. I don't taper. I don't train for one or two focus races and plan the rest of the season around them. This is probably because I don't have a running background, and certainly not a road and track background.
I'm a backpacker who became a back of the packer. My goal is to move well and efficiently so that I can enjoy as much mileage as possible, as often as possible. I don't want to run fast one day and leave it all on the course, only to spend the next three months recovering. I want to run thirty miles a day, five days in a row. I want to run a 100miler every other weekend. I want to run distances and routes and trails that no one has ever run before.
Ultrarunning, for me, is a balance of an ancient animal activity with modern, scientific techniques. My goal is to have the natural experience of my own humanity made the best it can be by the most up to date discoveries available. And I want to do it sustainably, so that I can be running and adventuring and testing my limits 10, 20, or even 30 years from now. That's why Zensah advanced compression apparel has been an indispensable part of my kit for years.
The human body is designed for endurance running to a degree that no other animal physiognomy can match, and I have faith in it. My legs are made to move. My feet were created to land and launch. This amazing apparatus I inhabit exists in order to cover ridiculous amounts of ground, and that's exactly what I love to do with it. My goal is to honor these blessings, and to make the most of them by means of the following three steps:
Precovery In the 24 hours before a race or an Only Known Time attempt, I treat my body as though it is recovering from the very challenge it is about to face. I do everything I can to let my body rest and recover from the rigors of everyday life so that I can be in ideal condition for what I am about to attempt. This includes wearing compression tights and calf sleeves or compression socks during the day to increase blood flow, oxygenation, and lactic acid evacuation for all my muscles. And I sleep in my compression gear the night before a major effort, so that even as my legs are resting, they are actively preparing for the efforts ahead.
Performance Whether it's running the Washington Slam (all four 100 mile races in Washington State) or becoming the first person to ever run six crossings of the Grand Canyon completely unsupported, I count on Zensah compression gear to maximize the biomechanical functions of this miraculous machine I call my body. Calf sleeves and compression shorts support the muscles of my lower back, hips, and legs in pushing beyond the perceived limits of human endurance. Vibration is marginalized as my lower extremities work, and muscles and tendons are aided in tracking correctly according to nature's design, minimizing the wear and damage. Blood flow is enhanced not only to oxygenate muscles, to flush lactic acid, to clear free radicals and metabolic bi products, but to help muscles begin to repair, even as they are still performing.
Recovery And when all is said and done, the next adventure is just beginning. Recovering from my most recent achievement is the first step in accomplishing my next adventure. Zensah compression apparel is my go to gear for accelerating my recovery and soothing and comforting muscles sore from doing what they were meant to do: covering mileage. After I wash the remnants of the trail from my body and ease into my compression socks and tights my legs begin their natural process of rebuilding, repairing, and replenishing. While at the same time my mind begins it's recovery regimen of evaluating how I performed, assimilating what I learned, and imagining the next amazing thing this human might be able to do. All in my Zensah advanced athletic compression apparel.