Tollefson’s shift to the trails brought immediate gratification. In his first off-road race and his first ultramarathon, the 2014 USA 50K Trail Championship, he won with a course record of 3:24:05. He quickly became one of the most competitive American trail runners on the world stage, placing eighth in his first international 50-miler less than three months later and second in his first 100K the following year.
Marathoner-turned-ultrarunner Tim Tollefson nears the 100-mile point of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc in the French Alps in 2016. He finished third.
“Tim loves being out in nature by himself; he thrives on that solitude,” says Tollefson’s coach, Mario Fraioli. “He was looking for something new to rekindle his competitiveness.”
A significant change in training or racing can freshen up anyone’s running, Fraioli says. Doing the same kinds of workouts training cycle after training cycle can result in plateaus and maybe injury—even if…