Trail and Ultra’s Best | Jazmine Lowther: Canyons Endurance runs 100km by UTMB World Series winner

In this extensive Runner’s Tribe series, the world’s best ultra and trail runners share their training, favorite gear, and a few other snippets of what keeps them moving the way they do.

Jazmine Lowther

Jazmine Lowther. Photo credit ©Mathis Dumas

Profile

  • Hometown: Nelson, British Columbia, Canada
  • Favorite trail(s):
    • All trails in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park (near Nelson) offer flowing, technical sections that wind through subalpine wildflower meadows.
    • Another favorite would be Mount Temple in Banff National Park, it’s an up and down scramble, but one hell of a stunning classic for the Canadian Rockies!
  • Favorite race: UTMB CCC so far!
  • Your favorite race result to date: Canyons Endurance 100K, hard to beat with a 1-2 second course record!
  • Sponsors: The north face
  • Profession: Plant biologist and running coach
  • Instagram handle: @jazminerosalynn
  • Facebook handle: Jazmine Lowther

RT: How did you start your trail running journey?

I raced all my life as a kid, I raced cross-country, but never got beyond the recreational level. It has always been a mainstay for staying mentally and physically healthy. I remember hearing about ultra races or people running 100 miles, and thinking “how is that possible?”

In 2019, I signed up on a whim for a local 50k trail run in my hometown. I had no idea how to train for this… My “training”, or lack thereof, involved one long run per month, which included a 20k, 30k and a 40k. Yep, only 3 long runs in total to get me ready, a recipe that would make any running coach cringe. Somehow I ended up winning and placing 3rd globally. The whole experience blew me away and compelled me to delve deeper into ultrarunning. I had a coach, I learned how to train properly, I read books, listened to podcasts and I saw a lot of progress!

From there the rest is history, I fell in love with mountain running for fun and sharing trails on challenging courses in competitive races. For anyone considering taking the ultra running route later in life, I can say from experience that it is definitely possible!

Jazmine Lowther. Photo credit @margauxlemap

RT: Can you please describe a typical training week?

My goal with weekly training is to provide new and different stimuli, each week will have a slightly different focus. I always have at least 1-2 days a week off running, with some scheduled runs labeled as “optional”, which means I can train or turn them into a rest day depending on my energy and job. time. I have allocated a wide window of time to my races listed in my sample schedule below, the final time allocated depends on where I am in my training block. Currently I’m self-coached, the key I find in self-coaching is to put on my “coach” cap, see myself as a “runner” like an athlete I’m coaching, and really be at listening to my body, which is not the case. its not always easy !

Monday:

  • 15-Minute Mobility: Typically involves hip openings, footwork, calf-ankle complex, and balance drills
  • 1 hour of bodybuilding and strength training
  • 1-1.5 hrs of easy running or cross training

Tuesday:

  • 15 minutes of mobility
  • 1-2 hours of easy hill running (optional run, cross-training or rest day)

Wednesday:

  • 25 minutes of mobility and light weight training
  • ~1.5hrs of training running, usually intervals over hills, either running or steep uphill. I really like consistent 4 x 7 minute efforts, on a passable incline, with 3 minutes of recovery.
  • Double easy (race optional)

Thursday:

  • 15 minutes of mobility
  • 1 hour of bodybuilding and strength training
  • 30 minutes to 1.5 hours of easy flat running or cross training

Friday:

  • 15 minutes of mobility
  • 1h30 run with rolling hills, with powerful strides (optional run, cross training or rest day)

Saturday

  • 15 minutes of mobility
  • mountain run from 2 to 7 hours

Sunday

  • 2-5 hr mountain run or 2-3 hr cross-trainer (bike, weighted hike, elliptical, assault bike, swim, rock climb, ski or gym)
  • Followed by yoga and a bath

RT: After the race, can you describe how you recover and how long it takes you to get back to full training depending on the distance?

Recovery is so essential! And I’m still learning what works best for me. For races of 50 miles and longer, I found that I needed at least a full week of racing stoppage. Even though my body feels good, it’s just not worth the risk to me. If my energy is there, then I will potentially train with cycling, swimming, or light hiking. Most errands require long-distance travel, which interferes with my sleep cycle, my body’s natural rhythms, and my immune system. I take vitamins like zinc and electrolytes to avoid getting sick and getting back into a routine. Depending on how messed up my system is, I could take a month or two to recover. After the CCC, I got sick twice and really had a hard time fighting off a cold or a cough!

RT: What shoes and equipment do you currently tour with and what is your favorite equipment?

Great question, I love choosing a shoe based on the intent of the run.

My favorites for shorter distances (under 30km), and especially if I’m exercising, are definitely The North Face Vectiv Flights. They are carbon plated and they are exceptionally responsive, lively and light. They’re super fun for speed and they reduce the impact on your body!

For long runs or runs like CCC, I wear The North Face Enduris II. For CCC, I ported prototypes for the Enduris III and I love them! This was my first run where I didn’t get blisters or sore feet, they have enough toes for me (can’t wear super narrow shoes). It’s a versatile shoe that can handle technical trails or flats, even more so than the Enduris II. I can’t wait for the final product and for them to hit the shelves.

For easy and smooth runs I would choose the The North Face Vectiv Eminus, Levitum or the Vectiv Infinite.

RT: Any major goals for the future?

I see two possibilities next year for the race depending on whether my name will be drawn from a certain hat… Definitely though, it looks like I will be adding a few 100 mile buckles to my belt. Either Hardrock, Western States or UTMB would be my A races. For my B and C races, I’m a bit overwhelmed with all the possibilities that jump out at me. I considered races like Ultra Trail Cape Town, Black Canyons, Transgrancanaria, Miut Madeira, Gorge Waterfalls, Minotaur SkyRace, Val d’Aran, Speedgoat, Andorra and many more. Once I know the A races, I think everything else will fall into place.

My other non-running goals are to plan hobby projects that involve running, climbing, or skiing in the mountains. I thought of projects that would combine an inflatable boat, a fast race, and maybe even a fly fishing as a fun, wacky adventure with probably a lot of mishaps.

It was also a goal of mine to get more involved in the outdoor community by being an advocate for climate change, fundraising, hosting educational talks in schools to hopefully inspire the next generation and people around the world.

Otherwise my main goal is to keep my body healthy, injury free and running for a long time!

Thanks!

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