Morgan Arritola and Her Freewheeling Training PlanEx-Olympic Nordic skier tears it up en route to the US Mountain Running Team qualifier
Photo by Mike Schirf
Morgan Arritola lives in a trail runner’s paradise: trailheads lie just outside her door in Ketchum, Idaho, where she works for Scott USA.
“I can leave my door and be on trails in five minutes and run for three or four hours, easily. It’s pretty nice,” she says.
Apparently her location is paying dividends. Arritola, who is also sponsored by Scott, won the highly competitive Dirty Half Marathon in Bend, Oregon, last year in 1:24:34, where she had placed second the year before. Last September, she won the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship 21K in Ogden, Utah, in 1:29:09, and went on the win the XTERRA World Championshop 21K in Hawaii in December with a time of 1:33:00. Last weekend, she won the Vail Pass Half Marathon at the Teva Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado, in a time of 1:37:44.
Despite her successes, Arritola is far from rigid with her training. “I don’t keep track of miles per week,” she says. “I don’t have a coach, don’t have a plan. I just do what I feel like I should do.”
This approach could be attributed to the fact that, until recently, she only raced on the trails when she could fit it in between training full time with the U.S. Nordic Ski Team – a team Arritola competed on at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The training there was so rigid, she says, that she needed to change things – including taking a hiatus from skiing.
“I don’t overthink things,” she says.
When she toes the line at New Hampshire’s Loon Mountain Race on July 8, she will be a force to be reckoned with. There, the top four American women will qualify for the 2012 Women's U.S. Mountain Running Team and will travel to the World Mountain Running Championships in Italy in September. We caught up with Arritola to discuss her chances, her approach to running and her time as a skier.