[This article was originally published on Trail and Ultra Running blog, which you can find here.]

Courtney Dauwalter needs no introduction in the ultramarathon world.  Most recently she won the Moab 240 in 57 hours 55 minutes. Courtney joined a podcast that I co-host and we went DEEP into the mental side of her running game.

Her mental toughness and ability to push through physical pain are unbelievable, so I felt compelled to share the three takeaways from our conversation with Courtney.  The way I see it, if we can adopt any one of the three bullets into our running game, we will be better off because of it.


This nomenclature is nothing new in the running world, but we have to take a step back to understand why this is important to Courtney. More than any person I’ve hosted on the podcast, Courtney has a curiosity to see how far we can push the body and brain. She’s adamant that the combination of the body and brain working together is a source of unlimited potential, but to tap into that potential we must seek states of pain or uncomfortableness.  Courtney’s medium is running insane distances at an unbelievable pace, such as beating the second place finisher in Moab by over 10 hours.

Don’t give yourself excuses or reasons to quit, invest all of your energy and time on a given task, and you’ll be amazed at the results, says Courtney.


A month before Moab, Courtney won the Run Rabbit Run race, completing the final 12 miles while blind due to a case of corneal edema.  With 12 miles left in the race, deep in the Rockies, we asked Courtney why she didn’t simply stop and her answer was simple: “Stopping didn’t cross my mind…what is stopping going to do for me?” The realization that Courtney’s response is a metaphor for life didn’t hit me until a few days after the interview.  

While one’s definition of success changes from person to person, failure is always defined as the inability to reach one’s goal. The reality is that most people quit right before they tap into their definition of success. In a race, or in life, we never know how close we are to our goal unless we continue to push and take the next step. Courtney experiences low points throughout a race just like the rest of us, but her determination to continue moving forward is absolute.  It’s amazing to see what humans are capable of when their conviction and belief are laser focused on a given task.

Think of what we could do if we simply refused to stop or quit, no matter what obstacles are thrown at us, such as blindness during a race.


238 miles is a daunting distance to run, and focusing on the entirety of the race can be crippling. To avoid being bogged down mentally, Courtney focuses only on the section of the race where she finds herself and savors the experience of the run. Sport psychologist Michael Gervais refers to this as being “on time” or experiencing flow state – you know the feeling, when the game or run seems to slow down and opens-up before your eyes.  

I’m convinced that Courtney’s ability to live in the now and ignore past sections or the miles ahead, is one of the reasons she can push through even the lowest points of a run.  Focusing on the now removes a ton of emotional baggage, and frees-up Courtney’s mind to push through those low moments of the race.

Thank you for reading! If you’d like to listen to the full podcast interview (30 minutes), click here.

The podcast is also available on SoundCloud, iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Search “TR Talk” and scroll to episode 15. If you would like to recommend guests for upcoming episodes, leave a comment and we’ll do our best to bring those folks onto the show.

About the author

Ryan Warner (@Ryan_N_Warner) is the co-host of TR Talk Podcast, which interviews leaders in their field to learn how millennials can make an impact in today’s operating environment.  Former guests have included CEO’s, sports psychologists, New York Times best sellers, self-help gurus, and former/current professional athletes. If you want to support the podcast, have a listen and feel free to recommend guests in the comments below. Contact: Website.

Win the Morning, Win the Day: the 5 Elements of a Morning Routine

[This article was originally published on Quotable, which can be found here.]

“Win the morning, win the day.” Tim Ferriss

Three months after college, I had a haphazard morning routine. No structure, no routine, and when I hurried into the office I was nowhere near ready mentally to win the day — which is key in B2B tech sales. My results suffered, and after two months of missing the mark, I read everything I could on how business leaders, sales leaders, and professional athletes start their day.

There are numerous ways to structure a morning routine (and well over 100 articles authored on the topic), but for field account executives such as my colleagues and me, the five elements below are the most useful. The key to incorporating each element into your morning routine is consistency, so if it helps, start with one theme and add another each week.

  1. Wake up early. Early to some, such as former Navy Seal instructor and best-selling author Jocko Willink, means 4:30 a.m. Sales thought leader Anthony Iannarino also wakes up at 4:30 a.m. (an interview with Anthony on his morning routine can be found here). Waking up early has been shown to increase performance, and is correlated with having a healthier diet. It also gives one a mental edge over the competition. I personally wake up at 5 a.m., as it allows me to catch a minimum of seven hours of sleep (assuming you hit the hay at 10 p.m. or earlier) — which is the absolute minimum for me — and complete steps 2–5 below, and still make it to the office by 7 a.m.

  2. Make your bed. I’ll admit, this seems tedious, but as former Admiral William McRaven famously said, “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and will encourage you to do another task and yet another. And, if you happen to have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that you made and this will give you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.” The first thing I do after waking up is make my bed.

  3. Work out. This could include yoga, running, hitting the gym, or doing a class. By working out in the morning, you are joining the likes of Howard Schultz, who goes for a long bike ride shortly after waking up; Jack Dorsey, who runs six miles every morning; and Tim Cook, who is in the gym six days a week. If I’m working out of the office, my workout routine consists of four kettlebell-circuit workouts (comprised of 20 minutes of continuous movement with a 35-lb. kettlebell), and one day of yoga. On the off days, I like to stretch for approximately 10 minutes to stay loose. If I’m on the road, the tried-and-true 30 seconds of sprinting and 60 seconds of mild pace on the elliptical is my go-to, followed by body-weight exercises.

  4. Meditate. Growing up in a rural, farming community in Western Illinois, meditation is a word one hears sparingly. However, after reading that meditation changed the life of the billionaire Ray Dalio, I started incorporating meditation into my morning routine. Even if it’s 10 minutes or less, meditating gives one time to reflect on goals, priorities for the day, and gratitude. I’ve found that a 5–10 minute timed meditation session on Calm is the most effective, as this app provides background noise, as opposed to Headspace, which is completely silent for the most part (in pure silence, my monkey mind wonders). Both are great apps and highly recommended.

  5. Put pen to paper. Get a journal and write down your sales goals and any other distracting thoughts that have permeated for a few days. Wade Burgess, a former LinkedIn executive and CEO of Shiftgig, uses a “roles and goals” methodology when journaling, where he sets tangible, weekly goals for each role he fulfills (father, husband, CEO, and others). For the full breakdown of Wade’s roles-and-goals practice, skip to minute 13 of this podcast with Wade(episode 14). I’ve also authored a blog on how I structure my journal.

This list is by no means all-encompassing. However, these five points have had a strong impact on my sales career and the careers of many others. What does your morning routine look like?

Dream Kit: Courtney Dauwalter’s Moab 240 Head-To-Toe Gear

[This article was originally published on, which you can see here. ]

Running 240 miles is no easy feat. Doing it faster than anyone ever had before is otherworldly. We interviewed Courtney Dauwalter and got the scoop on the gear she used during her record-setting run.

Fifty-eight hours on foot takes a toll. Recently, I hosted Dauwalter on my podcast, TR Talk. Being a gear junkie, I had to know the nitty-gritty details of the equipment Dauwalter used to cross the Moab Desert.

Dauwalter won the Moab 240 in October with a dominant 10-plus-hour delta over the second place finisher. The course wound itself along the Colorado River in southeastern Utah.

It crossed into Canyonlands National Park and through the Abajo and La Sal mountain ranges. She completed the run in 2 days, 9 hours, and 59 minutes, ascending 29,467 feet along the way.

Moab 240 Dream Kit

In total, Dauwalter used 14 pieces of equipment during the race. Note: Salomon sponsored the Moab 240 and also sponsors Dauwalter. Thus, she largely uses gear from the brand. But her choices give some direction to ultrarunners shopping for new kit.

One segment of the Moab 240 course

  • Shoes: Salomon Sense Ride. Dauwalter said she wore one pair for the whole race.
  • Socks: Injinji Lightweight Run Crew. She loves these because they prevent blisters.
  • Hydration pack: Salomon Advanced Skin 5.  This pack provides lots of room for bottles and gear and the ability to attach her poles to the pack. Dauwalter carries 2.5 liters of water between aid stations.
  • Shirt: Salomon men’s t-shirt. Dauwalter is known for wearing a baggy running shirt, which she says is all about comfort. When running 238 miles, comfort comes first.
  • Shorts: Salomon men’s shorts. She is a big fan of the Pulse model. Similar to the t-shirt, Dauwalter’s decision to wear men’s shorts is all about comfort.
  • Windbreaker / Rain jacket: Salomon Bonatti Pro and S/Lab LIGHTare her go-to’s for wind and rain. She carried both with her during the run and would pick up both from her crew in the afternoon before a long break between aid stations.
  • Fuel: Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel. In addition to Tailwind, Dauwalter also drinks Gatorade during the race to replenish electrolytes.
  • Food: Honey Stinger energy chews and waffles. Her favorites are the pink lemonade energy chews and both the vanilla- and honey-flavored waffles.
  • Entertainment: iPod Shuffle with Michael Jackson pre-loaded.Dauwalter spent around 150 miles of the race alone, using the iPod for a mental boost when needed.
  • Mittens and stocking hat: nothing crazy here. Basic off-the-shelf gloves and hat that she could throw away if needed.
  • Emergency blanket. Fortunately, Dauwalter didn’t need to use this during the run but had it with her in case she needed to make an emergency stop in the night and stay warm.
  • Headlamp. Just as she did with the mittens and stocking hat, Dauwalter used a standard headlamp for night portions of the run.

It’s worth noting that Dauwalter would meet her crew in the afternoon so that she could load up with the mittens, hat, and layers, as evening temperatures dropped to 9 degrees F – as if the race wasn’t hard enough already!

Dauwalter’s mental toughness is incredible. After talking with Dauwalter a week ago, we are fired up and ready to train. The full podcast is available here and also on SoundCloud, iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.

Ryan Warner (@Ryan_N_Warner) is the co-host of TR Talk Podcast, which interviews leaders in their field to learn how millennials can make an impact in today’s operating environment. Former guests have included CEOs, sports psychologists, New York Times bestsellers, self-help gurus, and former / current professional athletes. If you want to support the podcast, have a listen and feel free to recommend guests in the comments below. Contact Warner online here.