Ailsa MacDonald | Midrace Mindset

Ailsa MacDonald showed up at the Black Canyon 100k–a Western States Endurance Run Golden Ticket Race–and walked away with second overall. Now she’s got to squeeze “The Big Dance” into her already tight racing schedule of marathons, ultras, and Ironman distance triathlons.

So who is Ailsa? She’s got an interesting story of how she grew up to appreciate endurance sports and nature, and and how she’s effectively been training for trail ultramarathons since she was a girl. Ailsa is 

Ailsa MacDonald
Ailsa MacDonald and a red ale.

In this interview, we talk about:

  • Reassessing yourself in the middle of the race, adapting, and pushing through discomoft. Ailsa has the keen ability to do that and it’s proving to be effective.
  • Her unique work schedule and location. Long hours, hard work, no hills for training.
  • Adapting to your situation: Getting in hill shape when you live on a flat, petroleum extraction site in the middle of the Canadian Oil Sands.
  • What she learned at the first 100 miler (that she, ahem, won outright!) and what lessons she’s got for runners training for that distance.
  • The importance of pacing and diet.
  • Training and racing for triathlons while also training for ultras.
  • Her love of dark beer.

Ailsa MacDonald


Ailsa MacDonald Episode Notes

Here’s an article about her Sinister 7 win.

Outro Music: AJ LeGrand site and tour info right here.

Ailsa MacDonald Instagram.

Here’s a link to the Patreon page for the upcoming “Ask the PT Chirpractor” episode.

Ailsa’s Sponsor: The Fast Trax Run and Ski Shop in Edmonton.

ailsa macdonald

Ailsa MacDonald Episode Sponsor: Transelkirks

The Transelkirks Run traverses five peaks at the Revelstoke resort in British Columbia and transelkirks ultramarathoncontains as much vert as UTMB or Hardrock 100. Giddyup! Choose between three or five days, and 100k or 100 mile races. Stay in luxury accommodations with meals, a pool, and swim up bar, and spend your trails racing the only permitted ultra in a Canadian National Park! Important: Use TSRURP at checkout for $100 off race entry!


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