Bob Hearn and the Science of Pacing

Bob Hearn set out at Desert Solstice to run 154.5 miles and came within a few hundred yards of doing so. That’s pretty incredible planning and precision, and it’s nothing to new to the guy known as the Prince of Pacing.

Bob Hearn
Bob Hearn (l), Pete Kostelnick (r) and Oswaldo Lopez (rear.) Pic by Howie Stern.

Bob’s unique background includes an insatiably curious mind and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science, then he takes that knowledge and performs experiments until he’s figured out that particular aspect of running. Is it pacing? Bob’s building a computer model that will work to predict outcomes of races. Is it diet? You’ll hear him talk about mixing his own powders in his kitchen for a week until he got the right combination. Is it sleep? He compares Coke to No-Doze to caffeine.  To Bob Hearn, racing ultramarathons is one giant experiment in optimization.

Bob Hearn
Bob Hearn after Burning Man 50k.

But Bob’s not just a science geek. He’s also got the record for the naked 50k at Burning Man and is heavily into yurt design and construction. We talk about how his varied interests all follow one overriding theme: Figuring out the puzzle of how something works.

Bob Hearn Episode Sponsor: Strava

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Bob Hearn
Bob after Spartathlon 2018.

Bob Hearn Episode Notes

Here’s Bob’s blog with his mort recent report on Desert Solstice. Block off some time for these. They’re worth your full attention.

Here’s the interview with Burning Man 50 RD/Founder Cherie Yanek.

New word/term I learned: Ab initio.

Here’s more on Maurten hydration/energy drink.

Intro/Outro music by David Rosales. Our interviw with David is right here.

Bob Hearn
Bob Hearn at Burning Man 2015

Gear in Review with URP Gear Editor Ben Zuehlsdorf






Bob Hearn Badwater Finish
Bob Hearn Badwater Finish


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