For Travis Lavin, a running coach and trail runner, running is a huge part of who he is. “I’ve been running since the 4th grade. I started out as a basketball player, then I started running, and I ran in high school, I ran in college, and I ran post-collegiately.”
After graduating college, where he studied Exercise Science and Coaching, Travis made the shift from track and road racing to trail running. Not only did he win the first trail race he ever competed in, a half-marathon in Missouri, but he also set a new course record. “From there, I was hooked,” he says. In 2016, he moved to Colorado to help pursue his dream of running professionally, drawn by the mountains and incredible trails.
Shifting from Road to Trail
This transition from track to trail running didn’t come easily to Travis, though. “It was pretty difficult. I was trying to get used to the distances and bumping up the mileage too quickly. I already had the speed background on the track, so I was going too fast, and I was just constantly getting injured and fatigued because I wasn’t handling the load.” For his first year and a half in Colorado, Travis was struggling to achieve his goal.
Finally, things started to click into place. “What made the difference was being more patient with it. I took the time to build the mileage that I needed without thinking so much about a highly structured training plan. I wasn’t doing three interval sessions a week like I used to do in college.”
Part of that shift came from realizing that the ultra scene needed a completely different approach to avoid burning out completely. “I showed up to my first ultra and most people were there cold-legged, ready to start, but I’d already done a two or three-mile warmup and drills. Everyone was looking at me like “What the hell is this guy doing?’ I learned pretty quickly you don’t need to be doing that kind of stuff.”
The Road to Recovery
However, just as Travis was starting to see real success in his training and races, he hit a series of health issues. “I was still trying to race because that’s what I love to do, but I couldn’t make it work. I would start a race and get really dizzy and then have to start walking or completely drop out.” Although Travis and his doctors never got to the bottom of what was causing these health issues, he overhauled his diet completely, cutting out gluten, soy, and many other things.
Now, he’s well on the road to recovery and back on form, at least if his recent race results are anything to go by. In February he won the Pemberton Trail 50km outright, coming in four minutes ahead of the next racer and hitting the record for the second-fastest 50km in the country.
Travis Lavin was introduced to the PurePower System through fellow ultra athletes, and he’s seeing great results. “I’m more focused, more dialed in, and the energy is there. I’m recovering quickly, and I’m able to get back to that steady grind again, getting in 80 or 90-mile weeks. Pemberton was the first race I’ve done while actually seeing how PurePower can help me, and I really saw the difference.”
2021 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Travis Lavin, with the USA 50km Road Championships in June, USA 100 Mile Championships in December, and, in July, the USA Champs. “The top four athletes for that event qualify for the US team, and that would be a first for me, so that’s a big goal.” The Pikes Peak Marathon in August is another big goal for Travis, as this was one of the races that brought him to Colorado in the first place, though he’s never had an opportunity to compete before. Whatever 2021 brings, here at PurePower we’re excited to hear that Travis is back to doing what he does best and proud to support him on his journey.