Ultrarunner Camille Herron first caught our attention with her reputation for running with her hair down, drinking beer and eating tacos during ultramarathons. While we don’t necessarily recommend her personal strategies for amateur runners, we have to say we admire her fun and personable approach to the sport she dominates.
We were introduced to Camille by the team at performance shoe brand, HOKA. This story isn’t sponsored — we were truly intrigued by the brand’s weird-looking shoes and word of month from their die-hard fans. Enjoy this brief interview with the ultrarunner below and get out on the track or trail this weekend…
Name: Camille Herron
What I do: Professional ultrarunner, coach and ambassador
When I became passionate about running: I went out for track in the 7th grade after basketball season. However, it was when I went out for the cross country team in the 8th grade that I fell in love with running! I loved running on the natural terrain.
The best part: Being able to explore the world with my two legs, being outside, seeing wildlife, the community, and pushing the human limits.
The toughest part: Injuries
Proudest athletic moment lately: Winning the Comrades Marathon. I won 10 weeks after tearing the MCL in my knee. It seemed impossible, but I worked very hard to heal my knee and comeback.
On gender: I’ve learned to not let my gender be a barrier to what I can do. When I first got into ultras, I was focusing on my own effort and found myself up with the top men. It was really odd to me, but I trusted what I felt inside! The sport has changed. People once doubted whether women like myself belonged up with the men, but now they encourage and even expect us to be up there! Good press and attention for the top women has helped to grow and elevate the sport. More women than ever are going longer, faster, and climbing mountains!
Always wearing on the track: HOKA ONE ONE shoes and a Coros watch!
Why HOKA? We’ve heard it’s an obsession for so many… My first run in a pair of HOKA’s felt like Cinderella finding her glass slipper! I totally get why so many people love their shoes. HOKA has mastered light, cushy, and responsive shoes. Their trail shoes are grippy too. They feel great and have rejuvenated my body. I look forward to every run in them!
It felt like serendipity to join with HOKA! Their support of athletes, the ultra/trail community, creating opportunities like the recent Project Carbon X2 100K, and, of course, the shoes, are what sold me on joining them.
Why the carbon in the shoe? I think the carbon-plated shoes feel the best going at a steady to fast pace. I like the Carbon X2s for steady, long runs/workouts and the Rocket Xs for intervals and racing.
Is it true you’re famous for drinking beer while running? Do tell! Haha, yesss! It actually happened by accident. I was feeling nauseated one time in a hot trail race. Nothing was working to make me feel better. We’d gotten a 6 pack of Rogue Dead Guy Ale for after the race. My husband offered me a beer, and boom — I popped out of the chair and got back running! I broke the course record by 27 minutes! It’s my magic elixir now in ultras.
Best tip for nutrition before and after training? When I was in grad school, they told me to eat multiple times a day to help meet my energy needs. Getting enough calories is important to maintaining hormonal balance and health too. I eat 5-7 times a day and always eat before and after runs (I run twice a day most days).
Sometimes I have two breakfasts if I’m slow to get out the door in the morning! I eat light before runs (energy bar, banana, and coffee with sugar and coconut milk). I eat a mix of carbs and protein right after– a bowl of porridge and/or a fruit smoothie and lunch soon after (usually leftovers or bacon, eggs and potatoes). As an ultrarunner, it’s important to train the gut to eat and run.
When I’m not running I’m…Hanging out with our two German Shepherds, sleeping, eating, staying busy with coaching, social media, listening to music, enjoying great beers and whiskey, and playing the piano. We used to homebrew and need to get back into it!
Best tip for new runners:Believe in yourself and surround yourself with people who believe in you too!
Best tip for seasoned runners, who probably know you and will be drooling over your answers? Haha! Run your easy days easy and hard days hard. Another thing is asking yourself daily, “How do I feel today?” That helps dictate doing what’s right for you on the day.