Santa Barbara’s pro runner Dani Moreno lives her life in constant motion. Not only does she run fast, and far, but her favored non-running activities are not the type that one does at home. When the mood hits, she’s apt to go spearfishing, skydiving, snowboarding, or whatever else will increase her heart rate. These activities fit into a hectic travel schedule for both working and racing around the world. She’s having to make some adjustments due to Covid-19, but she is still full of smiles! 🙂
Dani answered some of my questions a few days before running a blistering 1:09:43 up the Santa Barbara VK course.
Q. How are you coping with social distancing, working from home, and everything else going on generally?
Like many people, I am still figuring it out. Committing to talking to my family, friends, coach, and teammates has helped me tremendously, especially since it’s easy for my introverted self to get the best of me. Overall though, I am feeling more confident in my approach to staying connected and very appreciative of the tribe that loves and supports me.
Q. Like many in the running community, you’ve had goal races canceled. Have you adjusted your training and how are you staying motivated?
I have gone through multiple phases. I felt extra motivated at first, and then I hit a big lull, but now I can feel myself evening out. For these next few months, I am going to focus on consistency and staying healthy. I am also setting small “fitness” goals with my coach every 4-6 weeks. Being someone who loves racing, these will be fun days for me to test myself a little bit. The intention is not to make me as tired as a race would, but give me something to focus on in the short term. Personally, long term goals are a bit difficult to set right now, so these are perfect for the time being. 🙂
Q. You’ve put more miles than most into Santa Barbara trails, including Tunnel Trail. How do you suggest runners approach the Santa Barbara VK course?
Haha, Tunnel is a hidden Gem. Soon as you hit the trailhead, you have close to 1200ft of climbing in the a single mile. And then, when you think it’s going to get more relaxed, you have another bit of climbing after the waterfall. I would recommend focusing on efficiency for the “Suicide Mile” portion and trying to pick it up after you pass the flat connector. If you trash your legs by climbing too fast at first, you are going to regret it the last 3/4 of the course. When it comes down to it, the VK will take most people a similar amount of time as it takes to run a half-marathon. So ask yourself, would you sprint the first 30min of a half-marathon? Pace yourself. 🙂
Q. Is there anything else you would like to add?
I am so stoked that people who aren’t primarily trail runners are trying this, or have their eye on it! I know some people who would call themselves cyclists and climbers who have already run it or plan to. It’s awesome to see folks get motivated, especially during this time. Thanks for putting this on! 🙂
You can follow Dani on instagram @dan_yell_a. You can check out her website dani-moreno.com. Her sponsors are rabbit, HOKA ONE ONE, The Lab, Runner’s High Herbals, Laird Superfoods, and Whalebird Kombucha.