Ultimate Direction & Jenny Jurek Q&A

Thanks to being an ambassador with ZOOMA Women’s Race Series, I received the opportunity to ask Jenny Jurek, wife of ultra runner Scott Jurek, any interview question I wanted.  Good thing my fellow ZOOMA Ambassadors covered a lot of the great topics because it was a bit overwhelming to think of just one question.  Let’s face it, it isn’t every day that you get to pick the brain of someone like Jenny!  Thanks for this very cool opportunity ZOOMA and here is our Q&A with Jenny Jurek:

What do you use to hydrate on your long training runs?  – Kristin from A Mom on the Run

I use an Ultra Vesta with two 10oz bottles in the front and a non-hose Platypus bladder in the back with another 20oz of water.

What do you do during your “off season” to stay active and fit? – Cori from Olive to Run 

In the winter I nordic ski and I rock climb year round.

What is your typical recovery routine? – ME 😉 

Scott’s more the expert on recovery so I drink what he drinks which is 20oz of Clif Shot drink mixed with 15g of protein powder within the first 30 minutes after my workout.  I like taking a Vinyasa Flow yoga class the day after a long race or a hard workout because it keeps me from getting too sore the next day.

Do you participate in any other sports such as cycling or triathlon either as a method of cross training or to keep running fresh? – Landi from Preserving Pollyanna

 Climbing is my only other consistent sport.  I like to go for long rides and I swim, but not competitively or with any regularity.  I lift weights and do kickboxing twice a week, too.

What is your favorite pre-run fuel or meal? -Sarah from How My World Runs 

I’m not a huge eater before I run.  I usually run first thing in the morning so it’s on an empty stomach.  But if I do run later, I love eating an avocado sushi roll before I go!

As runners, we are constantly searching for ways to fit everything in. What tips do you have for balancing training and the busy schedules you and Scott have with family and life outside of running? – Jesica from rUnladylike

Communication and routines are helpful.  Every morning we wake up and discuss our schedules for the day before we head out for a run.  We are big fans of errand runs where we will stop by the bank, post office, or grocery store on the way home to save some time.  Whoever gets home first starts making breakfast and we try to function like a team.

How do you keep yourself injury free? – Megan from A Better Year To A Better Life 

When I’m training for a race, I try to follow a schedule where I have recovery runs and off days planned in.  I also do strength training and a lot of low impact cross-training like climbing and yoga. 

Do you have a favorite memory of a particular view during a run, or moment during a race, that has always stuck with you? – Cynthia from You Signed Up For WHAT?! 

I started trail running when I lived in Seattle so I have a lot of nostalgia for the Northwest.  One of my favorite races was my fist 100 miler, the Cascade Crest 100, because it was in the Cascades and my BFF Krissy paced me for the last 45 miles.  Just finishing gave me a huge amount of confidence in myself, in pursuing my dreams, and in life in general.  It was a big moment for me.

When you were conducting research to design the Jenny Collection, what was the most common complaint you heard from women about most distance running gear? (ex: chafing, bouncing, low quality, too heavy, poor fit, etc.) And how does the Jenny Collection address this issue? – Mary from Minutes per Mile http://minutespermile.com

The biggest complaint I heard was about poor fit.  An ill-fitting pack or waistbelt will bounce around and can cause chafing.  I started the designs based on women’s bodies and curves and made sure there were plenty of adjustability options on the Ultra Vesta.  

What motivates you to run? – Colleen from Live Free and Run 

Mountains and fresh air!

What is your one thing in training you can’t live without? Alex, The Run Within 

My iPod shuffle

What is your favorite go-to breakfast before long runs? – Katie from Healthy Heddleston

I’m not a huge eater before runs, but if I’m going to be out longer than two hours I like to eat a small bowl of oatmeal with a banana.

What is the biggest piece of advice that you would give to a new runner? – Lindsay from Lindsay Weighs In

I would suggest finding a running buddy.  It’s always easier to make time for a run when you have somebody counting on you.  Stop by your local running store and see if they have any group runs, those are a great way to meet other runners and get involved with the community a little more.

What is the most essential part of your training – the one thing you know you can’t give up and still succeed? -Melissa at Eat on the Run 

Track workouts.  It’s easy for me to get stuck at one pace for my training runs and I can easily get too comfortable.  I like hitting the track twice a week to work on my speed.

What is your favorite fuel to store in your ultra vest for a long run? – Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC 

It’s hard to choose just one, but anytime I have a Bearded Brothers energy bar it makes me happy. (beardedbros.com) They are all organic raw vegan and amazing!  I also really like Margarita Clif Blocks, the saltiness is a nice way to break up all the sweet gels.

What are some techniques you use to get your head back in the game if you find yourself discouraged after not-so-great performances or injury/illness? – Jennifer from Runs with Pugs 

I wish I was better at this but I still get disappointed with myself and question if I could have pushed harder or trained better or whatever.  But I try not to beat myself up and turn the disappointment into motivation for the next event. 

Plus, thanks to ZOOMA Women’s Race Series, the race ambassadors were able to test out a few items in the Jenny Collection from Ultimate Direction.  This collection is designed for women by female athletes.  After testing out the Meow Belt and the Handy 10 on my runs this weekend, I have a feeling they will become a regular part of my training!

photo 1-1

photo 2-1

If you would like to try out the Jenny Jurek Collection, ZOOMA and Ultimate Direction are offering a discount code!


So tell me, what would you ask a superstar athlete if you had the opportunity?  Has anyone else used a handheld water bottle.  I’m surprised how much I like it so far!



  1. What a fun interview. Thanks for sharing all the details with us! I have used a handheld bottle infrequently, but last week for a 20 mile training run I had to because it was outside of my neighborhood. It actually is not that hard to get used to, but I do switch the bottle from hand to hand periodically to keep my running form from getting out of whack.
    My recent post Newspaper interview

    • That is exactly what I had to do. It felt a little odd at first but I switched hands every mile and that worked out well for me. I liked it a lot better than fumbling with my bottles on my belt. I can never seem to get them back into the holster! I will probably still use both but I like how easy this is to bring along. Can't wait to see how your big race goes next week!

  2. Leslie @ TriathleteTreats says:

    Thanks for the low down on the questions! That seems like a fun way to interview someone!
    I use the handheld bottle off and on. Some days(most) I hate it but sometimes I don't mind it. I think its good for 10-15 miles and then I have to go with a belt for anything longer! I can't believe you have never used a hand held before! 🙂

    • I ran with the handheld for ten miles last weekend. I didn't hate it but I did notice it. On shorter runs, it doesn't bother me at all. I sometimes really hate my belt. At MCM, I wanted to throw it away it was bothering me so bad! Then again, everything was bothering me so maybe it wasn't the belt. I'll have to see how I feel about it after longer runs.

  3. dnardi710 says:

    Wow, this was very cool, thank you for sharing! I use a handheld water bottle for short runs in the summer, I hate being without water when it's hot out even for the shortest distance!
    My recent post State of the R-UNion

  4. Agreed, I get cranky if I can't find water when I am running so I learned the hard way that it is best to make sure that I carry it with me!

Leave a Comment


CommentLuv badge