Some of the Mountain cup races, like 7 Sisters, are so gnarly technical that even when OCR events send you straight up the side of a mountain I’m ready. Now when you’ve got to lug a sandbags half a mile on top of that mountain...that’s a different challenge.
How do you train for a type of running that isn’t always running? Where does the mental fortitude come from to prepare to handle bushwacking for hours, wet feet, and tantalizing storm clouds while there’s still 15 more hours to go?
What does Pam Smith consider essential for a 100 miler?
I think the biggest factor to success in anything I have done in the past has been to set clear and concise goals for what I wanted to do. To merely have a training program or plan is simply not enough. You need to know where you want that training program to take you. This year I have done things a little differently in my goal setting and season preparation.
Try not to stress about who you are competing against. I’ll admit it, before any race, important or not, I always look at who is racing. Sometimes this fires me up and sometimes it flat out just makes me nervous and adds to the pressure I feel before an event. Imagine that you are going out to run with friends and how they will push you to run better instead of worrying that they are better or faster than you.
So many people run too far, too fast, too quick. This can lead to limited result, frustration and injury. While I don't think there is a "magic" number to this, consider the following when trying to build endurance and fitness:
Everyone has a different training philosophy which is actually as it should be. We are all different in a variety of ways whether it be running style, durability, occupation, lifestyle, or personality. You listen to what someone else does, then use what fits for you and trash the rest. So take what you can from these training ideas, and forget the rest, especially if it helps you at your next race.
With the recent growth in popularity of ultra marathons, there is great information available about all aspects of our sport. As a running coach I have noticed a few areas that people tend to benefit most from having objective guidance. Here are some things that you might want to incorporate in your own training.
If you can imagine it, you can do it -- all obstacles can be conquered in time...
Tandem bicycles are known as “divorcycles” and tandem kayaks are known as “relationship accelerators”, but neither one of them come close to the experiences you will have while racing with your better half.
Confession: Though I've finished over 90 trail ultras in the past seven years, I continue to forget learned lessons, and find myself repeating the same mistakes. Must have something to do with being middle-aged. Some of these perhaps don't apply to everyone. If nothing else, I figure I might finally master some of these tips if I see it in a slick, multicolor brochure!
One of the major problems that confounds ultrarunners at all distances is the stomach. In my experience stomach problems are capricious and highly unpredictable. One race can go by with no problems at all while the next race things start going down early and the damage is done