I know the trailwalker is probably not really an ultra race, but if anyone has done it any tips would be good?
Also for those that have done it did you stop running and just concentrate on walking or did you run the trailwalker?????
I've not done the 100k but I have been part of the support crew four times. People walk, people run, people do a combination such as walk uphill and run the rest. The last team I crewed for came third in their category and adopted that strategy.
Support crew is really important too - a few suggestions:
- get some cheap plastic crates, one for each participant. That way it's easier to find people's stuff. It can get hugely mixed up if you just chuck the lot in the back of a car. It also makes it easier to swap gear if you have more than one support team
- have several different phones within the team, that way if one network doesn't have a signal then another one might
- be prepared for all eventualities as best as you can - weather, blisters, etc.
- have a variety of food. Gels and sweet stuff may get really tedious after a while, so have savoury stuff too. Many teams take a camping stove to cook soup and so on, although the gurkhas provide hot water at some of them. Super quick teams don't do this and just hand over a "Grab bag" but unless yo're one of those I think the mood lifting effect of a good hearty meal is well worth it
- scout the checkpoints with your support ahead of race day. They may have changed since I last did it but some of them can be difficult to find, and others (from memory 1, 5 and 7) were tough to access due to sheer volume of traffic. You may decide to skip some of these because of this. 7 had hot food provided so was less of an issue (it was off a single track road so tough with cars going in both directions). 5 was ok to get to on foot but not in a car, so we made sure we knew what the team wanted and carried that to the checkpoint on foot from where we could park. All this may have changed by now as it's a few years since I did it but you'll find out if you scout it. The info booklet isn't always accurate as I recall!
I was in a team that ran it last year. We were the first civillian team back (4th overall) in 12hrs 39...
We took the strategy of run everything flat and downhill and walk the steeper uphills (it was quite hilly in parts, so prepare to do some hill training). But pacing is so important, every team that came past us early on we saw later at some point as we passed them, including quite a few Gurkha teams.
The best thing we did was do a 30+mile training run over the second half of the course, this is potentially the dark half, and the half when ur most tired.
I would skip CP1 and the last CP, as u shouldnt really need the first one early on, and the last two sections are much shorter than the middle sections, and ur almost home then.
But, XFR Bear is right, it's so important to have a good support crew to meet you at the middle CPs to refuel you and give you some morale support.
Good luck, it's an awesome event and the Gurkhas are amazingly supportive.
Thanks for the tips,
I live in gosport so have already managed to walk to CP1 and CP2, in a couple of weeks I am walking CP2-4 and back to give me the miles,
things I have to get my head around is that walking takes so much longer than running! I find the muscle groups used quite different but I dont know if that is the hills?
Did you guys use walking poles? I guess not if you ran? And how many times did you change your socks?????
we didn't use sticks as we were running, but plenty of people were.
I'm lucky i don't suffer blisters or alike, so i kept the same trainers n socks on all day, and it was pretty wet all day last year too. I s'pose it seemed more hassle than it was worth at the time. But whatever works for you. my other team members suffered blistered and black toe nails etc, i'm just lucky.
They have aid stations at the CPs, so if you do get a blister or a sore bit they will patch you up too
The biggest challenge for a walker, will be the amount of time you spend on your feet. This should absolutely be reflected in your training.
When I want to do a 25 mile training run, I sometimes have to work it in around a 5 hour shift working in a shop on my feet (say 6 miles on the way to work, and 19 on the way back). If I run 25 miles the next day, it feels like light relief by comparison.
Walking poles will make a big difference in your favour.
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