Hi guys - new to this forum! I'm stuck in a bit of a rut and contemplating my first ultra, would be interested to hear peoples views/advice I run a lot of miles a week - typically 60/70 plus - and have done for around 2 years. Includes a long run on both Sat and Sunday mornings (2-3hours each day).
Problem is - I did my second VLM this year and it REALLY hurt! Its strange cos I can run 20miles OK-ish on a Sunday morning - but both marathons have found really tough and not enjoyed.
Since marathon I'm doing 18 mile runs on Sat and Sunday mornings as matter of course... so I feel like I should be able to do an ultra of some sort and need somethign new to aim for. The issue is how much the marathon hurt, I really did not enjoy it at all. Do people run the whole way in ultras or is their a mix of walkiung/running? Do you have to run with a backpack? Has ayoen else found the same issue around not enjoying their 1st few marathons - how did you get over it? Thanks!
Reading your story has literally made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. What an amazing and fantastic accomplishment to get back up and finish. Simply incredible and is a testiment to human spirit and inner strength. Well done him! He has no reason to do it again to prove anything - getting back up proves even more - but maybe to replace what are probably awful memories with good ones?
I was in a very similar situation to you last year - I never took even water out running with me, and was training for my first marathon (which I ended up doing in 3hr48mins so was OK)
As I run from work most days and love a long run on weekends, I tend to run high mileage - around 70 miles a week - and even now nearly all taking nothing on board during the runs.
My own findings have been:
* Weather makes a HUGE difference.. and most marathon training is done in cold weather for a race which is much hotter. I can run for 3hours in the winter without anything. Take the temperature above 15 degrees and I have to drink something after an hour and a half or I'm hallucinating about a cold drink all the way. You *will* need to drink during the marathon unless it is a very cold day. Practise drinking water on your long runs now, even if you dont' feel like it * Whenever I race, I drink water at each station - after all, why not if you're not having to carry it! Its nice and refreshing even if you don't feel like you need it * I also eat jelly babies when they are on offer - not sure two babies are really going to make a difference but I enjoy eating them and distracts my brain for a bit * Did the 21 mile Cranleigh race yesterday and tried Lucozade jelly beans... liked them a lot and may take some to VLM with me this year - I like the idea of having a few sweets as a treat every few miles?
In summary - I think you can do without gels etc, but in warm weather not drinking anything will be a killer. All our training is done in the cold - the marathon day last year was hot and it taught me a harsh lesson!
haha - the km thing still makes me laugh looking back but I'll never forget how disheartened that extra 200metres made me! Good point re tunnel of doom and the shade - you saying that does make me remember how notably cooler it was! so - you going to go again?!
thanks Mad Lad - really apprec I had run as normal the week before the 20 but did NOTHING on the day before (was flying back from NY so literally wasn't even moving!) which I definately think made a massive difference
will stick to the above for next week - sounds the rigth mix of keeping active versus not getting tired