We are on the cusp of summer and some of the hottest ultra races are coming up fast. I am going to review heat preparation and management strategies in this article, but the bottom line is you should try many things to determine what works best for you. You also need to know the red flag symptoms to avoid some disastrous consequences.
When you do what we do, it sounds so easy. “I just need to cover a little more than three miles an hour.” Three miles an hour and just a little more, how hard can that be? It sounds so simplistic, so easy. Until you’re the one who has to accomplish it in the midst of a 100-mile event, then it becomes that monumental task.
A novel new addition to race week at this year’s Western States Endurance Run was the first-ever Medicine & Science in Ultra-Endurance Sports Conference. Medical research is one of the three pillars of the Western States Foundation Mission, and the formulation of a research conference in conjunction with the race has been in the works for several years.
If we avoid injury for many years, at some point, time and age catch up to us, and a decade later, something gives out. For me, this was my left ankle, and the real culprit was excessive abuse in my teens and 20s at other sports. But ultimately after a few DNFs and pain with every step I opted for surgery on April 23, 2013, a day I’ll never forget.
Located at the highest point in Dallas, Prayer Mountain, the Big Cedar Wilderness offers runners a 100% single track running experience. 100 milers will run four 25 mile loops, 50 milers run two loops, and 50k runners run one 25 mile loop and a shorter 6 mile loop.
I have many clients who are runners and they come to me with similar stories: my lower back hurts, I tire easily, I’ve hit a wall in my training, my endurance isn’t what it used to be. Whatever the reason, I can’t wait to get them on the Pilates program to discover what their bodies are truly capable of when pounding the pavement and beyond.
One thing I’m frequently asked about is how I incorporate weight vests into training, since it’s a tool I use for myself and for those I coach. It was especially key to my attempt at the 2013 Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, where I ran 100-milers close together and had to get the most out of training while focusing on recovery.
For the uninitiated, for those who marvel at the idea that 50 or 100 miles of continuous running is possible, the phrase “I could never do that” is often an instant, almost involuntary reaction. “I could never do that” precedes a second common reaction, “I can barely run a 5k.” Despite how frequently I hear this reaction, it still gives me pause and makes me wonder: Why, after all, are people so fixated on finishing an ultramarathon, when the road to the starting line is where most of the journey takes place?
If you’ve ever been to my house for dinner, you will soon come to understand that I am a nutritionist…
Ultrarunning is an endurance sport and as such it requires you to push yourself up to your limits. As you approach these limits and work to overcome them, you will find yourself facing similar physical and mental challenges over and over. Ultrarunning is testing you to see if you are learning from your mistakes, if you are equipping yourself to better deal with these challenges.