Training and Racing
As hard charging, fiercely driven, superhero ultrarunners, we love to pile up the miles, train until we drop and skimp on rest days. But one of the great ironies about long-distance running is that the resting done between runs can be just as important as the runs themselves. Becoming a stronger runner involves breaking down
As we get into the middle of summer, many races involve running in severely hot weather. The most experienced runners use several tricks to deal with this, which are most evident at two Californian races renowned for their searing heat—Western States 100 and Badwater 135.
Ultramarathon races take hours, days. What’s a few lost seconds, right? Wrong. Seconds really do matter. Let me share with you a little story that illustrates this point. The race wasn’t a traditional ultramarathon, but a multiday adventure race involving a variety of disciplines, which included running, mountain biking, paddling and rock climbing.
My non-running friends often ask me what it feels like to run a 100-miler. They find it difficult to imagine. I find it difficult to describe. Oxymoronic phrases like “Everything hurts, but I love it!” create more confusion than they clear up. I’ve been struggling to find a better way to get the message across. I think I finally found one.
Because this race is out-and-back and because the return has a net elevation loss I expected most runners would run close to even splits but a comparison of the halfway and the finish times showed this to be false.
Running consistently, logging at least a moderate number of miles, and including high-intensity sessions each week—all part of a balanced running schedule—are difficult enough to incorporate into one’s daily life when it is filled with just the basics: work, family, friends, and one’s countless other obligations. The task of maintaining a fruitful training regime becomes