Training and Racing
Aid stations are a critical component of ultras. They serve as not only the lifeline for many runners, but are also a telling reflection of a caring community. They are composed of volunteers giving hours and most importantly driving energy to runners intent on achieving what to many may seem ludicrous.
It’s universally understood that there’s nothing easy about running and racing ultra distances. The mastery the headspace is more important to cultivate than the training miles that we put in in pursuit of ultra glory. If we come up short, we sometimes think that had we trained more, or harder, then maybe our outcome might have been better, when what really mattered was our mental and psychological approach to the task.
Sure, runners can get snarky in the heat of the moment—at race officials or at their own crew and pacers when things don’t go their way. But this has more to do with the stress of the event, and having their needs (however illogical or self-entitled they may be) properly met.
Time… wouldn’t we all love to have more of it? This can be particularly true when we have a full-time job, family and social commitments and we decide to sign up for an ultra. We can start questioning whether signing up was such a smart idea after all, as it can seem nearly impossible to
One of the simplest improvements a runner can make to his or her training is to approach every run with a simple question: “What am I trying to achieve today?” It sounds obvious, but it’s all too easy to get caught up aiming for weekly mileage targets for no better reason than because they sound impressive.
Efficiency is a very good way of gauging a runner’s aerobic fitness. The problem is that measuring efficiency in a lab is not only inconvenient, it’s also expensive. Fortunately, there’s another way of measuring efficiency that doesn’t require a lab and can be done with common, everyday training technology.