Training and Racing
Why, exactly, do we as ultramarathoners need to drink so much fluid? What is so magical about being hydrated? If you think about it, the result of the human body running and running and running boils down to one thing – heat production.
In 2008, 2009, & 2010, I ran the Nashville, TN Ultra-Marathon (www.nashvilleultra.com) which is held in the fall (mid Oct/early Nov). The event offers distances from 50K thru 50 miles, but I did the 50 mile option each time. The course is 75% paved and 25% trails and alternates between paved greenways, grass trails, and several miles of asphalt through downtown Nashville.
Strava, the website and mobile app that first got its start in the cycling world, has slowly infiltrated the trail and ultra communities as runners become more comfortable merging technology with the meditative and natural delights of running.
We are on the cusp of summer and some of the hottest ultra races are coming up fast. Last year both the San Diego 100 and Western States 100 saw brutally high heat, which led to a record low 47% finishing rate. 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.
Oh, if only running and racing to one’s potential was just about running, wouldn’t that be wonderful? It would make life so much simpler and I truly believe that many more “weekendwarriors” would be up on the podium at competitive ultras. But the more I run, the more I realize that it’s the “extra stuff” that all goes towards truly fulfilling one’s potential as a runner, which is hard, as all I really want to do is run, and all I often feel I have time for is to run.
One great thing about our sport of ultrarunning is the variety of places and conditions that we have to choose from when we sign up for a race. Running 50 or 100 miles is awesome in and of itself, but when you combine the distance with all the fabulous locations, the vagaries of weather, the