Training and Racing
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.
Do you find your running mojo runs low sometimes? That every run feels the same and you’re pounding familiar paths again and again? It can be easy to get stuck in a rut due to certain training routes or races being convenient, even if they no longer fire up the passion you usually feel for
Bill Tharion, a Research Psychologist with the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, was explaining to me some research that he was conducting on the psychological factors that limit endurance performance. Besides just finding out what physical factors determined how well. and for how long, people would perform.
How you handle aid stations can have a significant impact on how well your race goes. If you are speeding through a 50k looking for a PR, the emphasis at the aid station should be on how quickly and efficiently you can load up on food and water and get back out on the course. Taking the food with you, for instance, can save a lot of time.
If you ask most ultra runners about their training, many will acknowledge working with a coach at one point in time. Why? Well, the obvious reason is to have someone else help prepare you for a given distance or race.
The sun is barely up as fifty-odd runners gather for the Fort Ordnance 100K in Monterey, CA. The gun fires and they patter off, mentally setting their sights on the finish line 62 miles away. For one runner this race from dawn to dusk, literally outrunning the sun, is one she’s been on her whole life.