Saturday, February 03, 2007

1st Attempt at 50 miles

I try my best to share any information I may have that could possibly help people run longer distances. I feel no one should have to suffer through the unknown. Those that make their first attempts sometimes need just a little boost to get over the hump. I have no special secrets to reveal but rather through my words I hope to reveal just how easy running can be if you just do it through your heart. Recently a very good long distance runner from my area requested some advice about how to make her first attempt at 50 miles. Two veteran ultramarathoners also from my area shared some great ideas with her and I supplemented them with what I wrote below. I'm not one to keep my ideas to myself or within a certain group so it was only appropriate for me to share with those that read my blog as well.

While there are many things that factor into a successful 50 mile run the number one recommendation I make to everyone is be confident in your ability. Believe in yourself!!! Surround yourself with confident individuals and block out negative comments from those that may not be. If it's in your heart to do so you will persevere through adversity and cross that finish line under any circumstances.

I'll give you some advice but I suggest that you read, comprehend and use what you think will work for you. Anyone who has completed a 50K or marathon most certainly has what it takes to complete a 50 miler. It's not about ability but rather desire and how much of it that you have. A marathoner obviously has his or her own training methods that have worked. If they worked for the marathon distance there is no reason why it won't work for something twice as long. My suggestion is to try to do one long run per week equal to or more than 20 miles. It would be beneficial to run a 50 K as one of those long runs but not necessary. There is no need to increase your weekly mileage beyond that of the long run. Obviously the more you run the better you will be trained and could potentially run faster but at the same time you need to be cautious. Train your body for what lies ahead but don't break it down into bits and pieces. Running trails would be excellent training for those who are not use to rocks, roots and mud. Again it's not absolutely critical to do so. If you can't or don't have access don't fret because you will be okay.

Do not forget to train your mind as much as your body. Research the course and visualize yourself running on parts with a smile on your face. Visualize yourself crossing the finish line and allow the feeling of satisfaction to consume you. I can assure you this method will be a tremendous help and it will also allow you to gain confidence which in turn will release the burden of worry. Find a goal other than finishing the race that will motivate you. Run for a friend that can't , run for a family member who has had an impact on your life or just plain old run for what's in your heart. Running is not always about crossing the finish line as what we do sometimes influences others to change in a positive way or look at life in a more positive way. To some, running may seem like a sport that has no effect on anyone other than the participant but take a look around as you run and you will realize just how wrong that is. Run with your heart, run for someone else, receive the benefit while at the same time having an impact on someone around you. The energy you generate from that alone should be enough to get you to the finish.

At the start of the run never look past the first mile. Intimidation is something you can not allow and looking at the entire distance can break you down little by little. Just run with the knowledge that you will be spending the entire afternoon in the woods with friends. Make it about time rather than miles. Have fun with it!! Pretend and fantasize that you're at a party or a football game tailgating or somewhere else where time is consumed easily while you're having fun. Never worry about what lays ahead!!!

In the later miles it will become more about the mind then the body. Maintain a positive outlook and never allow thoughts of failure to enter your mind. There is plenty of time so the only pressure you will have is the pressure you place upon yourself. Your mind will try many times to trick you into believing you can't continue. You can overcome that by running, walking or crawling forward at any pace. Ultramarathons are by definition a series of ups and downs that if dealt with properly ultimately end in a feeling of euphoria.

Take care of yourself while running. Carry water, eat at the aid stations and wear the proper clothing. Be prepared to take care of yourself and never rely on aid or any other help that may be advertised or offered.

Don't worry, don't be intimidated, be confident in yourself and have fun!!!!

Dave Bursler


Post a Comment

<< Home