This 50 mile race fuses together Malham Cove, Ings Scar, Malham Tarn, the Pennine Way and the wonderful Yorkshire Three Peaks; Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.
Training correctly for such an event is of vital importance, Jack shares his tips on how to appropriately train for a long endurance challenge:
This includes getting familiar with the route and the terrain. Study the route map and if possible try to run the course prior to race-day. This will allow you to plan in advance for the particularly challenging elements of the course, and make it easier to focus.
This week’s practice covered a lot of the possible eventualities for race day – hot weather, strong winds, steep inclines (and declines) and breathtaking scenery!
If the race requires the use of equipment it is best to familiarise yourself with it prior to the event. For example, if you’re going to need a backpack, rain jacket, sun hat or even a head-torch come race-day, then ensure you’ve practised running with them beforehand. Equally, think about your clothing & shoes, ensure your shoes are not brand new, but not worn out either and that you’re comfortable in your clothes.
The ultra marathon requires the use of a ultra vest for fluids and nutrition, practise wearing it during training so you are used to it on the day.
Practise eating and drinking the same foods and liquids you will be consuming in the race during your training. If you want to try out any new supplements ensure you do so before the race so you can see if they work for you or not, do not try things out for the first time on the big day.
Take in energy/carbs in the form of gels, and electrolytes to add to fluids on race day. This helps replenish electrolytes lost through prolonged sweating and reduces the risk of hyponatremia (low sodium level in the blood), which can be very dangerous in long distance running.
Focus on maintaining a manageable pace – there is a real risk of not being able to finish at all if you go too hard to begin with in an endurance event. Tied into pace is finding a rhythm which works for you, practice a few different walk/run patterns and use the optimum one on race day.
Training races could be official events organised by the race host, or just group runs undertaken by endurance runners, either way look up whether there are any you can join, as they challenge you to perform at a threshold pace prior to the real thing, you can then adjust your plan accordingly and such preparation is great for developing your efficiency and endurance.
Lastly endurance running is as much about the mind as it is about the body and so managing stress is vital. The tips above can help immeasurably with this as knowing as much as you can about the race in advance helps you focus and reduces anxiety of being taken by surprise on the day.
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