Ultra Running – My Learning Curve

Even though I’ve been running marathons since 1996 I knew running an ultra would be a test of my abilities. As a novice (first time) ultra runner I came into this experience open-minded and ready to learn a new skill.  And I’m ready for the challenge.

I contacted Bart Yasso, (Running Legend, Author, and Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World Magazine, and a friend of mine) to seek advice and help setting up my training schedule.  Here is what he told me:  1) run slow, 2) it doesn’t matter what I do running wise during the week, 3) on Saturday your runs will reach 8-9 hours and Sunday your runs will be half of your Saturday run, 4) DO NOT MISS A WEEKEND RUN!

To date I’m running three to four 6 mile runs per week and my weekend runs are up to 3 hours on Saturday and 1.5 hours on Sunday.  What I hadn’t prepared for is how I’d feel on Sunday’s run. Here is where the learning process starts.

I’ve run back to back days for 14 years but usually long one day and very short the next, so my usual fuel consumption after a Saturday run was enough to get me through a short Sunday run.  Well, this is no longer the case! This past weekend I ran for 3 hours Saturday went home re-fueled and re-hydrated all day as I normally do, but on Sunday’s run 7-miles into the run I wasn’t sure I was even running on Planet Earth any longer.  The feeling of being light headed, delirious, and having an out of body experience is the best way to describe my run.

In order to survive my Sunday run, this week I’m going to research how I should eat, what foods I should consider eating, and when to eat.  As a runner and athlete I hate the feeling of “bonking” during a training session, it makes me feel weak and like a failure. So, if I can figure out the right formula I should be OK moving forward because I have a lot of people counting on me.

Failure is not an option!

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