07 February 2021

Tips to finish that long run...

What do you do when there is a sudden plan change? Doesn't matter if its a 5 kay or 100 miler... or life!

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Last year I had The Tusker in my planning. In the training phase I had another big event! Well, like it happened to all of you: Hello, Covid-19 lock down... I now have it for this year.

In 2019 I had AMUK in mind (4 x 100 mile runs in the calendar year... craziness, but fun). The first one, Addo went brilliantly. A month later at Ultra Trail Drakensburg I fell at 100km and hurt my knee... from then on I was unable to run! Another month and at Mac Mac Ultra I kicked a rock (not on purpose... I promise) hurting my toe (the same one I broke in 2020) and stabbing my other foot with my trekking pole.

What gets me through these kind of things?

1 - know that its going to hurt at some point. That's okay. And have your earworms preplanned ;) Nobody needs a bad earworm to hurt their head!

2 - know what kind of hurt is "okay" and what kind of hurt you should have an expert evaluate. 

3 - if you're hurting, have a strategy pre-planned on how to address it. For me, this included trusting my kit like my Balega socks and Squirrels Nut Butter... If you're prone to a certain "ache", know how to stretch it out or prevent it. 

4 - hydration and energizing is very important. This is the reason I didn't finish AMUK... see below*. Also, know the symptoms of dehydration and over hydration: seek help if you are experiencing either! Hot and/or windy weather is lethal. Respect it by giving your body everything it needs to beat the weather.

5 - have two parts of your brain open... stay in the moment (you don't want to go off course) and keep your purpose in mind (this helps get through the tough parts).

6 - break up the tough parts into manageable portions: "Can I do 1 more mile / get to the top of that hill?" 

7 - run YOUR race... others will be faster and slower than you on the same sections. You will see them later. Go at your pace now.

Change in these last 12 months has been a constant. It will continue to be probably for another 12 months... Keep your eye on the prize, and know that you only see a little of the path. 

For me... that means a big training run on the 13th Feb as I train for sweeping at Africa's Wildest Ultra. It also means this the following weekend (comment or find me on socials to RSVP):

*I dropped from Karkloof 100 (the last of the AMUK 100 milers) because I dehydrated badly. I sought medical attention and they recommended a trip to the emergency room. I was fortunate... it shouldn't lead to any long term damage. I knew the signs, had promised myself (and my family) that I wouldn't put myself in unduly dangerous situations, and would seek assistance should it be necessary. You can read the full story here.

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