As you all know, since I keep bragging, I recently ran a 50K. The thing is, I shoudn't have. I didn't put in the necessary training for it. I probably didn't put in half of what was necessary. I still finished, but it was much harder than it had to be and less enjoyable than it could have been. There are countless articles, blogs, books, etc that will give you tips on training for an ultra. Heck, I might break out my own list of tips someday. Until then, I thought I would share a list of things you shouldn't do.
1. Don't skip half of your runs. I don't care what the excuses are, and I had plenty. You have to put in the miles.
2. When your alarm goes off, don't just go back to sleep. Ok, once is fine. Day after day after day is probably not fine.
3. Don't use every excuse that you can dream up to not do a long run. This will bite you in the butt. And really, there are good excuses. Most of the ones I used were not!
4. Don't refuse to run in any weather above 75 degrees. This is especially important if you are training through the summer when it is excessively hot. You are severely limited on running days if you do this. So if you wake up, check the weather and see something over 75, don't go back to sleep! It's really not that bad. Ok, it is. The heat sucks. But there is a chance it will be hot on race day. You should probably prepare for that. For the record, I didn't actually plan to not run when it was over 75. It's not like I thought "if it's that hot I'm not running!" or anything. That just seems to be about the temperature that forced me back into bed time after time.
5. Don't jump from a 10 mile long run to a 15 mile long run a month later. There is a good chance that in that month of barely running you've lost some fitness and endurance. A really good chance. Furthermore, don't jump straight to 20 miles after that. It will hurt. A lot! And then when you do a 31 mile race after a long run of only 20 miles that's gonna hurt. Way more than you could have ever imagined!
6. If your race is in September, you should probably run more that 56 miles in July and 56 miles in August. BTW, how did I run the exact same amount of miles two months in a row? Wait, I know! Same excuses for not running!
I'm sure I did other really bad things while not training. I'm pretty sure I've shamed myself enough for one day though. Take my advice! Running an ultra is probably a lot more fun if you are trained for it. I hope I can do better next time. And speaking of next time, I have already signed up for FlatRock for next year. Yep, I'm crazy. However, I have something even crazier in mind. Maybe. I haven't deciced. Stay tuned!