Marcel is a Foundation Run member training for his first ultramarathon. He’s sharing his thoughts and tackling it one run at a time.
With 102km in our sights, Debbie and I occasionally hear people muttering that ultra- distance running is bad for our bodies, that it’s wear and tear beyond reasonable limits.
My initial response to that sentiment is: sure dude, whatever makes you feel better about sitting on the couch all day.
But actually, I get it. From the outside, you might assume that all we’ve done for the past six months has been to run foolish and irresponsible distances. You could be forgiven for fearing that our knees are aging prematurely and our hearts are stuttering to the edge of failure under the cumulative weight of all the beatings we’ve wreaked upon our poor, suffering frames.
If that’s your understanding of ultra marathon training, then it’s a valid concern. But that’s not how it is at all.
Most of our training has been built around short runs, from 45min to 1.30hrs. Each weekend we’ve done a trail run that started out around 90 minutes and only gradually increased to around 3-4 hours. We peaked a couple of weeks ago with one solid five hour run followed by a 2-3 hour run the next day.
Generally speaking, our programme covers seven different activities. They vary from week to week.
The sum total of all this exercise is carefully managed by Foundation Run so our bodies don’t get overloaded. The idea is to build up speed, strength and endurance, rather than just wearing ourselves out.
In fact, the hardest thing about all the running is not the running at all; it’s organising all the running. We’re a busy family so it takes some scheduling gymnastics to fit everything in.
Just getting to the start of the run is the most difficult part. Once you’re actually running, life is simple because all you have to do is run. What a relief.
Suffice to say, we couldn’t have done any of those long trails without our friends and parents who stepped in to look after the kids. So, this one goes out to our various support crews, and to our three boys who have been patient with their mum and dad’s all-consuming adventure. (They’re well sick of the running table talk.)
Solo running turns out to be a team sport. Massive gratitude to you all.
More about distance: Why that question about kilometres might be wrong
More about strength: Train like the Hulk so you can run like the Flash.
December 23, 2020
September 18, 2019
March 27, 2019
March 22, 2019