Sunday, February 27, 2011

I Am an Ultrarunner! Almost. Maybe. Part 2


When planning to run any distance pacing is key.  Go too fast at any point and finishing is not guaranteed.

So pacing will be one of my too focuses over the next seven weeks.  Putting in the mileage is another focus, but pacing is at the forefront at the moment.

My problem is that I tend to redline too often.  I like running fast and figure that the faster I go the sooner I can finish.  That is not sound thinking for a ultra.  Especially for my first attempt beyond 26.2 miles.  Especially when that first attempt is in a 100 mile event.

A dailymiler offered some advice I have heard but never tried.  Many people get through long distance running with a run/walk method.  Run so many minutes then walk so many minutes.  The idea is to run more than walk but to let the walk recharge or save "the batteries" for later in the race.  I hate walking.  Walking leaves me feeling defeated.  Whenever I start to walk in training or in a race the negative self-talk begins and running gets harder.  Walking gets easier.  I feel defeated.

So today I decided to follow the advice.  This fellow is an accomplished ultra runner so I figured he knows what he is doing and is trying to help.

Consider my running mind "blown".  On Saturday and Sunday I happened to run exactly the same distance - 16.01 miles.  Saturday's run took 2:07:15.  Sunday's run took 2:07:11.  The difference is that on Sunday's run I intentionally walked for two minutes at miles 11, 13 & 15.  I walked a total of six minutes and still finished faster than when I ran the entire distance the day before.  That is incredible.

So I have to put in the miles.  I have to practice my pace strategy.  I need to re-wire my brain into accepting that well-timed walks will get me to the finish line.

But don't expect me to happy should I walk in a marathon.  That still sucks.

- Logan


  1. I agree with you re:marathon. I felt extra-pride having not stopped at all during my last marathon. Ultras, on the other hand, I fully expect to be walking, a lot.

  2. re: marathon. But isn't it all about getting to the finish faster, even if you took a short walk break? The heck with pride! ;)

  3. That's actually a great training idea! Might have to give this one a try at some point :).

  4. I'm in the same boat with the walking = negative thoughts. It's hard to get my mind out of that rut but I like the idea of practicing it. Don't know why I never tried it before but I tend to "save" walking for when I'm tired. Maybe I should plan it more like my hydration and fuel and see if I can dial in to the right combination.

  5. Great lesson learned Logan. I dealt with the same questioning when I started training for my first 50k. I've learned that an occasional walk break during the long run will do more good than bad.