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Essential elements to running 100 miles


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Author Topic:   Essential elements to running 100 miles
ltrun
Cool Runner
posted Feb-01-2006 11:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ltrun   Click Here to Email ltrun     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ultra vets, what are they?

I ask, since this year I'm going for the Laurel Ultra. While there's no guarantee I'll like the distance, I'm of the mind to try a 100 someday. Couldn't hurt to ask some questions.

Just wondering what y'all think? Thanks, LT

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runhikelots
Cool Runner
posted Feb-02-2006 06:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for runhikelots   Click Here to Email runhikelots     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Walk the hills!

------------------
Wes
Run 'til U Drop & I have

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TommyT
Cool Runner
posted Feb-02-2006 07:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TommyT     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lloyd, knowing you the way I do, I'm gonna go out on a limb and predict your Laurel Highlands time at right around fifteen hours, probably a little faster. If you break 14:30, you are far more stud than I give you credit for. Of course, the environment of the day may make you stay out there longer, or less, you just never know.

So... only another 30 miles, right?

In your first 100, expect that 30 miles to take another six to ten hours, depending on all the usual "depends-on" statements. It ain't like you're just doing another little ol' 50K. You'll need to somehow mentally get your brain around the notion of really being on the trail all day, puttin' one foot in front of the other.

Nutrition, hydration, foot care, and chafing. All way more important/crucial at the distances over 50 miles.

Carry toilet paper.

Tom

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CinCityRunner
Cool Runner
posted Feb-02-2006 08:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for CinCityRunner   Click Here to Email CinCityRunner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some things I feel are important..

Know your pace and run it.

Run your own race, staying below your personal redline.

Keep your stomach in good shape, so that you can DRINK, and eat.

Use some sort of salt or electrolyte pills.

Don't quit or second-guess your ability. There will be times when you question what the heck you are doing out there.

Make sure you have tested and proven your shoes, socks, clothes and other gear.

Caffeine is your friend at night.

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crunningman
Cool Runner
posted Feb-02-2006 09:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for crunningman   Click Here to Email crunningman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Glad fyou asked this question Lloyd!

Just the answers I'm looking for as well.
Craig

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mudrunner
Cool Runner
posted Feb-02-2006 12:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mudrunner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Walk before you need to walk.
Eat before you need to eat.
Drink before you need to drink.

Bring a positive attitude & a flexible gameplan.

Pamper your feet.

Beware mile 66...seems to feel like the worst place in the race.

Take it easy for the first 99 miles, then give it all ya got.

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RunFishRun
Member
posted Feb-02-2006 12:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RunFishRun   Click Here to Email RunFishRun     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Determination.

Pace, don't get caught up with a pack of runners going out too fast early in the race.

Don't let the overall distance overwhelm you, just take each section (aid station to aid station) as an individual race.

Stay on top of nutrition, hydration, & electrolytes as stated above. (still working on these myself)

Be ready to deal with problems. Don't get discouraged when things go wrong because in a 100 miles things will go wrong.

Always remember, no matter how you feel at that moment in the race, good or bad, it will change soon. This is especially true latter in the race. Enjoy the good and look forward to feeling better when you feel bad. Think roller coaster!

Keep a thought of what it will be like to cross that finish line!

Did I mention determination!

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crunningman
Cool Runner
posted Feb-02-2006 01:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for crunningman   Click Here to Email crunningman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mudrunner:
Take it easy for the first 99 miles, then give it all ya got.

That is sooooooo funny! Run that last mile at sub7:00 pace

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mudrunner
Cool Runner
posted Feb-02-2006 02:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mudrunner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by crunningman:
That is sooooooo funny! Run that last mile at sub7:00 pace


Hey, ya gotta save something for the end!
Not too far from the truth either...Mike & were were doing 7:30's for the last 5 miles of Cascade Crest. Something about wanting to finish under a certain time.
Runners r dum that way.

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mudtoad
Cool Runner
posted Feb-02-2006 04:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mudtoad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Pamper your feet."

Please expound on this concept. Does it mean put duct tape on your feet before you need to put duct tape on your feet?

------------------
Clint
its all good!

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ltrun
Cool Runner
posted Feb-02-2006 05:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ltrun   Click Here to Email ltrun     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great responses, everyone. The answers so far seem to speak to executing race day.

What about the macro training phases involved? What to do in the 6 or 12 months prior to the 100 miler?

More to follow...

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bockhaus
Cool Runner
posted Feb-03-2006 07:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bockhaus   Click Here to Email bockhaus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great advice. One more thing though. If you have a crew or pacer (very helpful for a first 100), listen to them unquestionably later in the race. They will still be relatively fresh, and you'll just be getting dumber. I know it saved my butt.

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mudrunner
Cool Runner
posted Feb-03-2006 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mudrunner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mudtoad:
"Pamper your feet."

Please expound on this concept. Does it mean put duct tape on your feet before you need to put duct tape on your feet?


Lemme see... to me, it means:

-having spare socks in every drop bag (you don't have to change 'em everytime, but it's nice to do once in awhile)
-changing shoes at least once during a race (even an identical pair will feel cushy)
-spraying my feet with Body Shop peppermint mist when I change socks (I've never actually done this in a race, but I have after the finish...it feels nice & cool!)
-fix hot spots before they become painful blisters
-tighten your shoes when going for a big downhill (your toenails will thank you)
- have a bucket of ice water to soak 'em in at the finish
- bring a pair of the most comfy over-sized sandals for the finish line & personally apologize to each appendage & promise them that you'll never, ever do that again.
-have a beer. A happy heart, means happy feet.

Cascade Crest 2004

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mudrunner
Cool Runner
posted Feb-03-2006 06:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mudrunner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ltrun:

What about the macro training phases involved? What to do in the 6 or 12 months prior to the 100 miler?

Well, the simple thing is to build up the mileage...either by really long runs, or back to back long runs.
There are some other "tricks" that can have a compounding effect on those miles. It's more of a mental game.
Get used to running by headlamp/flashlight. You can run at night, but it makes it more interesting if you run into dusk & then night, or start really early & run through dawn.
If you want to really get the feel of running long, then make sure you book one long run after a tough day of work. Wait 'til you get home, have dinner, watch a Seifeld re-run, then lace up your shoes at 10:00pm (bonus points if it's raining) & head out for 3 hours. This is a great way to simulate the mental gumption to get out of the aid station chair at mile 60.

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IRunLots110
Cool Runner
posted Feb-03-2006 06:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for IRunLots110   Click Here to Email IRunLots110     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Man, I have so much respect for anyone who can run 100 miles.

------------------
Check Me Out

What did I do today?

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mudtoad
Cool Runner
posted Feb-03-2006 08:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mudtoad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"- bring a pair of the most comfy over-sized sandals for the finish line & personally apologize to each appendage & promise them that you'll never, ever do that again."

Talking to your feet...hmmm. Thanks a bunch for the personal insights...can tell you've been in the trenches a few times. Me?...I'm a newbie focusing on my first ultra coming up in June and the one thing that scares me the most is blisters. Seems like out of all the challenges you ultra runners have to overcome, blistering is the one thing you can't really train for...and the one thing that can wreck an otherwise decent performance.

I'll be working up a plan "A", plan "B", plan "C", etc for dealing with this affliction and will post whatever I come up with. Hopefully then I can get some more advice to help me dial this up.

mt

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mudrunner
Cool Runner
posted Feb-03-2006 09:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mudrunner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Blisters can be a whole other thread, but they are sorta simple things...
...they require 3 things to make 'em grow.
Heat
Friction
Moisture
If you can eliminate one of these items, then you can avoid blisters.

Heat is almost impossible to avoid some days.

Friction can be dealt with in several ways. Personally, I'm a fan of Injinji toe socks. Other times, I use vaseline between the toes. You also have to make sure to keep debris from getting into your shoes...or clear it out right away. Gaiters are great for keeping dust & small objects from getting in over the shoes ankle. Taping is another great way to fight friction. Mrs Mud has it down to a science.

Moisture is impossible to avoid in the rain, but usually rain has a cooling effect, so it can take Heat out of the equation. Sweat is a different issue...another reason for changing socks at aid stations (though I've never done it in anything under 50 miles). Some people use talc or some sorta foot powder in order to keep the feet dry, but some powders turn into a messy goo when mixed with lotsa sweat.

Probably the best info you could find is a book by Dr John Vonhoff ..."Fixing Your Feet". He's the guru of foot care & has observed/repaired many ultrarunners, as well as Eco-Challenge & Primal Quest adventure racers.

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Double
Cool Runner
posted Feb-03-2006 10:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Double   Click Here to Email Double     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Manage pain really well.

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TommyT
Cool Runner
posted Feb-03-2006 10:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TommyT     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For a while there, I was treating my tootsies with a morning and before-bed massage with some kind of skin lotion, like Vaseline Intensive Care with Vitamin-E or some such frilly thing. Every day, twice a day. After about a month, they felt nice and supple. Kept this up for about a year, during which time my blister rate was reduced to near (but not quite) zero. Ran nine or ten ultras (including one 100) and a couple of trail marathons in that time.

Then, for no real reason, I quit lubing the dogs. Get more blisters now, but not as bad as I did in the pre-lotion days.

I do think it's important to keep your calluses under control. You'll never enjoy a blister more than one of those really deep, blood-filled ones under a callus.

Oh, and toenails - they need to be trimmed properly to keep your toes happy.

Mud's right - Vonhoff's book is excellent.

Another comment - - CinCityRunner mentioned caffeine being your friend at night. Dude, this is SO true! I love coffee anytime day or night. But I gotta tell ya, it NEVER tastes so good as it does at 3:00 am and you need a boost for the last fifteen miles.

Macro-comment: try running a few 50K's and 50M's in the months leading up to your 100. They make nice long training runs, you'll get a feel for the ultra-environment, and you might get a cool t-shirt. Also, I wanna second the previous recommendation to run trails at night and do back-to-backs.

Tom

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mudrunner
Cool Runner
posted Feb-03-2006 10:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mudrunner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TommyT:

Another comment - - CinCityRunner mentioned caffeine being your friend at night. Dude, this is SO true! I love coffee anytime day or night. But I gotta tell ya, it NEVER tastes so good as it does at 3:00 am and you need a boost for the last fifteen miles.


Absolutely agree!! One of thre treats I have in my drop bags are cans of Starbucks Double-shots...full o' fatty cream & caffeine! They are like magic potion.
Also, I carry a small baggy with chocolate covered espresso beans when it's late. They're very handy & can even lift the spirits of other runners you come across. Good karma.

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ltrun
Cool Runner
posted Feb-05-2006 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ltrun   Click Here to Email ltrun     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mudrunner:
Well, the simple thing is to build up the mileage...either by really long runs, or back to back long runs.
There are some other "tricks" that can have a compounding effect on those miles. It's more of a mental game.
Get used to running by headlamp/flashlight. You can run at night, but it makes it more interesting if you run into dusk & then night, or start really early & run through dawn.
If you want to really get the feel of running long, then make sure you book one long run after a tough day of work. Wait 'til you get home, have dinner, watch a Seifeld re-run, then lace up your shoes at 10:00pm (bonus points if it's raining) & head out for 3 hours. This is a great way to simulate the mental gumption to get out of the aid station chair at mile 60.

To everyone, very thoughtful posts so far. We are blessed to have all your contributions.

Mud, I see you have an special affection for the 60-69 mile juncture of the race.

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ltrun
Cool Runner
posted Feb-05-2006 02:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ltrun   Click Here to Email ltrun     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TommyT:
Lloyd, knowing you the way I do, I'm gonna go out on a limb and predict your Laurel Highlands time at right around fifteen hours, probably a little faster. If you break 14:30, you are far more stud than I give you credit for. Of course, the environment of the day may make you stay out there longer, or less, you just never know.

So... only another 30 miles, right?

In your first 100, expect that 30 miles to take another six to ten hours, depending on all the usual "depends-on" statements. It ain't like you're just doing another little ol' 50K. You'll need to somehow mentally get your brain around the notion of really being on the trail all day, puttin' one foot in front of the other.

Nutrition, hydration, foot care, and chafing. All way more important/crucial at the distances over 50 miles.

Carry toilet paper.

Tom


Thanks Tom. Not sure about these longer distances. Not sure why I'm even contemplating. But for Laurel I'm just trying to finish.

Regarding Laurel, I've heard it said that this 70-miler is as difficult as a 100-miler? How true is that? Comparing times, 15-17 hours out there has to be easier than say, Mohican.

Thanks again for all the input. The furthest I've gone is a JFK 50. Right now, the bump to 70 and 100 miles seems daunting. Its gonna be an interesting Spring and Summer!

Just wondering.


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TommyT
Cool Runner
posted Feb-06-2006 09:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TommyT     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lloyd, Laurel Highlands is a fairly challenging course, but it ain't no hundred! You are right about the time deal. Even if you push the envelope of the time limit at Laurel, imagine continuing to do the same routine for another 10 hours. That's a pretty big difference, to me.

And regarding the course, yup, it's tougher than most of the Midwest 50k's and 50M's, but it's not far from typical for lots of other ultras. You get in most of the climbing early on, in the first nine miles (if I remember right) and then you pretty much bounce along the ridgeline amongst the rocks and roots for the next 58 miles before making a rapid, two-mile descent.

I'd say the course is definitely tougher than the two hundreds I've done (Kettle-Moraine and Arkansas) and most likely tougher than Mohican (which I've never done, but hear it's an awful lot like K-M), but it just ain't a hundred miles long! No such thing as an easy hundred!

I still gotta say the toughest course I've run yet was the Knobstone Trail 50M, in southern Indiana (of all places!). That course has 19,400 feet of elevation change, and the trail is just nasty in many spots. Took me thirteen hours last spring. Laurel Highlands 70M took me fifteen hours and two minutes.

You'll do great at Laurel Highlands. You're gonna love it!

Tom

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pithydoug
Cool Runner
posted Feb-07-2006 08:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for pithydoug   Click Here to Email pithydoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TommyT:

Another comment - - CinCityRunner mentioned caffeine being your friend at night. Dude, this is SO true! I love coffee anytime day or night. But I gotta tell ya, it NEVER tastes so good as it does at 3:00 am and you need a boost for the last fifteen miles.

Tom


I pick my races such that I'm done by one or two in the morning.


There is a good reason Coke and Mountain Dew are on nearly every aid statition table.

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pithydoug
Cool Runner
posted Feb-07-2006 08:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for pithydoug   Click Here to Email pithydoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TommyT:
Lloyd, knowing you the way I do, I'm gonna go out on a limb and predict your Laurel Highlands time at right around fifteen hours, probably a little faster. If you break 14:30, you are far more stud than I give you credit for. Of course, the environment of the day may make you stay out there longer, or less, you just never know.

Tom


Talent aside this a sneaky hard race and really needs to respected early on, especailly if it's humid. By sneaky once you get passed the initial 8 miles of quasi up, it is very runnable. Runnable to a fault. You can find youself running for hours on end with interjecting a walk break, less the aid stations.

If you can handle that much real running then all is good. If one is used to the more traditional walk the ups and thus conserve, continuous running will extract its toll and usually too early in the day.

A couple of years back I backed into a 16:45. You know, hell it's only a dinky 70 miles. Let's just say that my last 15 miles were not fun. A few smarter walk breaks and I know I could have run 15.

My shaggy dog moral, go out easy there is a lot time later to fly. Understand the last 2-3 miles is down and rocky. If your quads are not happy, this could be very slow going.

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