An interesting post recently appeared in the Tarawera Ultramarathon Facebook group by Race Director Tim Day. The Race Directors have asked these questions because they understand just how different and the enormity of what 100 miles is – for both entrants and organisers! Of course this prompted speculation about the potential for an ‘NZ Trail Runs’ hosted 100 mile event.
SHOULD YOU RUN 100 MILES?
Our job as coaches is to enable you to attempt your ambitious dreams. If you want to do something, we want to help you do it! Choose to do incredible things! Life is for living and the biggest reward comes from the battles that are hardest fought. BUT – 100 miles…. I’m not sure you realize how far that is…
So often we talk about what a MASSIVE undertaking running 100km is and I have incredible respect for the distance. We talk about how easy it is for people to click their way through the entry process and sign up for an ultra having no real genuine understanding for the ordeal it will be.
I don’t blame people for doing this!
I just don’t think the human mind is wired to understand how far 100km is let alone how far 161km is. Possibly you’ve run a marathon so you have an appreciation for what 42km feels like. Probably that 60km is within reasonable perspective and you can imagine yourself out there and understand what kms 42 through to 60 will feel like. 85 is scary. 100 is…. a very very long way. ONE HUNDRED MILES…. well…
Far be it from us to put the fear of god into you and steer you straight back to your comfy couch and late night IMGUR. We want you to do awesome things, but we want you to comprehend just how insane a prospect 100 miles is as a run/walk.
Understanding 161kms before you enter – strategy 1
Get in your car, reset the Trip Odo and start driving. When 161kms tick over you will feel like you have been driving for quite some time, you’re bored of doing it and your bum has fallen asleep. Imagine how fast your car has been travelling and the sound it would’ve made as it ripped passed the alter-you that was shuffling along the side of the road in a world of hurt and fatigue. Still want to run 100 miles?
Understanding 161kms before you enter – strategy 2
Run 100 miles in a training week. Seriously, try this. If you think you should be on the startline for a miler you’d want to know you can do that distance spaced comparatively comfortably across an entire week. 21 meals, 7 sleeps and at least 7 fatigue inducing training runs. If Sunday night rolls around and you knocked off 161km without too much cumulative fatigue, maybe now is a good time to grab that credit card and click, click, click your way to certain doom.
The emphasis on ‘before you enter’ is important. We want you to try physical challenges on the extreme fringe of possibility but fully appreciating what you are signing up for is essential to help structure your training in the immediate future. Moments after that confirmation email you should be ready to consider your training and talk to your coach (about the very silly thing you just did….).
All this said, we’re SO EXCITED about the prospect of a 100 mile race in NZ that long before an event appears on the calendar SQUADRUN coaches will have done their best to have run the course and have the training programme written specific for it, to help you tackle the distance. The SQUADRUN promise that we’re on the finish line until every single one of our squaddies comes in remains in force.
One thing is certain is that if that rumor becomes a race and we see Paul and Tim hosting a miler it will be achievable and it will be awesome and it will be epic. The story of your lifetime? Maybe.