Ultra Runners

1

Lack of Long Runs - race strategy? (Read 69 times)


Muddling through

    Due to a busy work schedule during the holiday period from Thanksgiving to early January followed by the severe weather in January, I've been unable (or unwilling) to get out for anything longer than about 15 miles or a little over 3 hours, though my overall mileage for the last four months is the most I've run in years - avg about 41 mpw. My next race is the Jackpot Ultra 12-hour in Las Vegas in two weeks. I'm not concerned that much about my final mile count, rather I'm concerned about being able to be out there the entire 12 hours and my eating and drinking. My primary focus on this race all along has been to improve on my eating and drinking since that was a major issue for me at NC 24 last September. Any suggestions on the best way to approach this race?

     

    My most recent race was the Clearwater HM where I ran 2:21:30 and finished strong, i.e. my last mile, despite it including running over a bridge, was my fastest by far.

     

    As an added thought, would it make any sense to try to get in an 18-22 mile run in the next week?

    2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

    HoosierDaddy


      My suggestion, given you desire to be out there 12 hours regardless of lap count, is to run a pace that feels that allows you to feel okay while eating.  Meaning, run as fast as you can while taking in food/fluid and slow down if you start feeling nauseas, etc until it passes.

         

         

        As an added thought, would it make any sense to try to get in an 18-22 mile run in the next week?

         

        I'd say no. It's not going to make you any fitter for the race, it's too close. Your fitness at this point is pretty much what it's gonna be. How long you should maybe do this week depends on how quickly you can recover from whatever you do. Err on the side of recovery.

        I literally don't care that I use the word literally incorrectly.


        Muddling through

          Thanks for the suggestions. At my current fitness I also plan on frequent walk breaks. Maybe extending them a little for more recovery would help keep me on my feet and moving forward more consistently. This race is part of a year long build up to my 24-hour goal race in the fall.

           

          I have Monday (tomorrow) off. I'm thinking about one last run of 12-15 miles if the weather cooperates. There's a call for more snow.

          2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

            ..., rather I'm concerned about being able to be out there the entire 12 hours and my eating and drinking. My primary focus on this race all along has been to improve on my eating and drinking since that was a major issue for me at NC 24 last September. Any suggestions on the best way to approach this race?

            ...

            As an added thought, would it make any sense to try to get in an 18-22 mile run in the next week?

            What part of eating and drinking isn't working? Can you not hold things down? forget to eat / drink? wrong amounts or kinds? Problems with temperatures? problems getting things from drop bag?

             

            The reason I'm asking is that I found I can eat and drink most anything in normal winter, but in summer temperatures I have some problems unless I take them in small doses ( frequent nibbles and sips). IOW, trying to resolve drinking/eating issues at +10F (usual winter temperatures here) doesn't help me for +60F (warm summer temp). Similarly, my early races were unsupported so I just got used to carrying everything with me - and each thing had its place in my pack. Some of my more recent races have aid stations / drop bags and adjusting to not having everything with me or fewer pockets was a challenge for the first year.

             

            Depending upon what you need to train and how much recovery, an 18-22 mi run may not be long enough for training but overdo it for how close it is to the race - or it may be just right, only you know. Some wise old ultra and IM folks taught me 'tis better to show up healthy and slightly undertrained than to show up tired or injured.

             

            Good luck.

            "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog


            Muddling through

              What part of eating and drinking isn't working? Can you not hold things down? forget to eat / drink? wrong amounts or kinds? Problems with temperatures? problems getting things from drop bag?

               

              The reason I'm asking is that I found I can eat and drink most anything in normal winter, but in summer temperatures I have some problems unless I take them in small doses ( frequent nibbles and sips). IOW, trying to resolve drinking/eating issues at +10F (usual winter temperatures here) doesn't help me for +60F (warm summer temp). Similarly, my early races were unsupported so I just got used to carrying everything with me - and each thing had its place in my pack. Some of my more recent races have aid stations / drop bags and adjusting to not having everything with me or fewer pockets was a challenge for the first year.

               

              Not so much forgetting to eat and drink, but not feeling like eating or drinking. I had no problems with anything I did eat or drink, but apparently I wasn't drinking or eating enough. My races have been on short loop courses so I haven't had to use drop bags or carry anything with me so far. I don't think I've had to go farther than 2.5 miles between aid stations.

              2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

              TripleBock


                My last 2 ultra - Glacial Trail 50M and John Dick 50k were off almost no training for many weeks and then 3-4 weeks of consistent running.  I find that you can finish ultras off little training.  But ... It means that your pacing strategy becomes much more vital.  If you screw up the 1st half of the race pacing, you do not have the raw strength to bull your way through.

                 

                So my advice is to employ a really, really conservative 1st 6 hour pacing strategy.  Heck, I would start by walking the 1st 5-10 minutes to get warmed up.  Then I would employ a conservative run walk strategy:   Run effortlessly slow for 10 minutes and then walk for 2 minutes, repeat.  If you like 8/2 or 6/2 better?

                 

                Really out of shape, I can still run easy @ 9 minute miles and walk easy at 14:15 pace

                 

                8/2 at these paces will yield 6.1764 miles per hour x 12 = 74.12 in 12 hours * 95% = 70.4 miles.  I use 95% because that allows for 36 minutes of non-motion time for bathroom breaks, shoe/sock changes etc.

                 

                The real trick in 12/24 is to run easy enough that you can maintain a similar pace for most of the race.  I have ran > 80 miles in the 1st 12 hours of a 24 a few times and it always has finished poorly.  If I run less in the 1st 12 it ends better.  But I guess some people like to put up big numbers early and suffer their way in hoping to suck it up and still do good.  I would rather feel good for 60-70% of the race and OK for 20% and suffer 10-20% of the race.

                I am fuller bodied than Dopplebock

                TripleBock


                  Eating and drinking are like pacing - Have a strategy, stick to it.

                  I am fuller bodied than Dopplebock


                  Muddling through

                    TripleBock - thanks for the detailed answer. I'm at a much slower pace, 11:30-12:00 very easy jogging and 15:00-15:30 easy walking. I've experimented with various ratios. It seems like more frequent walk breaks work better for me so 6/2 might be the better choice. Jackpot is on a 2-mile loop so I could time that to be sure I'm close to a walking break as I approach the aid station. I should be covering each lap in 25-30 minutes, so that would mean trying to eat/drink about 100-150 calories each time I come through the aid station if I've done my calculations right. Is 250-300 calories per hour about right?

                     

                    I've been running consistently. Over the last 6 months I've run between 152 and 198 miles monthly, which is a lot for me. It's the lack of anything much beyond 3 hours that was my concern. If eating and drinking enough coupled with the walk breaks can compensate for some of the lack of long runs, that should get me through the 12 hours. Prior to my first 12-hour race I was only running 127 to 160 miles monthly in the 6 months leading up to it, but I also ran 2 marathons and had several 20+ mile training runs.

                    2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

                    Runnerman Dan


                    Purveyor of peace & love

                      I agree with TripleBock that you will feel better for a lot longer if you start with a good run/walk ratio right from the start.  In similar situations, I've had success with distance ratios (run .75 mile/walk .25 mile) versus time ratios.  The main thing is to manage your energy as best you can.