There are many reasons why we jump out of bed at 4am to go for a training run, but primarily the very act of running always means we are challenging ourselves. No more challenging is when attempting to run 100 miles. Now a few of us at Ultra168 are veterans of the distance and also pretty darn good at it. Others, like yours truly find the distance a new challenge and one that is filled with trepidation and excitement in equal doses.
It goes without saying that the great thing about our sport is the camaraderie and knowledge we all possess that keeps us constantly learning and sharing. We know from previous posts that even the elites are constantly experimenting with new techniques, strategies, binning certain things, trying new things. This process of adaption and learning filters all the way through the sport to those thinking about stepping up to ultra distances for the first time.
This was no more evident at this years Western States 100, where the very nature of the lottery means a proportion of runners are potentially running 100 miles for the first time. What makes WS100 so special is the close proximity and everyday interaction you have with legends of the sport as well as the first timers. How many sports let you stand shoulder to shoulder to Kilian, Roes, Koerner, Mackey et al.
So one of the awesome takeaways I was lucky enough to be invited to capture on film was an evening put on by the legend of the sport and all round nice guy Andy Jones-Wilkins, 7 times finisher in the top 10 at WS100. He was able to pull together a panel of 4 elite runners who between them have over 40 “under 24 hour” finishers buckles who were more than happy to offer some tips and tricks. Throughout the evening the main topics on show were focussed on what it takes to tame the WS100 course and more importantly how to finish a 100 miler.
Three main themes/reasons for failure were covered in detail and over the coming days we will share these with you. AJW described what he calls the ‘Holy Trinity” of DNF’s :- Smashed Quads, Trashed Feet and Upset stomach. These 3 issues are the reasons the majority of us drop out of a race. Dealing with these in advance is ideally dealt with during our training, but what the panelist demonstrate on the video is how to deal with these issues should they come up on the day.
First cab off the rank is “dealing with a dodgy stomach” and how to dial in your nutrition.
In addition, we will also be posting the panelist views of pacers and also the passion you need to have to run a race successfully.
Ultra168 would like to thank Andy Jones-Wilkins for the opportunity to share his and his colleagues insights with us.