If you want to run or race a long distance event – even something longer than a marathon – like, say, 30 miles, you have to really be prepared to handle that amount of time on your feet. To do it well, you need to be adequately prepared to handle the rough patches you’ll inevitably hit. The best way to practice suffering for such a long time is to suffer for a long time. It sounds weird and painful, but then again, so is running 30 miles at one shot. That’s why I have my athletes “test the waters” and see how their bodies will hold up prior to them attempting the effort they’re seeking. If you can’t hack it at 18 miles, you’re probably not likely to get through 30. We have to know what your body does at the intermediate steps before we can go for the knock out.
For Rachelle, her goal is to run 30 miles. Plain and simple, yet mysterious and illusive. I love it! I know that once she has a goal, she rarely deviates from it, so I knew she was serious about this 30 miler.
Rachelle’s goal day is October 24th and she’ll be mapping out her own course, providing her own nutrition and supplements and having friends join her on parts of her trip.
Like I said, if you really want to nail down your goal distance, you should run many controlled efforts prior to your big day. This is exactly what Rachelle did when she lined up at the LBI 18 miler. We talked about being controlled and smart and that’s exactly what she was.
Her pace through 15 miles was between 8:30 and 8:45 – exactly where we’d want her to be for her ultra-marathon. Unfortunately, her hip tightened up somewhere after 15 and her pace slowed. While I’m not concerned about the pace, we are keeping an eye on her hip to make sure there isn’t something more serious that we need to address. Regardless, we are both optimistic and pleased with the 18 miler and looking forward to the next 10 days as her ultra marathon approaches.
Results from the LBI 18 Miler can be found here.
When you are prepping for a big race, what do you do to know you’re ready to race?