No, not "try to stay upright."
Yesterday I went out and ran 30 miles. It was slow, it was uncomfortable, it was difficult, but I did it. In the blur of the 5+ hours, I thought a couple of things, like: you sometimes end up being the person people tell you you are - when people start saying things to me that begin with "You ultrarunners...," I've always demurred and said I'm a 5K guy who just happens to be screwing around on the trails. Well, I've finished 20 ultras, so I guess that makes me an ultrarunner, like it or not. And that means people expect I've learned something in the process.
Here's the song stuck in my head all that time. "Take the hands off the clock, we're gonna be here a while..."
Each time it ran in my head, the number of "nickels of cocaine" changed. About one fewer each hour, which seems to be a nasty habit.
I remember looking at the 100 mile race and wondering how one prepares for it; after all, one never runs anything close to that in training, so how could you know you can do it?
I've come up with one good rule: run 1/3 of the distance, with 1/2 of the climb in 1/4 of the time. Do that and you can finish. Do it comfortably and you'll finish comfortably. Do it often and your chances of finishing improve.
Say you want to run 100 miles at FANS. Then, in training, you'd run 33 miles in 6 hours on the roads. That's pretty reasonable. If you want to break Henze's record and do 150 miles, you'd need to run 50 miles in 6 hours (Henze did the hilly Ice Age in 6 1/2). Want to break Kouros' world record... that'd be a world record 100K in training! If you want to do 100 miles in 16 hours and break Kurt's record, you'd have to do the 33 in 4 hours (about 7:15/mile).
The Superior 100 (actually 102.6) mile has 20200 feet of climb, so one would run 34 miles with 10000 feet of climb in 9.5 hours to beat the 38 hour cut-off. 10000 feet would be like doing Buck Hill 30 times, which is precisely what Paul Hasse recommended to me, before they closed the hill to runners. Last year, Julie Berg did the Hyland ski hill (140 ft) 70 times, which is 10000 feet, but only 20 miles total. My favorite hill, Brickyard, would require 42 times up - last year I managed 30 in 6.5 hours and I might've been able to do another 12 times in another 3 hours; the Brickyard happens to be the right length as well, as 42 trips would be 34 miles.
How about the crazy Barkley? That 33 miles would have to be on a 33% grade (19 degrees); plus, if you could find a hill that steep, it'd have to be brushy and you'd have to do it carrying all your food and water.
The Arrowhead and Badwater 135's would require 45 mile training runs, and so on. The rule works pretty well for the long races, but not well for "short" races like the 50K.
One "simple" rule, but not so simple to follow!
Sunday Night Musings
5 days ago