For all of you, like myself, that have read stories of famed ultra runners running 100 plus mile weeks, well, I decided to try that myself. The most I had done previously, with no races included, is 61, only once a couple weeks ago and 36 was the high before that. 100 miles in one week should be a good challenge, I thought, with plenty of learning to be had. There was. This is what I learned.
The first thing that is needed is time management. It is difficult to fit in long runs during a week of full time work, family, friends, school, whatever. Especially if you are not an uber fast runner. Add things that come up and you have a mess of stress. There are also consequentials that come like strain, soreness and injuries that change everything as well. I usually don’t plan too much so this was difficult for me, yet made me create alternatives if things didn’t work out as planned. I laid out a general schedule for the week as well as additional time that could be used in the event of me running less than planned or cancelling due to need of more rest, etc.
Splitting the distance over the day made things MUCH easier. I only did this on one day, but there seems to be much less wear and tear in shorter runs, so one morning and one evening would make things easier methinks.
In running this much, if you do not get the needed calories, expect to feel like you are starving. For every hour you run, expect to burn from 600-1000 calories to be added to your general calorie daily intake. The body will ask for these at some point for balance. And it can be convincing. Enough that I ate basically everything I do NOT normally eat that week, as my zombie mode mind convinced me to, based on 1000 reasons, all bullshit. Eat like you’d like, just ALOT more of it. Or you too will become a zombie.
Get your rest, especially when not used to this kind of work. It is your only defense. Weird things went on during this time for me. I’d wake up for my middle of the night number 1 limping and thinking there would be no way I’d be able to run the next day. Then I’d wake up and would be fine. Go figure. The entire journey was neat and weird. I was pretty worn by day 3, but day 5, the day in which my stomach hurt all day, my body, legs and feet felt fine so I ran the most in order to get it all done in 6 days, and woke up on day 6 feeling fine for my final run. I felt great from then on. On my day of rest, I WANTED to run, not feeling as though I had previously (I don’t feel the past mentally much even if known), but decided to stray from anymore the next few days.
Miles per Day and Footwear
Monday – 15 Luna Sandals (LS)
Tuesday – 18.9 LS
Wednesday – 5.1 KSO
Thursday – 15 Bikila before St. Patty’s Day eat everything I don’t feast
Friday – 30: 10 + 7 + 13 Bikila – split day into 3 parts with work – stomach hurt ALL day
Saturday – 17 Bikila
Running 101 miles total in 6 days, I now know what it feels like, at least a little. I ran about half in my Luna Sandals and the rest in my VFF Bikila’s. Add some barefoot in there for some spice as well as some KSO’s and Treks action to top it off. My feet were the most worn of anything else. Enough that I figure I should perhaps push my speed a little bit more, although I like taking it easy in the peace.
So these ultra guys do this often it seems. I’d like to more but that was spring break and now with school and work, I’d have to sacrifice sleep in order to attempt this again. But it was fun! Imagine your normal running schedule, only THAT MUCH MORE. If you enjoy it like I do, well, it is that much more enjoyment than a normal run week. But that’s mentally. What are the benefits physically? Who really knows the benefits at this point, for me at least. It’s too soon but you can research possibles.
If anything, I am sure that if you want some rapid weight loss, this can do that if you can become the zen master and not eat when the starving body says HEEEeeyyy!! Only way to find out is to try though!