What Did You Learn From Your First 50-Mile Race?

Monday, May 25th, 2015

Soon, I’ll be writing all about my first 50-mile race experience!

But before we get into my journey and how I felt, I wanted to write some semi-practical posts for the people thinking about doing their own 50-mile race.

Let me start with the two main things I learned/difference between a 50-miler and a marathon.

1) The food/fuel!

I felt like during the 50-miler all I did was eat! (That’s not totally true, as there was plenty of time I wasn’t eating… But goodness it felt like a ton of food was going into my body (partially because there was a ton of food going into my body ;).)

As with marathoning, everyone fuels differently, I’m sure, based on a number of factors (weight, fitness level, speed, etc.). The generality I’ve heard is that you should be taking in 250-300 calories/hour(!) during a 50-mile race.

There were times I didn’t necessarily feel like eating. But I knew if I wanted to keep going strong, I probably needed to at certain times. I also had a schedule in my head of when I’d get Gatorade… and I upped that due to the heat that day.

So, as far as the fuel goes, all I can really say is it feels different. Because I was going at a slower pace, it was tolerable to have to eat so much. But it was indeed a change of pace.

2) The shoes!

Ah, the shoes. I love my Aasics Kayonos – love and adore them to pieces. I wear them on the treadmill and in half marathons and marathons, and they treat me so well.

However, for me, they do not seem to be the shoes to wear on trails and sand and whatever else came my way. I had so many blisters at the end. It was recommended to me to go to A Runner’s Circle and get fitted for trail shoes. I think that’s probably a good idea.

So, be cognizant that your ultramarathon shoes may not be the same as your marathon shoes. (You’d think I would’ve learned this by now. But now I think I for real have.)

Those were my biggest lessons. And I’ll get into some of the questions I’ve heard next time.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?