The story of my first 50-miler starts tomorrow. (Yay!) But before we get into that, let’s get into some of the questions I’ve gotten so far.
1) Why do you want to do a 50-miler?
I loved the feeling of finishing a half marathon… And then I finished a marathon and it felt even better. Then I finished my first (surprise!) 50k and somehow that felt even more incredible! I thought I’d try a longer race and see if the feeling kept intensifying.
Also, I like to continually push myself in new ways, so I wanted to try a cool new thing.
(Lastly, I realized my first half was in 2009, and first marathon in 2012. So naturally in 2015, I had to go up to the next level (nearly doubling the distance again).
2) How did you train?
That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I don’t think I did quite as many miles as I should have to have trained totally in earnest. However, I supplemented a lot with strength training (which proved to be incredibly helpful!). I’m still not super strong, but having a stronger core/back/arms will help to keep you upright and feeling powerful when you’re getting tired.
I also tried to just be as active as I could in life – walking to more places, always taking the stairs – that kind of stuff. I think that was helpful too.
I’m sure there are plenty of training plans out there. And when I do a 100-miler, I’ll probably have to take it a bit more seriously. But once I finished my 50k happily, I tried to just sort of continue to work at that level (and slightly above it), and hope that my legs could carry me the extra miles on race day!
(Sorry for setting a bad example… But I did finish! (Strength training will take you so far!))
3) What did you learn/what advice do you have?
I touched on this yesterday. So, definitely those two things – pick the right shoes, and get used to fueling. (Eat enough to keep you going, but not so much to make you sick.)
Lastly, I’d say pacing is important. (I know everyone says that. But they say it ’cause it’s so true.) At the end of mine, I felt that had I pushed myself, I probably could’ve gone a bit faster. That was a bit of a bummer, but I would’ve so much rather had that than having gone out too fast and hitting a wall hard.
I saw some people have to go down to shorter distances after they went out fast and hurt themselves. So, as with any distance race, pace yourself to the best of your ability.
If you have any other questions, please let me know. And we’ll get on to my personal experience tomorrow!