Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why run 50 miles?

I have been asked more than a few times as to why would I ever want to run 50 miles? I usually answer it with the following "to see if I can". And yes, I have also received many additional comments concerning my sanity that I'm sure many can relate to.

So why do a 50 mile event, well, because I don't know if I can and that is what intrigues me. How will I deal with the physical pain that I know that will come, how will I fuel myself, what will I think about for 12+ hours, what kind of pace should I run, how will the mental battle within go, so many questions and then you have the leap of faith that my training is enough except it's an even greater leap. I think this is part of what attempting a 50 will recapture that feeling at the start line that I have only had in marathons or 50ks, what am I doing? Can I do this? Then attempting it and usually getting through it.

You see, I won't be running 50 miles in training as a matter of fact many of the training programs only have you go to 30 but they do have you run on back to back days. Still a 20 mile leap of faith, that seems like a big leap. So, in a couple of weeks I am planning on 35 miles on Saturday followed by 12 or so on Sunday or vice-versa (12 then 35). Will this training method work, I don't know?

What I do know is that the weekend before last I ran 24 miles and the next day went 12 and that went ok except for some knee pain. Then this weekend I wanted to go 26 or 27 but I was feeling pretty beat up and decided to abort after 24 miles. On Sunday, I was real sore when I woke and then after procrastinating a bit I got out the door. I was surprised after a mile that I felt like I could have gone 12 or more but kept it to 6 miles as my dawdling had taken an hour or so away and time was a factor but as important I didn't want to do something stupid. That may have been a good decision as yesterday, I had very little residual pain and the legs seemed ok.

So the plan is for 2 to 3 more weeks of back to back weekend runs and and then I will taper for a few weeks, and then I will run 50 miles. I do hope that this style of training will get me to the finish. I think it will.

Will it, stay tuned, 32 days to go.


SteveQ said...

Your training sounds like you'll be well-prepared. I know well that worry about a big leap in distance - going from 50 miles to 100 gave me nightmares - but I've found that, if you can get from 4 hours to 7 hours, you can get through the section of a 50 miler that's difficult, so, depending upon the terrain on which you do the long runs, you've probably conquered that already.

Londell said...

To late for major improvements so just keep the base and listen to the body... You may want to throw in a few hours at Buck hill... The hill workouts were far less pounding and helped me more than I ever imagined!

Wayne said...

On the Murph course I suppose we better have a pretty good answer to the Why? question at about 35 miles... good enough to get us out there for the last loop. For me it might be "well, Mike and Kel kept going so I better keep going!" :)

RunWesty said...

Steve - Good to know I am not alone about thinking about those leaps.

Londell - I am not sure that Buckhill is open to the public anymore, the hill advice is good though. I am planning on Murphy this weekend as a baseline so I will have a feel afterward.

Wayne - You are right, except that I will be thinking that Wayne and Kel and everyone else kept going so I may as well too.

Scott said...

All I can say is that I was severely under-trained from a running standpoint for the Superior 50 mile, but it still went great. My only runs over 20 miles were one 26 and one 31. Maybe I got lucky, but I think having nutrition figured out, not going out too hard early, and keeping a really positive attitude all day were what carried me through.


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