I’m bringing you the A to Z of ultrarunning.
Writing this blog post, and reading it will be just like running 100 miles.
Trust me! It will be fun, painful, and in places excruciating 😪
So here goes!
A – Aims – have a few for your race. One if everything is beyond your wildest dreams, a great one, a good one, a shit one and a finishing one. Be prepared to move between them. Don’t beat yourself up and just suck it up and deal with it. On occasion you’ll surprise yourself… 😁
B – Black Coffee ☕- when you feel a bit low. A bit whacked out. Neck a coffee!
C – Crew. 🏃They really help so much during ultras. I have been on the receiving end of help and the giving end too. They can raise your spirits and occasionally annoy the shit out of you. But they are there. For. You!
D – Doughnuts / Donuts 🍩(I’m not fussy) – but the vanilla custard ones are LUSH!!!!!!!!! and great recovery food. Dairy = protein = BOOM!
E – Eating. Constantly. On an ultra get that done. From the start. EAT. EAT. EAT. Wondering what to eat? Think Picnic….. scotch eggs, sausage rolls, but NOT vol-au-vents or salads! 🌭
F – friends who go running at stupid I’m during peak training when there is no cake even on offer!
G – Glove – Never pick up a discarded one on the trail. (Also see S and T). ✋
H – Haribo. Mmmmmmmmmmmm who doesnt run for sweets? 🍬
I – Imodium 💩 (or ICE CREAAAAAM 🍦) has saved many a race of mine (and long training runs).
J – Journey – 🛣 to the pit of despair and back – multiple times. That’s what will happen. You’ll start off feeling bloody amazing – as you will have had a great taper. You’ll be springing off at the start like you’re doing a parkrun and wondering what the fuss is…. somewhere around 30 miles you’ll start thinking it wasn’t such a great idea to be so impatient… and somewhere around 70 miles you’ll start wondering why you entered this poxy race…..
K – Kit – know your kit. 🎽 Try and test everything. Be a kitwanker who wears full kit for 5 mile training runs. Make adjustments. Kit won’t make you a better runner but the wrong stuff or malfunctioning kit can make your race a misery.
L – Light – 🔦headtorch, handheld torch, emergency light. You’ll need some or all of these. Get used to running in the dark with a headtorch. Get to know how long they last on the batteries, and how to charge them (if rechargable), and make sure you can wear it comfortably.
M – Move. Motion. 🏃 MOOOOOVE IT! Get your arse in gear and motor. Don’t dawdle. Get your shizzle shizzing…… get your ass in gear. one step in front of another. MOOOVE!
N – Niggle. 🤕Never run or train on a niggle. It’s not clever. It is blatently STUPID! Racing is a different story. You have to decide whether the race is worth it.
O – Own your race. 🏁Run it for yourself. Don’t get sucked into someone elses race. Ultras are a long way. Also, it is a long way for other runners to pretend they are still interested in that story that you started to tell them at mile 34 by mile 67! You’ll play leaf frog. You’re racing. So race.
P – Pacers are amazing. 🏃They give up their time to talk inane shit at you and keep you entertained, hopefully help you NOT get lost (errr…… ooooops) and to help you manage yourself e.g. at aid stations by checking what you want and remembering to pick up the sticks that you will inevitably leave behind!
Q – Quick at aid stations.🌯🍛🍥🍲💨 Be lovely to volunteers and helpers, but not so lovely that you overstay your welcome like an elderly aunt (or uncle) who just WILL. NOT. GO. HOME!
R – Recce – your race route. 🛤 In chunks. Make it social. Go with friends. Do some with your pacers (see P above). Learn the route. Live the route. Be a route bore! Do it!
S – Sun – 🌄 when the sun comes up you’ll get energy back. You’ll feel amazing!!!!!!!!!!! You’ve been running all the way through the night and you’ll feel fucked. Sun up and you’ll feel better. Trust me! Also Sock – NEVER pick one up on the trail. (Also see T).
T – Toilet paper – 🚾 wrap up handfuls in clingfilm. You’ll need them where you’re going!
U – ultimate direction for finding me lots of excuses to buy another running vest. 🎒
V – View 🏞 – you’ll be running in amazing places. Avoid temptation to stop and take photos (and instead look at everyone elses photos. BE A TIME STEALER! :-p
W – Water 🚰 ….. When you’ve had enough of coke or electrolytes.
X – ⭐Make sure you wear something with X in the name. It legit makes you hard core. X rated. X-tra. X-treme. XL pizza. X marks the spot! What’s not to like!
Y – have you read this far…… It doesn’t get any better?!
Z – 💤😪😴🛌 a quick 10 minute snoooooooze can do you the world of good during a race. Also get plenty of sleep the weeks before a race. Don’t start with a deficit ✋
What’s your favourite letter?