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Endurance running event - what's the best way to prepare?

(12 Posts)
EdithDickie Wed 05-Nov-14 17:04:50

I've entered a 24 hour running event in May with a team of colleagues. I will be in a team of 5, the event is a relay, so one of us on the track at any one time, off road trail through woods, 5 mile circuits. So I think I will be running about 30 miles (HOLY COW!!!!) over the course of the 24 hours, in chunks of 5 miles, rests of 3-4 hours in between loops, not much sleep...

I'm at the stage where I can run 6 miles fairly okay. I'm currently running about 10-12 miles per week. I can run 3 times a week on average and sometimes an extra one at the weekend.

I'm doing a half marathon in April so also aiming for that and so should have generally improved fitness by May....but.....ARGH!

What's the best way to prepare do you think?

I was thinking just as much time on feet as possible?

Would you focus on doing 5 mile training runs more than longer distances?

Any tips very gratefully received.

pootlebug Wed 05-Nov-14 18:15:55

I would generally try to up your mileage. One long run per week will help your half marathon. Maybe on another day run morning and evening to get used to multiple runs per day (or even three short runs, morning, noon and evening, if your day allows for it).

Do plenty of trail running too - not sure where you train now but off-road trail is quite different to pounding the roads.

ThereisnoFinWay Wed 05-Nov-14 18:23:16

I used to do similar events in a different sport and i think it would be helpful for you to get some runs in packed closely together, ie every day for a few days, or morning and evening if you can (not always logistically possible I know!).

You will love it though, I still miss them and will get back to it one day when the dcs are older smile

AggressiveBunting Thu 06-Nov-14 05:00:53

I do mainly trail running, including night races of up to 50km. Not sure from your OP if you currently mainly run trail or tarmac, so sorry if this is patronising but re trail running,

- If possible, run the actual route a few times, and in the dark. Then at least you can memorise any bits that are particularly technical (by which I mean rocky, rooty, very narrow, very steep etc).
- In respect of timing, be aware that trail times tend to be a fair bit slower than road times, especially in the dark. Although trails are kinder to joints, they are also more tiring for legs and feet because you can't maintain a uniform stride and need to work harder on balance.
- Consider trail/hybrid shoes if you don't have them- they have a rigid mid sole and toe cap which stops you injuring yourself on rocks etc. They also have a lower heel-toe drop which encourages a mid-foot strike for better stability.
- Get the best head torch you can afford- look for a high "lumens" and for one with a broad, strong beam. You need to keep your eyes solely on the trail a few metres ahead to avoid wipe outs
- Google ankle stability exercises and do them. Very easy to turn your ankle on trails.

To be honest, your mileage at the moment is a bit low, because it seems you're doing a 6 miler and 2x 3 milers. I would push to be able to do a comfortable 10 miler and make that your target pace. I also agree with the others re. double/triple training. I'd try to get at least 2 occasions before the race where you run 3 x 5 miles with 3 hrs in between. That will help you identify any issues in advance/ figure out an effective stretching and nutrition plan. Most people I see drop out of trail races do so due to acute injury (sprained ankle etc.) or nutritional/ hydration fails. A relay situation does make that easier to administer, but you still need to test it out.

HTH

ThereisnoFinWay Thu 06-Nov-14 14:37:18

Also have a think about lap strategy at night, loads of teams when I did it used to do double laps at night as you then get a bigger rest in between � but if you do that then you need to obviously be able to run that.
Oh and take all the kit you own! Don�t underestimate how cold it gets at 4am.

EdithDickie Thu 06-Nov-14 20:50:54

Thank you so much!

I definitely need to up my mileage and have come up with a broad plan to do that gradually over the next months.
Also multiple runs, brilliant idea.

I mostly run on tarmac so will find somewhere to train off road. Not sure of access to the actual site where the event is held but will investigate.

And ankle strengthening is going on my list of things to do.

Thank you so much!

AggressiveBunting Fri 07-Nov-14 13:06:21

One more thing. You actually need more than 1 torch cos if your torch dies you'll be left in the pitch dark in a wood. Therefore have a really small team spare just to be back up for all of you. Some people I know just take spare batteries but that's not such a good idea as (1) it's really hard to change batteries in the dark (2) it might not be the batteries that are the issue. This is experience speaking grin . An alternative is a charged phone with flashlight app.

EdithDickie Fri 07-Nov-14 20:39:11

Top tip! Pitch dark and tired in a wood at 4am would not be good!

Runkittyrun Sun 09-Nov-14 00:02:50

Running light from decathalon is rechargeable via usb, has three settings - think the highest lumens is 250? Anyway just got this and is really good. Best bit is it's a harness, I found my head torch just wouldn't stay put - this gives a wider beam so found it easier to see ahead. You could have two and have the other one charging.

AggressiveBunting Tue 11-Nov-14 08:27:31

Ooh - that sounds good. Might get myself one when I'm back in the UK.

EdithDickie Sat 22-Nov-14 17:17:10

I did 16.85 miles this week smile

My mission to increase mileage is off to a good start.

EdithDickie Sat 22-Nov-14 17:18:02

And the harness torch sounds amazing! Definitely going to look into that - thanks for the recommendation.

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