I’m within the final phases of coaching for a 50k. After 4 months of devoted coaching for the race, and LOTS of trial and error, I’m assured I’ve the appropriate working gear for extremely coaching. In just below two weeks, I shall be lining up on the beginning line of the Vermont 50, a path extremely that begins and finishes at Mt Ascutney in Vermont. Will probably be the longest distance I’ve ever run.
Years in the past once I began working and racing, a half marathon appeared the longest race I might need to sort out. Then I ran the NYC marathon in 2010 and 2013, and people had been a number of the most particular days of my life. As soon as I had carried out that distance, the siren name of ‘what’s subsequent?’ started. However coaching for a marathon takes lots of time, planning, sacrifice, and juggling. Coaching for an extremely appeared like one thing method too intense to contemplate becoming into my life.
But right here we’re, I’m working full-time, have 4 children, and I’m getting it carried out. Like something that you just’re enthusiastic about, you make the time, and also you make it work. And probably the most essential elements of getting studying for this race has been the working gear. It’s not simply sneakers (however these are essential!). So, what sort of working gear for extremely coaching do you want? Learn on for ideas, in addition to what I take advantage of!
Discovering the appropriate trainers is vital. Right here’s what it’s essential to think about if you’re deciding on what sneakers to make use of for coaching and the race:
- What sort of terrain will you be working? Most ultras are typically path races, however there are undoubtedly highway ultras on the market. And even when your chosen occasion is a path race, there should be sections of highway or gravel. Do analysis on what to anticipate. Choose both a path shoe, a highway shoe, or one thing that may navigate each.
- Keep in mind that you’ll (hopefully!) be planning on coaching over a interval of months for the race. For those who’re an skilled runner with a very good weekly mileage base, you would get away with 3 months of coaching. For those who’re not recurrently working 30 miles or extra weekly, you’ll need to dedicate 4 or extra months to coaching. One pair of sneakers gained’t lower it! You’ll want to interchange your sneakers each 300 – 500 miles. A superb tip is to begin switching between two pairs towards the top of 1 pair’s life, to present your self time to interrupt new sneakers in.
- Enlist skilled assist to decide on the appropriate sneakers. At a specialty working retailer, employees can assess your ft, gait, working type, and provide you with strong recommendation. In any other case, attempt shopping for someplace that gives a lenient return coverage the place you possibly can return them after working in them if they only didn’t work).
Try my information on discovering the appropriate working shoe for you, if you happen to’re in search of extra recommendations on choosing the appropriate pair of recent sneakers!
What I’m carrying
My race is 58% trails, with many of the remainder of the course gravel roads. I didn’t need to get a devoted path shoe and destroy it coaching on the highway. I attempted Hoka Bondi sneakers, however my toenails determined they didn’t like them. After researching, I settled on Hoka Challenger ATR 6, which have proved excellent for technical trails, in addition to highway and gravel working. I’m on my third pair coaching for this race. I’m truly swapping between pairs two and three proper now, so I’ll have a fresh-but-broken-in pair for the occasion.
Are you able to run an extremely and not using a hydration pack? For shorter distances, possibly 50 miles or much less, you conceivably may. For those who’re used to working distance and have one thing like a working belt and/or handheld bottles that be just right for you, it could be doable to make use of that for an extremely race. In case you are utilizing a crew and can have drop baggage, that will assist. Personally, I can’t think about working something longer than a marathon and not using a hydration pack. It’s the most effective working gear investments for extremely coaching I made. Listed here are a couple of good the explanation why it’s an amazing funding:
- Palms free! You may’t beat quick access to water and hydration. You don’t have to carry one thing, or get it out of a belt. Having a pack with a bladder makes it as simple as turning your head barely to achieve your straw. A pack with comfortable flasks on the entrance makes it simply as simple to hydrate with out fumbling.
- Pockets! Who doesn’t love a mess of pockets? You’ll want your personal gas for the race. Even when there are help stations, you don’t know for positive in the event that they’ll have what you’re used to, or what you’ve educated with. So snack pockets are preferrred. And you can even retailer your cellphone, keys, ID, you identify it.
- In case your extremely has lots of elevation, you’ll need to put together for variable climate and temperature through the race. Packing a light-weight shell or an emergency blanket is a good suggestion, they usually’re simple to retailer in a hydration pack. Examine the occasion particulars – many ultras have a packing listing. Some race administrators insist individuals have each merchandise on the listing in the event that they need to run.
- When an occasion is on very technical terrain, runners might have climbing poles. Many packs characteristic storage loops to carry poles if you’re not utilizing them.
- It’s additionally a good suggestion to hold a small first help equipment – even when it’s only a few bandaids, alcohol wipes, and tissues.
- Hydration packs aren’t only for path working and ultras – they’re nice for climbing, too.
What I’m Utilizing
I began out with the Final Path Extremely Vesta 5.0. It was nice for shorter runs and climbing, however as my mileage/time on ft elevated, it began to rub me the incorrect method, actually. I truly suppose lots of it was because of the off-brand, cheap bladder I had bought for it. Nevertheless, I didn’t need to purchase a brand new bladder simply to seek out out it was the pack in any case.
I learn numerous evaluations of hydration packs, and trawled fb posts in extremely working teams to see what had been the favorites. Two manufacturers saved arising: Nathan, and Saloman. I ended up going with the Nathan Vaporhowe and it’s superb. It’s so mild, and so snug. The included bladder is kidney-shaped, which inserts nicely within the pack. It’s additionally simple to take away the surplus air if you fill it, so there’s no annoying sloshing. Importantly, it has numerous pockets, together with a helpful one on your cellphone on the high of the again.
Fueling and Diet
A path extremely means you’re going to be out working for a very long time. This implies you’ll want loads of gas alongside the way in which. Listed here are some concepts to contemplate attempting out throughout your coaching:
- Liquid energy are an unbeatable method of getting gas for lengthy distance working. There are tons of choices for powdered mixes that you should utilize. These provide you with a very good quantity of energy in only one flask.
- Particular working fuels, like gel photographs, and chews/blocks, are additionally a fast calorie repair. Utilizing one thing like these which can be particularly for endurance coaching means you’re getting the appropriate quantities of carbs, electrolytes, salt, and typically even caffeine.
- Actual meals might be a good way of fueling whereas working. There are as many choices as you might have tastebuds. Nicely, probably not, however you’re solely restricted by your private likes and dislikes, and what works for you. Suppose granola bars, sandwiches, dried fruit, olives, cookies, no bake vitality balls, or potatoes (sure, actually!).
The secret’s to check out your fueling in your longer coaching runs. It’s so essential to observe your diet in your lengthy runs nicely earlier than your occasion. Ensure that what you’re going to use settles nicely in your abdomen. Take a look at that you may simply eat it when you’re working or strolling. It additionally must be caloric sufficient to be value carrying together with you. You must have precisely what works dialed in 6 weeks or extra earlier than race day. You’ll be assured you’ll be well-fueled and there gained’t be any abdomen points shocking you on the course.
How I’m fueling
I had all the time relied on gummy bears for highway racing. That wasn’t going to chop it for hours on the paths. I ended up deciding on Tailwind for my most important gas. First I attempted a spread pack so I may see which of them i preferred (and which I hated!). As soon as I selected a taste, I purchased a case. For many of my lengthy runs, I diluted a 200 calorie packet into two 500 ml flasks for my vest.
Lately, although, with my lengthy runs getting longer, and a heatwave that rolled by way of Vermont, I switched to full-strength Tailwind in a single flask, a serving of Skratch within the different, and water within the bladder. The Skratch has salt and electrolytes, nevertheless it’s solely 80 energy. This fashion, I’ve almost 300 energy in my flasks once I set out. For race day, I plan on bringing one other Tailwind packet to refill at an help station.
For precise chewable fueling, Clif shot blocks in margarita taste (with salt!) have labored nice. I’ve found I can’t do bars or fig cookies as a result of they make me really feel sick whereas I’m working. Peanut butter and honey sandwiches with crusts lower off have been a sport changer. These shall be my go-tos on race day, however I’m trying ahead to seeing sweet and potato chips at help stations too!
Wearable and Expertise
Technically, this part might be included below “all of the extras”. However there are such a lot of benefits to the know-how you possibly can put on and use lately! There are a lot of choices for GPS watches. Relying in your funds and the way minimalist – or maximalist – you might be about stats and suggestions, it is best to have the ability to discover simply the appropriate look ahead to you. Any watch with GPS will work to trace distance, tempo, mileage, and complete time in your wrist. The watch’s related app gives you extra in-depth stats in your runs.
Manufacturers which can be on the highest of most ultrarunners’ lists embody:
For those who don’t need to put on a watch, you should still need to verify your progress utilizing statistics after working. In that case, think about an app. You can begin it up in your cellphone, after which put it away and neglect about it till you’re carried out. Only a few choices embody Strava, Runkeeper, Nike+ Run Membership, and Map My Run.
How I’m Monitoring
I take advantage of a Garmin Vivoactiv 3. I’ve used Garmin for a very long time. For a couple of years lately I had been working and not using a watch and simply utilizing an app within the background on my cellphone. Except I’m working some type of exercise with particular paces to hit, like intervals, I’m utilizing it extra as a background fashion tracker. It’s arrange so I don’t obtain any alerts for splits. I even have Garmin push my runs to Strava. I like the social facet of Strava and seeing what my buddies are as much as! Simply to be further, I even have Runkeeper working within the background. That is extra out of behavior from years of not carrying a watch.
What I admire about utilizing the Garmin is having the center charge monitor. I additionally love the in-depth stats I can view on the app. What I don’t like is that my Garmin appears to underestimate distance. After I run with somebody with a unique model or perhaps a totally different mannequin of Garmin, mine all the time tracks much less distance. It additionally tracks shorter than apps on my cellphone. That’s not a deal breaker for me, only a bizarre quirk I’ve observed. The battery life can be so-so. With a completely charged watch, it provides me a low battery warning after about 6 hours of GPS use. Meaning it’ll work for a 50K, however something longer it wouldn’t maintain up.
When it’s time to improve, I’m torn. I’ll select one other Garmin with an extended battery life, or a Coros watch. Coros apparently has an unbelievable battery life, and will get rave evaluations from extremely runners.
The extras cowl nearly all the pieces else. Fundamentals like what garments to put on, to what many think about to be necessities, like anti-chafing lube and sunscreen. Each runner’s extras listing is totally different. Simply keep in mind to all the time take a look at out your extras on lengthy runs earlier than attempting one thing on your race or occasion.
Bottoms: Spandits shorts (you should utilize low cost code CARLY10 at checkout for 10% off!)
Hair: Undercut with a brief bob I can throw in a ponytail.
Hat: If I’m coaching on the roads, or unshaded path, or possibly if it’s raining, I’ll put on a sports activities cap. On the paths, although, I normally don’t want the additional shade. Typically it additionally interferes with my peripheral imaginative and prescient, so I’m not planning on carrying one for the race.
Lube: I take advantage of deodorant as my lube! It really works! I take advantage of Arm & Hammer, and put it below my higher arms as a result of my arm swing tends to be near my physique and may rub towards my shirt typically. I additionally put deodorant below my bra line all the way in which round. I’m going to attempt Squirrel Nut Butter, not for this race as a result of I haven’t tried it out but, nevertheless it’s reviewed extremely by long-distance runners.
Sunscreen: I take advantage of a generic 50+spf spray for my physique, and Neutrogena face sunscreen for my face, ears and neck. I take advantage of 30+ spf lip balm, no explicit model.
First help I carry: Band aids, alcohol wipes, Benadryl (a suggestion from a pal who ran the VT50 and struggled with the bugs), Tylenol, and tissues.
What’s in your must-have working gear listing, particularly for working lengthy distance?
Let me know what you’re utilizing that’s lacking from this listing! What’s your should have piece of working gear for extremely coaching, or path working? And I would like *all* of the watch suggestions if I ever get sick of my Garmin under-tracking mileage! 😉
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