A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Towpath Run - Advice For Those going the Distance Tomorrow - Good Luck!

 

We have at least 35 people going the full 34.6 mile distance tomorrow at the RVRR Towpath Training Run. That is incredible how many people are attempting the ultra distance these days. There are a lot of people going ultra for the first time tomorrow. I wish you all the best of luck, but I leave you with some suggestions for tomorrow...

1) Your last full meal should be lunch, or a very early dinner, around 3PM at the latest. The main reason is that you want to make sure all that food that you eat passes through your system completely and is evacuated from your body in time for the event tomorrow. It's not a nice feeling to still have all that food in your gut when you run long tomorrow, so get that last meal done early tonight.

2) Your last full meal should NOT be full of carbs. Rather, it should be a healthy mix of protein, fat, and a little carbs. Suggestions would be grilled chicken with broccoli rabe (which I will be eating today), or for the vegetarian, an omelete (or frittata) with vegetables in it. Vegans can get by with a salad with tofu and nuts the day before the race.



3) The early last meal doesn't mean you should starve the rest of today and into tomorrow. Make sure you can snack a little so that you stay sated while keeping light with your diet. Fruit, dried fruit, and nuts (no peanuts) would be ideal for tonight. Also, drink a lot of water. The temps will be mild, but it is predicted to hit 80 degrees tomorrow, so there is a bit of warmth there.

4) Tomorrow morning, you should stay light with your diet. I know some people can get by with a bagel, but can be a bit heavy on some people right before a run. Dried fruit or nuts would be ideal. I usually keep those on hand as I dress up and drive over to the start of the run. Also keep water on hand, of course.

5) Make sure you have something with you so that you can carry water and food while running. The aid stations are pretty much stocked well, but you still want to make sure you have nutrition and water on demand when you need it the most. A Camelbak, Nathan, or other hydration pack is ideal. A fuel belt also will work here too. At least carry one bottle of water with you at all times on the run.

4) Eat more real food than energy gels and bars. You will be running this at a relaxed pace. A relaxed pace means that your stomach has the ability to digest foods, more than in a marathon or shorter distance run. And real food is much more superior than the energy food. Trust me on this! Real food meaning fruit, nuts, bananas, and beef jerky for the hardcore ultrarunners. Try to stay conservative on candies such as Twizzlers, Gummy Bears, and M&Ms; the sugars can cause an insulin crash, something you don't want happening to you during a long run.

5) Eat early and often. Even if you're not hungry on the opening miles of the run, have something literally at your fingertips to nibble on. If you wait until hunger strikes, it might already be too late to catch back up with your nutrition.



6) Lastly, have fun. Make sure you socialize with people in your group the entire time. We're social animals, and talking makes the miles go extremely quickly!

I wish you the best of luck tomorrow and I'll see you all at Johnson Park and the finish line!