THE MERRELL BLOG: WHAT'S NOW. WHAT'S NEXT. LET'S GET OUTSIDE.
Running My Way
Race and Marathon Prep from Katie Roby
I often get asked how I train for ultra-marathons. “How on earth do you prepare your body to run those kind of distances”, people ask.
My answers are a bit vague and I suspect a little disappointing to those asking. I don’t really understand the physiology behind distance running, nor do I keep up to date with the latest training trends and diet plans. I guess I am a bit of a cowboy. Meticulously planned and strict training programs don’t work for me. I have tried, but found them overwhelming. I couldn’t deal with the guilt when I missed a session and felt daunted by how much I had to do each week. It made running become a chore.
Of course I train, just not in a structured way. I have a rough plan in my head, I know I need to build up the distances and incorporate in some strength and conditioning work. I will keep an ear out for shorter races that I can do in the run up to an event. I try to run with other people. I will use race training as an excuse to go exploring and find new routes. Running is my hobby; I choose to do it; so it needs to be enjoyable. That said, it isn’t always fun. There are plenty of evenings where I’m tired, the weather is disgusting and the thought of leaving a warm, cosy house to run 5 miles is a horrendous thought.
I am no expert. I am constantly making mistakes. Overtraining; undertraining; eating badly. Slowly, my body awareness is improving. I’m starting to understand that my niggly hip gets worse when I do too much running and not enough strength work. I’m learning to pick up those warning signs that I need a break; that drained feeling, the increasing frequency of niggles, the inability to run faster than 3mph! I have to remind myself that my body needs a bit of respect, and beasting it every week doesn’t always correlate with a good race result.
So, I’ve got a bit of work to do before I can satisfactorily answer questions on training! Things to try out and lessons to be learnt. I guess it will continually evolve as I age and what drives me to run changes. In the meantime, I’ve got some more hills to explore!