I did two 100 kms within 45 days in 2017 and here are 5 lessons I took from them.
Last year I had set a grand goal for myself. It was to qualify for CCC UTMB 2018.
So, as per the plans, I had to do two 100 kms races to earn 8 points to qualify for CCC UTMB 2018. Now, I could have done one 100 km race in February and the other one in October or December as per the race calendar here in India. But life happened and I couldn’t do the February race.
I was left with only few races which gave points for UTMB. Those were 45 days apart. I decided to do BhattiLakes 100 km in Faridabad (closer to my home) and Nilgiris 100km in Ooty (became a family trip). Watch the race reports of these two races below.
Disclaimer : I have been focusing on YouTube lately and didn’t blog for the last 6-7 months or so. So, instead of writing race reports, I have made videos on both the races. I hope you like them.
Bhatti Lakes 100 km – 07 October 2017
Nilgiris 100 km – 02 December 2017
After I completed my first race, it was then that I started thinking about the second race. Now, if you had seen both the above videos, you would have noticed the stark contrast in terrain and weather.
The first one was flat, hot and on a trail. The second one was in rain, cold and mountains.
After I did the first 100 km, Bhatti Lakes Ultra, I focused on only one issue and that was recovery! However, when I finished the second 100 km, Nilgiris Ultra, I realised I had done other things too during the ultra marathon training which helped me in successful completion.
So, here are the 5 lessons from two 100 km races within 45 days –
After finishing the first 100 km race, the very next day, I made it a point to walk around the block. Yes, I was still limping but that helped in getting some extra blood flow and aided in recovery. The next three days or so, I walked in the evenings around the block and by fourth day, I could start jogging.
During the period of rest and recovery, I dreaded foam rolling because of obvious reasons of pain and discomfort. So, I completely skipped it. But I wore compression socks whenever I could.
When I started running again, the first week was a struggle but I continued doing strength exercises as suggested by Coach Jay Johnson. It truly helped me to get back stronger.
I don’t believe in icing anymore though. Haven’t done it in years now!
Lastly was food, sleep and alcohol. I ate a lot and slept a lot for the first 7 days after the first 100 km. I limited alcohol consumption to only couple of days post race because I had another 100 km coming up soon. It helped my body and mind to recover fully to get back to ultra marathon training.
And of course, being a vegan helped a lot in my recovery process.
After the first 100 km, Bhatti Lakes ultra, I made a point to get back to running after a week’s rest and recuperation. I guess the mental make up plays a huge role in getting back on feet.
The aches and pains of the 100 km went away and I felt as if I haven’t raced such a distance in recent past.The body is such a wonderful machine at recovering!
I ensured that I was getting consistent miles everyday and doing the strengthening exercises to keep the limbs healthy. Aim was not to hit big miles but to be consistent with the workouts.
The body will not lose the fitness from reduced workout load since the last race.
I followed the classic taper, 3 weeks before Nilgiris 100 km.
After the first 100 km, I only ran some mid distances of 20-25 km range, as long runs, for only 2 weeks. Rest were for recovery and taper. I reminded myself that I shouldn’t go overboard and kept the mileage within myself, lest I get injured.
4. Trust yourself
I ran the first race in heat and an uneven trail. The second one was in the mountains and in the cold and rain.
But that didn’t deter me a bit. Okay, I confess that I was scared a little. More so because the cut off time was 2 hours lesser than Bhatti Lakes.
But I just went with the flow and took a deep breath! I reminded myself that I had put in 6 months of training and I am going to survive well enough.
I trained on as many rolling sand dunes in Jodhpur, before the race, as possible. I was there for some work stuff. But I knew that it wasn’t enough and I would have to pay for not doing hill work, during the race. But I kept a cool head thinking it’s going to be one hell of an experience!
5. Don’t stress
I, generally, am a cool guy. People at work call me the coolest dude, who never gets upset. And my wife also says the same except she adds that I am so cool that I don’t respond to her at all or what’s going on around me!
Before the race, the biggest thing to reduce anxiety is to prepare the kit. Go over in detail as to what all do we require at different aid stations and at different hours of the day. Check the maps, route and plan accordingly. The shoes, change of clothes, gels, electrolytes, wipes, food etc etc needs to be figured out. Once all these things in place, the stress levels and anxiety reduces drastically.
After all the preparations, I generally meditate or think about running the race at different times of the the day. I think how will I be feeling at the particular hour of the day. I visualise myself feeling strong. It makes me, in turn, feel confident. And it just takes 10 minutes of your time.
So here you go. I hope these 5 lessons may help you in some way or the other.
Till then stay fit and keep running.
Have you derived some kind of weird and interesting lessons from any outdoor adventures? Do comment below.