Training for my first 50 Miler
A few months ago, I was talking with one of my contacts at The North Face and they offered me an entry into one of the Endurance Challenge Series Races and I decided to run the Wisconsin Kettle Moraine State Park 50 Miler. I haven’t run a 50 miler up to this point, the farthest I have raced in one day is a 50k which I didn’t train for prior to the race except for putting in between my off season 20-40 miles a week. A 50k isn’t really all that challenging for anyone who’s run a marathon, as it’s only an additional 5 miles, 31.0686 miles to be exact. In essence, it’s become the new marathon for many runners because they take great pride in knowing that they are unique and part of a select group of people able to run a specific race.
My training for the 50 miler has been a little hit or miss up to this point. Early in my training, I came down with a virus that zapped my energy for a few weeks and I also hyper extended my calf which kept me from running for a few weeks. While I wasn’t able to run during this time, I spent some time in the saddle of my road and mountain bike to keep my legs in motion and my heart rate up.
For the past 2 months, I’ve been much more dedicated to my running schedule including getting in a number of different races including a recent half marathon in Steamboat Springs. During this training, I’ve been testing out a few different products including the Suunto Ambit 2 which I will have a review out in a few weeks after I get some good miles in with it, some of Arcteryx running gear, and some of the New Skin Anti Chaffing Spray which I have been using for the past 2 months and has really come in handy on my longer runs. Training for these longer distance races really allows me to get in some good product testing rounds because not only can I test the products out on a lot of training runs, but I get to test them out in longer distances where I am out for 3-5 hours sometimes. The longer distances are often what separates the boys from the men, or the girls from the ladies. Given that I am very specific on the gear I test, the products typically hold up, but from time to time they don’t always meet my expectations. Up to this point, all the products have performed very well on all my training sessions.
Am I Ready for 50 Miles?
The answer to whether I am ready or not will come down to the race day. There have been plenty of days where I thought I would drop down to the 50k as that is something I know I could do with little resistance. The 50 miler is definitely unchartered territory for me and the unknown always scares us all a little, but after a few words of advice on training and nutrition, I’ve decided to charge forward and run the 50 miler. The words of advice were reminders that I need to keep an eye on my pace and keep it slow and keep an eye on my nutrition because without the right nutrition, it can be easy to bonk. Overall, I am very excited to push my myself and my greatest distance to 50 miles. It will definitely be a challenge, but I feel that I am ready to meet that challenge and accomplish my goal of running a 50 miler.
Until next time, get out, enjoy the trails, and be safe.