It was mid-July, and my friend Olga suggested doing an Ultra race in Cappadoccia, Turkey.
The race was 15th of October, which gave us 12 weeks to prepare. After talking to Tom and mapping out a training plan with the tips he gave me, I was excited to learn more about endurance and how to combine it with strength training.
Here's what I learned.
- A structured training plan is important, but listing to your body is as essential. It's easy to fall into the trap of doing too much and stressing out about missing a session.
- If something isn't feeling right, figure out the cause and focus on fixing this problem before your next run and adding more damage. Feet are so important and need a place in your strength training!
- I was slowly building up mileage week by week, and adding 10% weekly to the total volume worked perfectly. During the sweltering weeks, I did shorter runs more frequently. This allowed me to recover faster and not get so dehydrated. Once the weather cooled down, I did fewer runs but longer distances.
- Have a fueling plan, and know what your stomach can digest and what you feel like eating. I ran well on oranges + salt crackers, and a couple of gels. A hydration vest of 1.5L + 2 sachets of PH electrolytes every 2 hours was perfect for my sweat rate.
- Mindset is everything! I had visualized myself crossing the finish line 100 times.
- Being present for almost 9 hours was something I had never experienced before. I realized to be in the moment, I had to acknowledge every emotion and embrace it for what it was.
- In the weeks after, I craved to run long again.
This journey is to be continued, and would love to have coffee with anyone looking to start their ultra journey!