At the beginning of May, I did the 100 Miles of Beskid Wyspowy race. I did a summary of this race and what I learned from it, and I’d like to share lessons from 100 miles race with you, maybe one of them will be useful in your case.
Generally, this race was tough for me, it took me almost 38 hours to complete. There was only one night, and I spent about 60 – 90 minutes sleeping during the night.
Watch with track
I use Garmin Tactics, it isn’t very accurate with distance and track sometimes but during this race, it saved me a few times. During the night, I was somewhere in the mountains, the peaks were quite flat, there was heavy rain and fog. Headlamp shone a meter or two ahead, I didn’t see anything, I had to trust the track in the watch and it did the work. I think a good track device during ultramarathons helps a lot, besides it’s required often.
Lesson: good track helps in critical situations
During the previous race, I had a problem with my poles because they didn’t work as expected. This time, I used a clamp band to make them stiff and it worked well. During the mountain ultramarathon they helped a lot, in this race, there were places with 30% slope with snow and they were quite useful.
Lesson: poles can help go uphill in difficult places.
In all the ultra I did, I always did them alone, often there aren’t a lot of conversations because after a few hours of running/walking everyone is so exhausted that there isn’t much energy to talk. The CCC was a huge event and there were a lot of people next to me all the time but I didn’t talk with them. However, this time was different, there was a group of people with the same pace. I spent about 50km and this time we talked a lot, I learned many interesting things and I think it was easier to do this 50 km with other people. And the last 20km I did with another person, again, we spent this time talking and joking. I think doing ultras with others can help in many cases but the challenge is to find people with the same goals.
Another important group of people during and after the race are volunteers/organizers and private support. These are the most important but I guess you know it, I know that so I don’t write a lot about them.
Leeson: running with great people causes less muscle and brain pain.
Extra Shoes And Socks
I don’t know why but this time I didn’t have any clothes for change, I was doing the whole race with the same thing, only I had extra trousers and a jacket for the night. During the previous 206 km race, I had at least socks for a change. The lesson is that having extra socks is minimum because after 50/80/100km they get destroyed and if they are destroyed my feet become as well. I think having an extra pair of socks all the time in the backpack is recommended and I’ll have it all the time with me.
Lesson: have extra shoes and/or socks
For CCC, I had sunglasses to protect my eyes from the sun and they were useful but this time I didn’t take them because I knew that there won’t be the sun. And there wasn’t any sun. But, there was heavy wind and eyes don’t like it the same way as they don’t like a lot of sun. I have to learn to run with them for a longer time.
Lesson: use glasses all the time to protect your eyes.
Water Doesn’t Work
After a few ultras, I learned that I can’t drink a lot of isotonic because most of them don’t work well with my stomach so I can have water with me. Water is great to drink on a normal day but in my case, it didn’t work after 130/140km. Somewhere in these places, my body stopped accepting/consuming water. I drank water and I still was thirsty but when I drank isotonically I didn’t. I have to have water and something with me after some point, it can be isotonic or it can be something with a lot of water.
Lesson: water isn’t always enough to get hydrated.
During this race, I was testing the protein bar. As you know, running and keeping muscle mass doesn’t work together well. While I was reading medical research related to running, I found that runners should eat some protein during long-running. So, I had some protein bars with me to eat from time to time. I ate two of them after 5 and 8 hours of running and my stomach didn’t accept it. I felt them and I felt they slowed me down. Protein bars need water and after eating them I drank more water and they forced the liver to more work. I can’t eat a protein bar and I have to find another method to eat at least some proteins during running.
Lesson: protein bars aren’t good for races.
These are a few things I remember from this race, these are lessons from my last 100 miles race. Do you write a summary of your races and things you’ve learned from them?