Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzeeeee 😱 how have I got here?!?! Just 2 years ago I was doing the odd run here and there and now look at me! I can’t pretend I’m not loving the change in me because I am, I enjoy a challenge and I get a great buzz from achieving what I never thought would be possible. I can truly say hand on heart I’ve loved every part of my training over the last few months which most definitely comes down to belonging to such a great running club – I can’t thank everyone enough for making me feel so welcome over the past year. I’ve made some amazing friends who I’m grateful to be able to run alongside on a regular basis. Blimey, I just read that back, it’s a bit soppy isn’t it – best I move on.
My brain is in complete overdrive for the weekend ahead, I have no idea if my body is going to allow me to complete this challenge although I’m hopeful that my mind will. My concerns lay in my bodies ability to carry me that far without injury but it’s what I’ve been training for and I need to trust in that, I can’t start tomorrow off without believing I can complete it. This evening I can only concentrate on the things I am able to control which is why I’m preparing as best I can with a spreadsheet 😉.
My last set of replies have come from Jason Montfort (www.runningalive.com), he can be found on twitter at @JasonMontfort.
1) Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into Ultra running.
I’m now 40 years old and have been competing in running and related endurance sports for over 20 years. I was never fast at running. Definitely back of the pack in sprint type events in school. But I did discover as the distance became longer I seemed to just be able to keep going. Gradually my love of running grew over the years. At 18 years went and watched the Melbourne Marathon at about the 35km mark. The amount suffering combined with determination struck me deeply. I decided to run the same the marathon the following year. I loved it. Became injured and took up some swimming and cycling to maintain fitness. That led me into triathlon, I loved Ironman distance. Over the years I realised I was a better runner and gradually moved into running. It was an evolution.
2) When, what and how far was your first Ultra? Tell us a bit about it / add pictures if you have any.
My first running ultra was the Maroondah Dam 50km in 2012. It is a race that takes in some impressive hills. I couldn’t believe you could race hard and still be walking. There is a 7km down hill section in late stages and it absolutely destroyed my legs for days. I did discover I had a pretty good ability to go fast down hill. Of course I also learnt there were others way faster too. It was brutal, and I loved every part of it.
3) Which Ultra would you now put down as your favourite and why?
The Surf Coast Century. It was my first 100km. It has an absolutely amazing atmosphere. The course layout is very spectator friendly and the positivity and community this event has developed from it’s inaugural year in 2012 is phenomenal. The scenery is spectacular. Each year I head down there now for either the full 100km or run it as a part of a relay with some good friends.
4) Do you follow a training plan?
I write my own. I am my own coach and I treat my own program as if I’m coaching someone else with the added bonus I know even more about myself.
5) What advice can you give for those looking to complete their first Ultra?
Find consistency in your training and give yourself time to build. The monster sessions sounds impressive, but we often get more from regular smaller sessions that gently push out our limits than we do from a big sessions that takes a long time to recover from.
6) What fuel do you take on when running long and how often?
Most I use Hammer Perpetuem and Hammer Gels. Getting in somewhere between 200-240cal/hour. This seems to sit about right most of the time for, but the joy of ultras means what usually works doesn’t always work. So sometimes I’ll substitute something else into the mix if I feel its needed Over the last couple of years this seems to be more solid food such as biscuits, ClifBar or lollies. Bananas never sit well in my stomach when running.
7) What is the best equipment / clothing you have every purchased for running?
Salomon S-Lab 5L race pack. It is light and fast and feels more like clothing than a pack.
8) What would be your dream race?
Marathon de Sables
9) In one word describe how we can expect to feel whilst completing our first Ultra.
10) Favourite re-fuel food?
Pizza (if after an ultra marathon)