In order to be as prepared as possible, I want to be ready for every eventuality. Here is a short list of challenges I anticipate facing and how I plan (at this stage of my preparation) to deal with them.
I imagine the day will involve lots of…
- navigation.. I’ll have printed (and potentially laminated) maps of each section to take with me. I plan to have then ‘at-hand’ whenever I need them and use them to keep myself on track – I know some FKT record attempts have been derailed by a slight deviation from course and I intend to protect myself from this problem in as many ways as possible. Printed map, charged phone with map marked out, and (hopefully) a second set of eyes on every part of the ring. I’m also wondering whether a compass would be a good thing to carry, potentially.
- eating/drinking.. I’ll have drawn a blueprint of my pack/pockets marking what food/drink I would like in each pocket/pouch and will assign the task of refilling my pack at each stop (5, in total) to someone in the team so that I can concentrate on resting, eating and recovering. I plan to eat solid, normal food at stops and to then do gels, bars and electrolyte drinks whilst running – I will of course need to test this on a training run by doing a long run, stopping at home for a banana, sandwich, or milkshake and then going out for another long run, details to come. For ‘in-run’ fuelling, I am becoming fond of MaxiNutrition FuelMax Gels (Citrus Burst) which I will take every hour, and have already become dependant on Dextro Energy Sticks (Orange) on my longer runs, which I take every 30-45mins. Things I have considered/tried using for fuel…
- MaxiNutrition FuelMax Gels
- Dextro Energy Sticks
- MaxiNutrition FuelMax Bars – I felt these were quite heavy, and slow to eat.
- Nakd Bars – I have tried these in various flavours and have liked them, mostly.
- Dextro Energy Gels – Dextro sent me a load of these, I haven’t tried them yet.
- NurishmentActive Protein Shakes – NurishmentActive sent me these. They’re more of a recovery item, for use at stops. I like the strawberry flavour more than I liked the chocolate one, I think.
- Lucozade Sport – I cannot live without these, definitely going to have these at stops and maybe in my pack too. Orange flavour is my favourite.
- pacing.. In order to beat the current FKT, I need to run at an average pace of 10min/mile; I can feel myself slowly developing an understanding that pace and am confident in my ability to sustain it for 20, 40, 60miles. My only problem will be containing myself on the sections I know without a map, on sections without a pacer, or on downhill sections – any increase in pace could mean I burn myself out and cannot complete the full 82 miles.
- pain relief.. My legs hurt right now, and I’m just sat watching Beauty & The Beast with my son. I can’t even imagine how they will feel after 60miles of pavements and trails. So, with that in mind, I am currently in the process of working out how best to get pain relief into my body. I struggle to swallow tablets at the best of times – but that shouldn’t be a problem, I have found a highly effective soluble Paracetamol that I will take at stops if I feel like I need it. Also, pain relief gels will help dissolve any shin, heel or knee pains I might develop during the run.
Other things I have started thinking about are weather, clothing and shoe swaps, having a briefing meeting beforehand, how best to keep my crew updated on my progress between stops, video, verification cards, music, charging my gadgets, a good headtorch, pacers, toilet stops, press (local newspapers), and if I want to run for a charity – potentially one that encourages young people to get into running/sport?
Here is a cool post from UltRunR about checklists and planning – http://www.ultrunr.com/checklist.html
And here is one about what to pack – https://runnersconnect.net/ultra-training/what-to-bring-in-ultra-bag/