So my so called return to ultramarathon failed miserably. Although my legs were still kicking strong, the sun’s heat destroyed me. Several things I’ve learned from that race:
First. I will never be comfortable with that gigantic hydration bag (a 2Liter Camelback) bouncing off my back. As I ran I noticed that it caused some friction on the lower section of my back neck, hence the annoying heat I felt whenever I run. Good thing I carried my petroleum jelly, I didnt suffer any chaffing on that area. I might purchase a smaller one, probably a 1Liter local brand, I saw one at Mall of Asia (forgot the brand)
Second. The run walk strategy is a cool idea, but it didn’t work on me. I had extreme difficulty transitioning back from walking to running and this affected my pace. I’ve found my running phase got slower everytime after a minute of walk.
Third. When opportunity knocks, I will try to dose myself with cold water. I only did this on my face but never on my head and upperbody as I’m always wary of too much water ending up on my shoes.
So here’s my strategy on Saturday. I will not bring my hydration bag anymore, instead I might just opt for a handheld bottle filled with plain water. I tried this already on last year’s BDM 102km, so I know I can handle it just well. Fortunately, my ultra team (Team Ungas) have 2 support vans that will help us along the route. This will also help solve problem #3 from above. Whenever I feel hotter than usual, I will just look after the van and ask for a cold soaked sponge. Oh dba pwede? Now what about problem #2. I will not entirely ditch the run-walk strategy ( I will walk all uphills), but, I will add some “speed ups”. This will not only destroy the monotony of run-walk , but hopefully it will also help my leg muscles feel loose and more free. This will also enable me to access several muscles in my leg instead of utilizing just a few ones from all that walks/slow runs resulting in fatigue. My speed ups will consist of 50-100 meter run at 5:30min-6min/km pace or a 1 minute of same pace, depende sa mood ko. I plan to do more speed-ups than walk if possible. I’ve seen some ultramarathoners do this stuff, so its time for me to put this in practice and see how it will go.
I will use Diadora Mythos Samurai III as my shoes as it is very light and will ward of any excess water/sweat from my feet. This race will also mark the first time for me to use this Spenco insole to provide support to my arch and provide comfort to my heel. Yes, I used to suffer from heel spur so I’m taking extra measures to avoid it.
Again this is just an experiment I will do for this race, and FYI, I will just consider this as part of my training for the ultimate ultramarathon race next year- The Bataan Death March 160km Ultramarathon Race.
So any ultra people there reading? Have you tried adding “speed-ups” in your race? What’s the result? I’m dying to know!