Be Ready

You’ve made it to the big day and are standing on the start line of your 100 mile event. While it’s only natural to feel apprehensive at the start of any ultra how you cope with this and ultimately how you feel about the day ahead will come from your preparation, you can’t fake it. When you’ve done all you can you know it and when you haven’t, you also know it! It’s very rare to have perfect race preparation so doing all you can around any setbacks is the next best thing you can do. 

The doubts you have on a start line only get louder once fatigue sets in and if you’re finding it more difficult than you anticipated. You need to be able to pull on something positive to keep you going. It’s difficult to quit when you have been so invested in your training, it’s easy to quit when you’ve cut corners as your mind will tell you it was inevitable. 

Preparation aside, only what you do on event day determines the result - it’s time to shine! This is great news when things haven’t gone exactly to plan in the build up, you can still make it happen. However, if you are new to the 100 mile distance you can avoid making it harder by doing what is in your control to improve your chances of a finish:

Focus on your running. Your fitness level is your greatest asset. Don’t get distracted by worry, kit, strava and social media. RUN.

If possible, recce the route - if you can’t - let it go.

Train on similar terrain if possible, especially in peak phase - if not possible do what you can to be as conditioned as possible with what you have, remember your fitness is your greatest asset, not where you are from.

Have the GPX of the route on your phone/watch - know how to use it.

Know the aid station distances (have a print out)

Have a draft / flexible pacing plan (know the cut-offs)

Make your footwear choice(s) a month before the event so you avoid panic buying the week of the event.

Know the event itinerary and rules

Try all race kit out in training

Get any coaching / training you need

Run long with full kit in your pack before race day - know where everything is in your sleep

Practice a few head torch runs - know how to use your head torch (plus recharge / replace batts)

Have a draft nutrition fueling strategy - Practise this in training

Have a draft fluid / electrolyte strategy - Practise this in training

If you have a crew make sure they are well briefed on your goals and race rules

Pick your crew and pacer wisely - make sure you understand one another

If you fall out with your support let it go and run, you can sort it out at the finish line

Have a mini first aid kit - including an anti-chafing stick (Glide) and your meds

Remember: Nothing new on race day!

Trust your training

Believe in yourself - that counts for more than what anyone else thinks about you

Remember your why

Enjoy the challenge. Soon enough you’ll be too old to run 100 miles and a bit longer after that you’ll be dead, so enjoy it.