Saturday, 15 February 2014

Ultra running answered in 20 questions

1) Why do you run?
I have no idea and I don't care if you run or not. 

2) Why do you run so far?
To feel a sense of accomplishing something impressive and the adulation of mere mortals.

3) Isn't it unhealthy?
I suppose it could be if you do it wrong. Running is no more unhealthy than sitting on your fat arse watching TV,  eating crisps and drinking beer.

4) Don't you have to be able to run fast?
I don't. But then I never win anything.

5) When you run do start with the left or right foot first?
I don't know and I have no idea if it makes a difference.

6) While you are running how often do you think, ah fuck it let's just stop?
About once every minute. Why do you think I have DNF'd so many times?

7) Do you enjoy it?
Sometimes I feel like a deer moving swiftly through the forest.  Other times I feel like I have feet of lead.

8) Isn't it painful?
Most of what is said about pain is bollocks.  Two of the most annoying quotes are "Pain is weakness leaving the body" and " No pain, no gain."  I don't pretend to know the science.  I leave that to the likes of Mark Hines. But from my experience I know that the correlation between pain and damage is very low.  I have been in loads of pain during a run and the next day felt fine.  I have also felt great and the next day not been able to move. So I mainly ignore it and it goes away. If it persists I go to the Doctors, as that is what I am paying my taxes for. I certainly don't ask an internet forum.

9) Don't you have to train a lot?
Depends what you mean a lot.  Some people do loads more than others. I used to do a lot more than I do now. I average 70-80km a week if that.  Quality over quantity.  Mix up the sessions, intervals, hills, long and FAST. Rest is just as important. 

10) What is the 5 o'clock club?
Mark Woolley says, "Sparta success starts at five not seven."  Getting up at five in the dark and the cold and the wet makes you tougher. Once you have started running it gets really easy and you feel smug for the rest of the day.

11) Don't you have to spend loads on kit?
No. I use the finishers t-shirts.  I wished they did finishers shorts, coz I have loads of t shirts. I am very parsimonious and hardly ever throw anything away. I still use top that I bought for 1998 London  Marathon.

12) Don't you get through loads of shoes
No,  I buy about two pairs a year and use them until the uppers fall apart.  When the treads are getting low, I Shoe Goo them.

13) But aren't the shoes expensive?
No,  I use a site called  which do shoes for 20-30% cheaper than the shops.

14) Don't you need specialist shoes like  Hokas, Innov-8 or Salomons?
There are tons of brands out there. Some people swear by them. Other people hate them. I used to know loads about shoe technology, but now I don't give a toss.  As James Adams says," No piece of kit will make you faster." I buy standard Asics GT 2100s. €80 a pair.

15) What about blisters?
What about them? Mark Cockbain says the best thing to do is to ignore them.  If I am doing anything up to 50-60km,  I don't do anything special other than wear Wright double skin socks. For anything longer I use Leukotape Sports Tape on the hot spots and plaster my feet in  Vaseline. In fact I tend to cover lots of my body in vaseline. 

16) Nipples? 
Plasters with vaseline on top.  Feel the burn when the plasters fall off.

17) What about when it is wet and cold?
Minimus jacket and trousers & SealSkinz socks kept me dry on the Hill and it was blowing a storm out there.

18) What do you eat?
Healthy stuff......What? You want to know what healthy stuff is? What am I? A nutritionist? Go and ask a scientist! 

19) Do you use GPS?
During a race the idea is to pace yourself naturally.  I have an adidas sports watch with a MASSIVE face on so I don't need reading glasses in the middle of the night. I was bought a Garmin 910XT for my 50 birthday which I use during training.  I honestly didn't realise it was a Triathlon watch when I got it.  But I have hardly used it for swimming.  As for cycling,  bikes are the work of the devil.  

20) There is no 20. If you take any of the advice above and it hurts you it is not my fault. And what the fuck are you doing still reading this when you know you should be out running?  DICKHEAD! 

No comments:

Post a Comment