How do you run a long way if you have only ever run short distances?
I was asked recently if I would provide some advice about endurance running, specifically for those taking part in the EnduRun24 in Newcastle.
The EnduRun24 is, as you can probably guess from the name, a 24 hour Enduarance run. The course is a cross country 10k loop around Gosforth Park and it pretty much has it all in terms of terrain. There is plenty of flat, short but steep hills, long grass and mud. The idea is to run as many complete laps of the course as you can in 24 hours either on your own, with a partner or as part of a team. In 2014 I completed it as a solo entrant and ran 90k (mostly with broken toes). It was my first ever endurance run.
Preparation is very important to a run like this so make sure you have read all of the advice from the event organisers and triple check your kit before you leave the house.
The keys to running a long way are pace, fuel and rest. After that it’s just sheer willpower. You will be putting in a fair few miles and will need to prepare mentally for what is essentially going round in circles. Also, if the course is the same as last year then the last straight before the end of each lap does seem to go on for a while. Do whatever works for you. Play counting games, put some music on or listen to an uplifting audiobook if you need, to fill your head with something.
Think about pace. Don’t blast off at the start. You’ve got 24 hours, take it easy and conserve your energy.
Be mindful about what you eat and drink. Filling up on anything is probably not a great idea but do keep snacking and nibbling throughout the challenge. It’s better to go out a little hungry than to be totally stuffed.
Relax! If you’re running as part of a team you should have plenty of time to relax, chill out and think about your next lap. If you’re running solo or in a pair you may even feel the need for some power naps part way through.
It’s not a race. Like many others you have entered the event to push yourself a little further. Run your own race.
If you get all of this right you’ll have a great time. You will want to do it again and you can call yourself an endurance runner!
And finally, if you think you’ve packed enough spare socks you haven’t.
Here’s my post from last years EnduRun24 – beware the hairy toes!!