What I learned after completing my first 100 mile training week.
1. 100 miles is a long way to run. When I wrote up my training week, I severely underestimated how long it would it take to run 100 miles. My aim was also to reach 8,000 metres of vertical gain, which made the 100 mile week even harder.
2. Double run days are king. To achieve 100 miles and 8,000 metres of gain, I had to run for 4 hours a day. I found it much easier on my body, mind, and life schedule, to run for 2 hours in the morning, then rest for 3 or more hours, and then run again for 2 hours in the afternoon. The rest time allowed me to eat, nap, and work a bit. Also, by splitting the run, I increased the quality, as I was fresher for the second run than I would have been if I had run for 4 straight hours. I didn’t always do double run days, but two or three during the week were helpful for increasing volume.
3. Sleep is key. I slept for 10.5 hours each night. The lights were out by 9 pm and I was up by 7:30. Sleep allows my body to regenerate, and keeps me more alert while running.
4. I absorbed the training well. I have been tracking my morning heart rate to see if I am over training. 40 beats per minute is my body at a recovered state (this is first thing in the morning while laying down). 0-6 beats over my rested state indicates that my I am responding well to the training, 7-12 is moderate, 13-16 is getting up there, and anything over 16 is over training. My morning heart rate went as follows: 43, 45, 42, 46, 44, 46, 44. The numbers speak for themselves.
5. It is difficult to socialize. I did not hang out with anybody all week; I was consumed by running. A training partner would be wonderful.
6. Eat a lot of fruit. I did the entire week on raw fruits and vegetables and this was a massive help. Fruit is high in water, digests with ease, and restores my glycogen stores, which are all things that sped my recovery. Plus fruit taste amazing!
7. You are a baby. All I did in-between the running was eat, sleep, nap, and poop.
8. Fitness comes fast. In January I ran 250km, and in February, 280. In March, however, I ran 483km. When you have a solid base of training, fitness returns quickly.
9. Running 100 miles makes you feel like Superman. Honestly, I felt super engaged and excited all week. During my final run, when I knew I was going to reach my target, I felt oddly euphoric, almost like I was high, as I glided down hill. Running is truly a spiritual experience.
10. There will be ups and there will be downs. Stay present for both, enjoys the ups, and know the downs are only temporary.