I wouldn’t call myself an ultramarathoner. Yet. I haven’t even done a marathon. Regardless of that I’ve signed up for two ultra marathons to do in 2016; the Ultrafiord (50km) in Patagonia, Chile and Tromsø Skyrace (50km), Norway. And I’m scared to death. But in a good way. And I’ll tell you why.
I know I can finish the races, cause all I have done the last four years is to go for really long runs in the mountains and I’ve been a competative speed skater on a high level in a large chunk of my adult life. I’ve put in the hours. I know I’m capable of it, but there is no way of knowing how capable I am before I’m in the middle of the race. And this is what fascinates me about ultra marathon running. It’s the fact that every day I wake up feeling scared as fuck. And the only thing I can do to tame this feeling is to do everything in my power to make sure that I’m as prepared as possible on race day. When I go to sleep I want to tell myself that I did something today that made me more prepared than I was yesterday.
The fascination of knowinging I will hurt physically for 7+ hours at a certain date in the future is extremely fascinating to me. And it’s what keeps me going. I know, cause the periods in my life where I haven’t had a race or some kind of physical challenge booked in the future I haven’t had the same drive and fire inside me to do other stuff. This isn’t a feeling only long distance runners have. You see it in all kinds of sports, but I think the best comaprison is MMA fighters. They do whatever they can to get an edge of their upcoming opponent. Whether it’s hiring a movement expert like Ido Portal, a nutrition expert like Mike Dolce or training three times a day. They do whatever they can to get as least hurt as possible on fight day, but at the same time hurt the opponent as intelligently and efficiently as possible. In preparation for an ultra marathon I look at the opponent as the mountain(s) I will climb during the race. How can I train best so that the struggle to conquer the mountains gets as close to nothing as possible.
An ultra marathon has two aspects: The journey towards the race and the actual race. If you look at the race as some scary, hairy goal you have booked in the future you will be a better human in the time period before the race. Maybe your partner will think you’re selfish at times when you choose to train instead of kicking back and sharing a bottle of wine, but so be it. Having a goal like this will most likely effect your daily life to the better.
- You make a day-to-day plan for your life for your next six months
- You start reading up on nutrition and how it effects your body
- You try getting 8 hours of sleep to recover for tomorrows training
- You start getting more structured at work, cause you want to get as most as possible done in your 7-8 hours so you won’t have to do overtime so you can go and train
- You don’t party (so hard) in the weekends because it will effect you negatively as an athlete
Some people will tell you that it sounds boring and unnecessary. But don’t take their advice. What achievements have they made? You’re running a freakin’ ultra marathon! How cool is that!?!?
Anyways, I thought I’d just share the thoughts running through my head these days. I can’t wait to run in the mountains in Patagonia. To finish off, here’s a video of the trails I’m currently training in. It’s in Cusco, Peru. Far away from home which is Tromsø, Norway.