Constant and Never Ending Improvement
Run The North Face 100km in Thailand, February 2020.
38 kms is longest I have run since my days in the army.
Everything was great up until I reached 20 kms. From that point on things slowly went down hill, as the per kilometer time shows.
Cramps set it at 37 kms, walking and a slow jog was it until the end.
Was I dehydrated and suffering from a lack of electrolytes?
That was my first thought, but it seems I was wrong!
The most Common Cause of Cramps is something called Altered neuromuscular control.
What is Altered Neuromuscular Control
Common in long distance sports, like ultra running and elite athletes.
How to Prevent Muscle Fatigue – Cramps
Knowing what causes muscle fatigue will help with knowing how to prevent it!
- inadequate conditioning,
- hot and or humid environments,
- increased intensity,
- increased duration,
- and decreased supply of energy
Check I did them all wrong!
- Run a minimum of 3 times per week, distance is varied.
- 2 runs between 5 and 8 kms
- and 1 long run. Increasing the distance as the event gets closer. Tip, run long every 2nd week.
- Example 20, 10, 26, 13, 32, 16 kms and so on!
My mistake was to use the treadmill, weight training and a quick 14 kms 2 days before.
Hot and or humid environments,
- Start training very early or late in the day to prevent sun exposure.
I started at 0530 and finished a 0930, way to late. It was 34 degrees by the time I hit the 30 km mark.
- I’m using work as an excuse not to run a minimum of 3 times per week.
- To complete 100 kms I must change this!
- My next long run will 20 kms and build from there.
And decreased supply of energy.
Eating right is a never ending discussion. One week it’s this and another week it’s that.
What to do? Well you should never take advice about money from a poor man, so what do the leaders in long distance running eat?
Best Foods for Long Distance Running
Firstly avoid these foods
- High fiber foods
- Excessively fatty foods
- Spicy food
- Too much caffeine
One week out, increase these foods.
- anti-inflammatory omega-3s
- Lean beef
- high in iron and protein. Marathon runners are often low in iron.
- and whole grains
- whole wheat pasta wild rice etc. Great for energy and recovery
Pre Run Meals, 1 to 2 hours before event.
- 1 or 2 bananas,
- a smoothie,
- energy gel or bar with water.
Need something bigger?
- porridge with fruit,
- muesli and yogurt,
- banana on toast with peanut butter of honey.
During the Run
- Water with salt or salt tablets,
- often overlooked by runners, but it’s a must for the long distance runners.
- Energy gels and bars,
- Chocolate milk or milkshake,
- Natural yogurt based smoothie,
- Toast with peanut (or almond) butter,
- Muesli with Greek yogurt and mixed berries.