Friday's 5 Fitness Tips — Ultra Running
OK, so it’s actually 4p.m. Thursday as we publish this, but we wanted to give you some extra time to get excited about your active weekend with our Friday’s 5 Fitness Tips. This week’s tips come from Stonewear Ambassador Brandi Bolli Humphrey. We hope you enjoy this regular addition to the Live Stonewear! Blog.
1. Believe it is possible:
Learn to turn off the “negative” talk and feed off of the positive energy. Ultrarunning is a true challenge of one’s body and mental power. The “what if’s” will inevitably start playing on repeat in your head, so cover that talk up with: “YOU CAN DO THIS, YOU ARE READY, the finish line is closer than you think.”
2. Get off the road:
Trail running is by far the most popular form of ultrarunning. The chance to run 30, 40, 50, even a 100+ miles through beautiful countryside on trails instead of pounding the pavement is one of ultrarunning’s biggest attractions. Running on trails requires more from your ankles and a ton of core stability. Spend as much time as possible off the road to strengthen your muscles and improve your technique, and the rest of your body will thank you.
3. Stop & Smell The Roses:
Ultrarunning is not about shaving seconds off of your personal best, it’s about challenging yourself to run farther than you think is possible. Moreover, it’s about and just as enjoying yourself along the way. Don’t obsess about distances, times, and heart-rates while training. Instead, take notice of the sunrises, sunsets, scary noises, and the scenery you pass through. Enjoy what you are doing at that particular moment–revel in the fact that you are not sitting behind a desk–you’re tearing through some of the finest single-track the mountains have to offer. Get out and get some!
4. Learn to eat and run:
Oh hale to the Snicker’s Bar! Running an ultra requires a steady stream of calories to keep the body fuelled. For most runners, sports drinks and gels may be palatable during a marathon, but any longer and they begin to make you feel sick. Learning what your stomach can and can’t handle can be the difference between finishing and not finishing. While training, experiment with different foods until you find something that works for you. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Nutella wraps, high calorie bars, chia gel, and black licorice are just a few of my favorites.
5. Your toes need room to breathe:
Pedicures?…forget about it. Yes, it is common for long distance runners to have black and blue toes that aren’t exactly easy on the eyes (if you even have any toenails left intact at all). I know this doesn’t sound pretty, but it’s true. Find a shoe that fits properly and run with it. Make sure there is ¾” to 1″ of space between the top of your big toe and the end of your shoe. This may feel too big when you first try it on, but you need the extra space around the toes so that they’re not rubbing into the shoe and pressing into one another. Your feet will swell, and they will thank you for the extra bit of room when you’re screaming downhill (unless of course you have “feet made of iron”). Also, pay close attention to your clothing. Make sure you are dressed for the weather, and be sure to know your gear inside and out. Running packs, headlamps, hydration hoses/bottles etc. Always bring a change of clothes to throw on after the run. I prefer to jump in creeks and mountain lakes, rinse off the sweat, and throw on a super comfy skirt. My recommendation, of course, is the Stonewear Designs Cascade Skirt.
-Brandi Bolli Humphrey, Stonewear Designs Grassroots Team Member