There are two categories in Vadodara Ultra namely 25 kms and 55 kms. For 25 kms participants, you shouldn’t be scared of the distance. If you are a frequent runner of distances ranging from 15-20 kms, you should be fine.
But for 55 kms, you will run beyond the legendary 42.195 kms marathon distance and with the right combination of training as well as mental and physical fitness you can complete this race. Some participants will come with their own personal goal to achieve – maybe to finish an ultra race for the first time. For the more seasoned ultra-marathon competitors, the goal may be to finish in the top 10 or even win! The bottom line is that finishing a race or not is more or less head. It’d be best to clear your doubts and go forth. Here are a few pointers on how you can be well prepared:
- Start by increasing a bit of your weekly training mileage. Go easy and progressively instead of suddenly running 20-25 kms at a stretch. Try and see if you can add a few extra kilometers to each of your long runs. Reaching the point where you will be able to complete 30-35 kms without stopping or suffering too much will show that you’re heading to the right direction. Remember that this should come as a progression over time, and even months to be realistic. No one should expect to be able to jump from practically nothing to finishing long runs every weekend! Doing so will automatically result in fatigue and probably injury. During the week, apply the same method: instead of only running 10 kms, increase the mileage and go for 12-15 kms each time.
- Play with speed. Including speed into your routine will not only help you clock a faster time but it will also generally make you stronger and allow you, on race day to cope with all that the terrain will throw at you without suffering and slowing down too much (uphills, downhills, deep sand patches, rocks, etc.). This type of speed work doesn’t have to be fancy or scientific for you to start seeing results. For example, after a proper warm-up of 1-2 kms, accelerate for 400-800 m, cool down for 100-200 mts while walking or running slower and repeat five to ten times depending on your fitness. The rule is to keep the same exercise speed and recovery timings. The variations are infinite in terms of distance and repetitions.
- Take rest. Nobody can perform without proper rest and too many athletes think they can go without it. Remember that taking proper rest is completely part of the training. Training with intensity without proper rest will lead to burn outs, demotivation and probably serious injury in the short, medium or long term.