A Few Things Learnt - Surfcoast Century

If you are going to race a 100km trail run, then chances are you will learn a few things along the way. Here are a few lessons I have taken away from this year's Surfcoast Century.

New Limits
This isn't about how fast I can run. It is about how much I can get out of myself. It isn't something I can objectively measure or fully explain. The biggest thing I learnt is that I can push myself further and dig deeper into whatever it is than I thought possible. The combined onslaught of the body's defence mechanisms creates a situation where it feels almost impossible not to slow down at the very least. I've been there before and pulled out some efforts to be proud of, but this time it was a new level. Does that push my threshold out further? Will I be able to tap into it again?

Mental Training
It is cliché, but so much of an ultramarathon is mental. Without a wide selection of well practised mental techniques I would not have performed so well. 100km means for a long day, and just a couple of tricks won't necessarily get you through.

Nutrition
Know the maths, understand your body's signals and test the ranges in training. The ability to adapt is dependable on practise and knowledge here. There were a number of challenges to what I had available for nutrition. My initial plan had to go out the window, but I was able to rework it all, and essentially I had no problem with my intake.


Conditioned Technique
This kept me moving through plenty of sections that could have shut me down. Knowing which techniques to apply for the terrain played a large role in my faster time. The day also highlighted a few areas for improvement.

The Long Run
Going really long in training definitely isn't as important as I first thought. This year I didn't cover anything further than 40km in a single training session. There are different ways to get the required attributes. There's plenty of food for though from this one. Combining the different ways with more kilometres may lead to some big gains.

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