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Anyone here run Ultramarathons?
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By gravityneverrests
From Lakewood, CO
Feb 18, 2011
AG - knee and then hip injuries are somewhat common in ultras. Basically they are overuse injuries that need to be rested altho there can obviously be deeper damage. A study years ago took needle biopsies from muscle tissue of ultra runners and showed evidence of damage at the cellular level. I think that is one reason Skip Hamilton quit doing ultra running races and switched ultra xc ski racing. (He was one of the ones being tested).

As I somewhat jokingly said earlier - less milage may cause more injuries/stiffness after the race. I always figured that I didn't have to run for 6 or 7 weeks anyway since the 100 milage gave me my 15 mile weekly average for that period ;-)..The elite runners always seemed pretty spry by the awards ceremony where I felt like someone had given my legs a beating with a tire iron. As to training (and JLP), my brothers and my theory was that the 15 miles per week were eneough to be biomechanically efficient and the physical labor at work and the weekends gave us some fitness. It worked for us. I don't think everyone needs to over-analyze this. You should be able to figure out what your body can do/needs for a long race based on what you have done. I had never done a marathon before doing my first 100 miler - and I finished altho it was hard and painful. There are big learning curves anytime you step up - the second time is easier. There is a reason the finishing rate at long events is so low...

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By AGParker
From San Angelo, TX
Feb 18, 2011
Do you happen to know who the author of the study was off the top of your head. I wonder if the damage was just due to acute muscle injury or actual chronic, long-term damage or change to muscle structure and function. I have looked up research articles on ultra running and injuries and haven't come across an article like the one you mentioned. That may be because it is an older article...

Anyway, thanks for your input.

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By fossana
From Bishop, CA
Feb 18, 2011
downclimb off the First Flatiron <br />photo by TooTallTim
AGParker wrote:
So, my question is...what sort of injuries have you suffered running ultras and how have you dealt with them? Also, kind of along the lines of completing 100 milers with limited training, how do you think overall training milage affects injury rates?...


Glad you got through your knee issues. I was running 70-80 mi a week to train for AC100. This pretty much trashed my hip flexors and I still have issues five years later. Obviously the more mileage you train the greater the potential for overuse injuries. For each person there's some happy medium between race success and overtraining but I don't have enough experience with the 50+ mile distances to know what that is for me.

BTW, I don't think 30-35 mi a week is unreasonable for 50Ks as long as one of those days is a long run (~20 mi). good luck

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By gravityneverrests
From Lakewood, CO
Feb 18, 2011
Well JPL, showing your ignorance in your posts by claiming somone can't actually do what they say just shows your own limitations. I gave you the info/background you asked for and you throw it back. 14 years of no running between high school and doing the first L100 doesn't quite relate "left this out for a stroke". I really have no interest in getting strokes from you or anyone on a forum. If I did, I would use my real name... I wrote a short response to the OP with a smiley face about suffering - sorry you missed the point. You don't have to get on the internet and so all sorts of research and forum questions to figure out how to finish an endurance event or what shoes to wear to climb Longs Peak. Listen to your body, use common sense and what has worked to get you to this point and get after it. If you finish - proud, if you don't finish...maybe you learned something about yourself that you can use next time. Let me know how your next ultra/100 goes.. I'm going outside so I can disconnect from this discussion.
Thanks for the congrats.

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Feb 18, 2011
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.
Ultramarathons are totally metal.


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By Chris Duca
Administrator
From Havertown, PA
Feb 18, 2011
Finishing up Elusive Dream at the King Wall.  Adirondacks, NY.
I've run many ultras--from 50k to 100-milers over the past 15+ years, and I find the best way to train is to not run multiple 15 to 20-milers per week, but to run a varied palette of 7 to 13 miles, consistently, 5 to 6 days a week. Once every couple weeks, I do a big 20 to 25 mile mountain run. Carb/protein intake is key, as is supplementing your hydration with electrolytes, but other than that I try not to take the fun out of running by over-prescribing with regiments, or diet restrictions, etc. That's my 2 cents.

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By Julian Smith
From Colorado Springs, CO
Oct 9, 2011
Julian Smith
Leadman, Heartland, Bighorn, Wasatch, and the Bear... all within the last year (well 13 months). R2R2R (Grand Canyon rim to rim to rim) too, which I can't recommend enough. Kind of burned out on running now; to quote Forrest Gump, "I'm pretty tired... I think I'll go home now." Actually I am ready to get back into some climbing, though also hopeful for getting into Hard Rock for 2012. Great thing about ultras is the running gets you into great shape for some huge days in the mountains, and you also learn that going all day, all night, and all the next day too isn't such an impossible thing after all.

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By Brian Abram
From Columbia, SC
Oct 10, 2011
Brian Abram, leading pitch 2 of Dinkus Dog on the South Side of Looking Glass.  Kyle Sox is belaying.
I'm about to try to run 50 miles this weekend down in Georgia in the North Face Endurance Challenge. It'll be the first time in my life I've tried to run more than 10 miles. I've been running 8-12 miles a week for the past 5 months, plus cross-training for years as a climber and Crossfit trainer. I just want to see if it's possible for me to finish within the 14 hour time cap with that kind of training. I have no idea, but I'm gonna try really hard. My wife did her first half marathon this past spring, and she is doing it with me.

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By Michael Schneiter
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Oct 10, 2011
Goofin' on the Grand after soloing the Upper Exum with my wife.
Hey Julian, that's one heck of a year of ultras. I paced at Leadville for my buddy Bobby Lowe, who was also doing the Leadman, and it was pretty impressive.

Brian, sounds totally possible because it sounds like you've got some great general fitness even if you don't have a lot of running miles in. My brother in law paced my wife in her 100 for 50 miles and he had a story a lot like yours. He had never run a race in his life and had not run much for miles but he had great general fitness and he had the right attitude. He had a blast. Of course, as I told him in preparation for pacing, pace yourself and fuel up early and often. Have fun!

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By Brian Abram
From Columbia, SC
Oct 17, 2011
Brian Abram, leading pitch 2 of Dinkus Dog on the South Side of Looking Glass.  Kyle Sox is belaying.
It wasn't pretty, but I finished the North Face 50 miler in Georgia this past weekend. I spent miles 23-29 unable to bend my left leg and seriously doubting whether I could finish within the time cap. Today I'm hobbling, but overall I'm feeling pretty good.

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By Dan Carter
From Las Cruces, NM
Oct 17, 2011
Running my first ultra this weekend. Deadman's Peak in New Mexico. Running and climbing seem to complement each other well. Keep training fun and it won't be training and you will enjoy it much more. Get a blue heeler or similar dog that will force you to subject them and yourself to hours of physical activity just to keep them and yourself sane. Those dogs have great endurance.

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By chuck claude
From Flagstaff, Az
Oct 17, 2011
First climb after knee surgery <br />
I used to run A LOT, like 100-110mile/weeks at a quality pace. One of my training partners at the time was a coworker who was quite talented (Alex Tilson who had set the US/world record at 50K), sometimes he was the average runner in the group depending on who joined. I find that most ultra runners could get by with less mileage, more quality mileage and if you want extra endurance training, cross train. You'll due less damage to your knees and hips.

And the wall at 22 miles. If you are doing a quality pace, its real. Even though I trained 100mile+/wks, with 2-3 days of speed work (my favorite was a 20K steady state run with the first 10K at 35min and the 2nd 10K around 33minutes), at 20-23miles I would feel a bear crawl up my back.

But thats the old days, 3 years ago I slipped on the ice and did a BAD radial tear to my left mensicus, basically destroying it. Doctor told me if I continued running, the next time he saw me it would be for a knee replacement. So I bike as an side sport to climbing.

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By JGHarrison
From Reno, NV
Oct 17, 2011
Something I have noticed that has helped me immensely is diet. Not just during run/climb diet but everyday diet. Basically, I have shifted my diet from being grain based (e.g. cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner) to being vegetable based with a lot of fat thrown in (shitload of veggies +eggs, meats, fish) Since I have done this I believe my body has become much more efficient and willing to use fat as an energy source. This is relevant because fat is something even the fittest of us have in abundance within our muscles. In many ultrarunning books and even in "Extreme Alpinism" is the notion that converting your body to burn fat is the key to doing hard things for long periods of time.

I would urge you to try it if you have not already. Since I have shifted my diet like this, I have gotten way stronger, lost fat, and have more energy for long workouts. FYI, my training didnt change at all during this time period, so the diet change was isolated enough that I feel it was the causal factor.

Good luck

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By Brian Abram
From Columbia, SC
Oct 17, 2011
Brian Abram, leading pitch 2 of Dinkus Dog on the South Side of Looking Glass.  Kyle Sox is belaying.
That closely resembles how I eat. Unless it's a climbing or some kind of other really active day, about 50-60 percent of my diet is fat. Dean Karnazes apparently eats similarly unless he's actually in the process of running. No refined sugar. Avoiding ketosis for me means 60 grams of carbs per day plus another 60g per hour of activity.

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By shakey
Oct 17, 2011
Hey so since this is a climbing website I thought we could bring it around to that, I've began running long trail runs in the 'ultra' distance range this summer and was wondering how you guys think it helps/hurts your climbing?

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By Dan Carter
From Las Cruces, NM
Oct 17, 2011
I think running long distances helps climbing and vice versa. I haven't been climbing as regular as I was in order to run more. When I go climb I don't feel I have lost any grounder and may actually be stronger despite less climbing time. Other pros: no need for a partner, more accessible, long run takes around a half day whereas climbing usually takes up a whole day with much more driving, thus one can pursue other projects and interests in the same day, more women seem to run than climb, less gear and less expensive. The only harm I've noticed is the time taken away from climbing to run long distances.

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By chuck claude
From Flagstaff, Az
Oct 17, 2011
First climb after knee surgery <br />
JGHarrison wrote:
Something I have noticed that has helped me immensely is diet. Not just during run/climb diet but everyday diet. Basically, I have shifted my diet from being grain based (e.g. cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner) to being vegetable based with a lot of fat thrown in (shitload of veggies +eggs, meats, fish) Since I have done this I believe my body has become much more efficient and willing to use fat as an energy source. This is relevant because fat is something even the fittest of us have in abundance within our muscles. In many ultrarunning books and even in "Extreme Alpinism" is the notion that converting your body to burn fat is the key to doing hard things for long periods of time. I would urge you to try it if you have not already. Since I have shifted my diet like this, I have gotten way stronger, lost fat, and have more energy for long workouts. FYI, my training didnt change at all during this time period, so the diet change was isolated enough that I feel it was the causal factor. Good luck


50-60% fat???? Since I work in the medical device industry, specializing in cardiovascular devices, I do have to thank you for the job security.

a) While you are looking to teach the body to become more efficient at burning fat, it will always use the glycogen supplies as its go to source for anything of any intensity. You would have to be plodding REALLY slowly after most of you glycogen supplies are gone to have it be of a major affect.

Lots of long runs and long hard days climbing (alpine days especially at high altitude works wonders) teaches your body to learn to burn fat efficiently.

b) You do need some fats in your diet. Most dietitians who work with endurance athletes would say that 15% from high quality sources (nuts, olives...) would be sufficient. What you do need is carbs and proteins to help with glycogen reserve replacements and muscle repair.I always did my best living on the Japanese diet when I lived in Japan. Lots of carbs, rice and noodles, and protein with a high quality fat source, (lots of fish)

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By Brian Abram
From Columbia, SC
Oct 18, 2011
Brian Abram, leading pitch 2 of Dinkus Dog on the South Side of Looking Glass.  Kyle Sox is belaying.
=)
I appreciate that. Eating well is something is tend to obsess over. My ideas about what that means are just different from yours. I promise that if I ever get crappy results from my blood work, I'll consider changing something.

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By dorseyec
Oct 18, 2011
JLP quit digging your whole deeper, you are breaking rule #1.

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