So, I’ve had a pretty good couple of months running and managed to run a 45-miler and a marathon (dressed as a raccoon) so I’m feeling a little bold and have decided it’s time for another challenge (or two!)

Challenge 1 – 100 miles in 24 hours

Some of you might know that I took on Endure 24 in June with the bold claim that I was going to do 100 miles in the 24-hour period. This was a bit punchy given that I’d never gone above 50 miles before, but in my usual overconfident manner I raised loads of money for charity and then spectacularly failed in my attempt – making only 80 miles and being a miserable git the whole way round (you can read my super grumpy blog about that one here.)

My amazing friends, family and colleagues generously donated almost £1,600 to my effort but I feel like a con artist as I never actually did what I said I would (turns out running 100 miles is pretty flipping hard!)

So… I’m going again! I’ve basically replicated the course (a 5-mile loop from my house) and I’m going to try and run it 20 times inside 24 hours – simples!

Now there is absolutely no guarantee of success – I’m still a bit fat, a bit old and a bit broken (just like last time) but I’ve done a few things differently which I hope will yield a better result:

Pace Planning:

I’ve planned out when, where and how I’m going to get to each distance. Last time I set off way to quick and basically waddled like a lazy zombie for the last few laps. Here’s my plan:

Breaks

I’ve scheduled myself 4 x ½ breaks where I Intend to have proper hot food. Last time I didn’t really plan for breaks I just ran and stopped when I felt tired. This isn’t necessarily a bad strategy but psychologically I think that having a short-term goal will help (just the next 3 laps then a break…)

Nutrition

I’m planning to take on 240 calories, 400mg-800mg of sodium and 25g-60g of carbohydrate every hour. Last time I just basically ate and drank what I wanted. Again, this isn’t a bad plan, but I do want to monitor what I’m putting in to make sure I have what I need.

Hydration

This is something I didn’t pay enough attention too last time – there is a lot of advice on this (some conflicting) but it seems that I need to be taking on 300-500ml water every hour.

More importantly though I will be monitoring my weight each lap this time as gaining or losing weight can be a sign of dehydration or drinking too much.  Apparently, for every kilogram of bodyweight you lose, you need to drink one-and-a-half litres of fluid – that sounds like an awful lot to me but I’ve never really measured how much weight I’m losing and this is at least another metric to help me decide. Also over-hydrating and weight gain is a big risk so at least I can be protected against this if I’m measuring my weight.

Care

I’ve finally bitten the bullet and paid for a sports massage! They can be expensive, but if you can afford it then I would 100% recommend it. After my 45-mile run this month I went to see the guys at Fine Fettle (amazing by the way) with acute calf pain and after a 1-hour session I felt absolutely fine. I’m going to have at least 2 more sessions before the 100-mile attempt and if I can make it work logistically also one during one of my breaks too.

So, there it is! I’m going again, boldly stating that I can run 100 miles in 24 hours despite possessing the physique of a fat giraffe. As my daughter loves to remind me on a regular basis – ‘if at first you don’t succeed…’

I’ll be running on the 25th November supported by some amazing friends and family. If you’d like to sponsor me then you can do so here but if you already gave money last time then please don’t worry – this is my payback!

As for Challenge Number 2…

It is going to be AMAZING and is a really exciting project with the National Running Show – I’ll tell you about that one next month ?

 

Got any advice or tips for ultra-running then please let me know – I’d love to hear your thoughts / advice / encouragement / abuse! I’m on twitter as @raccoonrunner