Before You Run in a Mileage Challenge
Are you you running in a mileage challenge this year? Whether you're running in the Taji100, Sasquatch Road Trip, California Coast 500, 408K, Indy 500 Mile, or one of the other races. These virtual challenges are prevalent right now, and it's really inspired a lot of people to stay active.
Head Coach of RaceMob, master motivator, RRCA certified coach and the co-chair of the Taji 100, which has been doing this for 10 years now, is here to give you a couple of tips on how to plan your challenge and how to get across the finish line successfully and injury free.
Video - Before You Run in a Mileage Challenge
Sign Up and Understand the Rules
First off you got to sign up, first and foremost, you gotta have some skin in the game. After that understand the moving parts of the event, the duration, what's that cutoff, what's the total mileage. How are you going to record the mileage. If you're using a GPS, are you using a watch based GPS or a phone-based GPS? Which apps are supported? Are any of the apps going to automatic ally submit your miles - or will you need to do that manually? Knowing that in advance is key.
Some of these events are run only some of them allow for walking or hiking. Some of them are bike and swim events. So knowing what activities count is always important before you begin.
Gauge Your Fitness Level
You want to see where you are physically meaning your fitness level. You'll want to break down the overall challenge into maneagable chunks. For example - the Taji 100 is 100 miles in the month of February. That should be broken down into weekly chunks - maybe 25 miles per week.
Since doctors only recommend a 10% increase in mileage week over week, if you can't run 20 miles in a week right now - then you shouldn't push it. Consider incorporating walking into the routine. Don't push it too early because the number one thing that's going to derail you, as we know, is injury.
Don't do too much, too soon? Especially with cardio activity, it can sideline yo,u and we want to avoid that. Your best ability is availability. Before you actually start the exercise, can you warm up with some jumping jacks, maybe high knees, maybe butt kickers or something just to generally get the body warmed up.
What you don't want to do is to just get right into the run. Also very important to help prevent injury is once you're done with the workout, getting some quality stretching in. We have ideas on the RaceMob website.
Foam rollers, stretching, massage guns, etc... So pre-workout, and post-workout. Those little subtleties can help your overall experience. And in the event you do get injured. If you want to keep moving - Walk It Out!
Plan for the Event
Walking a mile takes between 18-20 minutes. So to walk an event like the Taji 100 will take you about 30+ hours. That's about an hour a day, so plan accordingly. If you're running, that maybe shave 10 - 15 hours off of that. But you will still need to make sure that you're making the time.
If this is the first time that you've done one of these events, we've got some tremendous FREE training plans available for you: https://racemob.com/training
Not only should you plan for the number of hours, but actually take time to add it to the calendar! You have to commit time on a daily basis to accomplish your goals. Factor in rest days, but also make this a priority.
Tap in to Social Groups
Many of these mileage challenges have their own built in support groups. So tap in to those groups. Make sure that you engage with the groups. Share your photos and and your experiences. Maybe there will be others who are also struggling. Maybe there are others that you can inspire to keep going.
Just remember, the challenge is more than just pushing your own limits. The people that you connect with could be the most valuable thing that you take from the experience.
Just Have Fun
Most importantly, just to have fun! This is very important. It shouldn't feel like a job. It shouldn't feel task driven. You want to enjoy the experience and maybe make it more than about yourself.
Maybe dedicating the journey to somebody else, or a cause. Maybe the event itself is benefiting a charity. Be mindful of the people who are going to receive more awareness. The causes who will receive funding because of your participation. And what your experience is going to be like through the journey.
Go immerse yourself in Mother Nature, go out on those hikes. Maybe, if it weren't for this challenge, you wouldn't be getting out there and seeing these places. Invite your family, the kids, a spouse, or a partner out on those walks. Foster some conversation, and reinforce your bond. It just makes the time go by quicker, and you'll enjoy the experience overall.
As we often talk about, you learn the most through your challenges, through the struggle, and through putting in the work. And it's the journey itself that is the fun.
We really encourage you to sign up for one of these challenges. They are a lot of fun, and you'll get way more out of them if you commit to succeed. Remember to take it slow, plan your mileage carefully, calendar it, join a social support group, and to just have fun and enjoy the experience.
Here are some of the events that we recommend:
Taji 100 - https://taji100.com
Run Local Events - https://runlocalevents.com/
Sasquatch Road Trip - http://www.sasquatchracing.com/
Mermaid Series - https://www.mermaidseries.com/run-across-california