LooseCrew-JeffO: Three Essentials for Ultra-Mileage


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Three Essentials for Ultra-Mileage

Yesterday at the party, someone asked me how it's possible for me to run such mileage. It was even suggested that it's genetic.
It's not genetic!
I was able to up my mileage from 10K to, um, 85.92M (or less), because of several factors...

Diet - squirrel food (almonds, walnuts, pecans), Knox NutraJoint powder, fish oil, increased whole foods (apples, field-greens salad, carrots, broccoli, etc.), calcium supplements. Lately, I've eaten lots of meat, but that's unusual. My experience is that my body doesn't need any more protein than a vegetarian diet provides, and my body tends to feel better on a vegetarian diet. Protein isn't as important as vitamins and minerals.
Recent tests have shown that highly concentrated, processed vitamins (especially E and A) may actually be toxic and have shown to shorten a person's life. If you take vitamins, it needs to be regular 100%-or-less RDA amounts with a meal - never on an empty stomach or washed down with coffee. Stay away from mega-dose 1000mg vitamin C or similar products.
I don't have a grain preference. I shy away from white rice and white bread, but otherwise I eat them all. I think fruit and veggies are more important than grains.

Mileage - While many say you don't have to run further than 25 miles to train for a 100-miler, and more isn't necessarily better, you still can't cheat the fact that you have to run a LOT! Some run by mileage alone, but most run by time. Elites run twice or three times a day. I prefer to get it out of the way by running once, and I prefer running later, not in the morning. Although you can "warm up" quickly, warming up is like a three-step process. My body only requires a mile to warm up to level 1. It requires 3-4 miles to get thoroughly warmed up to level 2. In order to be warmed up to level 3, it seems to require hours, not miles. So I'm better off not running until I've been awake for a few hours and moving around the whole time. And that's when I'm least likely to experience injury - when I'm thoroughly warmed up on all three levels. That's why I'd rather run after work.

Stretching - Don't leave out anything. Stretch every muscle in your feet, legs, butt, abs, back. Hold every stretch for at least 20 full seconds. Yoga is awesome, but be careful not to try to follow people who are more limber than you. Don't tweak your ligaments unnecessarily and cause injury. Whether conventional stretches or Yoga, many studies have shown that those who stretch have more injuries than those who don't. This isn't because stretching is bad for you, it's because they're done incorrectly. Snapping your tissues to maximum stretch - suddenly - is dangerous.
It should go without saying that if a muscle is already torn, stretching it beyond the natural range is going to aggravate it. Stressed or damaged tissues should be moved and massaged as much as you can without further damage. This will cause it to heal several times faster and with less scarring.
Stretching should be slow and gradual. It's not something to rush through. It's those who rush through that tend to pull the hardest, too - as if stretching too far will make up for the lack of time spent.

And the most important advice - Do as I say, not as I do!


At 8:46 PM, Blogger Meghan said...

Mmmn, yummy, squirrel food. All those things just made my mouth water!

Why can't we do as you do? What are you leaving out that we shouldn't do? :)


At 9:08 PM, Blogger JeffO said...

Meghan - I sometimes neglect to spend enough time stretching. I also eat too much pizza. I've gone as long as four or five months without eating a burger, but I've had about ten burgers in the past month! Maybe that's why my body hit the wall? Maybe?

At 2:40 PM, Blogger olga said...

I am with the last advice, JeffO!


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