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My Ultra Training Essentials

As week nine of my ultra training nears its finish, I am about a third of the way through my training.  During this time, I’ve discovered a few things that I can’t live without in this new adventure.  Some of these things are things that I’ve used all along, just now with a better appreciation for them.  Some are things I never tried before and am wondering why I waited so long.  I know as I progress in my training, some things will be added to my list of essentials and everyone’s training essentials are different, but right now these are a few of mine.



A Plan
I’ve never trained with a plan and I learned the hard way that having a plan is better.  I ran my first marathon in February and although I did a couple long runs, I didn’t give it the dedication it deserved.  When I decided I wanted to run a 50K, I decided to get a running coach and am working with Jenn from Sole Health and Wellness.  Part of the coaching experience is having a plan—I have a calendar that tells me what mileage to run each day and what type of runs they should be.  It was hard to adjust from being a no-plan runner to running with one, but now I love it!  Yes, there are times that I deviate from my plan—I may run a little more or a little less on some days than scheduled, but by the end of my week, my weekly mileage is pretty consistent to what's been planned.  

Hydration
I used to be one of those runners who didn’t drink until they felt thirsty.  If you’ve ever done this, you know that by the time you feel thirsty it’s usually “too late.”  I’ve been working on hydrating before, during and after my runs to maintain a good level of hydration—over hydrating can be just as bad as under hydrating and I don’t want to do either.  The two things that have definitely helped with my hydration are my Orange Mud HydraQuiver and Nuun hydration.  My Orange Mud vest has two bottles which allows me to fill one with water and one with Nuun—my general rule is to take sips every mile or so.   Even as the weather has turned colder and it sometimes doesn’t feel like I need to hydrate as much, I still stick to this rule.  (I love my Orange Mud so much, I added a one barrel vest to my running wardrobe to use on my shorter runs when I don't need both bottles worth of hydration)



Compression Socks
If you follow me on social media, you know that I love my ProCompression socks.  As I am running more mileage, I am definitely noticing a difference.  I am not only training for my first 50K, but I am also on a Run Streak so I am running everyday.  My ProCompression socks are helping my legs feel less tired and definitely help the recovery process.  I wear them during my runs and after for recovery. And now that it’s boot season, I’m wearing them more with everyday wear too!  




The Right Shoes
As much as I love to feel the dirt beneath my feet, I knew that I needed the right pair of shoes between me and the dirt.  After doing some research (i.e. Asking my friends) I went to a local running store to try on some trail shoes—after trying on several pairs, I decided on the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 and it has been love from the first mile.  So far in my training, about half of it has been out on the trails and the shoes have been amazing.  There wasn’t a “breaking in” period—they were just the right shoe for me.  



The Elements
When you’re training for an event, the weather doesn’t turn to “perfect” for every run just because you want it to.  My little disclaimer is that I live in Southern California so the elements I need to be ready for are no where similar to what other runners run in.  (A big “You’re Awesome”  to everyone who runs in extreme weather!). But we have had a few weather changes lately and it’s definitely impacted what I wear when I’m running.  I’ve had to run in the rain a few times and am grateful for the rain jacket I randomly purchased a couple years ago.  It’s also been a lot colder lately and that’s been the biggest adjustments for this tank & skirt runner.  So I’ve added gloves, a Buff and arm warmers to my running wardrobe.  I’ve also added more trucker hats and sunglasses to my collection so that I can protect myself during my runs. My 50K is in April and in Southern California, you don’t know what you’re going to get in April weather-wise—I’m hoping to be prepared for anything.



My Friends
I love to run and though the journey is my own, it is definitely fun with other people along the way.  Honestly, not everyone in my life understands why I would want to run a 50K, but they support me anyway.  Whether it’s from going on runs with me or little messages of encouragement and support, I am blessed to have the people in my life that I do. 

What are some of the things you can’t live without when you’re training for a race?

Until next time, happy running.
Jenn13.1

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