At the start of May, I tried running 100 miles in a week as training for my first ever ultra-marathon which took place on the May bank holiday weekend (London 2 Brighton challenge). During the week of colossal running, there were challenges but I found that certain things made the week easier and more fun. In this post, I’ll share what I learnt running 100 miles in a week.
If you want to watch the video of the 100 miles of running, check it out here:
1. Take your diet seriously
Running 100 miles in a week requires lots of energy which will inevitably mean lots of calories are burnt. You should not only eat enough food, but you should also be eating the right foods.
As a rule of thumb, try and eat carbohydrates before workouts and try to eat protein and healthy fats after workouts. Also, be sure to get lots of fruits and vegetables in alongside decent servings of unsalted nuts and seeds.
Not eating enough food will not only mean inadequate performance during training but it can also lead to a tonne of other problems like low mood, anxiety and even depression.
If you have a sports watch that counts calories burnt, use this as a guide for how many calories you should aim to be consuming in a day. If you take your diet seriously, your body will get enough of the right kinds of foods for optimal performance.
2. Run at a convenient time for you
Running 100 miles in a week means lots of time will be spent in your running shoes pounding the pavements or the trails of your local area. Making sure that you run at a time that suits you is important for keeping the will to carry on with the 100 miles.
Personally, I love running first thing in the morning before the world wakes up. It’s nice to be able to take 30-60 minutes to myself, running along with minimal traffic and people about. You might prefer the late morning, the afternoon or evening the evening.
If you don’t run at a time that suits you, chances are you’ll either be uninspired, rushing, and trying to force your run.
For example, I once had to run in the evenings due to having to drive to a conference early in the morning one week for work. I’m not that keen on running in the evenings so I was much less inspired to run at this time compared to the mornings.
To run 100 miles in a week in as comfortable a manner as possible, I’d recommend that you try running at a time that is convenient for you.
3. Mix up the routes
Taking on the 100 miles in a week challenge is much more enjoyable and interesting when you have a variety of routes.
Before setting off at the start of the week, I’d recommend making 4 to 5 different routes around your local area that you can use throughout the 7 days to mix things up and keep it fresh. To make routes, you can use Strava’s route builder, Google Maps, or even the analogue means if you’re old school.
If you don’t mix up the routes, things risk becoming stale and you might lose your spark for taking on the 100 mile week.
4. Download listening content at the start of the week
If you’re like me, running is a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of listening. Running is a unique opportunity to double down on both the benefits of exercise and listening to content.
Podcasts, audiobooks, music and more can all be listened to during your run. Rather than spending time and energy before each run consciously making the decision as to what you’re going to listen to, make the decision ahead of time at the start of the week.
Before the start of my week of 100 miles, I downloaded an entire series on World War 2 in French because it’s good practice for my language learning. The good thing about the 21st Century is that you literally have a seemingly infinite amount of listening content available at the click of a button.
If you don’t take time to choose and download what you’re going to listen to at the start of the week, you’ll lose your pre-workout flow having to take the time and energy to do so throughout the week.
For more information on listening content, check out the following posts:
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Listen To Podcasts
- 10 Awesome Rock Songs For Running
- Top 16 Audiobooks to Listen to Whilst Running
5. Eat and drink before you need to
One of my mottos with running (and all exercise) is that prevention is better than cure on the nutrition front.
Rather than waiting until you get hungry or thirsty, get ahead of the game and stay hydrated and well nourished.
Eat a small snack like a cereal bar, toast, or porridge before you run and drink a tall glass of water. Bring some energy gels with you that can be quickly consumed on the go to get a burst of carbohydrates to stay fuelled up.
If you leave it until you feel hungry or thirsty before you eat or drink, it’s already too late and your body is already struggling.
6. Plan how you will split the 100 miles out
If you divided the 100 miles in a week evenly across the seven days, you would need to clock up 14.2 miles daily.
Depending on what kind of runner you are, plan how you will split out the 100 miles at the start of the week. If you prefer to keep things nice and consistent, plan to do the 14.2 miles a day and ensure that you have routes planned to match this ambition.
Personally, I like to mix things up so during the 100 mile week I had a mixture of runs ranging from 9 miles all the way up to 32 miles in a single run.
If you don’t take the time to do the math at the start of the week, you could risk missing your 100 mile target. I’d recommend getting a good old fashioned pen and journal to map down your plan for the week.
7. Set aside time for the running
Running 100 miles a week means spending a lot of time running.
When I took on the challenge, there were sometimes where I was in a rush as I needed to get ready for work and there were other times where I had a social occasion to hurry up for. In short, I could have planned my time better to ensure I wasn’t rushing.
To make sure that you don’t rush around and have adequate time available to comfortably clock up the 100 miles, be sure to create enough time for the runs.