Welcome to the "How not to" guide!
In this edition we are going to look at the Tooting 24 hour Self Transcendence track race and how not to run for 24 hours! In this brief guide I will show you a few top tips to help you on your way to spectacularly crash out of any long distance endurance race!
That`s right my running friends, you too can experience that gut wrenching feeling when you call it a day in just a few easy steps!
Now this one takes a little bit of commitment but with my help I`m sure we can get you on your way to that DNF you've always wanted!
Food poisoning - You really need to aim for about 2-3 days of this about 2-3 days before your big race. I went for 2 solid days of food poisoning 3 days before. It worked pretty well.
Now I have found what works for me but I`m sure with a bit of experimentation you will be able to find many, many more ways to get food poisoning. Lets not linger on this too long as I don't want to influence your choices to much. Congratulations you now have significantly reduced the fuel left in your system! Great job! Now the best news is by using this top tip you get the added bonus of not sleeping well which leads us smoothly onto step 2!
Sleep deprivation - Not sleeping well is a fantastic way to really drain the body to make sure you have very little left in the tank for the race. Its a great way to help slow recovery and gives you that all over "Done in" feeling before even running a step! Yes! The great thing about this tip is it is so easy to do even for a first time DNF`er, all it takes it to go out the night before and get in at 1am and then pretend to sleep for the next 6 hours before getting up....simples! You can even practice this one in advance to make sure you really get it down before the big day.
This tip, my final one in this edition is a great one for grinding yourself right into the ground! I have split it into two separate sections to sit correctly with how to mess up both halves of your race -
Stuff your face - For the first half I would highly recommend stuffing your face with as much as you can cram in, leaving you feeling listless, bloated and for the fully committed, sick.
When someone hands you that DNF on a plate, eat it!
The only disadvantage to this technique is that if the food stays in it will keep you going for longer, no DNF`er worth their lack of salt wants that!
Stay weak buddy, I`ve got your back!
Starvation - After all that stuffing you should really go the other way. Now unfortunately for you as the bloating, listlessness and sickness disperse you are going to have a "good" few hours of "great" running due to the side effect of eating. Don`t panic! This hell will only last a few hours if you stick with me!
Simply, stop eating!
Now comes the moment you have trained for young Grasshopper. Run, walk, sprint, do whatever you can to completely screw yourself into the floor as quickly as you can. Make sure you also keep reminding yourself just how much time you would have to keep going. I`ve found this really helps to speed things along!
Before you know it you will be crawling into that cold, damp tent, snuggled under your towel blanket....heaven!!
So there you have it! 3 simple steps to help you pick up that much coveted DNF!
Well that was fun wasn't it?!
All joking aside I discovered that running on a track for 24 hours is a lot harder than people give it credit for! The relentless, monotony (I`m really selling it aren't I) of running around in 400m circles is tough. You can see everything. The start, the finish, the aid station, the tents, the good, the bad, the ugly.
I guess if I`m honest about the whole situation it was my mind that gave up.
After doing so much more walking than I expected I just couldn't see myself hobbling for the next 10 hours just to rack up some extra numbers and further my injuries.
It wasn't all doom and gloom though and I still gave in with a smile.
Rich Cranswick was there to lap me many, many times and shout encouragement/abuse (delete as appropriate) as he rocked is way to over 100 miles! Almost every hour he did a "Bonus Chicken lap" where he was joined by Ultra Chicken for a squeaky 400 meters. I even had the honor of escorting Ultra Chicken for a lap myself.....Good times!
I underestimated just how hard it was going to be mentally, 200 laps around an athletics track really took its toll. Ill get you next time Tooting, we have unfinished business.
Thats right......Next time!
Huge thank you as always to all the nutters who follow me and keep me going in the dark times, you guys rock! Thanks to the organizers, volunteers and other runners for such a great experience. Thank you to my Lady for trekking across London to sit in the cold and watch this fool run around in circles.
Lastly a massive, massive thank you to Mummysaurus - My driver, my crew, my support, my ass kicker, my comforter, my food and water distributor but most of all...my Mum.
Crewing for this kind of thing is tough and please don't ever let me forget it! :D You did a fantastic job, just let me know when its your turn! ;P
For now its time to rest and get ready for Fowlmead in 3 weeks time........No rest for the stoooopid eh?!
Peace, tea and biscuits