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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I ran my first ultramarathon at the JFK 50 this fall, and I was hooked. I've been thinking about trying my first 100 this spring/summer. The Old Dominion and OD Memorial are the most convenient races for me that are still open.<br><br>
Does anyone have a recommendation on which of those would be best for a 1st 100? It looks like the OD Memorial is a flatter course, but it is two out and backs (which seems like it would be tough mentally) and it looks like it has less trail running (and I love running trails).<br><br>
Any training advice would also be much welcome. I ran the Seneca Greenway 50K and am planning on running the Diable Marathon in San Francisco (8,000 elevation gain) and the Capon Valley 50K as training runs. I'm also hoping to run 90 - 100 miles a week most weeks (with the exception of a few cutback weeks). Is there anything else people would recommend thinking about or adding to my training?
 

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Make sure to do some night runs as part of your training; it's a pretty different experience. Also, eating and drinking are bigger issues in a 100 than in a 50 miler, so pay even closer attention in training to what your body likes and doesn't like. I've never run the kind of mileage that you're planning, so I don't really have any comments on that. Just make sure that lots of your training is on terrain similar to the race course. Good luck!
 

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Old Dominion Memorial is not going to happen this year, the RD is getting shipped off to Iraq. ODM is all on roads, no trail.<br><br>
I think it is a bit overzealous to run your first 100 with only one 50M under your belt, especially an "easier" 50 mile race. That is just my opinion. Also, most people who run 100 mile races do not run 100 miles per week, except the elites and a few others. Most people cannot sustain that type of training week in and week out without injury. There is so much more to running a 100 mile race than the distance. Most people do not quit a race because their legs are tired, it is usually because of something else-- stomach, blisters, cramps, etc. These are the kinks you work out in races prior to your 100 miler. I think it is great that you love ultrarunning, but train wisely and listen to your body.
 

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All of what Merigalye said! I'd work on a pair of 50's some months apart this year and maybe a 100 next year. And yes, something harder(more elevation) than JFK.<br><br>
Some meaningless history. OD used to be a single race and one of the Grand Slam races. Then some years back the RD could not do the race and was going to beg off for one year and return. Someone, I'm being intentionally vague, offered to do the race for that one year. Next thing we have two OD's close in calendar and major pissing contest. Guess what race is now NOT a slam race?<br><br>
I'm not shooing you away from OD but don't use closeness as a guide. Find the one that fits your likes(road/trails flat/hilly smooth/nasty) and travel if necessary. Make it a get a get away weekend. Take a look at <a href="http://www.run100s.com/ultra.htm" target="_blank">http://www.run100s.com/ultra.htm</a> You may one that is drivable like maybe 8 hours.
 

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Well, I'd listen to these people about the training mileage. You don't see much appreciable difference, from what I've read, after 55 miles per week for the average runner. I remember reading an article where Tim Twitmeyer listed his training miles for Western States and it was very average, 55 miles a week. In case you don't know, Tim has finished Western States 25 years in a row and won once or twice. I did my first ultra last year at VT50 and was planning on training through the winter and hitting the OD original for my first 100. Alas, I got fat and stopped running and will have to do my first 100 next year after I've rebuilt my endurance. I say go for it. The OD is a superior race to the memorial from all I've read, and is steeped in history. Go search for it on ncultra.org. They have a nice article about how it has declined in popularity for no apparent reason as it is a kicka** race. Train on hills though, and be prepared for hot and humid weather. Those were my big worries as I was thinking about it, not the distance per se. Take it for what it's worth as I haven't done that race or a 100 and the people above have run 100's.
 

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My usual disclaimer, numbers of miles is a poor metric! For a 100 it's all about hours on your feet, elevation gain and loss enveloped in the notion of specificity. True Tim's numbers were low in raw numbers compared to many but please note that those miles were on the WS trail. I'm betting those 55 miles a week were "quality" miles. Not to take from his talent, but training on the race course does give you a leg up but far from guaranteeing a win. He was and still is, one great guy and bad ass runner.<br><br>
FWIW, I do average 60 maybe 65 at best for a 100. Anymore and I would likely break. OTOH, like Tim most of my miles are high quality and I'm 100 times less talented than Tweat. There is the usually misconception that since one does 50-60 for a marathon then one needs to do 80-100+ for a 100 mile race. In general your overall miles can stay reasonable but needs a different distribution. It's all about the long run and how many hours with feet of elevation gain and loss in the run. That is the bread and butter to get to the finish line before the hook aka, you STB. ( STB - "sh*t The Bed."<img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"> Crude but spot on.<br><br>
If someone is training 100 a week they are looking for top 20. If that is the goal I hope your parents gave you industrial level muscles and endocrine system. <img alt="icon_salut.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/icon_salut.gif">
 

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Also, OD may not be the best first 100 miler. There are usually 15-25 people in the race, and that makes for a very very lonely first 100. And the cut off is 28 hours, so you have little cushion for error for your first race.
 

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Okay, everyone has an opinion, so here's mine. if you are hell bent on trying a 100 miler, so be it. go for it. but do so with your eyes open as to the challenges. as others have said, it's not the weekly mileage that will get you there. it's not two 50 milers because it's running overnight (for all the super elite), and if there are not too many entrants it can get lonely and very mentally taxing. running alone all night long on a trail in the woods is tough, even if you practice it.<br><br>
my advice would be to concentrate on quality of training and mimicking race conditions when possible. try picking a race with several hundred runners so you won't spend hours alone. consider a multiple loop course. it may sound boring, but it is more social and reinforcing to constantly see others along the course. and concentrate on hydration/nutrition and foot care in training as these will loom large in the race. these are all bigger issues as you pass 50 miles.<br><br>
and focus on the mental aspect as well. i'm not sure how you do this, but there will come a time in the race that you feel like crap and want to stop. usually, it's not time to stop and the feeling will pass, but sometimes, you are on the verge of catastrophic injury and should quit. it's hard to tell because you may feel exhausted and everything may hurt. i've heard others advise to make a list of exactly what will cause you to quit and stick to it, not quitting otherwise. (for example: pee looks like root beer (yes, this can happen), quit; blister the size of a buick under the ball of your foot, lance it, tape the area and keep going.) sometimes it's a fine line.<br><br>
i will tell you that finishing a 100 feels as great as you imagine it will, and the feeling of strength and direction following such a success can permeate many other areas of your life.
 

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Hi there. I was in a similar position as you, two years ago when I was thinking of moving up after my first JFK 50. I posed a question on Coolrunning and received a ton of great advice. Thread here:<br><br><a href="http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/Forum30/HTML/001007.shtml" target="_blank">http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/Fo...L/001007.shtml</a><br><br>
Each experience is different, but in my journey I progressed from 50M one year, to a 70M and a 12 hour run the next year, before tackling 100. Also, I averaged about 50 mpw in the 4 months before my 100.<br><br>
Good luck with your training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the helpful advice everyone! I definitely appreciate it.<br><br>
I realize that my mileage is higher that it really needs to be, but I've always handled high mileage well, and it's actually not much different from my mileage before I began running ultras. I also do try to focus on quality with lots of hilly trail running and hill repeats.<br><br>
I can definitely see how a race with more people could be easier mentally. Anyone have any good recommendations? Vermont seems like it could be a good fit and would also give me time to run a more challenging 50 as training.
 

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ROOTs - that CR thread is great. I'm bookmarking it for future reference <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif">
 

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Without having read the link above, I'll say this is exactly my training philosophy. Im going to go for a 100k, then a 70 miler, then a 100, all after building back up to respectable distances over this year.
 
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