Preparing for 100-mile race is quite different than 100km race

By Stone Tsang


(I) Training:

  • Quantity training is most important than quality training in 100miles race, that means you need to accumulate huge running mileages in training program. High intensity training is not as important in 100mile, but still some Tempo run training is good for your speed training.
  • So try to run every day, or at least 5-6days a week, even just can spend 30mins to run one day. Let body get used to running as frequently as possible. Running then becomes more and more natural, sometimes even more comfortable than walking.
  • Your Long Run (LR) is very important part for preparing 100mile race, so just go as long as you can manage, don’t care the speed and pace, walk and hiking are good be counted in your LR.
  • Successive 2 or 3 days LR are good and effective way to build up your endurance.
  • Practice all equipment and nutrition you are going to use in race day.
  • Mental strength is also very important in 100mile race, not just physical training. Mental strength is more important than physical strength, because your body and fitness situation usually suffer a lot of up and down, you need to manage it well, otherwise easy to quit.
  • Recovery strategy is very important part too, so active recovery (jogging 30min, etc.) and massage is good for recovery.
  • Accumulating huge mileage training is easy to make our body injury, so must listen to our body, then make a recovery week after few tough weeks. I cannot tell how many weeks on then how many weeks off, because everyone is different. If we feeling no good during our training day, then just go slow/short run for instead of, or go home and take a good rest.
  • Specific strength trainings is wise to add to your training program. 4 big areas: hip, glutes, hamstring and calf. Strength training good for muscle balance, strength and mobility. Also good for recovery and let you suffer less injury. This strength is not with heavy weights as can risk injury, instead resistant type exercises best.
  • Training is tough for 100mile race, but try to add some interesting elements in the training that make it easier or different, such as run with other runners, run in different course/route, run at night time, take a break or slow down in some beautiful place/top of mountain, etc.


(II) Preparation and race strategy:

  • Tape your toes, feet… add some resistance cream to any part of your body that is easy to get abrasion/bruise/blister.
  • Bring pain killers for emergency
  • Drink plenty of water 2 days before race, and eat quality foods
  • Take an easy week, enough sleep one week before the race day.
  • To roughly estimate the spending time between each CP, then calculate how many food and water you will bring and refill in each CP.
  • Go slow at the beginning of the race, then try keeping steady pace or a comfortable pace.
  • Keeping regularly drinking and eating, and try to eat some easy to digest real food in CP like congee, bread, banana, mash potato or soup
  • Plan what you will need to do and refill in CP before arrival, don’t waste too much time in the CP.
  • Run with high quality headlamp and get one more for spare.
  • If feeling tight or unwell, slow down, or walk, take some deep breath, eat something, stretching for recovery. You can surprise yourself and recover during race and still have strong finish.
  • Try to run with smile and relaxing mindJ, enjoy the long journey.