My Race Plan

You didn’t think I was done posting before my big race did you?  I still have a few things to say!  One of the reasons I love having a blog is I like to document what I spend a lot of thought on and plan for, so that someday I can look back and remember what I did.  Maybe (yes maybe) some day in a few years, I will look back on these posts like I look back on the ones right before my first marathon.

Along with planning my crew and pacers, there are a few other things I have been obsessing over planning out over the last few weeks.  A lot goes into running 50 miles… at least it does for me! 

Fueling Plan 

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My goal during training was to try everything at least once.  I ran a bunch of trail races as training runs for this purpose, and also prepared a lot of my own fuel during solo long runs.  I was pretty lucky in that most everything sat well with my stomach and I responded well to.  I know that as you get further into a race, fuel just starts sounding awful, so I wanted to make sure to have tried everything and have a lot of options for when this does happen.

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My go to favorite fuel is: Shot Bloks, Z bars, gold fish crackers, boiled potatoes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and soda! 

When those start sounding awful, I bought a bunch of candy (above) to try to peak my interest that my crew will have with them.  In addition to chewy candy, I also bought Jolly Ranchers because sometimes the thought of chewing is the worst thing in the world.  I figure I can at least have something in my mouth if I get to that point.

My plan is to do exactly what I did in training.  I eat Shot Bloks starting early, around mile 2, and just keep eating them as I go.  I supplement those with real food at aid stations.  I take a salt cap around every hour and drink water all the time. 

If I don’t eat any of that candy at least I know it will be at the finish waiting for me!

Pacing Plan

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This is a tricky course to pace.  Go out too fast and you will blow up, which sounds pretty awful with a 50 miler – blowing up in a marathon is bad enough.  But then how fast is too fast when you start on the flatter, faster half of a long race?  I think the better question is can you go too slow?  Probably not. 

I really have no idea what to expect when it comes to finish times.  I have a couple general goals, but really want to run by feel and run as strong of a race as I can for my first 50.  The first half is on pavement and relatively flat, and the second half is on some hillier trails with the major climb happening over the last 3 miles.

My goal is to run the first half around where I ran my pavement long runs (especially those ones that were on day 2), but to not let my freshly tapered legs get the best of me.  I will control my pace, run where it feels easy and constantly check in on my effort.  I think my body will give me some good signals on what to do and I think I will be able to read it and listen.

Thinking Plan

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My focus will be on getting to the next aid station vs. thinking about how many miles are left.  This will break up the race into smaller, more manageable segments in my mind.  For some reason I have thought of this race as 10 5-mile runs and that sounds doable in my brain. 

I know that the lows will come, but I also know that they go.  When they do come, I will just keep moving forward and not dwell on them.  I won’t push too hard in the highs, but just try to stay consistent.

Above all, I will enjoy every second of this day, run with a smile, be thankful for what my body can do and celebrate this training cycle I am so proud of.

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28 Responses to My Race Plan

  1. Carrie April 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    Boiled potatoes – interesting! All of that candy looks so good right now!

    • Aron April 5, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

      You dip them in salt – its so good and very easy to eat :)

  2. Missy April 5, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    Boiled potatoes are a big thing among Ironman athletes as well. I’m gonna have to give it a try.
    Good luck to you.
    I can’t wait to read all about it.

  3. Amanda @ RunToTheFinish April 5, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    good luck!!!!!

  4. Marlene April 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    Ohh you are torturing me with the candy! I am already plotting my splurges for after Boston. hehe

    Sounds like you are all prepared, physically and mentally. You’re going to have a blast!

    Incase I don’t get on here again – GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN! You were made for this!

  5. Aysha April 5, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    Best of luck to you Aron! It has been so interesting to follow along with you throughout this training cycle. You are amazing and I hope you enjoy every second of your race. Can’t wait to read all about it!

  6. The Blonde April 5, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    You’re well prepared! Wish we could track you somehow, but know all of our thoughts are with you!

    What are you wearing?!

    And what will your post-race celebratory meal be?! You have to be craving something after 50!

  7. Ricole Runs April 5, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    I’m so so so SO excited for you!!! Good luck good luck good luck!!!

  8. Rachel April 6, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    solid plan. you’ve put in so much hard work that i just know you are going to have a fantastic day!

  9. RoadBunner April 6, 2012 at 12:18 am #

    Have fun and enjoy your victory lap! I’ll be thinking about you! p.s. If you don’t finish those Goldfish crackers, you know who to call. :)

  10. Kris April 6, 2012 at 4:18 am #

    A 50 Miler?? That is amazing! All the food looks yummy especially those white chocolate dipped pretzels (a personal favorite of mine). Have a great race!!

  11. Toni April 6, 2012 at 4:19 am #

    Sending you nothing but great wishes, good vibes and happy thoughts on your first ultra!!! Thank you for sharing your training experience. It has had me thinking about doing an ultra marathon myself. Only out here in Chicago, we don’t get nearly the nice scenic trails like you do out west. Go rock that ultra!!!!!!!

  12. Robin April 6, 2012 at 4:29 am #

    I loved reading all your posts leading up to this race. Good luck this weekend!

  13. Leigh April 6, 2012 at 6:06 am #

    I’m so excited for you! Good Luck!! You’ll do amazing! I can’t wait to read all about it. :)

  14. WoodChuck April 6, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    Your thinking plan sounds great. I have very very limited experience with ultras, which puts me in the same boat as you, and is one of the reasons I follow your blog. My first ultra, at the end of January, was loop after loop of a 5 mile trail. Setting my mind on each visit to the aid station, instead of the total distance, worked really well. Good luck. I’m looking forward to the race report already.

  15. kristen April 6, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    These ultra marathons are an ultra planners dream! I love how organized and methodical your being about everything. Are you planning on walking the hills early (even though you said it’s flat – I”m sure there are some hills right?).

  16. Tabitha April 6, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    Good luck!! I know you’ll do great! Can’t wait to read all about it. :)

  17. Laurie April 6, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    10, 5 mile runs sure makes it sound a lot easier! :D You’re ready and going to do awesome… can’t wait to read all about it. Have fun!

  18. Erika April 6, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    Hi Aron! I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now… I love it! I’ve never left a comment before, but I wanted to say good luck tomorrow! You have trained so hard, and I know you will rock it! I look forward to hearing all about it!

  19. Maureen April 6, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    Aron –
    I know you don’t know me but I have been following your AR50 training and I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!

    You are going to do amazing and I can’t wait to read the recap!!

    Good luck!

  20. Becky C. April 6, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    I have been following your blog since December, and I have truely enjoyed reading about your training for this race. I am very excited for you to get out there and do it.

    I know you will do awesome, and I can’t wait to read all about it.

    Best of luck!

  21. Megan April 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    I stumbled across your blog a few months ago and it’s been so fun to follow your training. Best of luck tomorrow! Sounds like you’re mentally and physically ready! Looking forward to reading the race recap. :)

  22. Tina@GottaRunNow April 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    I’m training for my first 50K. It’s been fun to read about how your training is going for your first 50 miler. Wishing you the best at the race!

  23. Kristin April 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    Good luck tomorrow!!!

  24. shelly April 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    Hey! I never thought of a 50 miler as 10 5 milers. That even sounds doable to me! You’re going to do awesome!! Can’t wait to read the re-cap!

  25. Christine April 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    GOOD LUCK!! You will do AWESOME

  26. Emily April 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    Good luck tomorrow! You are going to do great!

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  1. Race Report: 2012 American River 50, Part 1 | runner's rambles - April 8, 2012

    [...] started fueling right away like I planned to with Shot Bloks but could tell something wasn’t right.  Around mile 6 my stomach was [...]

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