Written By Jamie Sparks
Jamie is one of the Ultra X Co-Founders. He enjoys rambling on about a variety of topics; motorbikes, cycling, adventure, and, of course, ultra running.
It’s that time of the year again! The Ultra X #Holiday100 returns for the eight days between Christmas Eve and New Year. This year we are aiming for 1,000 finishers, and whilst everyone will have their own approach, from the all in oners to the walkers and steady racers — we want you all to get there and begin 2020 on the right foot. You can either see it as a platform for the New Year or a final flourish for the year end. Either way make sure you give it a try!
Check out our top tips below.
1) Plan your strategy
Sure there’s going to be a few mad ones who set off at 0000 on Christmas Eve on a predetermined route, checkpoints thought out, maybe even a bag drop on route, trying to finish the 100 km the fastest and as such win a place to Ultra X Sri Lanka this March, but for the most of us ticking off somewhere closer to the 12.5 km each day as required is more realistic.
This is a busy and social time of the year so make sure to plan your runs to fit in with life. If you are training for a race, there’s no need to scrap your planned sessions just look at to integrate it in with your plan. Many will use the #Holiday100 as a motivational training block towards next year’s goals, especially if they’ve been om end-of-season break. It can be a great tool for kick-starting the following year’s running, knowing you’ve put miles in the legs before the new year has even come in.
It might require 90 mins a day so getting out the door early might be the key to success. If you can get your miles in before the festive activities get started, you can keep the family happy in the process!
2) Get kitted out
For those of us in the northern hemisphere, the short days and cold temperatures mean it can be hard to leave that log fire and get out the front door for a run. This is where your gear becomes essential. As the old saying goes, there is no such thing as bad weather, just unsuitable clothing, dressing poorly is an easy way to lose motivation quickly.
Layer up, keep the rain out and the skin dry with a good waterproof jacket if necessary and get your trail shoes on so you are prepared for that ice and snow!
If you’re lucky enough to be having a warm Christmas in the southern hemisphere, make sure you’re prepared for the warm summer temperatures and plan where you’ll top your bottles up.
3) Get social
Tell the world that you are going to be doing the Ultra X holiday100, tagging us at @ultraxco and using the #holiday100 handle on social feeds. Not only will you become accountable to the target and as such are more likely to keep on going when the chips are down, but you may just find someone else in your local area to join you for a leg of the challenge!
With less than a week to go, you’ve got plenty of time to persuade your partner, mother, brother, sister, niece, nephew, mate and so on to join you on the challenge.
We’re offering some great prizes to those who document their adventures each day of the challenge courtesy of our event partners- myRaceKit, Precision Hydration, SOAR Running, Running Heroes, Pics Peanut Butter, LYO Food and The Altitude Centre , so make sure to give yourself a shot at winning! Find out more here.
4) Be realistic
100 km in 8 days is no mean feat! If you’ve never run 100 km before do not worry!
Over 50% of people who do our ultramarathon races have never done a marathon before registering but still manage to finish!
The secret to finishing the #holiday100 is self-belief, not neglecting your recovery and fueling properly- just as it would be during a race!
Pace yourself for the full eight days, if you’ve never done something like this, why not just aim to walk a good chunk of the distance and not run every other day? All you have to do is cover the distance, make it as comfortable as possible for YOU.
Putting yourself right in the red on the first day will not stand you in very good stead for the rest of the challenge.
Think about the mileage you want to cover on each ride and the speed at which you can cover that distance without over-stretching yourself ahead of the remaining runs.
5) Choose your route
This is a distance challenge, elevation gains and descents are awesome most of the time, but what about when it’s New Year’s Eve, it’s looking like snow and you’ve got 30km left to complete the challenge?
We’d recommend sticking to the lowlands, enjoy picking a route which makes life easier and not worrying about how to get up those mountains with those extra Christmas pounds around the waist! Save the hills for the #Hilladay100, one of our summer challenges!
You may also like…
What exactly is an ultramarathon, what are the different categories, and what does it take to train for one?
Veganism and ultra running have both never been so popular. Which elite ultra runners follow a plant-based diet?
Over the last few years, ultra endurance races have been crowning female champions with increasing frequency. Are women faster than men?