Have you ever think on how you would be able to finish an ultra marathon distance run like the BDM 102 or the BDM 160? For those who have finished some of the PAU 50K races, it would be easy for them to visualize what it is like to finish the race, more so, if they have already finished a number of full marathon distance races. You have the confidence to finish a 50K run because all you need to do is to endure another addition of less than 8 kilometers which you could finish in a run-walk-run strategy. What is important is that you would be able to finish the run within the specified cut-off time.
In the BDM 102 and/or BDM 160, you would wonder how you could visualize yourself finishing these two daunting ultra distance races. First step is to be able to train for the distance. You could not fully visualize the race if you are not fully prepared and trained for the said distance. Elite runners would say that you have to be racking up an average weekly mileage of 100K every week for the BDM 102 or at least, 160K weekly average for the BDM 160 if you want to finish the distance with a decent time. But for the average competitive runner, he would be running less than these recommended weekly mileage just to be able to finish the race within the prescribed cut-off time.
Second, the runner should be able to be familiar with the route. It means that the runner should try running or walking through the actual route and take note of the details, like, elevation, location of uphill and downhill, condition of the road, environment, and weather. This is the reason why I encourage all runner-applicants to join the scheduled “test runs” for these events. Runners at BDM 102/160 should not be thinking if there are route marshals along the way during the race. The mind of the runner should be focused on finishing the race and not looking for directions along the route.
Third, you must be comfortable in applying what you have learned in your past marathon or ultra marathon races, like, the dependability of your equipment; comfort of your running shoes and apparel; knowing the race strategy appropriate to your training; nutrition and hydration strategy; in short, you must be able to take care of your body during the run and let your body propel you to cross the finish line!
If you have satisfied these three basic requirements, then you could fully visualize the whole race! You could divide the whole distance by segments. It could be segments by 10K; 20K; half-marathon or marathon distance and visualize how you would run through each segment and make sure that you follow on taking care of your body. For most of the runners, it will be a segment by each BDM Kilometer Post!
Do not entertain the tendency to “visualize” the outcome of the whole race based from the results of your latest BDM 50K “test run”. It is not matter of multiplying your finish time by two with an addition of one or two hours of slack time during the race. The BDM 50K “test runs” are conducted in almost the same time when the runners will be doing the race and the runners must be able to experience what it is like to run during night time and daytime. Running on night time is totally different from running during daytime. The heat of the sun and the road is always the “main threat” in these ultra races.
Try to visualize how it feels to be running under the heat of the sun with a prevailing average temperature of 100+ degrees Fahrenheit. It will be really hot during the day.
After joining the “test runs” (from Km 00 to 50 and Km 50 to 102) for the BDM 102, you could now completely “visualize” yourself running along the route as you wake up in the morning; during your break time during the day; before going to bed; and anytime during the day or whatever you are doing. This is simply “conditioning your mind” to be able to finish the race. Remember you have to train and prepare your brain (also) to endure the things you have to encounter during the race.
The race is everything about the BRAIN. Visualize the race. Run smart!