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!
12 thoughts on “Visualize”
Excited to see how the first year of BDM 160k turns out. For those worried about the heat I suggest doing some heat training. Heat is one my weaknesses and I try to get some heat training for my events.
the tropical heat in the country would be the “enemy” in this race and i guess, the local runners are already exposed to such situation but running under the heat of the sun for 8-10 hours would be a different story.
What works for me is breaking the race into smaller parts. Like reaching the first 10k, then saying that there’s 10k left and then doing another 10k run and so on. There’s a thin line between confidence and getting cocky, which I notice among other veteran ultrarunners. It is still different on actual race day. But it is true, visualizing truly helps.
what works for you will be fine as long as you will be able to push yourself towards the finish line. good luck, blas!
As I have said in my blog and BDM lecture before and I will say it again… VISUALIZATION or MIND SETTING is the most underrated part of ultra training.
In my exposure to ultrarunning here and abroad, I have seen runners quit because their mind was not equally trained as much as their bodies (even without physiological problem).
you are right. everything in ultrarunning is about the brain. the brain controls everything! i hope the runners were able to train their brains during the fat ass run..hahaha! thanks again for dropping by.
in my interviews with many bdm participants of the previous two editions, one glaring fact is that at some point, even the winners/top finishers took a walk. one cannot simply finish this distance(102) without taking a walk along the way.
and another fact is that, at some point after the kilometer 50 mark, the “wall” appears and the things a runner has been dreading to feel will start to manifest itself. it is a given that with proper training, reaching the 50k mark in abucay would be a breeze so to speak. a runner feels good,etc. but things will turn bad at some point after.
it is in this juncture that a runner must be prepared and be ready to fight off the pains, physical, mental and emotional, and just push his body and mind to do what it was trained for-the finish line.
i have always maintained that it takes more than just running to make it past the century mark.
remember, even the best-laid plans and strategies can go astray. be flexible.
the bottomline is…listen to your body; talk to your body; and take care of your body and the BRAIN is there as the overall manager of the body. good luck!
Without sounding curt, the so-called “wall” is a myth.
atty jon, what is good about the internet is that you can read the race reports of the “gods” of ultrarunning and they are very transparent, humble and honest. however, what i’ve observed is that almost all of them don’t mention “the wall” when they don’t feel good abouth their body during their races. they simply write or say that they have some “issues” with their body and praise the guy that beats them. for me, “the wall” is simply an alibi for the lack of training and PATIENCE.
for someone like me who doesn’t have enough training, visualizing the race is too daunting (gives me a scare). the more i think about my would be effort for the race, the more it won’t add up to complete the race or boost confidence.
so, i will just shutdown my brain and keep the faith. summon my inner strength. be happy with what i am doing. hope to reach the finish line.
sorry for my not so brainy comment! :p
One thing I like w a 100 miler is that the ultramarathon gods are always fair to every runner. The fastest runner is not even guaranteed to finish. If you keep moving and manage your time well at aid stations, you’ll get to the finish line. I visualize myself into several segments of the race but adjustments always have to be made once the race starts. Your body will tell you how you’d run the race. If you feel good early, be happy. It would pass in due time.