Aspiring Ultra Runner – This I have been asked
Aspiring Ultra Runner. I love the questions people ask me on this journey. Here I have gathered those that I have been asked more than once.
1. Are you sponsored?
No, I don’t get paid to run. Through my 3 years of running I have never been paid to run. Even when I was racing. I was provided with gear and am very grateful for that. But adding up the value of the gear vs the value of the time and effort I have put into marketing brands I would say – I have paid to run. All expenses are and have been paid by me.
2. How do you get free stuff?
There is no such thing as free stuff. I have managed to create an audience and a platform where brands approach me to have their products shown. I am married to founder of Stoked Vision and XtremeSails. I know both sides and how it works. A blog post coming on that. Us influencers are the new marketing machines for brands. I believe that the off spin and gain for influencers vs brands is where there is true brand love, freedom and mutual respect. Powerwoman and the Swedish sales agent for Inov8 are the only 2 brands that have “given” and fulfilled these 3 things and promoting them doesn’t feel like an obligation or a difficult task. They provide me with products, I show them my genuine brand love by sharing with my audience. Founder of Powerwoman, Anna Wretling, is also like a mentor and good friend who has given me more than Salomon or Helly Hansen ever could. That is valuable. I am flattered Salomon sent me a pair of running shoes and liked my social media content. However it didn’t boost or pay for my running. I put in many hours to give them good exposure and fulfilled my obligations, they lacked in acknowledging the work and giving feedback. Like I said, no such thing as free stuff.
3. Is training for a marathon the same as training for an ultra?
No, two completely different types of training. Not saying the one is easier than the other. Marathon distance is a hard and very pushing distance. You train to physically push yourself to the limit during a whole marathon distance and the mindset is tough. To do a good marathon you need guts, head and power. Ultra training is a completely different mindset and the approach to training has taken some time to get used to. I am 13 weeks into this program with 11 to go. Now I am getting into the ultra mindset. And I tell you, that is a challenge on its own. You cant push pace and limits. All you need is endurance. Ultra training is however a bit more complex and it involves and impacts your family in a way that marathon training never did for me.
4. How many a days a week do you train
5 days a week. Maybe a stretch on day 6 or 7. But never planned or the feeling that I “have to”. I try to disconnect training these 2 days and I feel I need that. Maybe that’s been my way of not losing the joy.
5. Do you do strength work?
Yes, I try to add short bursts of strength before or after my run. They last 8-12 minutes. At home with small weights, an elastic band and a coffee table that I use to step up and down from. I am not so fond of strength work and I will admit I have been lacking. When running marathons I was a lot stronger and had a “tighter and more trimmed” body. But I never had the endurance levels that I am reaching now. I love to see the transformation. Does it matter? Yes and no. Add some more serious strength work and power on this endurance. Maybe then I can start getting paid to run 😉
6. How often do you practice yoga?
As soon as I take the chance. Shorter sessions focusing on what the body needs there and then – mind, stretch or recovery.
7. Isn’t it boring running on your own?
Sometimes it is very boring. But I am a solo runner. Groups intimidate, take my energy and I do not really enjoy. I have felt synergy with very few people when running and those people I value. With the schedule and life style I live its easier and less pressure to shoot off when I can and not always when I had planned. But I really do miss my two good trail buddies in Lanzarote.
8. How far was your longest run ever, before this ultra training?
The longest I have run ever, before this training is about 47km. And that was bloody far! Just thinking of doing more than the double, I don’t even want to go there. On the other hand. That 47km was a push to the limit (pace & mind) which would never work in a 100km race. Again. Shift in mindset. I have also run 30 min as fast as I can… During those 30 min I said a nice and slow 45k would have been easier. I think we do ourselves injustice when comparing distances. Just like comparing you to me. And yet we keep doing it, over and over and over again. This is something we need to remind ourselves. Its you vs you in each separate distance.
9. How far were you running before starting ultra training?
I was very comfortable with a half marathon, could pull off 30k and if I had to I could get through a marathon. First week of this ultra training the longrun was at 8-12k.
Have you seen my weekly updates: ULTRATRAINING
10. How can I take my running to the next level?
Get a coach! The only way to improve from maintaining to performing and reaching goals is committing to a coach. Put your money and time on a coach. Forget the gadgets. Someone who knows more than you, can guide you and can push you to places you didn’t know you were able to go.
11. How do you take your pictures?
GoPro, good light and lots of practice. It takes about 1000 GoPro shots to get about 5 good ones. For me, at least. Some days I am luckier than others. Play with it, dare to experiment and remember – LIGHT IS KEY! Then I usually edit in Snapseed where I use the drama filter.
12. What is a b2b run and LSD run?
Back 2 back run and Long Steady Distance. Basically two runs in a row within 24 hours. Longish and longer. All to simulate an ultra race… Running on tired legs. Adapting the body to stop and then start again. I find its not just a physical adaptment. Also a mental. From having managed one weekend longrun I am planning and doing two. This is the biggest change from marathon to ultra.
13. How can you run far?
You know what. The body is amazing at adapting. You never start from 10k and jump to 40k. You add on miles gradually. You give the body time to adapt. Slowly but surely you increase. There is no other way. I look at my training program and see my longest b2b is 50k + 30k and I think how will I do that? But you know what. You get there. You arrive. And its so cool. Also, these longruns are done in z1/z2. You go slow and steady. Hello ultra training.
14. You must eat like a horse
Well. Its about eating the right things. Yes, I am hungry. But its not like I stuff myself. If I am diligent on my physical and mental part, food would be where I go up and down on discipline. On other hand I dislike the word discipline with food. I like to crave the “right” things. To indulge and to enjoy. To not go over the top – one or other way. Unfortunately I am an all or nothing person. Which I am learning to accept. Nutrition is def a part where I could learn more. I get sugar cravings or “feel the need” to eat the crap stuff either because I haven’t eaten enough or the right things previous days and when body is tired. When I get tired I crave sugar. I don’t have a problem fueling on my runs. I am hoping stomach wont give issues on 100k. Coach says – we all have a 100k where stomach takes you for a ride. I am only running one. Fingers crossed.
You might enjoy reading: Body image – to eat & train for the right reasons
15. How do you do it all?
I don’t. I was warned and now I am experiencing. The further I get into this ultra training the more smart and efficient I have to be where I spend my energy and time. What matters and what not. My world has in one way become smaller but that inner world is becoming so much bigger – and at peace. People pleasing used to eat big time. Now I am feeling at peace with myself in a way that I have never experienced before. Sometimes I feel bad about neglecting things and people but I don’t let it consume me, like it used to. You can do anything, just not everything. Ultra training helps me shut out the buzz and be ok with it.
Are you wondering about something that didn’t get answered above? Feel free to add your question in the comments and I will do my best to answer. Big hug!