One of the most common misconceptions runners new to ultra marathon distances, is that they have to run the whole way.

Although there are many talented and experienced athletes that art capable of running 50-miles non-stop, most do not. Even the elite stop to eat and take fluids and walk a bit while refueling.

At the awards ceremony of the Fall Fifty, last year, Race Director, Sean Ryan, posed a question to the overall male winner about a steep hill that was added to that year’s course. The winner, Tyler Sigl, did not hesitate to say, “I walked that big hill!”

Little walking breaks, whether they are through the aid stations or on the hills, really benefit you in the long run–no pun intended.

As the early leaders of the race, who went the wrong way and crossed over Highway 42, last year, might attest, slowing down can be especially beneficial at road crossings. Taking the time to look for the markers and signs indicating the direction to take is crucial.

Slowing down to eat and drink, may be the significant difference in getting you to the finish line. Getting there in good shape requires thinking. Thinking about what you are fueling with and how much you are taking in, as well as monitoring your effort and making decisions to slow down or to walk periodically.

Certainly, your muscles will appreciate not only the food and fluids you choose, your body will also recover more quickly after the race. Even if you eat too much pizza and drink too much beer after!

After fueling, do not break out into a run, although it will feel like you can after your brief respite, walk slowly, then more quickly and eventually jog and then run.

Enjoy the aid stations and the personnel who work there. Enjoy the crew members who meet you there and are supporting you. Thank them all and then REALLY enjoy the party after, the best you may ever attend, especially if you are wearing your bling!

See you in a few miles….roy pIrRUNg