Precious advice from an undefeated ultra runner!

In my last blog I was able to tell you about the amazing support and advice I received from Ness Knight, as I belatedly prepare for a 325km Tech Bikers charity ride from Paris to London.

Ness has made history several times when it comes to endurance challenges, so her encouragement and advice has been invaluable. And when it comes to amazing experts, we have an embarrassment of riches here at WatchFit. This week I have been able to call on the advice of elite professional triathlete and unbeaten ultra runner Alice Hector.

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My personal challenge

Alice kindly took time out from her rigorous training for an Ironman event this week. I appreciate my 325km charity ride over a weekend doesn’t compare to the phenomenal feats achieved by Alice and Ness, but these things are relative.

They are entirely focused on the challenges that lie ahead of them and condition themselves accordingly. I, on the other hand,……..well, it’s a different story!

Although a fundamentally fit and active person, I have been approaching the Sept 18th event in probably my least fit and active state in as long as I can remember!

Work or train? That’s the question!

I’m not complaining by any means, but it really has been all work, work, work at WatchFit for months and – ironically, considering what we do – I have barely seen the inside of my gym or laced up a running shoe. And now the start date looms large!

Just talking to the likes of Alice and Ness makes me feel better. They are so positive, encouraging and know better than most that the body and mind are capable of the most amazing things.

Alice outlined key preparatory tips and instructions that will make a genuine difference even at this late stage.

Fuel, right! Your bike is your buffet!

“You have to fuel on the move and aim to eat 1g of carbohydrate per kg of bodyweight (for women), around 60g per hour. Drinking is also vital – aim for 750ml (a medium sized sports bottle) every hour. You must ensure there is a constant drip-feeding”.

Long endurance events such as Ironman, ultra running and cycling are often talked of as being ‘eating competitions’. There’s so much truth in this! Practice your fuelling strategy in longer training rides, so you know what works best.

Effective training

Don’t feel you need to ‘go the distance’ in training. Of course you need to build up your diesel engine, but you are better off doing this with a series of regular 3-4 hour rides. This conditions you well without causing wear and tear. A couple of rides up to 6 hours would be advised as part of the prep, but leave the big distance for the event itself.

It’s far better to go in 10% underdone than 1% over. I ran a very successful 100 miler (20 hours) with a longest run of 4 hours, but I did many 2-3 hour runs on consecutive days at the weekends. Consistency and regularity far outweighs one huge session now and again that leaves you too tired to move!

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Getting comfortable

Pain in the neck or back on your training rides is a sign that your bike position isn’t quite right and this will cause injury when the going gets long. You can play about with the position yourself or go to a local bike shop which will be able to advise and adapt your set-up.

The same goes for bike saddles; some will be comfortable, and many won’t be! Many bike shops have demo saddles that you can take away for a few days. Well worth taking the time. Don’t scrimp on the cost of a good pair of padded shorts either and chamois cream… Comfort is King!

Great advice!

Thank you so much Alice! The Tech Bikers ride is a team event and we hope to raise £100k for the wonderful charity Room To Read.

So, I’m really happy to share this advice with my fellow riders and hope they find it invaluable too. It could be the difference between a really pleasurable and energising experience or just a procession of several dozen entrepreneurs and Tech-types groaning, wheezing and seizing up somewhere in Kent!

To read more about Parisa Louie, visit her Expert Profile.

Alice Hector can also be found in the WatchFit expert listings.

Read more about Parisa’s journey to Paris in Part 1, Part 2Part 3,  and Part 5, Part 6, Part 7.

Pictures of Alice Hector by kind courtesy of Darren Wheeler.

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