How To Run 1 Million Miles
Running 1 million miles. Can you feel the enormousness in such a distance? How do you start? Where do you start? And is it even possible? Here’s a good starting point. Let’s take a look at the various topics we would consider on our journey to 1 million miles. Discussing the most important points of training, gear, fueling, nutrition, and form will take us one step closer to those 1 million miles we wish to seek.
First, how should one train for such a stunt? Long runs seem to be the most effective approach. Although, speed training will mold us into a better, more accomplished runner. What about tempo workouts? Tempo runs help us increase time and distance. In addition, cross training is beneficial like alternating your run workouts with swimming, biking, climbing, or walking up a stair master. Yes, cross training works well. What about the frequency of training? Running every single day works for some but it’s also been proven that recovery is what’s most critical. Recovery runs, base runs, long runs, tempo runs, progression runs, hill repeats, and intervals. 1 million training styles for 1 million miles to run.
There is a near infinite amount of gear that is available to help us improve our training and race day performance. But what’s the best gear for the job? There are shoes, shirts, shorts, hats, socks, compression, bottles, packs, gaiters, headbands… you name it. Most say compression works well, some say the less clothes ,the better. Some say you’re better off safe than sorry, and others say wear little and just run a lot. There’s an abundance of gear that saturates the market being sold by manufacturers, distributers, and drop shipping websites. Winter gear, summer gear, spring gear, and fall gear. 1 million types of gear for 1 million miles to run.
Some runners say the most vital component of race day is their fueling technique. It’s essential to use gels in different mileage increments. But some say gels are bad for the stomach. So, fueling with whole foods may be the best option. But others say whole foods will slow you down. Well one thing for sure is that sport drinks are beneficial. But then again, they have way too much sugar. Because of this some use water and salt tablets. For every one runner who believes in taking a sip of water every 20 minutes, there’s another one who says to drink only when you’re thirsty. Or was it drink every few miles? Or maybe it’s never drink at all. 1 million ways to fuel for 1 million miles to run.
Carbs, carbs, and carbs! Carb load until you explode! Pasta and bread, right? But aren’t carbs bad for runners? Then one should take in more protein. Consumption of protein increases a runners strength and speed most definitely. On the other hand, this provides little real time energy so fat should be our primarily fuel source for running. This will keep us moving consistent and steady. But doesn’t fat make you fat? Then an equal balance should do the trick. Life’s about moderation, right? This will lead to a better race day experience and a smooth recovery. Vegetarian diets, weight loss diets, crash diets, detox diets, and eat clean diets. There’s essential foods for runners, meal plans for runners, the best foods for runners, and the worse foods for runners. Foods that make you run faster, foods that make you run farther, and foods that make you recover quicker. 1 million ways to eat for 1 million miles to run.
Now this category is the most important. Well I heard it’s the most Important. If you have good form then you’ll become a better runner. Focus on flexibility, posture, motion, cadence, sensing, coordination, arm position, breathing, relaxed, and firm. It’s about quick strides, long strides, straight knees, push offs, relaxed bodies, relaxed hands, relaxed arms, stronger cores, stronger legs, and stronger feet. 1 million types of form for 1 million miles to run.
Runners come in all different shapes and sizes. We run various lengths at various speeds. We train at different levels and prefer different gear. Our technique and form varies even more than our fueling approach and nutritional plans. So, what’s the one thing these all have in common? Mechanics, that is, they all contribute to the how and when we develop as runners but ignore and mask the why. But the mechanics will only take us so far. So how do we reach that 1 million mile mark other than through mechanics? The answer is mentality, that is, our mental strength. It’s our mental strength that creates a spark in the morning and pushes us late through the night. It’s our mental strength that decides to sacrifice sleep on the weekend to run countless miles in the rain. To push ourselves each day to run faster and to reach farther than we did the day before. Even a trainer or coach will only motivate us for so long because when that voice leaves the room the only one remaining is you and that individual in the mirror. You and only you will get through that training program. With that there’s something much more powerful than motivation. That power is inspiration and that power is only found within ourselves. We are inspired by others but inspiration is only developed internally. Ever hear of the 80/20 rule? In my opinion running is 20% mechanical and 80% mental.
Looking back at all the ultra marathon finish lines I’ve crossed I can confidently say were due to shear mental strength. The long training runs and excessively long races would be devastating otherwise. Remember the first marathon or race you signed up for? For most, it took courage to reach that starting line. But soon after that race you realized that the snake in the dark corner of the room was nothing more than a small piece of rope hidden in the shadows. There’s a deeper and powerful self in each and every one of us. It’s that inner self that’s crawling and scratching its way out to reach the surface. That one that believes you are meant to be and to do so much more. And guess what… you are! Know that you are capable of amazing things. So, get up, get out the door, and start moving your feet! Run around that block, or sign up for that race. If it’s 1 mile or 1 million miles all it takes is a decision, a decision to try and with that ANYTHING becomes possible. There are a million possibilities within reach and running shows us a million ways to get there. So, choose one and give it 1 million percent. 1 million possibilities for 1 million miles to run.
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