You may well be thinking to yourself what does a website selling flip flops have in common with running 100 marathons in 100 days??
I guess I should explain. I am a Physiotherapist by trade I helped design EEGO flip flops and I like to run. There is the link. By no means am I a fast runner and will never break any marathon speed records but I have been blessed with the ability to go “long”. I have never run an official marathon before but I have run 100km in a day, 450km in 10 days and also 550km in 12 days as part of some crazy adventures. This year on November the 4th I will run in (well compete in) my first official marathon, The New York Marathon. I have been lucky enough to have been granted a ticket to compete so that I can accompany a client and friend, Mina Guli, on the start of her epic journey. This journey is 100 marathons in 100 days all to raise awareness of the Worlds Water Shortage. We are not going to go fast as there are 99 more to do after this one but we do have to make sure we break the 6.5 hour mark.
Running 100 marathons in 100 days is no easy task. Combine this with the fact they are all over the world and it just becomes ridiculous. We complete our first two marathons in New York, then we jump on a plane and fly to London where we run pretty much straight from the airport. Over the next ten days we run a marathon a day whilst making our way to Rome. By this stage we are only 13 marathons into our 100. The trip then goes to Uzbekistan, India, Hong Kong, China, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, South America and Central America before returning to North America to finish in New York again exactly 100 days after that first marathon.
How do you train for something like this? I would say there is no one specific way to train. You need to make sure you are doing something that would test you like you are going to be tested in your activity. When trying to complete 100 marathons you are not going to be going for speed. You need endurance. Therefore you must train long and slow. Spending long amounts of time on your feet is a must. You do not have to run marathons every day but you have to make sure you can spend long periods of time on your feet day after day after day. This is of course not the only thing you need but to list everything here would take pages and thousands of words and that would put even the most avid runner to sleep.
The mention of sleep leads nicely into the next piece of advice I have. If there is one major thing I have learnt having been involved in these adventures twice previously it is that you have make sure you do everything you can to recover after a days running. You must listen to your body, fuel and hydrate it properly. You must also rest and get off your feet. If you have to walk around you should be in comfortable footwear. Unfortunately after being in running shoes for hours a day you want to give your feet a rest from being enclosed, so that means your footwear choices are limited. I would generally like to be in flip flops to give my feet that rest. They should be supportive if possible. Listening to your body allows you to give it what it needs. Sometimes I don’t care what the text books or scientists say, if your body wants a peanut butter sandwich or a bag of potato chips then have it. On an event of this nature you are burning through calories fast. As I mentioned before we are not trying to break speed records so one tenth of a second is not going to change the result. You need to run, drink, eat, rest, sleep and then do it all again.
If you are ever thinking of attempting something crazy of the running/adventure nature and would like to hear from some people that have tried some truly ridiculous stuff then give us a shout. Hopefully we can help to make your preparation that little bit easier and also give you some idea of what to expect. Good luck with your own adventures.