CONSIGLI SUL MONDO DELLE ULTRAMARATONE by Fulvio Mussini100km del passatore
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Before long our territory will be the scene of two of the most important ultramarathons in the world. Both “Firenze-Faenza” run and “Pistoia-Abetone” run have to be considered international events and, in fact, every years a lot of fans comes from all over the world driven by a natural “adventurous spirit”. The amazing routes kindle the will of challenge.
In the following paragraphs I’ll give you some advice about how to live this competition without overwhelming by this “adventurous spirit” and avoiding too much damages for your body. The reason of the choice to participate to those types of running should be found in the words of Giampiero Vangi, an upholster from Florence, but adopted by Pistoia. He was keen on endurance running and three years ago before starting the 100 km he said that running a marathon is too exhausting, but running these long distances is relaxing. The meaning of these words is interesting, because they let us understand that we can appreciate deeply the race.
In Tuscany there is an “eternal” doubt: is it harder the 100km run than the Pistoia-Abetone run? More or less it is the same, because they are both amazing and very hard. On the one hand, running during the night is a fascinating aspect of the 100 km; on the other hand, an uphill of 17 km before the finishing line is the real challenge in the “Pistoia-Abetone” run. Both the competitions, of course, have to be prepared responsibly and with the consciousness that you will run in “special” conditions. It is unthinkable to face the 100 km or “only” 53km without an appropriate training! The training to prepare an ultra marathon and in particular these two ultramarathons, takes a lot of time: for example, during the last 5-6 months of training you should run long distances at least 2-3 times. The choice of the route and the amount of kilometres are very important because they should ensure an appropriate training for the body, above all for the muscles. So, we suggest to train a route with many slopes, because, for example, in the “Pistoia-Abetone” run the last 17 km are very hard and if you don’t want to lose some positions in the ranking, you have to be prepared to endure the strain as much as possible.
During the 100 km del Passatore there is another type of problem, that is a sudden change in temperature: from the start to the finish it could be a difference of 10°. The only advice I can give you is to try at least once to run on the Passo della Colla, more or less at the time that you think to arrive there the day of the race. Moreover, during the training on long distances you should wear the same clothing and shoes of the race and you should drink water and hypotonic supplements. The aim of this type of trainings is to prepare your body and you mind, and for this reason an hundred metre sprinter should run at least 60-70km before the race, and the Pistoia-Abetone runners, 45 km are enough. Keep in mind the importance of eating and drinking during the race in order to avoid decrease of blood sugar. For example, taking supplements of maltodestrine or simply eating jam.
The most important thing is to experience everything before the race: nothing has to be ad-libbed during the competition! In this case, I advise you to run the long distance a month before the race I order to give a bit of relief to your muscles. To better your aerobic endurance in this type of race, you should train doing some sprints of 3000-7000 metres run at your half-marathon rhythm. The recovery among the sprints should be of 1000-2000 metres running at the pace you face a marathon.
The last warning: if you don’t feel sufficiently fit or prepared to face this type of race, don’t hesitate, but stop at the intermediate finishing lines because there will be another occasion for you to live this adventure! Good luck!