10 tips how to survive trail ultramarathon (not only for Taiwan Action Asia 50km in Shimen)

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10個重點教您如何跑超級馬拉松 Are you going to run ultramarathon? Your first ultramarathon? Your first 50 km on trail? Then prepare well, here are some tips how to survive and enjoy this big deal. With little comment for Taiwan Action Asia 50km in Shimen.

Here are few tips how to overcome you trail ultramarathon, with little information for AA50km in Shimen. There are many issues to solve before and during the run, if you have some good suggestion please let comment below this article. Enjoy your ultra.

10) Hydration

You have to know how many waetr station will be in race, in AA50k will be5 water CPs, but you have to be sure be independent at least 2 hours(?) (2l reservoir even in colder weather is fine). You have to guess correctly rest of water in your reservoir (rather take water every station). Strongly recommended take water again in CP3, because to CP4 will take more time on very technical part and you will have already half race in your legs! Drink enough…

9) Have to try your equipment before race

Try you equipment (shoes-socks, bag, shirt, shorts, food, etc.) before race NO in race! Suggest take light jacket or rain cover for heat comfort.
Mandatory equipment for AA50km, means you have to carry all race: phone (enough battery for whole day, save number of organizer – morning before race) in zip waterproof bag, whistle, headlamp!, small compass, light jacket (+ can pack: vaseline, electrolytes, print some map, links are below) Choose right combination of schoes and socks (I choosed  Inov8 Trailroc 245,  RacePac 4 and Titan socks). Don’t need be sexy…

8) Pack it smart!

You have to know where your food, equipment is hidden in back. Food easy to access. Be sure you will not litter with empties and cover of your bars (take your garbage with you)!! Take enough energy and food which you like. I will rather take rice ball, sweet potato (anything) for long run than twenty gels! Not easy to decide what to take, don’t take so many stuff…

7) Training? Not hard before race!

Omit point 7 if you race is next week, and don’t do long distance training. It is nearly late for long distance training; you can do some hilly training this weekend. Next week not much training after Tuesday, rather eat more nicely. If I can I run just few kilometre day before instead of do zero. Sleep well!


6) Mental preparation

Is it your first 50k, is it your firs 50k on trail? Then don’t have high ambitions. The ambition just finish in time is enough. Don’t waste time during the run (taking picture, sit – walking is still faster, etc.), but find your optimal speed. Remember that if you will have power in second half it will be great for you, for your brain and also second half of AA50k course is on faster trail (after CP4). Take your time week before and do what you like…


5) Study competition? Rather study course!

Instead of study competition (if your goal is not first places) please study the map and course (if you couldn’t visited it), feeling of be lost will not help you overcome this distance! Maps of AA50k and link to 20-44km post blog with easy description below, please study it (you can also use Google view when you crossing some roads). Most trails are in forest, you cannot usually see any orientation points! The feeling of being lost…


Never know about condition of marking and volunteers (eg. they sent me next 5km (run just +2k) in Xindian when I nearly finished TNF100), be lost is bad, but also no excuse for don’t continue in race!

Comment about marking: Organizers will mark it (light green, pink, etc. ribbons), but it is your responsibility have „open eyes“. Some „good“ soul also remove ribbons and marking before race (instead of after). Marking with flour is fine in key turns in race, but I don’t agree with flour everywhere – also when you will go alone to new trail you need have some orientation skills, trail running is not run around white line!

Remember important name of places, hills, etc.: (eg. after CP3 you have to go to 白石山Báishí shāneven foreigners should recognize these). My tip is print map and then you write down names by hand on this map. Link for basic maps and 20 to 44km trip blog post:
maps and cool Google Earth tour:
Excursion for 20-44km of 50km in Shimen, and another just picture
Btw, even best runners are still human (sometimes is not obvious), if they are faster than you – be happy for it, but don’t try catch them in first half – follow your comfortable pace. Maybe they just overestimated their powers…  

4) Weather

You are in Taiwan and will be November. It means you can expect anything. You have to take light jacket – run 10 hours in raining you will definitely feel cold, and probably will not finish race without jacket! More food if cold, more water if hot! Take some electrolytes, or just salt to small bulb. Be ready for any weather…

3) Take it easy

Talk with others before race, let your doubts home. Be nervous is not bad, but you have to sleep night before. Let your worries behind start line and try enjoy morning run. Also there is so much time be faster than in first few kilometres in start (2km up on the road, then steep trails in AA50k).

Also don’t think about how many kilometers left and separate your run for shorter parts (to next CP, to next hill, to next, crossroad, to next ribbon,…) Try smile… nobody see you…


2) Emotions

Only Steven Seagal and Chuck Norris don’t have emotions. If you will not want cry after 40km in this race then you can contact them (https://www.facebook.com/officialchucknorrispage). Let emotion flow, but manage everything around to finish. Don’t give up, you can change few words with runners around – they will have same problems as you. Remember this…

1) Enjoy it, but no excuse

It will pain, there will be some crisis. Don’t think that you are weak for do it, but think that you move forward and do what you want, and you can do it. Solve your mental and physical problems and try find way how to let them be part of you, no against you. Remember we are in too…

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