How I will prepare for my upcoming 24-hour run
When I mentioned I would be participating in the upcoming 24H Tremblant, this December, I received a slew of emails asking me why, when, where and how I would prepare for this event.
I thought I would write about it and make people understand my process.
I always believed in the following statement: Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Therefore, I ALWAYS prepare for an event, regardless of how long, demanding or complex it is. You must prepare for everything you want to accomplish, whether in sports, life or work. Preparation is vital, not just for my physical readiness to complete the run. The mental strength I will require may be the key to my success. Mental preparation dictates being in similar settings to those of the run. I will expand on this in the upcoming sections. You must also prepare to KNOW you have done all you could to achieve success and not be plagued by second thoughts. As I like to say, there is so much that can take you out of a run that you don’t need to add more by being neglectful or lazy!
Based on the event’s dates, December 9 to 11, 2022, I worked backward and realized I had just enough weeks to prepare for it. My training starts today (October 1). Preparation will go on until December 7. Then, I will take two days off before the event.
I will be training up North in the Saint-Sauveur/Tremblant areas and a bit in Montreal. I realized I worked out better when I was not in Montreal. It seems that when I am in town, my mind cannot ignore other things occurring in my life. But when I’m far from the city, my mind is at peace, and I can focus better on my preparation.
This one is tough. I already know I can run for 6 to 12 hours. Past that, it is uncharted territory. I must be exhausted BEFORE starting my workout to adequately prepare for the second half of the 24 hours event. In other words, I have to pull an all-nighter, THEN begin training. That’s the hard part of the preparation. There are many other challenges I must overcome. Running for 24 hours in a windy, cold, and humid climate is no joke. I must also overcome sleep deprivation and manage running in snow and possibly on ice. I will have to deal with nutrition difficulties, fight boredom, not bump into other runners, not stray from the course at night, handle exhaustion and hallucinations, etc. Other runners in teams of six to twelve will be relaying each other for 24 hours. I will be running the entire period solo. My average training blocks will range from 6 to 8 hours at a slow pace (6 min/km). I will carry a 20-pound backpack for additional effort.
My two rest days will be reserved for eating, sleeping and relaxing. I forecast burning around 14,000 calories over the 24-hour event. I know I will be in a severe caloric deficit state when I complete the event because there is a limit to what I can ingest during a running event. I predict I will be eager to inhale (vegans, close your eyes and ears) a monstrous bloody steak, rice, fries and veggies. I will also welcome a copious amount of tonic water with lime and ice cream. I will try to stay awake until 8:00 pm, then sleep an unlikely twelve hours. That’s about it.
So, now you know how I will spend my time until the event. I also have to work and handle all the other unavoidable things life throws me.