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Friday, April 29, 2005

World Runners 20000K summary

Part of a post put up by Phil Essam from Jesper Olsen.
A good read and very interesting for Ultramarathoners and over distance trainers....
Jesper is now in Samon Arm on his way to Calgary.
Yesterday; during one of my 3 preparation-days in Vancouver planning the logistics of the Canadian part of world run, I participated in a 10km "fun run"; the Vancouver Sun Run. The result was 43:50min (

The slowest pre-worldrun time I remember having on a 10km is 42-something when I started running competetions; as 12 years old. So the time I was capable to do after 20 000km of this present run was both the slowest I have ever done and a little more than 12 minutes slower than my personal best of 31:29.

- Than pretty much spells out what a run around the world does to you as an athlete ! ;-)

You become much slower than you would imagine; but eventually you also gain much more physical endurence than at least I myself had expected. I felt that side of the world run when I - to my surprise - won the 19. Colac 6 Day Race in Australia after approximately 14 000km of running at 50km a day since London. The reslut was a bit modest, 754km for the 6 days (, but I was able to do it feeling comfortable all the way and enjoying myself !

- And continuing with my run the day after the race without much trouble ! I had NOT expected that :-)

Mostly this is ofcourse due to adaptation. The body adapts to the slow 6 min/km that I do i average, during a 6-7hour average running day, w. 5 hours of effective running and 1- 2 hours of stops, food, navigation, documentation pictures & gps-transmission; and afterwards setting up tent or finding a motel, finding food etc. etc.

In the first 2-3 months/3000-4000km the body struggled with the adaptation. It was the period where I experiensed the most 'near-injuries' and had my, luckily !!, only severe leg injury: a pulled/strained muscle in the upper left leg, wich was quite uncomfortable to run with for a few days.

But from there on there has been astonishing little trouble with the legs themselves. Many of the classical running & ultrarunning injuries like shinsplints, achilles injuries, knee injuries etc. hasnt been big problems. And often due to the fact that there is pleanty of opputunities to slow down, change shoes, diet, pace, streatching patterns etc. etc. when I feel that an injury might be approaching. Usually there is a small indication the 5-8 days before it begins/would begin to be a "real" injury; the trick is to know how to listen for it !

Still; there is ofcourse more than pure running injuries ! My biggest problems so far has been 2 - 3 cases of severe stomack problems, causing 2 rest-days in total: one in Krasnojarsk in Siberia and one along the costal highway 101 in Oregon, USA. Besides this, the main thing, much to my surprise, has been hand injuries; wounds that wont heal for months or even half years has been a noticeable discomfort. Both probably due to a higher pressure on the immune-system in general.

Another interesting observation has been the pulse/hart-rate change. Before this run I would with 200 to 250km training pr. week have about 120 beat pr. minut (bpm.) when doing a pace like 6 min./km. The first 2 months of the run it was the same or a bit elevated to 125 bpm. But after about 4 months or around 7000km it began declining graduately. After about 8 months it reached a steady level of 65 - 85 bpm. at 6 min./km. (!)

- Wich is low consideration that the rest pulse rate moved from 31-36 before I began the run, to about 45 to 60 in the first 2months, and graduately to 38-42 on the "good days", 50 -55 on the "hard days" and around 50 in average at morning or before sleep.

My guess would be that the body when dooing 5-8 hours running a day has accepted that as the natural level of activity and got very effective at this task its been given. Wich also fit well with that I have duing that time come to eat considerably less than usual - again a sign that the body has become more effective. Some of my helpfull support-crews lately has been commenting that I was actually eating unrealisticly little ;-) Though I have found that I gain too much if I eat the amounds I usually would; even when I was training 20-50 % less km than I run now; :-)
for the whole story check out :-

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