“Run to change not chase” — Yeswanth
This post is to help and encourage anyone who’s planning to run/walk or bike one of the most beautiful and distinct Urban Ultra Marathon alone or as a group.
In this post, I will completely focus on this particular run starting WHY would Someone choose to do this Run, WHAT it takes and HOW would you complete a loop around the Manhattan.
I learned that a person who knows WHY will always figure out WHAT and HOW, so let’s start with
I learned that to achieve something significant in life you have to always start with End in mind. why are you planning this run? why are you willing to go through pain and suffer?. If you don’t have strong WHY it won’t last long !!, it can be a RUN, a Weight loss journey, lifestyle change, new business or Career anything in life.
Why would anyone run around Manhattan when no one is watching with no reward or awards, Ultra Running is a competition with you and the distance, not people !!
It can be a personal goal or challenge you had for some time, someone who loves NYC and can’t get enough of it, or an adventurer/resident/ tourist whose living / visiting NYC and wanted to explore the city from a different perspective as it’s the greatest walking city, whichever the reason can be I can promise you it will be one of the most memorable day of your life. The Urban marvel combined with waterfront to streets …. roads to bridges… trails to tracks….skyscrapers to woods…. Sunrise to Sunset….pain to glory… buckle up and get ready for a never-ending roller coaster ride.
And if 36miles or 60K Run intimidates you its a good start…. Your goal should actually make you uncomfortable speaking to people around you in day to day life…. Forget about seasoned and professional runners they can do it any given day, I am an amateur in Running world who ran my first ever outdoor Run on Apr 2018, with experience of 9 months, just 1000 miles under belt If I Can Do It Anyone Can Do It with a proper game plan.
When Most people compare running a marathon to living a life… I would like to take a step forward and say that with distance this route will fit in perfectly just not mentally or physically but visually I will explain how in detail
when it comes to my WHY for this particular run, it all begin when someone asked “why do you run in NJ when you have such amazing waterfront paths in Manhattan ?” started with East Hudson river morning runs which eventually lead to a downtown loop run of 14 miles, which made me think can I do a full Manhattan loop ?! and thanks to Sisulab and this Route , I have decided in June 2018 to complete the run on Dec 16th after completing my two marathon races in OCT and NOV. ended up doing the run on Christmas day 25th Dec 2018.
this small sticky note on my work desk is what motivates me everyday about the future of my physical independence.
I am sure if you came this far reading you have a strong why.
one should be both physically and mentally fit to complete this run; more than physical its a mental stretch which will help you, if you believe in yourself and can visualize yourself completing the run 70% of run is done.
when it comes to physical fitness you should have ran at least one marathon before, time doesn’t matter just being able to move and conserve your energy for 5,6 hours is the key, you were expected to burn more than 6000 calories within the run for 8 hours minimum outdoor. so be prepared to lose 2,3 pounds by the end of the day.
by structure, every human being is capable of running 100k with the fat reserves we carry and the physical capabilities of the human body without training given you don’t let the brain think !!. usually our thoughts play a huge role in everything. you are who you think you are. your brain is constantly trying to protect you from new things and potential dangers, its a survival instinct which let us survive this long in this nature. It will be constantly saying “are you crazy? how do you think you can run this far or for such time…what will happen to your legs, body, etc, etc.” It does all kinds of tricks to make you stop the run making your legs feel sore, or cramps or anything in first 5 miles, you have to push through these feelings by preparing and building confidence that you can do it and you have what it takes.
if you are experienced long-distance runner you can skip this section and go to How.
Things to take care before you start this run :
- Weather conditions
make sure you are comfortable running in the weather you choose either winter or summer or any day of the year, you should have experienced multiple long distances runs in such weather before planning this ultra run.there is no perfect weather everything has pros and cons, the best time I would say fall or spring as you won’t have extremes.
- Nutrition ( Water, Carbs, Caffeine, Protein, Amino acids, and electrolytes sources ) & Calories ( Carb overloading )
I would encourage anyone to carry a hydration pack depending on your comfort so you can carry resources for water to keep your body hydrated throughout the run and to give the right inputs in carbs for energy , hydration sources for electrolytes to prevent dehydration, Amino acids, and salt sources to prevent cramps and protein for recovery during the run.
In winters usually, the water sources will not work around New York parks and you may deviate a lot to find a shop to get some food to refuel which is ok but be prepared for a longer time.
you should do some carb overloading beforehand you start, the reason being we should have at least a reserve of 2500 calories to burn instantly once they are done body will start consuming the reserved carbs then goes to fats and finally protein or muscles.. remember its all about numbers , numbers don’t lie so as long as you have enough carbs as fuel with the right nutrition you are good to go.
carry some energy gels with caffeine and amino acids in them along with some energy bars and protein bars of your choice.
The basic rule of thumb doesn’t try anything for the first time on a race day.
- Gear ( running shoes, hydration pack, sunscreen, right clothing )
Gear plays an important role in the run having the right shoe makes all the difference, know your foot type and pick accordingly which you are comfortable, likewise the dress depending on the weather make sure you are wearing light enough clothes and +7-10F for the weather. I would discourage running tanks as you plan to carry hydration pack it may cause bruises due to constant contact with the body during movement.
- GPS with a mobile
when you are planning to stay for such long distances carrying a mobile phone is must make sure its in low power mode and have the Route handy to navigate in uptown Manhattan.
don’t rely too much on GPS smartwatches like Apple or Samsung they usually die within 6 hours of constant heartbeat tracking, mobile tracking is a good way from my experience to make the run memorable, and of course make your playlist or podcasts ready for offline listening and make sure it has an amazing camera with it… you can’t afford to miss capturing the amazing beauties and scenery along the run.
- Game plan
And game plan is the most important block in the puzzle doing enough research and education yourself about the route, nutrition, breakpoints and preparing to handle the worst and low points during the run, reading and learning from people who have done it already is the best way and that’s how I was able to complete and at the same time enjoy the run as I was prepared.
when it comes to my WHAT?
I picked a cold winter day since I had other major races throughout the year and I need to be physically and mentally prepared to enjoy the run. I have done enough groundwork and build mileage throughout Dec to get used for temperature and weather in preparation for this race.
I used Saucony ISO Guide stability shoes
I personally use camelbak 2.5l hydration pack with 70% water added with XS Hydrate and use GU Enegry Gels for instant caffeine and amino acids for instant recharge and XS Sports Nutrition for longer resources like hydration & Bai for antioxidants , energy bars and protein bars which have high quality and exclusive products at professional athletes level and even better they taste good.
These are the complete products which helped me complete my run 60k for 7:30hrs with a smile on the face. three GU gels, two XS sports protein bars, Two XS sports energy bars, 2 XS hydration, and 3 Bai coconut flavored bottles.
I carried Apple series 3 GPS+LTE with me failed at 26mile and iPhone XR on low power mode with a lot of Self-development and motivational Podcasts for Offline Access.
This is where you will have a game plan and a date fixed in your mind for the run, you are mentally and physically being ready for the run, build up your mileage have a taper run few weeks ahead and get ample amount of rest the week you are planning to run (a tip, start speaking up about your run to your friends, family, social media… no to bloat about it but for making your subconscious mind start believing it and you won’t give yourself an excuse on the day of your run)
In my case, I picked Christmas eve Dec 25th as the day, though I was planning for a Saturday DEC 16 as the initial day, as you can see on the sticky note so that I can take rest on Sunday and get back to work ; but its life right !! when things don’t go as you plan you adopt. I started my run from Brookfield place and towards uptown as its a known territory for me at least for the first 10 miles been running for over six months as a daily morning run either east side or west side downtown to midtown, major thing to remember is to take it easy and just keep moving forward, calorie intake and hydration are the key and don’t forget to enjoy the beauty of Manhattan, its the reason why we started in the first place
let me share so of the breathtaking views I encountered in my run so you can get a glimpse of what’s waiting for you
What I have experienced is unforgettable and I am looking forward to doing these again and again and would love to join with a partner, let me know if you are planning I will join you any day 😀
this run is beyond marathon or running an ultra marathon, just not mentally, physically but also visually I felt it the close thing you can experience the journey of life
the first 5 miles will be easy and you will start enjoying your first 15 miles with breathtaking views, massive structures and a lot of energy as our first phase of life from childhood to your early 20’s life looks so exciting and energetic but as you go deeper into the journey this is where you have to go through ups and downs, many times leading the run alone nothing but with sheer belief that better things are waiting for you!. and be ready to have detours, rerouting your run, running longer than expected, frustrated every feeling you can expect as it happens in your mid-life. during this part of the run East Upper Manhattan it’s so dry, real and uninspiring that you want to give up, it feels like forever . but trust me to keep pushing and amazing things are right around the corner
Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, the East side of Manhattan if you start as I did usually it must be dawn by then where lights start glowing by the time you reach battery park where you feel the end, the adrenaline rush (Runners High) which makes you excited & even more happier 😇🥳, as in life when you past 50’s where you see some significance, success and results for all the efforts you have been keeping for the whole life, but the only way to reach here is by going through the journey there are no shortcuts in life !!.
once you run is done just go have your favorite drink and food and relax you have done a huge milestone feel proud 😎you have something to brag about and I can guarantee you are one of the very few who have done this feat . now you have opened up a portal where there is no limit, running an ultra is much easier than a sprint or a half or a full marathon here its a smaller crowd with bigger challenge as I said it’s not with the people but the mind and distance 👊🏻
to sum it up here is my HOW Visually
I would love to know more about your experiences or any other adventures I can be part of 🏃🏻♂️