Troubleshooting on the Run, Half Two – iRunFar

In Half One of this Troubleshooting on the Run collection, we started discussing cures for among the most typical race-day blunders and maladies, whereas this collection wraps up with Half Three.

Included on this article is one other set of ultrarunning issues we hope that can assist you kind out. Matters lined embody:

Katharina Hartmuth - 2023 Trail World Championships 80k - running at 24k

Katharina Hartmuth racing the 2023 Path World Championships 80k. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Foot Issues

To proceed transferring, we should keep the well being and sturdiness of our toes. Runners are not any strangers to cuts, bruises, and different bodily irritations. Nevertheless, if we develop these on our toes, we are able to kiss our race end goodbye or, on the very least, anticipate to endure tremendously by means of the remainder of the occasion. We will do just a few issues to scale back our probabilities of growing debilitating blisters and macerated pores and skin.

  • Although it’s a preferred behavior, by no means put on new footwear or socks on race day. Be certain that you’ve examined them beforehand for correct match. As nicely, take into account race-day circumstances when selecting your footwear. For instance, don’t be caught out on a moist and chilly course with footwear and socks which will cut back circulation, retain water, or present little heat.
  • Grow to be accustomed to your toes. Know the place in your toes and beneath what circumstances issues often floor. Apply powders, Squirrel’s Nut Butter, Vaseline, or protecting moleskin or athletic tapes to delicate areas earlier than the race.
  • Beat the problems to the punch. When you start to really feel a scorching spot growing, cease as quickly as doable and handle the scenario. Inserting additional socks and a change of footwear in your drop baggage is a wonderful preventative measure. Moisture-wicking operating socks will take up extra water from moist pores and skin, and a brand new pair of footwear can change stresses and rub patterns in your toes.
  • John Vonhof, the creator of “Fixing Your Ft” – a must have e-book for runners — suggests utilizing gaiters to maintain particles from coming into the shoe, experimenting with lacing methods, exploring using customized or over-the-counter orthotics, and sustaining a correct hydration regime to keep at bay dangerous foot juju.
Best Running Socks - Injinji Run Lightweight Mini-Crew

Maintain these toes! Photograph: iRunFar/Alli Hartz


Although not as devastating as foot harm, chafing can flip an pleasing race into an entire nightmare. Whether or not the trigger is from clothes, a pack or operating belt, or the build-up of grime and salt, the perfect plan of action is to switch or alter the offending merchandise. Cowl the irritated spot with athletic tape, bandages, or lubrication. Carry a small stick of Squirrel’s Nut Butter with you and alter garments if essential.

Right here’s iRunFar’s deep dive into tips on how to stop chafing whereas operating within the first place.

Working at Night time

Many ultramarathons start or end nicely after sunset, making a well-dialed lighting system important. Having the ability to see the path clearly will prevent time and stop pointless tumbles. When looking for a superb, trail-worthy gentle, take into account these choices:

  • Handheld versus headlamps – Most path runners want hands-free lighting. This allows you to carry a water bottle, fumble with zippers, give excessive fives, and catch your self in the event you take a spill.
  • 300 to 400 lumens – I wasn’t blessed with good evening imaginative and prescient. Whereas I’ve discovered even decrease ranges of lamp brightness enable me to run aggressively on most path terrain, 300 to 400 lumens ought to deal with practically all on-trail operating conditions.
  • Battery life – The vast majority of 100-mile runners are on track from nightfall to daybreak. Within the winter months, this might imply as much as 14 hours or extra at midnight! Don’t skimp on lights which have poor battery life. Nevertheless, regardless of the specs, carry additional batteries and place extras in your drop baggage.
  • Weight – Whether or not you resolve to hold or put on your lamp, weight issues. A adequate operating lamp ought to are available at round three to 6 ounces.
  • Energy settings – Helpful LED headlamps may have a couple of energy setting. A low energy setting will allow you to save lots of battery life on clean sections of tread and whereas at support stations. Excessive-powered choices will assist you to gentle up technical trails and solid a farther beam when looking for course markings.
  • Adjustable angled lamp – Having the ability to toggle the angle of your gentle might be useful as we aren’t all constructed the identical.

For many, extra gentle is healthier. Strive operating with two headlamps, one in your head and one round your waist. This setup will solid totally different angled shadows on the rocks, roots, bumps, and dips within the path. You’ll additionally have the ability to flip one gentle off, nonetheless see the bottom, and never blind your pacer, crew, or support station volunteer. You’ll even be sporting your backup gentle.

Through the years, iRunFar has developed a collection of sources about operating at evening.

Transgrancanaria 2022 - Night - Abby Hall

Abby Corridor utilizing a two-light setup en path to ending second on the 2022 Transgrancanaria. Photograph: Jordi Saragossa

Murphy’s Legislation

We’re all accustomed to the adage, “Something that may go fallacious, will go fallacious.” Have you ever ever run out of diet or water throughout certainly one of your races? Irrespective of how a lot we pre-plan, stuff occurs. Support stations may be farther aside than marketed, drop baggage go lacking, or once-reliable water sources are mysteriously turned off or dried up.

In case you are out of water or diet throughout an organized occasion, don’t sacrifice your well being for a race outcome. Gradual your tempo and energy till you possibly can refuel. In dire circumstances, cease and take shelter alongside the course and wait for one more runner to offer or ship for assist.

What in the event you discover your drop bag lacking or the help station is stocked with unfamiliar meals, which is nearly assured in the event you race internationally? Stay calm and don’t take this inconvenience out on the volunteers. It’s possible you’ll simply must eat some new meals in the event you want to proceed. Chances are high you’ll be tremendous in the event you do.

Quickest recognized time (FKT) makes an attempt and self-supported journey runs are very fashionable. These sorts of outings are much more dangerous as a result of they lack support stations and are sometimes achieved solo, probably with no person monitoring your whereabouts. We shouldn’t concern these grand treks, however listed here are some easy security precautions:

  • Submit a run plan to a number of relations or associates, together with the route, begin time, and estimated end time.
  • Take a well-prepared buddy together with you.
  • Know the terrain and climate patterns.
  • Carry a private locator beacon.
  • Pack extra meals, batteries, and garments than you assume you’ll want, and know tips on how to use a dependable water purifying system.

Trailside Litter

We’ve all seen litter on the paths, a used gel wrapper, a wadded tissue, banana peels, or an orange pores and skin. What do you do? Whether or not you’re operating first or final, you choose up the trash and definitely don’t add to the mess. There may be such a factor as path karma, and I invite you to check the idea. Subsequent time you’re at a race or in your favourite path and see another person’s rubbish, choose it up. You’ll be glad you probably did.

trail runner running in open valley in mountains.

At all times attempt to go away the path higher than you discovered it. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Race-Day Diarrhea

Kristina Folcik from New Hampshire gained my consideration along with her reader remark, “Pooping, relentless diarrhea from mile 16 to the end. It’s making race day so worrying. Horrible decrease stomach cramps adopted by having to go each 5 to 10 miles. Assist me!” A number of issues could also be occurring right here.

  • Each pre-race and race-day diets should be investigated. What are you ingesting in a different way on race day that you just aren’t throughout coaching? Discover the chance that you might have a meals allergy. Get rid of suspect meals out of your weight-reduction plan like soy, wheat, eggs, and dairy in the event you’re battling this regularly. Be systematic and hold a meals log.
  • Look at your race-day effort stage. Excessive-intensity operating can actually trigger intestinal misery. Follow race tempo and circumstances throughout coaching and check meals and their frequency of use throughout these exercises.
  • As we speak, we are able to pop a capsule for many illnesses, and there are a number of medicine that may ease gastrointestinal upset. Nevertheless, I recommend we discover the underlying drawback earlier than settling indefinitely on the medicine “treatment.” Via this course of, we might not solely discover the reason for the gastrointestinal issues, however we can also uncover different well being points which will additional enhance your high quality of life.
  • If all out there options have failed, see your physician. It’s not so uncommon that we could possibly be harboring a parasite or evil intestine micro organism.

In Half Three, I cowl trail-side toilet etiquette, wildlife encounters, tools malfunctions, evaluating mid-race accidents, what you are able to do in the event you miss your crew, and what to do in case your pacer seems to be greater than you bargained for.

[Editor’s Note: As one of iRunFar’s best training articles, we’ve worked with author Ian Torrence to update this article before resharing it.]

Name for Feedback

  • Have you ever discovered your self troubleshooting any of the problems Ian covers right here?
  • In that case, how did you resolve your drawback?
Yngvild Kaspersen - 2023 CCC champion

Whether or not operating the CCC in Chamonix, France, or a race near residence, problem-solving is a key a part of ultramarathon success. Photograph: UTMB

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