I finished 2021 with just over 2,400 miles and took the last 16 days off as my hip wasn’t feeling 100%. I’ve learned over the years that if you don’t listen to it, you will pay the price. Well after 16 days rest I came back with a 16 mile run on the trails and felt pretty good. There were a couple of races I was looking at but decided to change them. I’ve done the Long Haul 100 miler a couple of times and it was 2 weeks into the new year so decided I didn’t want to push my hip that hard too soon. Then a couple of weeks later there’s a local 50K which I fancied my chances of winning but again thought that it may be tough on my hip. So with all the wisdom in my little finger, I decided to train for the Last Man Standing.
What is the Last Man Standing, well it’s a race where every hour on the hour you run a 4.166 mile loop, and then you wait until the start of the next hour and you run the loop again. During the day the loops are usually on trail and in the evening on the road. The objective is to keep on running these loops until you are the “last man standing”. So how many miles could that be? Well it all depends on the competition, the race stops when you are the only person left, so it could be any distance. However looking at the competition in the Florida edition of the race, which takes part all over the world, there is one runner that has completed 208 miles, that’s 50 hours of running, and there are about 4 others that have run around 150 miles, 36 hours.
So the objective is different from every other race where you run as fast as you can, in this it’s better to run it as slow as you can. You just want enough time to sit down for a short while, hydrate, take care of whatever business and be ready to go again on the hour. So for all my runs this year I’ve been running 3 1/2 minutes and then walking 1 1/2 minutes, each mile averaging around 10 minutes 30 seconds. This is actually a little to fast for the race as you finish in less than 44 minutes leaving 16 minutes. I’ve been feeling good with this but know race day the slower I go the further I will go. Last weekend I did a practice run, 10 hours covering just short of 42 miles and I felt great and could have continues for sure. The following day I did another 3 hours of this. Next weekend I plan doing another 10 hour run but this time in the dark to train after a full day on your feet and then running through the night. I don’t think I’ll be able to train to get a 5 minute nap on this but I know it will help race day, I just need to make sure I have someone to wake me up. My goal as usual is to win the race, whatever it takes. I feel that if the weather is kind or hot, no rain and no freezing temperatures, I will stand a chance. I need to make sure I watch my hydration, and if my hip holds up who knows how far I can go. The furthest I’ve ran to date is a couple of 100 milers, but I aim to smash that.
Race day is in 4 weeks, February 12th, so just a couple of more weeks to get some 60-70 miles in each week and then time to rest. Wish me luck.