You think a treadmill Marathon or a 100 miles indoor on the bike is boring? Or what about doing a 100km ride indoors at 5:30 am in the morning?
Yes, I think you could be right. BUT I tell you why I do it and why I like it as well...
Here we go...
1.) MENTAL STRENGTH. As an ultrarunner you need to be mentally fit. When it gets hard you need to go on even if it is still a lot of miles to go to the finish line. I think you can train your mental strength in a longrun on the treadmill or on a long ride indoors. It‘s boring sometimes I know but for me it helps to get through it especially for long distances I think these longer indoor sessions will help.
2.) BORING. If you wanna RUN a 100 km or 100 miles or even more outside... a Marathon on a treadmill should be eeeeassssyyy stuff for you! ;-) Road 100 km races are often on a course and you need to RUN laps for example 10x 10 km or 20x 5 km. That can get boring as well so you need to get used to boring stuff. Ultrarunning is not always just happy jogging and smiling. It can get really tough sometimes!
3.) WINTER. In winter when it‘s really cold outside or very windy and rainy you can just put on your shorts and singlet and racing flats and RUN in a warm studio on a treadmill or at home if you have one. You can do your intervals, the risk to get an injury or getting a cold is less and you can drink and hydrate whenever you want to because you have your stuff right at the treadmill next to you. I like to do Sessions like 8- 10 times 1000m fast or 15 km with increased Speed starting with 15 km/h and ending up with around 20 km/h.
4.) INDOOR BIKE. Why do I train a lot on the bike trainer indoors now? I can tell you why. I had a little injury end of August and so I started cycling to stay fit. Since August I am doing 3-4 indoor bike sessions a week and around 200km/week. Often longer rides up to 100 miles with low watts and low heartrate. Sometimes an easy 10 km RUN outdoors after. Now I just RUN 4-6 times a week instead of 7-12 times like in my 21 running years before. I try to do something new now and combine running and cycling. We will see what 2020 will bring. I feel fit at the moment. Let‘s see...
5.) SWEATING INDOORS. You think indoor cycling and treadmill running sucks because you sweat so much? Yes, sweating is not nice BUT for example during my Western States 100 mile race 2018 the highest temperature during the race was 41,5 degrees celsius. You need to get used to something like this a bit if you wanna do a good race. A bit of sweating in the gym seems to be good. Maybe next time I will put a treadmill in a 40 degree celsius sauna to do a marathon. Hahaaaa.
6.) VERY EARLY SESSIONS. Today I did a 100km indoor bike ride at 5:30 am in the morning. Sounds crazy for the most of you, right? But you know: Most of all the ultra running races have their starting time very early, even earlier then 5:30 am. So you should try to get used to something like this as well! ;-)
7.) MISTAKES. Everybody makes mistakes. Just one Story from today: I started my 100km indoor bike session at 5:30 am as I told you. After 10km I recognized that I forgot to open the window. It was already really warm in my little room and became nearly a sauna later. But then I thought: „Ok, I am sweating like crazy, it‘s harder than usually but maybe that will get a good heat session“. Or another example: When you RUN a Marathon and you miss a bottle to drink or your personal drinks whatever you need to stay cool. If you panic you will loose. Keep going and everything will be fine. One time I ran the Honolulu Marathon. I was just happy to toe the starting line. After the start and about around 10 km I recognized that I totally forgot to think about nutrition, gels and drinks. But I stayed focused and just ran. I took what I found at the aid stations and in the end I came 6th out of 30.000 runners behind 5 kenyans with a time of 2:27 hours on a hilly course with heat in the end. You see. If you make a mistake during a race or training, don‘t panic. Keep going! You can RUN !
8.) So why do I do this? All this Indoor Running, Indoor Cycling, Running Outdoors, Long Distances, Ultra Distances and all this stuff... Since already 22 years of running. In the end it´s just because I LOVE IT !