10 Reasons Why You Should Run a Multistage Race and How to Survive It
A multi stage self sufficient race is no doubt about it a challenge for anyone, either being a top, an average or just an amateur runner. We’ve always thought that such events cannot be organized without first having a vast experience as participants.
So, Daniel Nica, co-founder of Ultra Race Romania put together some guidelines from his own experience that he thinks might be useful for anyone who’s tackling such a challenge, things he would have wished to know before running his first multi stage races.
1. Choose the right race for you, not any race. The race you can get the most out of, in terms of the whole experience, things you can do before and after the race, the places you’re gonna visit. This approach is going to offer you much more than the race itself.
2. A multi stage race is first of all, a demanding physical challenge. So it’s mandatory to train accordingly for it but keep in mind that you also need to have an “I will not stop” mindset. Because when things get dirty, and they will, the mind takes over and will push you one step at the time to the finish line.
3. Spend time with people after each stage. You’re gonna share the same camp with people from all over the world, different cultures, religions, jobs, who are there for so many personal reasons. But you have one thing in common though: the passion for adventure. Those races are the perfect place for making lifetime friends.
4. Packing for these races can be a pain in the …’backpack’, to say it nicely. There are so many pieces of gear and each one has its important role in making your journey to the finish line as safest and pleasant as possible, that is hard to establish a ranking based on importance. But the more you think about it, the more you tend to realize that the food is the key, because it’s the fuel which will keep you alive and kicking for the whole week. Take as much food as your body needs, as much as you know you’ll be eating. There are so many lightweight options you may choose from that also provide the necessary calories for the day.
5. The moment you pack for the race, you decide how your race is gonna look like: either a nice ride carrying a lightweight backpack or struggling each step you take. So, beside the mandatory gear which is very important because it keeps you safe, think twice if you really need all the stuff you want to put inside your backpack. The heavier the backpack, the tougher the race.
6. Most of the time these races take your steps to astonishing places, so raise your heads up from the ground and enjoy the scenery. The race itself is important, but your overall experience it’s more than that. Take your time to enjoy the landscapes, the people you’re gonna meet, the culture of the country you’re visiting, the traditional food after the race. This will surely ads up to your experience and builds lifetime memories.
7. You won’t die! It’s gonna be harsh? Yes it will. But you won’t die. Actually, it’s gonna be difficult in the first 2 or 3 days. After that your body will adapt to the new challenge and with the proper mindset you’re gonna reach the finish line with a big smile on your face.
8. You may be enthusiastic and tempted to push the pedal at the start of day one, but don’t do it. Conserve your energy. You have to run an average distance of a marathon daily and almost two in the long stage. So you need to leave something in the tank for the second part of the race.
9. In a race where water is rationalized (you don’t have at your disposal as much as you want) you need to have a strategy and keep your levels of hydration high for the whole week. Also, keep an eye on blisters and visit the medical tent sooner that later. Dehydration and blisters that were not taken care of are the main reasons people drop off.
10. If you’re good at writing save your thoughts daily, after each stage, while it’s vivid in memory. Your family and friends will definitely appreciate this or maybe your notes will inspire someone, someday. In fact you don’t need to be good at writing. I encourage you to do it anyway. You’ll have a big smile on your face after some time when you read it.
A multistage journey is so much more than a single day race. It’s an experience like you’ve never had, in beautiful places, surrounded by amazing people alongside you’ll build memories that will stay with you forever. These races are made to break you from any sign of civilization and bring you to a more primitive life. Embrace that! Leave your phones and gadgets at home and have a week with yourself apart from all the noise and bustle you have in your regular life.