What is it?
Run 4 miles, every 4 hours for 48 hours. Total miles 48!
Before I start, I want to explain I am in no way an elite runner and I’m sure anyone can pick holes in everything I did below. I am 40 years old, work full time and am a husband and parent. I have been running for just over 5 years now and I’m a 4-hour marathon runner/1hour 50 half runner. These tips got me through this and I’m sure can help others.
I wanted to do something different from my usual Boston training plan so decided to take on this challenge. The main reason was to raise funds for my Boston charity fundraiser (Many Hopes).
I run for those who can’t and when things get tough my deep place of thought is with family I have lost and loved ones who I miss.
I think this was the first big “holy sh#t’ when you start this challenge is “when do I sleep?” I planned to have every leg done within an hour. That meant run, shower, snack and in bed (night runs) or relaxed (day runs). This allowed me to get up to 2 hours sleep between runs. I would set my phone and watch alarms for 15 minutes before EVERY leg. Giving time to hydrate, bathroom visit and start on time.
Like every race/run I prepare my clothes the night before. This was no different. I planned the first 6 races clothing out at once. Once I got to halfway, I did one load of laundry and used the same clothes for the second half. A good tip here is after you shower from a race simply put on the clothes for the next race. This helped me get into bed quicker and be ready when I woke for the next race.
I started the first race at 7pm on a Friday as I wanted to finish at 3pm Sunday. I had my Friday fairly normal. Had a carb load meal at 5pm which got me through the night. The night runs 11pm and 3am I just ate a banana before and half a protein bar after. I found this easier to sleep on and wake feeling energized. I avoided the usual race drinks during the night and pushed through with water and hydration drinks. This helped me sleep easier. During the day events I would go back to my usual Maurten powder and gels. I had a second large carb intake before my 11am run on the Saturday. Remember you can get through a 4 mile race on a fully stomach of goodness.
Planning everything ahead of time helped here. I scheduled the 7pm, 11pm and 3am runs for my treadmill and the other runs outside. Don’t try any new routes or clothing. Remember nothing new on race day. I have a 4 mile out and back I run daily so didn’t have to think too much there. After about 4 legs everything kind of becomes a cycle if its planned ahead of time. It should be a case of ok here we go again repeat x12.
This will take up an entire weekend so make sure you support team is fully aware that you will be pretty much AWOL from Friday evening through Monday morning. Make sure everyone knows what you are trying to achieve and how you plan on doing so. This will help everyone close understand that getting one hours sleep Saturday morning “is more important than going to the store for TP”
Remember why you run and enjoy each leg. Your family, friends and loved ones are a great way to push you out the door and keep visualizing the result. That finish line, see it, imagine it, and dream it as you run. I ran the last few miles blasting out Tina Turners "Simply the best" dance like nobody is watching kind of attitude!
When I started the challenge, my only goal was to finish. The first 24 hours did not feel that much of a challenge if I’m honest. It felt very similar to race days of just being tired and hungry. I would say around the 9thleg is when suddenly, the mind introduced itself in full effect. This was when it was time to circle back to the “Why?” My favorite leg was the last one for obvious reasons, but I saw it as my victory lap. Yes, my legs were shot, my body ached, and I was over another 4 miles, but it was my time. I lathered the legs with bio-freeze, grabbed my headphones and recorded my fastest leg of the weekend. Greatly inspired by my Dad, family and seeing at the flag of Ukraine at a neighbor’s house it reminded me how I should never complain when there is suffering in the world.
Total Miles 48
Total Time 7 hours 39 minutes
Chris is raising money for Many Hopes. If you would like to donate, please click this link.