After this past weekend’s Crooked Road 24 hour event, people are always wondering if they could do one and why would anyone want to run 24 hours?! That was the reaction of my students when they asked what I did this past weekend. It made me really think that maybe I am a bit crazy and it’s really not something most runners would ever consider, let alone attempt. So I thought I’d list some of the reasons why running a 24 hour event might be the very thing missing in your running life!
Grab a group of friends and all sign up for a 24 hour event and you have an instant tailgating party without the alcohol or football! The very nature of the event makes it instantly social. You not only get to share laps with friends, but you also have a chance to meet new folks! I spent more time laughing and cutting up vs running hard and zoning out. Out of the entire 43 miles, I wore music for 4 of those miles. Yes, 4 of those! The rest of the time was spent talking and laughing with friends while we looped the park. It’s also a time to celebrate each other’s successes! We cheered for several people as they hit “mile”stones, knowing that you shared some of the miles together! It instantly creates a memory and a bond when you took part in someone’s PR distance!
NO PRESSURE TO BEAT THE CLOCK
If you want to fall back in love with running and reset, run a 24 hour event. The only clock you have to worry about is the 24 hour one. There is no award for finishing anything “first” each lap. There is no competition to try and come in at a certain time and trying to win an AG. There is just running! I have no idea what lap anyone is on. I have no clue what anyone’s mileage goal is. The only thing I do know is that everyone is out there together, running laps. Each working towards their own personal goal that has NOTHING to do with time, but miles run.
TAKE IT SLOW
In the words of my friend, Carole…you got to take it slow! 24 hour events are about endurance vs speed. You have to find the right pace for yourself that allows you to run for the duration. It’s an awesome chance to just be in the moment and run. I literally have no clue what my pace was per mile until the last 5 min of the entire race when Christine and I took off sprinting. Other than that, as my Garmin beeped each for each mile, I celebrated another mile run vs what ever that pace was. I wasn’t “killing” any miles. That feels so great to say! I wasn’t “killing” anything.
We all know we can reach PR’s in races with good training, but have you ever thought how far you could run vs how fast? A 24 hour is a perfect time to test yourself and learn to ignore that tiny voice in your head that brings out the doubt. For myself, saying “I’ve run 50 miles” (Crooked Road 2013) before has just as much of a rockstar sound to it as “I PR’ed (insert any race here)”. I love knowing that my body allowed me to run that far and I didn’t feel like throwing up after.
TO ACTUALLY RUN AN ULTRA DISTANCE
The very reason you run a 24 hour event is run an ultra distance without having a time limit. I never considered to willingly sign up for an actual 50K race with a time limit because I know I’d feel the pressure to “race” it. With a 24 hour event, you can run a 50K distance without having to feel like you have to push to get it done in a certain amount of time. It’s a good event to gain some success at running longer distances where one day actually signing up for a timed 50K might be an option!
Would you consider running a 24 hour event? Or is it something that you can’t even wrap your head around?
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