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Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Lure of Ultra-Endurance

What constitutes an Ultra Endurance event?
  • Ultramarathon - run longer than the marathon distance (>42.2km)
  • Ultracycling - bike longer than a century ride (>100miles/160km)
  • Ironman Triathlon - 3800m swim, 180k bike, 42.2k run in one race
Ultra Endurance means taking a ridiculous distance and going even further. It's about testing just how far you can go, and for how long.

My "Go Longer" Mind

It has always been with me, from when I first got a bike as a kid. From going a few blocks away from my neighbourhood, then you go a few streets over, then further, then further.

I biked to school in juniour high, a distance of 16km each way. I remember my parents thinking this was crazy at the time... eventually I was doing longer rides of 25km.

Then I stopped and got fat.

I started riding again in Toronto and almost immediately picked up on the 50km Ride for Heart. Then I did the 75k Ride for Heart. Then I worked my way up to my first 100k ride. And finally, I did the Ride for Karen century ride, 160km and almost 6 hours in the saddle!

The "go longer" mindset finally lead me to my first ultra endurance event - Ironman. 13 hours, 57 minutes of swimming, biking and running.

What Next?

You can't really go longer than Ironman... well I shouldn't say "can't", some can, and do. But I think Ironman is sufficiently ridiculous to have satisfied me!

But that doesn't mean there aren't opportunities to push the envelope.

My longest bike ride is currently the 180km at Ironman, but surely if I can do 180km on the same day as I swam 3800m and ran a marathon, I can do 200km! 250km? 300km? I believe it's all possible.

My longest run is a full marathon. Most don't go beyond this, but I got my beak wet when I did a 25k trail run last year, Vulture Bait. As I left, I saw the 50k racers starting their second loop... at the time I thought they were crazy. I still think they're crazy... and this year, I just might be crazy with them!


Anne said...

Love this.

Mo said...

Go for it Jono! I was one of the 'crazies' at Vulture Bait, it was my first 50k and I had a great time. Running an extra 8k is a tad easier than biking 180k and swimming 3800m! I got hooked, now I'm trying my first 50 miler at Sulpher Springs at the end of May. I'm looking forward to meeting and watching some of the true crazies doing the 100 miler.

Jon P said...

@Mo - very cool, congrats! 50 miles... now that's crazy. :)