My disaster races have proven to be where I learn the most and add to my ever increasing bag of tricks. While not exhausted these are my most valuable arrows in the quiver.
1. Pickle Juice – as we reported last year there’s evidence surrounding the power of pickle juice to eliminate muscle cramps once they occur. I and others have tested this repeatedly during the last 8 months with almost miracle like results. At the onset of a muscle cramp, drinking 2 to 4 ounces of pickle juice not only has helped us move cramp free but in many cases, boosted our energy.
2. Ginger Ale – this little magical brew is found at many an ultra aid station. It’s stomach settling properties are well documented.
3. Shoe Sizing & Modifications – Consider having another pair of shoes that are 1/2 size bigger at the ready during 50 and 100 milers; feet definitely swell. And if your toes are past the point of no return and raw with blisters, then cutting the tops off the front of your shoes can free you of all pain. Jerry Armstrong taught me this trick at the Wasatch 100.
4. Nibbling – has your stomach gone south or do you want to make your way through aid stations faster? Consider small nibbles of food every 5 minutes. And by nibbles I mean 15 calories bites. This is even more effective when you have a pacer for reminders and to keep you accountable.
5. Race lighter – packs are fantastic tools but sometimes more than you need. When you hit a low spot, ditching a full pack can give you the needed boost by lightening you up and freeing your range of motion.
Good luck at your next race and may you never need one of these tips.
Got a tip & trick you’d like to share… pre-race, racing or post-race? We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to comment in the section below or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’ll put together more articles as well as an exhaustive list of these tips on our website.