I haven’t done one of these in such a long while, but there has been some new followers, so…
I’m Brian! I’ve been themountainwave and even for those of you that have really stuck around - boldscot! (Comment a 🏴 if you remember boldscot). Scottish, living in the highlands and have proudly worked within tourism now in Scotland for around 5 years. I had to learn how to completely fend for myself when I was 18. My mother died from lung cancer. My younger years really don’t hold much highlights. But life is what you make of it, and how you adapt.
I love spending time with my partner, our dog and I’m really big on running. Running is something that has completely changed my life. Back in 2015, having never ran once, I was ‘roped’ into completing (I didn’t complete it) the 3 peaks challenge. I’ve always been a lover of the outdoors and immediately felt like I found the way that I was supposed to access it all - by running!
I pushed myself massively out of my comfort zone, made new friends that were already ‘runners’ and pretty much just hung on for dear life! Coming off of mountain tops 5 hours into a long run, literally starving because I had no idea how to fuel my body, wondering if my legs genuinely could get me back to safety. This never put me off though, and very quickly I found myself each weekend researching the best mountain ridges to run, creating these amazing lines to go explore and all of a sudden I began to consider myself a runner. So the natural progression was to race. I dabbled in fell running races but found I’d never have the leg turnover that some others were blessed with (it’s hard to compete against those that found running at a very young age!) so naturally started running longer distances and for the last 2 years now I’ve consistently been upping my game in the 50km market. In 2019 I ran 50km in 3 hours 29 minutes and I’m not sure I’ll top that - but that gave me the confidence to begin to train even harder, wondering how well I could compete against the really fast runners, giving me some pretty big ambitions for the future.
My message area is always open and I love to chat to new people!
What Happens to Your Body When You Run a Long Distance?
Running for 4+ hours can cause some negative effects on the body. Here are a few issues I may face during my very long runs and how I deal with them.
A journal called Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology published a study that found that exercise-induced inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose commonly occurs in athletes regardless of underlying nasal allergy. I deal with this by sniffing and blowing my nose into my shirt (yeah I know, gross).
When you run a long distance, you are more likely to sweat out more water than you can drink and get into the bloodstream. This leads to dehydration. Towards the end of a run you may feel some very light symptoms of dehydration, including headache and light-headedness. I make sure to drink some water every couple of miles or more if it’s very hot.
Taking more than 50,000 steps with high impact will lead to some micro tears in the leg muscles. This will lead to aching muscles during the workout and sore muscles after the workout. I deal with this by slowing my pace and sometimes stopping to do a quick leg stretch.
The combination of dehydration and an overworked muscle can lead to muscle cramps. Whenever I get a cramp I either slow down or completely stop to do a quick stretch. I also drink some water and take in some food.
This can be a caused by a combination of things, such as dehydration or nutrition. I deal with this by drinking my hydration drinks a little slower and focusing on my breathing.
If you ever stop at an aid station after mile 20, then you may feel your legs stiffen up. It’s hard to get them warmed up and going again. This is why I avoid sitting down during very long runs. I just don’t know if I would be able to get back up!
Other Common Things
Foot blisters, black toenails, chaffing, knee pain, shin splints, stomach pain, and diarrhea are some other common issues runners face when running long distances.
You are probably asking yourself if all this running is bad. Running at ultra distances is fine as long as you can recovery appropriately.
6 minutes ago
The last 8 weeks of this #mytransphormation challenge have taught me a lot.
The body on the left was well trained to run a 24 hour endurance race that week.
The body on the right spent the last 56 days focused on recovery & cross training.
Left ➡️ high mileage running with nutrition tailored to fuel long distances and maintain my current weight
Right ➡️ resistance training, cycling, yoga, and walking with nutrition tailored to change my body composition by losing body fat
I ate almost identically, just with smaller portions, to take in roughly 450 less per day than during ultra training. My protein intake stayed the same, but I dropped my fats a little & my carbs more so.
Neither body is “better”, it’s just a matter of what my focus and goal was at the time.
I’m going to continue with the calorie deficit for another 2 weeks, and then gradually start adding calories back. I’m also going to ease into running again soon.
My hope is that this leaner version of my body will run even stronger than before since I’ve been so focused on strength and mobility.
These challenges are a great opportunity for learning and growing, but we don’t stop when they end. If you’re looking to improve your health, don’t wait until January!
My coaching is 365 days a year, and we consistently work on habit building in my private wellness community (The Extra Mile). Want to get started? Message me & we’ll get you set up to take on 2022 stronger & happier than ever!
It's been a while since I've been on local trails. But we're back. Beautiful out here after a lot of rain earlier in the week. Great way to start Friday. 🙌 Beerwah at Daybreak trail marathon on Sunday. 😊