As far as I know, which is to the extent of my thoughts, and zero research, this is going to be a different kind of run.
Typically, long distance running involves aid stations and, in many cases, pacers. However, over 800+ miles in one direction – not a loop – in a self-supported capacity, one can’t expect pacers to take time out of their schedule to jog alongside for, what, a small fraction of a route that might actually be hours out of the way, right! No, of course not. Things need approached differently, which is where this gets a bit nerve-wracking.
The goal is that I’ll cover a marathon a day, taking between three and four weeks to finish the entire Arizona National Scenic Trail from Mexico to Utah.
There aren’t any aid stations, other than the locations I mail ahead provisions or schedule a water cache, so I’m essentially doing this self-supported carrying an ultra-light pack of, hopefully, no more than 30 pounds.
Currently, when I’m training, I’m in the mindset of run, run, run. But I’m needing to change this mentality. I need to focus not so much on the endurance running, building a lean frame as I’ve done competing in ultras, rather I need to focus on building a bulkier frame of muscle and mass that can withstand the extra weight from my pack AND BODY.
Last year, I made the mistake of building such a lean frame that halfway through the run my body had nothing left to burn. Since it was my first 24-hour run, I wasn’t sure how to eat, so I resorted to quick calories and shoveled in pizza a few times throughout the run.
There won’t be quick calories waiting for me as my support crew guaranteed last year. There will only be what I have planned gauging distance from stops using Atlas Guides Guthooks app of the AZT, and strategically placed packages.
Nor will there be civilization on the horizon, a warm hue of street lights hovering in the distance late evening and early morn, that indication that safety isn’t far off.
It is a different kind of run, so I need to approach it differently. I need to build endurance and strength and accumulate a mass that won’t hinder, but allow my body enough to burn so I still have fuel at the end.
Mexico to Utah, gaining over 113,000 feet elevation of rough terrain, a marathon a day.
I’m just an ordinary dad working out an extraordinary plan to inspire some school kids and raise money for their school. I guess that’s just as different as this run.