Countdown to Erik’s 100 Miler

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Fall race season is in full gear and here at the ‘House, November is chock full of races for our employees. One of our footwear buyers, Erik, will be toeing the line next weekend on a tough 100 miler. Let’s pick his brain on his training routine and goals for race day!

What race are you training for?
My next race is the Rio Del Lago 100-mile. The course is east of Sacramento, California and overlaps a little with the Western States 100 course. I used to live 2 miles from mile 31 and 47, so it will be nice to run on familiar trails.

What are your goals going into this race?
My primary goal is to finish no matter what happens out there. If I’m having a decent day, I should be able to go under 24 hours [a goal for many runners embarking on 100 mile races]. If I’m feeling really good and everything clicks, ideally I’d want to get this race done in under 20 hours.

How do you train for a race of this length?  Do you feel like you are prepared for it?
I think training for a 100 mile race doesn’t happen in the few months before the race, but rather a few years. I’ve been doing trail ultras for 15 years and learn something every time I put on a race number. Every year I have more experience to build on and try to execute my training and racing a little better. This will be my 11th 100 mile start and there is something I can take from each previous race that will help me in completing this race. I was a DNF at this race in 2006, and I’d like to think that in the past 7 years I’ve learned a bit that will prevent me from stopping before the finish.

As far as being ready, I feel like I’m as ready as I can be. Ask me the same question an hour before the gun goes off and I’ll probably say “no” and give a list of reasons why not.

Do you change your diet throughout your training and/or leading up to the race?
No real change in diet throughout the year. I try to eat healthy and always look for little things I can do to change things for the better. I still like to splurge every so often [editor’s note: we’ve seen Erik put down three Tri Tip sandwiches in one sitting], but for the most part I eat healthy. I do work on hydration over the few weeks leading up to a race.

What gear do you plan on using during your race?
From the toes up:
Shoes:  Pearl Izumi Trail N1
Socks: Drymax Max Protection Trail socks
Shorts: Pearl Izumi Ultra Short
Shirt: Asics Core Tank (with a Team Diablo logo)
Hat: Brooks RW hat (blue)
Headlamp: Black Diamond Spot
Pack: UltrAspire Surge
Nutrition: Plenty of gels (whatever they have on course), water, some soda, some chips.
Additional beanie, gloves, and light jacket at night if it gets cold enough.

What are your pre-race/during race rituals?
I try to get a good early dinner and go to bed at a decent time. The race starts at 5:00am, so a 3:30 wake up call comes mighty quick. A good night’s sleep is usually hard the night before a 100 mile race, but I try. Then just relax the first 50 miles, don’t go out too hard and don’t get behind in my nutrition/hydration.

Good luck Erik! Check back the week of November 11 for a post-race recap!

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