100 km trailwalk

After the half-marathon in May, I’ve been running to maintain a decent base but without following a specific “pre-training” program (which sounds like another training program to me). On the weekend, I’ve been setting my timer and not worrying about distance or pace. I’d also been playing games during runs, as I’m sure many runners do. I may decide to speed up or slow down every time I run through the shadows cast by apartment buildings, or from the time I meet someone with a green shirt until I see someone with blue shorts. Sometimes I’ll decide to run up and down each of the many flights of steps and steep paths along Tama River. I’ll be training soon for a November half-marathon so right now I just want to run.

My running gear

My current plan for the next few months is run a half-marathon in November and a marathon in May next year. But this plan is likely to change. I’ve convinced a colleague to organize a team to participate in next year’s Oxfam Trailwalker. He seems excited and eager to form more than one team. Anyway, I’d like to be on one of the teams. Hence, instead of doing a marathon in May 2015, I may be doing a 100 km trail walk instead.

To those not familiar with the Oxfam Trailwalker, it’s a fundraiser with events taking place worldwide. Each participating team comprises four members who walk or run 100 kilometers in 48 hours and must start and cross the finish line together. I figure that no matter how slowly I walk or run, 48 hours is plenty of time to complete 100 kilometers. What a great way to discover one’s limits and strengths, discover parts of Japan on foot, and raise funds for an organization I’ve been supporting for a while. For this year’s Japan Oxfam Trailwalker, 173 teams participated in the full course (87% completed), while 31 teams joined (94% completed) the Oxfam Trailwalker Light (43 kilometers).

My question is “How does one train for a 100 kilometer trail walk or run?” Sure, I’ve trained for marathons but a marathon is only 42.195 kilometers and training for and running that distance are not easy. Now I’m looking at 100 kilometers. I don’t know what has gotten into me. Anyway, I’ll be hitting blogs, trail running and ultra-marathon websites, and Amazon for ideas. To the ultra distance runners out there, please don’t be shy about suggestions!

If I do the trail walker, I will have to skip the May marathon I was planning to do in Hokkaido. Instead I hope to get into the first Yokohama Marathon in March 2015. I assume that a marathon in March will fit into the training for a 100-km run slotted for May 2015 (of course, bearing in mind my ignorance of ultra racing, I could be completely wrong).

I’ll worry about the trail walker after I’ve gathered sufficient information and after a team has been organized. In the meantime, my immediate focus is on dealing with the rising heat and humidity as summer arrives in Tokyo.


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