Paul Mason Tips for 100 Mile Success

By Paul Mason

Hi everybody hope you are all well, prepared and ready for the weekend. I thought I would message you all with a few Tips in regards to the 100 miler and to anybody that has entered.

Firstly I am no expert at this distance only covering the distance once before but during that race I became a real student of how to complete one.

I understand that this will be many of the runners first 100 miler and will likely be a little nervous as what to expect. Hopefully the following tips will help your preparation before Saturday.


1. You will go through huge highs and lows during a 100 miler. The highs are beautiful but the lows are horrible. Don't panic if you are going through a low, find another runner to talk to and get your mind off what ever it is you are mentally or physically struggling with. The lows do pass but it takes mental strength to ensure that you don't quit at these points.

2. 100 miles is not an easy distance to complete so treat it with respect, be smart with your nutrition right from the start as you are likely to feel nausea at some point in the second half and at this point you will not want to take on board any solids hence incoming calories will be difficult to consume.

Getting your nutrition right from the Start is so important and you must attempt to get solids on board as soon as possible. If you are not eating early in the race you will pay the consequences later on in the race. My advice is do not eat anything from the Aid station that you haven't eaten before, as this is no time to experiment especially if you don't want a doggy stomach during the race.

3. Don't get bogged down in the fact that you have to run from the Starting Gun until you feel knackered and then have to walk. I used a 30 min Run, 2 minute Walk strategy right from the starting gun and I found my legs were in pretty good condition in the second half of the race. If you fatigue your legs too much in the first 50 miles, you are in for a very long uncomfortable second 50 miles. We call this the death march and it normally occurs during the night section. Hold yourself back in the early miles even if the temptation is to run hard with your fresh legs.

During the 2 min walk I take on food and drink and do my usual "Check up from the neck up" and checked in on my mental condition to ensure I was aware of what I was doing, this becomes more relevant in the 60+ miles point when you are starting to get tired.

Get use to walking as you will do plenty of it during a 100 miler.

4. Carry a small plastic food bag during the run so at each Aid stop you can quickly collect your food and get out. As you exit the Aid Station you can be walking and eating from your bag. Don't forget you will loose a lot of time if you hang around at 27 stops if you eat and socialise.

5. Be ultra organised with your kit organisation and separate bag packing. Ensure that you are anal with your detail in regards to what you pack in each bag I.e. Night bag having everything that you believe you need in there etc. Make a checklist of all the kit that you need for each bag and double check it when you pack it.

I found that after 60+ miles if you are unable to find things it will really stress you out especially when you are tired. You don't need any dramas during a 100 mile race as these will feel magnified at the time.

6. Look after your feet during the race and if you feel any hot spots DO NOT leave it stop and sort them out, as this could be the difference of finishing or not. Serious blistered feet will bring your race to a very painful end if you do not look after them.

Have a change of socks to change into prior to the night section and give your feet a once over prior to the night section to ensure there are no hot spots. Fresh socks feel great at the 50+ mile mark. At some point prior to the night section change into your dry warm gear. Getting out of your wet sweaty race gear prior to darkness is very important.

I find a change of trainers is useful in the second half of the race especially if your feet swell up slightly. A second pair of trainers which are slightly bigger certainly helps here.

Night Section

4. During the Night section many runners underestimate how cold this period can be especially from around 2am ish when your body just wants to sleep and as a result your body temperature will drop. Make sure that you have in your night bag a long sleeve top, buff or beanie hat as you lose a lot of your temperature through your head. I will pack light gloves too as I would rather have them and not use them.

Even if the daytime has been warm, the nights can be very cold in comparison. I have heard and witnessed many runners pull out of a 100 milers suffering from hypothermia due to underestimating the likely cooler temperatures during the night section. There is also a strong chance that you will have slowed down (possibly a lot of walking) 14+ hours into the race hence the need for warm enough clothing to change into prior to the night section.

Don't forget to pack an extra head torch in case your primary light source either fails or runs out (this happened to me in my last 100 miler). It is not much fun being in the middle of the night with no working light source.

Get through the night section as once sunrise appears your spirits and temperatures will lift. Buddy up with another runner or use your pacer during the fairly short night section to get you through. It will go much quicker if you can support each other.

If you are using a pacer or crew make sure you are clear with them before the start what you need logistically at the start of each lap and how you want them to act if you are negative and want to give up. I am very clear with my crew that they must not let me pull out unless I am significantly injured. Feeling tired and fatigued is not a reason to pull out.


Remember you must Believe you can Finish a 100 Miler and your why or reasons for doing it must clear in your head. When you are thinking of giving up you will find that thing that keeps you going.

I wish you all the very best for all the runners aiming to complete the 100 miler / 24 hour challenge.

Be strong and be determined

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