The most common question I get when I tell people I run mountain ultramarathons and that I am now training for TDG is, not surprisingly, ”Are you crazy?” My short and rapid answer is, not surprisingly either, “No, of course not”.
Thinking about it more carefully though I think there is a certain amount of madness necessary for putting your body to such a strain as you do during both the actual race and all training before it. As Daniel Probst, a previous TDG finisher so eloquently put it ”For the Tor Des Geants you should have lost all signs of sanity. Your friends should be calling you crazy, you run 100 mile races back to back for fun and you enjoy the buzz of being awake for thirty or more hours at a time. You think walking for hours is just part of running, and you strike up conversations with imaginary creatures… If you get to the point where this describes you then you are ready for Tor des Geants.” I completely agree that you cannot overestimate the importance of mental preparations. But how should you do to prepare yourself mentally?
The arrow points to a small periventricular lesion. The lesion shows no difference during the time course. However, the thickness of the subcutaneous fat layer (see red circle) shows a marked decrease from (A-C) and recovery at (D). (A) Timepoint 1 before the TransEurope-FootRace 2009 (TEFR09) in April 2009; (B) timepoint 2 during the race at 2,326 km; (C) timepoint 3 during the race at 4,005 km; (D) timepoint 4 at follow-up 8 months after the race. Picture from Freund et al. BMC Medicine 2012, 10:170