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Could I run further than 55 kilometers? 

We’re on the train, on our way to Frankfurt am Main. We left Milan behind us, where we were for the La Scimmia Yoga World Yoga Day. It gives me some time to think. The big question that’s on my mind; could I run further than 55 kilometers? Lots further. Maybe even 75 kilometers?

We like to travel as environmental friendly as possible. That’s why we’re going back to the Netherlands by train, with a stop-over in Frankfurt. The journey will take us almost 7,5 hours. That gives me the time to reflect on all the running I have been doing this last year and come up with a new training schedule. My old one ended at the Dolomiti Extreme Trail.

RELATED: Seven lessons from the DXT

 

New challenge

So far I have only one more race planned this year; the Seventh Seal at Kullamannen in Sweden; a 50 kilometer race. The thing is; the Dolomiti Extreme Trail was my third 50+ kilometers ultra. Kullamannen is going to be my fourth. Maybe it’s time for something new. Something further? I mean, I know I can do 50 kilometers, but what is my limit?

Don’t get me wrong, I still think 50 kilometers is a serious distance. The first time I ran it, at Endurance Life Sussex, I was okay up to 42 kilometers. After that, I walked most of the remaining 10 kilometers. The second time I ran 50 I just needed a few walking breaks at the end. The reason I was struggling with the last kilometer had more to do with the mountain bike track we were running; one step up, one step down, one step up, one step down, than with the distance.

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Zestig van Texel

The Dolomiti Extreme Trail was my third go at a 50+ ultra trail. I ended up running 57,4 kilometers. I admit, somewhere in the back of my mind I was already thinking of running a 60 kilometers race, if I was able to complete the Dolomiti Extreme Trail. We have one up north in the Nederlands. It’s called the Zestig van Texel. You literally run one loop around the island.

The fun thing is, you’re allowed to be accompanied by a cyclist, which means I could do it with my friend Fred. He likes mountain biking. Sixty kilometers would be a good challenge for him. The problem is; it isn’t a trail. Part of it is beach, the other part is road. That’s no good for my ankles.

 

Looking for a bigger challenge

On top of that, the Dolomiti Extreme Trail ended up being 57,4 kilometers. Sixty is just 2,6 kilometers more. That’s not a challenge. Plus, the Zestig van Texel is flat. That’s doesn’t feel like a bigger challenge than the Dolomiti. That’s why I looked for something more spicy. I think I’ve found it: the Trail des Fantomes, in Belgium.

The Trail des Fantomes is a 68 kilometer long trail run, with 3.000 meters of altitude. Now that sounds like a challenge. I mean it is seriously further and has lots of altitude. What more can a trail runner want? So, I signed up. Now it’s time to create my training schedule and get ready for this one. Will I see you there?

We’re on the train to Frankfurt am Main. I’m updating my training schedule. The big question; could I run further than 55 kilometers?

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