For those of you who may not have had the experience of a Shart, it is the unfortunate moment when you think you’re about to pass gas yet a mixture of other debris comes out along with it.
When a body is on the trail and endurance action, it will often let you know when it’s not happy.
And sharting is sometimes one of the first indicators that an athlete is in fatigue and they have abdominal cramps, after you rule out that they don’t have food poisoning or the flu.
When driving trails that have heat and elevation as additional elements to manage, you need to pack extra pants along with the supply in the gear truck.
And there is always the dilemma that if you have one accident you might need to prepare for three more. I always have the athletes give me two additional sets of everything to keep it in the truck. Shoes, socks, shirts, and bottoms.
For those of you who have not spent a long time with endurance athletes, these are people who have intense focus and will not let obstacles take them away from their desire to reach a goal. So, a little bit of diarrhea isn’t going to keep them from their goal.
Pain on the trail or with the overall experience only adds to the joy at the end.
And I tell you that endurance athletes are not I lovingly know this for a fact, I did marry an endurance athlete, and he was a normal runner when we started dating.
And at this very moment he would like me to boldly tell you that he has never sharted.
How does the everyday person start to bring endurance athletics into their everyday life?
My first recommendation is to create a birthday celebration (in your sport of choice) that is longer than you would normally go as a solo athlete.
A celebration is a time to invite people into your life to do something that is fun and maybe a little different. For those of you who are learning how to trail drive, this is an easy entry level place to start learning how to manage the trail. It’s also a time that younger people can learn to manage endurance athletes, because it’s not high stress.
The “30 miles for your 30th birthday” as a run is a perfect example of inviting people at many different athletic levels to participate. You’ll also need to have someone managing those guests at mileage intervals.
A new trail driver can have really very little experience and still do a great job because they will not have a huge distance and a huge team to manage.
So if you are an endurance athlete, it might be time to start training in your back up crew by having a cupcake celebration at every 10-20 mile interval while just enjoying the day.
A trail driver has many unique roles on the trail and one of them is being an infectious DJ.
And I mean that word infectious. Arm yourself with a diverse playlist that is filled with songs that will roll around in those athletes’ heads for miles and miles. If you’ve ever tried to get “Eye of the Tiger” or “We are the Champions” out of your head, you know that sometimes it stays for days.
A great song at a rest stop can invite that athlete to go further. I will often drive up next to the team with the windows down and music blazing to let them know how far up the trail I will be. Music that’s catchy can give them some mental bonus points while they are refreshing, and it will infect them with positive brain chatter for the miles to come.
Now I will warn you upfront that the gender of the athlete will decide whether or not your playlist is great. Men have a very different playlist than women do. Know your team and know their favorites. You’re always looking for songs that have a hook that will keep replaying in their mind with positive anthems i.e. “We are the Champions,” “I’m a MF Beast,” “I’m Too Sexy,” “Pour Some Sugar on Me”… You know the list.
Rock on Trail Driver.