- Consistency is the most vital ingredient in marathon and ultra running, and consistency is achieved by forming a habit. I have now broken that habit and it takes work to get back into it. Getting up early? I was so used to it that I never wasted a second thought to it. Now I have to fight the daemons every morning.
- Core work had become a habit as well, something I started about half a year ago. I haven’t done a thing since Connemara. That one is even harder to get into.
- Soreness. After one week of complete rest, my quads were screaming in pain after 3 miles on Sunday and Monday. After only two days of running, they were fine.
- My pacing has gone completely out of the window. Every mile or so I look at the Garmin, get a slight shock, slow down, then let my mind wander and immediately am back at the old pace.
Interestingly, the pace that my body seems determined to tune into is pretty much the same pace I fell into in Connemara after 31-or-so miles when the calves started cramping. I don’t know if that is coincidence or if it has any meaning at all, just find it a bit weird.
Talking about cramping, I had the weirdest thing happen to me on my bike commute this morning. I spent the time thinking about the race and the problems with my cramping calves, when all of a sudden my left calf started – cramping! I have never heard of a cramp being caused by the mere memory of a previous cramp, but that’s exactly what had happened. It must be my geeky nature, but I find that absolutely fascinating. There is something about the human motor neuron system that no scientist has yet managed to figure out.
That’s it for Connemara and I am now starting to focus on the next challenge. I am very much looking forward to the race in
One major problem I am facing is the fact that nobody seems to be in agreement on how to train for such a distance. I have read countless of ultra running blogs, plenty of books and emailed some renowned ultra runners for advice; some who responded, some who did not. Not two people/sites/books came back with the same advice.
Fittingly, just today I read a paragraph by Western States winner Geoff Roes stating exactly that:
There are many theories on how to best prepare for and race 100 miles, but you find very little consistency within these theories. Every successful 100-mile runner has found an approach that works for them, but no one’s approach seems to work for everyone.
I’ll have to fall back to trial and error, then. I will take a few lessons into account that I have learned so far, especially when training for Dingle two years ago, but if these lessons will still be applicable for a much longer race I do not know. I’ll find out, I guess.
- 9 Apr
- 5 miles, 38:12, 7:38 pace, HR 154
- 10 Apr
- 5 miles, 38:36, 7:43 pace, HR 152
- 11 Apr
- 7 miles, 52:42, 7:32 pace, HR 153