The training is done as far as endurance is concerned, but there are still a few specific things I want to address. The benefits might mainly be psychological now, but never underestimate the value of that, especially when it comes to ultra where a lot of things are decided in the head, not the legs.
On Monday I did my strangest workout of the training cycle yet. As mentioned before,I am planning on doing 5 minutes walking twice an hour, which over 24 hours would add up to no less than 4 hours of walking. In all likelihood I will end up doing even more walking than that. I haven't done much walking in my training (though I got a lot of it done on Mount Brandon), until now. Walking every 25 minutes would not add up to much so I did a schedule of 5 minutes running, 5 minutes walking instead. After feeling rather awkward at first, I soon got into the rhythm and found it strangely hypnotic. I ran/walked a loop at Glounagillagh of about three quarters of a mile and was so absorbed by it that I almost forgot to turn homewards in time. The walking pace increased from 16 to 14 minutes a mile, though I wouldn't bet on keeping that up in Bangor. I surprised myself by actually liking the walking sections. It's definitely an encouraging sign.
Many marathon plans tend to have one last workout about 10 days before the race, and I generally did the same for ultras, including this time. Apart from the pacing marathons, my key workouts have been those off-road runs on the Kerry Way and I added one more double-crossing of Windy Gap. I found it so much easier than I used to, it really is unreal. It really shows that road running alone does not build much leg strength, but I was also surprised by how quickly I managed to adapt. Anyway, the only tough part of today's run was to get out of bed at 5:30, the rest came easy, and I don't think I will ever tire of the views you get from up there, even if I can't fully enjoy them when I'm running.
I had another, rather unexpected, endurance workout in the evening - sitting through a primary school's set of school plays. I don't mean to denigrate the performances and certainly not the effort, which were all great, but if you ever sat through something like that constantly trying to deal with a 4-year old who is bored and cranky and excited and hungry and lonely and giddy and ... in quick succession, you know what I'm talking about.
Anyway, there will be a few more outings aimed at specific things for Bangor, but on the whole, that's it. As far as a complete novice can tell, I'm ready.
- 25 Jun
- 6.1 miles, 1:02:58, 10:19 pace, HR 112
5 mins run / 5 mins walk
- 26 Jun
- 12.2 miles, 1:47:30, 8:49 pace, HR 152