One, I was fairly sanguine about the whole fiasco until I got an email yesterday where they are celebrating how great it all was and how many runners got new PBs on their new course. This really pissed me off. Of course runners get PBs if the course is short, problem is they are all worthless. I was perfectly prepared to forgive an error but the complete lack of response and acknowledgement from the organisers has now completely turned me off the race. I won't be doing it again and I will advise any runner who asks me about it to pick a different one.
Two, since I was able to run a 3:07-ish marathon 2 weeks after a 100k without killing myself, I would also have been able to run 3:15 2 weeks after a 50 miler. Therefore me chickening out of the 3:15 pace group in Cork was entirely needless. Next time I will have more confidence in my body. You live and learn, I suppose.
Anyway, let's move on. Robert Osfield left some cautionary comments about pace. He reckons I should be running 10-minute miles in training because I am going to be running 10-minute miles in Belfast. Robert knows what he is talking about, he just ran a great race in the 95-mile West Highland Way Ultra over in Scotland and the race report is well worth reading, check it out.. My argument against that was that running 10-minute miles in training on fresh legs has nothing in common with running 10-minute miles in a race after 15 or more hours when the entire reason for 10-minute miles is that you cannot lift your legs any more. But since I very much respect Robert's opinion, I investigated this further. I went back to the training bible I had been using this year, Training for Ultra Running. Amongst other gems it includes an entire chapter dedicated to 24 hours racing that draws its wisdom from the likes of Dave Cooper, Mike Newton or Don Ritchie. I like the old-school approach and those runners were hard as nails, and none of them ran 10-minute miles in training. In fact, they often ran hard right up to the race itself, though one of them acknowledges that running a 20 miler the day before a 24 hours race might have been a mistake.
I'm not copying that approach either, I don't think I would survive that, but I will compromise. I do run 10-minute pace at the start of every training run anyway, that's how I operate, until the pace picks up naturally. I will do a few runs at very slow pace in the next two weeks, especially the week of the race, but I won't entirely be doing that. In fact, I am planning on doing 2 or 3 fast runs as well.
The last few runs have all been very easy, with the pace on Friday coming as a bit of a surprise. I couldn't tell that I ran a marathon a week ago, recovery from that has taken no time at all. The HR in the last 2 days has been a bit higher than expected, which I can't quite explain, but I won't panic just yet. It's not the first time that happened and in the past it always settled down quickly.
- 2 Jul
- 10.8 miles, 1:35:35, 8:50 pace, HR 143, Windy Gap
- 3 Jul
- 8 miles, 1:03:19, 7:55 pace, HR 139
- 4 Jul
- 5 miles, 38:06, 7:37 pace, HR 142
- 5 Jul
- 8 miles, 1:02:51, 7:51 pace, HR 142