Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Countdown 10

You can't read the internet properly today for all the April Fool stories. I have yet to come across an actually funny one but there's still time.

Mind, time is passing at a rather rapid and ever increasing rate, not just due to my advanced age but right now mostly because the championships are only 10 days away! Christ, how did that happen, did I blink or something? I started reading my blog posts from July, leading up to the race in Belfast, to see what I had been doing then - until now I had no idea I had been such a nervous wreck. I don't think it will be any better this time round, but maybe the fact that we are basically on our holidays from Monday on will help take my mind off things.

Since I had run a marathon on Saturday I took it easy for a few days and followed my standard "5 easy miles a day" recovery protocol for a few days. By Tuesday the legs seemed to have forgotten that they had run a marathon, though that may have been due to the fact that I ran very, very slowly, in an attempt to get used to ultra pace again. Mind, as slow as it was, it was still too fast. However, I have several more days to work on that.

One thing I copied from July was doing a last tempo workout 10 days before the race. I opted for 3x2 miles, for no other reason than that it seems to have worked exceedingly well for Belfast. Because of Saturday's marathon I was dithering on the exact day for the workout; 10 days before the race was only 4 days after the marathon, so maybe wait another day to recover a bit more, but then that would leave one day less to recover from THAT workout before Turin. I set the alarm for a short run but when I woke up in plenty of time I decided to give it a go today. In the grand scheme of things it probably won't make much of a difference (I have never believed in The One crucial workout).

I had a vague idea of 6:30 pace in my head but that was only ever a rough guideline, I would go by how I felt. It was quite windy, which complicated things a bit, but as long as I ran by feel rather than let the watch dictate the pace that wouldn't really matter. The first segment was with the wind and therefore came in a few seconds ahead. The last 2 segments were against the wind and were always going to slower as a result, 6:44 and 6:40. Recovery was a gentle 5 minutes jog, though it struck me on both occasions that I did not really need recovery, the pace had not been particularly tough. I might never have worked too hard but it did occur to me that this used to be my marathon pace 2 years ago, something I certainly cannot claim right now. It drove home the fact that marathon and ultra fitness are two different things - I could not possibly hope to run a 2:55 marathon right now but I am very confident that I can run a much better 24 hours race than I could have done back then. That's specificity, I suppose.

10 days to go.

30 Mar
5 miles, 41:01, 8:12 pace, HR 137
31 Mar
5 miles, 44:16, 8:51 pace, HR 127
1 Apr
10 miles, 1:13:06, 7:19 pace, HR 151
   3 x 2 miles in 6:29 (158), 6:43 (160), 6:40 (163)


  1. 10 days... I've have a 31 mile ultra trail race on the day... will certainly be think of your and the rest of 24hr race competitors when I finish my ultra - you guys and girls be running 4 to 6 times further. Crazy, but in a good way :-)

  2. Any race day strategy Thomas? The same as last July? Or is there a team plan, that you cannot reveal until after the race? Either way looking forward to seeing how everything unfolds.