Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Last Minute Preparations

I started running slower than 9-minute pace. I know at least one ultra runner who thinks I should be doing more training at ultra-pace but my view has always been that running 10-minute miles after more than 100 miles has absolutely nothing in common with running 10-minute miles on fresh legs, and I'm better off training at an effort level that will actually produce some fitness gains. Like previous long ultras I am only practising the shuffle the last few days before the race when there is no more extra fitness to be gained.

I did one more heat adaptation run, on Tuesday. Due to the lower effort I did not produce anywhere near as much sweat and the lower distance (6 miles vs. the usual 8) made this much easier as well as it's usually the last few miles where the hard work (and therefore most of the adaptation) happens. However, this was merely a last-minute top up to make sure whatever adaptation I have built up will not have eroded by Friday.

I created a new "ultra" mode on the watch. In Turin the battery died after 18 hours. I created a mode that does not use the HRM and only checks the GPS at 10 second intervals. Hopefully this should see the battery last for 25 hours. It still won't see me all the way into Sparta. In theory I could try using a re-charger on the road but I've got a serious race to run and I'll be damned if I let myself be distracted by fumbling around with cables and connectors. A complete GPS track still won't make me run faster, you know.

I stopped drinking coffee on Monday. It came as a shock to the system - I'm sure the headache I had all Tuesday, and which is still not entirely gone Wednesday morning, is caused by that.

I have packed my bags. I have checked my bags to make sure everything is packed. Then I checked my bags in case I had inadvertently removed anything while checking the bags. Yes, I started getting nervous.

I know Niamh is a bit worried. "Will you know when to stop?" "Yes, when I reach Sparta!". I know that's not what she meant but that's what I have in mind.

We'll arrive in Athens very late on Wednesday (probably not ideal but it's the best connection I could find, seeing as there were no direct flights). Sign-up and race meeting will be on Thursday.

And on Friday we run.

For anyone interested in following me and my fellow runners, the Spartathlon website mentions there will be a live video of the race broadcast on the net, and there is an athlete's tracker as well. My race number is 195.
21 Sep
5 miles, 45:57, 9:11 pace, HR 129
22 Sep
6 miles, 55:17, 9:13 pace
   heat adaptation
23 Sep
5 miles, 45:35, 9:07 pace


  1. We will be watching and willing you on Thomas. When it gets tough, know that you are not alone, we are with you all the way! Good luck.

  2. Have a good one Thomas. Perhaps a $10 digital on the other wrist for when the Garmin dies, as it surely will ;-)

  3. Have a nice race Thomas i'll try to find you at the starting line tomorrow.

  4. Good luck Thomas! Sheer determination is getting you there and I've no doubt it will see you through.

  5. It's great to see that you've come through the last 3 months and are ready to toe the line and embark on a great adventure. Sure there will be some suffering, but that's what you do for your hobby so lap it up. Run smart while the brain still functions, run with the courage and determination for the rest, it'll always be there, just sometime you need to dig a little deeper to find.

    And ohh listen to Niamh, she'll be a lot more help than us lot trying to track progress of the race online :-)

  6. On my computer, live streaming waiting to see you finish.You pass c/p 60 a major station.Keep on trying Thomas!!!

  7. Bravo Thomas you DID IT 33:29 .I saw you finish with Niamh you look very happy.Two Thomas together with Klimas great job both of you.

  8. Was following progress online through yesterday and this morning am delighted to see Thomas' details pop up on the finishers list. 73rd overall, 3rd Austrian. Sweet!