Pre-50k race post

In the last two weeks I have tapered to get ready for my second ultra, the High Weald Challenge 50k.

Am I ready? Yes I am!

Last week I ran a total of 87k. Still a bit, but no speed work. I ran 10k on Tuesday (5:11 m/km) to recover from the previous hard weekend. Then I did 12k on Wednesday (4:37 m/km, felt good) and then Thursday and Friday I ran the same 15k route. I wanted to try out the navigation tools of my watch as the High Weald race looks like it is not going to be well marked. The website provides a big pdf with instruction to navigate the course but knowing me I will get lost in the first 5k. Luckily they provide the gpx file of the course. So I tried my own gpx file from Thursday and told the watch to make me run that route again on Friday. It seems to work quite well. I don’t think it will make me not take the wrong turns as the map is quite tiny and the arrow that indicates the direction is only changing when it’s too late, but at least it will tell me straight away if I am off course.
On Saturday I did an easy 13k run (4:34 m/km) as I did not have much time. My hero of a wife was graduating that day!
Sunday I ran 21.1k in my trail shoes, so Bushy and Richmond Park as usual. I felt good, ran a new trail I had never tried and saw the biggest deer ever. After almost 4 years of running in Richmond Park I still find new places to explore, amazing.

This week I took it even easier. I don’t want to do the mistake I always do and get to race day already tired. So I only ran three times. I wanted to do Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, but on Tuesday it was raining so much that I decided to go back to bed. After all it was not a training week and I wanted to take it easy and avoid getting a cold. So I ran Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (today). 10k, 8k and 5k respectively. Going very slowly. It is fun to do that sometimes, arrive home when it is still dark, not tired at all, no heavy breathing etc.

So, I feel ready. I have never tapered so well. I tried to sleep more (not always succeeding), I drank more (water), ate pasta and pizza, foam rolled every evening etc. I also feel the last 2 months of training, with loads of trail and uphill running, have been very good.

I will be going to the race with Craig and I am looking forward to running with someone for a change. Hopefully he will not run away and leave me behind straight away.

I think it will be an interesting race, it is my first 50k after all. The place looks amazing. The race director is a kick ass ultra runner so I am sure the route will be a lot of fun. Let’s just hope we do not get lost and the gpx file in the watch does the trick.

I’ll update this blog with news on the race as soon as possible.

See you!

North Downs Way Marathon training (part 2)

This is the tapering week before the marathon on Sunday. So I rested a bit, ran less and no speed training.

On Tuesday I did 11 km taking it very easy. I tried to never get my heart to go over 135bmp. I feel like my slow days are not slow enough, so this time I really put an effort in trying to go slow.

On Wednesday I ran 14.5k on the river and Richmond Park, again exploring new paths. It was fun, a bit of rain, lots of young deer running away from the bushes, a good way to start the day.

I rested on Thursday and then on Friday went for a 10k run in Bushy Park. I think I have been a good boy this week and managed to avoid going too fast and getting tired. I cannot wait for race day.

An interesting event of the week was taking part in a Brooks twitter competition and winning! I never win anything, but thanks to this tweet I won a place at the Cardiff Half Marathon and some kit from Brooks. I am looking forward to seeing what they send me. I was not planning to do that race as it is not close to home and it is quite a busy one, but I am now quite excited to try a road half marathon and visit a new city. Shame it happens very close to an 50k race I plan on doing the week before. More info on my races schedule coming soon!

So in total this week I have only run 36km which should have left me full of energy for the North Downs Way Marathon. Check out my report of the race in my next post.

The waiting game

The last two weeks have not been too exciting, so they did not deserve an individual blog post each.
After the high of having finally run 50km I started taking it easy for a three week tapering before the North Downs Way 50.

On Monday I did an easy recovery run. I ran 10k at 4:58 min/km. I recovered quite well from the 50k run but felt pretty tired.

On Tuesday I tried to get some speed in. I ran 12km at an average of 4:24 min/km. The temperatures are finally improving and it is again time to run in shorts which is a boost.

On Wednesday I was too tired (I should not have accelerated the day before) so I did 12km at the easy 5:00 min/km pace.

On Thursday I did 15k at 4:43 min/km and felt a lot better. 15k is my new favourite training length. I now find 10k  being too short and I start enjoying running after the first 8k so 15 is perfect.

In the meantime I have also read Eat and Run by Jurek which I enjoyed very much. I am going crazy. If I am not working, I am running, thinking about running, reading running books or listening to running podcasts. I am surprised my family has not complained yet.

Friday I did another 15km run. This time I did it almost as a progressive run. The first k at 5:00, the last k at 4:00. I felt good.

We then left for a long weekend in Paris where I planned to rest and have some quality family time.

Overall in the week I ran 65km as planned for my tapering.

I came back from Paris rested but with a cold. Too much rain on the Eiffel Tower. On Tuesday I ran 12.5k at 4:47 min/km on heavy legs. I felt strangely tired even if I had rested for three days.

On Wednesday I woke up with a killer cold and flue which explained why I was not running well the day before. I decided to skip running for the day.

On Thursday I went out for 15km at 4:38 min/km and felt a lot better. Even if still with a heavy cold.

On Friday I rested again (it’s tapering time after all) and Saturday I did 15k again (I told you, 15k is my favourite length). I did them at 4:35 min/km. I tried to keep it easy, but accelerated a bit at the end. Then I did a 2k run with my daughter Elisa, which made me happy. She hates running but maybe in time she’ll change her mind.

On Sunday I did 13k at 4:30 min/km. Maybe I overdid it in the last kms, but me and a guy started racing each other in Bushy Park. I like winning these short impromptu competitions. I finished the week with a 1.5k run with my other daughter, Chiara. She seems to be more into running. We’ll see.

And this is it. It was a week of 60km. The next one is race week so I will take it very easy and will try to sleep more. The excitement is too much to handle!

Have fun!