Knowing that you can’t really run full race distance in training, most people suggest doing some decent distance runs back to back. Simulate running on tired legs but not pushing your body to break. With New York being total rest for 8 days (from running atleast, 18-20,000 steps a day) I felt it would be ideal to put my tough week following. It was never going to be sensible to go from 0 to a lot, so I built up sensibly, well sort off.
I didn’t follow the 10% rule, but my legs had been to 50-60 miles a few times now. So wasn’t too much of a leap. With rest day moved to a Wednesday I began with training. Long week Day 1, 7×900. Legs felt quite heavy but times weren’t too bad. Certainly didn’t feel as fresh and rested as if hoped. Not ideal for day 1 of 8. Times ranged from 3:14-3:20 and gave me 8.8 miles at the end of the first day. LW D2, 10 mile run home from work. Follow the normal route and add a bit on. Easy 10. Felt like I covered most of the surrounding streets just to get near the needed miles. For run commutes I dont focus my food on running I just eat whatever. So I never find these particularly easy. Tried to use a sub 170 HR as a run guide. 10.6 in the bag (19.4 total). LW D3, this was easily the hardest of the lot. A run to Porthcawl Parkrun and back. Never tried this before but was confident I could last the distance. It was tough. I decided to split watch in 3 parts, as don’t like having a hidden rest that isn’t captured for my run. Can make misleading viewing and difficult to look back on accurately. Part 1, 9.3 miles a smidgen under 8MM, knew it was too fast but that pace feels normal. Part 2, my 50th Parkrun in days prior I’d hope to run hard. But thinking about what was to come a conservative 22:39. Part 3, the run back to the car. Lead legs, and a never ending route. Hardest run for a long time. After adding on streets and Laps of the Rec and club, I was relieved to see watch tick past enough miles for 20 on the day. I sat in the car consuming every liquid I could find. I did wonder if I had maybe planned a bit too much. The challenge is easily part of the motivation too, 20.2 bringing me up to 39.6.
LW D4 was a surprise, I struggled to get up. I was aching and everything felt quite tired. Getting it done early was the plan to allow as much time to recover before Monday night. I’d never run so much in s row already. Planned 15 and felt strong after the first 2 or 3 miles had passed. A gel after an hour probably helped. That certainly was a lesson learned from the day before. Fasted runs seem to suit me, one day I’ll try it for a race. When I’m feeling brave. 15.5 miles and the last 2.5 were my fasted. 55.1 miles in 4 days. I struggled to walk properly for the next few hours. This was either great training or just stupid running. Monday morning I was a little sore, but no where as bad as expected. I wasn’t hurting as much now just a little tender. Perk of working in an office is having to get out of the chair and test your quads often. Hill reps for club training, how lucky could I be. Easily the hardest and slowest set I have done. Each a struggle going up, but a pleasure to come down. 5.8 from whole session and now 60.9.
LW D6, first of the doubles. Doubles have become a regular part of training. Work commute is ideal for this. I’d decided it was light enough to try the taff trail again, I followed the usual route then fancied some variation. Thinking some off road may be a nice reward for tired muscles. It felt great, something special about the feeling of being off road. Even if it’s just the adjacent track. Road shoes were great going in but not great coming home after all day dampening. But still a great new route. Legs also stopped hurting now. Groin was tender but no DOMs. 5.8 on way in and a first Royal flush (each mile faster than next) 5.9 home and both around average of 8MM pace. (72.6) LW D7, the 2nd double, same routes but trying out some S-Labs. I wanted a new shoe to use for the ultra. Salomon seem to fit my feet a lot better than inov8. They felt fine in the house, but you can’t tell until your running in them. Concrete wasn’t great but they felt lovely on the mud. Not as much grip as I thought or cushion. Can’t go back now though as caked in mud. Maybe a few more runs and they be ok. I have strange feet and sometimes shoes just need to stretch a little around them. A mix of conditions going in and no real sign of gale force winds. Fastest run of the 4, 7:48 average. They were hiding until home time, headwind all the way but I was feeling positive. I would slow but not break. I’d already surpassed mileage I was used to and feeling decent. 11.8 done 84.4 all in. LW D8, the rest between evening run to evening run seemed great, almost like a rest day. I had 7×1100 to look forward to and then I had done it. The weather was perfect, first use of summer warm up route at tidy pace for settling into the slog. I knew this wasn’t going to be fastest set, but I knew I also wasn’t going to quit. After each one I felt legs struggling but getting back to start with 45 secs to go was just enough. The group I usually chase were pulling away each rep, but mind was straight and knew it was a different game. First 6 reps between 4:05 & 4:10 with a 3:58 to finish. A nice gentle cool down and long week complete. A final 9 to take me to 93.4. I did consider doing a day 9 just to hit the magic 100, but it wasn’t in the plan and I didn’t want to push my luck. 100 will come when it’s ready. Rest day Friday was gratefully received. No time to recover and prep for a trio of races. Long run for the weekend was a gorgeous Coastal reccie from Nash Point to Ogmore and back. Easy paced, stunning views. Perfect recovery. Shoes performed great and no issues with my drinking tube on vest. All my worries elimanated in one long tiring week. Run tired, seem to be ready. Shoes, don’t like Tarmac but love trail, I can cope with decent socks. Tube stayed in place so no need for new vest. Final task, see if I can get a t-shirt or cycle jersey version of my club vest. Just for a bit extra protection from carried vest. 3 weeks and it’ll be done.