Posts Tagged ‘Training’

Sri Chinmoy Self Transcendence 24hr race

October 8, 2009

How are the preparations going?


My mileage has dropped from an average of 100 miles per week to around 80 – 85 for the past month.  This has been mainly due to external pressures… you know… things other than running (!).  I’m not worried about this at all – it should mean that arrive on the starting line fresh and “slightly under-cooked” as opposed to “a bit burnt”.

I’m into my taper now,  this means that mileage will drop considerably for the remaining 10 days before the race.  I won’t be running it slowly though – the aim is to increase the tempo a bit, so that the pace I’m aiming for at Tooting will seem ridiculously slow.  For example, this morning I ran a nice little 4 mile tempo at close to 6:00 pace, this afternoon I may attempt a sub-6 pace. 

In between these tempo sessions I will be jogging a few miles very slowly.  I will probably try to run every day until the race as I find that my legs complain when I’m not running – they tend to “turn off”.

I’ve just recieved the list of competitors from the lovely Shankara (Race Director).  I must admit that I’m a bit daunted by the depth of the field and amazed by the international flavour.  There will be runners from Sweden, Norway, Australia, Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium amongst others.  A total of 45 have entered.

There is lots remaining for me to organise.  I still need to get on-line and order my gels, Nuun and protein bars.  I need to check tentage and camping stove arrangements with Nick and get my blasted iPod Shuffle replaced for the nth time! 

I have been working on my pace chart for a few weeks now – and I’m finally fairly confident that I’ve got it right.  My crew, and I, will know (to the second) what pace I need to run each lap in.  I have broken the race into 4 x 6hr sections with a pace and distance goal for each section.  This takes into account a controlled slowing and walking breaks.

Most of my training from now until race day will be mental.  By that, I mean that it will be psychological – I don’t mean that I will be running crazy mileage!

I will copy a post I made on RunningAhead about mental preparation in another post.

Have had contact with a few others who will be running in Tooting – Lee Chamberlain (who has just broken the World Record for 7 days on a treadmill – you need to get out more Lee), Anth Courtney and a few others.  I also recognise many other names: Ken Fancett (of course), Robin Gardner (who was just behind me at Crawley), Reima Hartikainen (Swedish international who performed well at the World Championships), Stefan Lindvall (another Swede who consistently performs well), Smiler Sid, Geoff Oliver (multiple world record holder at aged 76!!!), Richard Quennell (won the Draycote 35 and was 2nd at Faversham), Carl Sommer (33 min 10k man with 3 24hr races under his belt).

The competition will be tough.

But I will achieve my goals.

Happy running to you all.


Achilles update…

August 25, 2009

It is still niggling.

However, it’s not stopping me running or slowing me down.  I do think I can feel some very slight improvement, but nothing dramatic.

Last few weeks mileage has been:

101, 101, 101, 46 (taper for aborted 6hr), 104, 114.5, 114.5, 106

So 7 out of last 8 weeks at 100mpw +.  

Average for last weeks is something like 98.5 – I’ll take it.


July 22, 2009

Tapering is the pits.  I have managed to get in 100 miles per week for the last three weeks – probably the most consistent 3 weeks of running I have ever managed.  That said, it was all easy, gentle, running with no speed work and just a couple of marathon paced faster sessions.

This week’s schedule looks a bit like this:

Mon: 6m easy

Tue: 5m easy am, 3m easy pm

Wed: 4m easy

Thu: 3m tempo (about 6:00 pace I think – this just to keep the legs turning over)

Fri: 3m easy

Sat: 6hr race

Sun: REST or 5m recovery jog (depending on legs).

Normally I would like a two week taper, but for this event (Faversham 6hr race on Sat 25 Jul) felt that due to the achilles problem I didn’t have enough miles in the legs to warrant the extra week off.  This tactic may pay off… or it may prove to have been stupid.

Anyway, I hate tapering.  Several things happen:

  • You feel sluggish, lethargic and a slob.
  • Phantom niggles and pains appear for no reason.
  • You spend too much time worrying about the race.

But, deep down, you know that your body is repairing itself and re-building to a stronger state following the hard training.  It is not the training that makes you stronger but the REST.

I know that, come Saturday, my legs should feel fresh (er) and I will be ready to race.  I hope.

I am also trying to get in as much sleep as possible.  When training hard I can usually only get about 6 hours per night due to early starts and erratic sleeping patterns from the children. Well, one of them anyway.  I feel that, whilst running 100mpw, I should really be trying to get 8 – 10 hrs per night – so this week is catch up time.

Next post will discuss my goals and race plan for Faversham.


June 30, 2009

Decision 1 – I have decided to try to run through my achilles rehabilitation.  Why?  Because I only have 4 weeks left until the Faversham 6hr race and I need to know if I’m going to be fit to compete.  If I am fit (ie the achilles is going to hold up) then I need some miles in the bank.  If I put in some significant miles now then I will know either way.  Therefore this week will hopefully see 100 miles +.  I know I am taking a big risk.

Decision 2 – The Ridgeway Challenge (incorporating the UK Ultra Distance Trail Running Champs). 

I have decided to drop out of this race – it is only 7 weeks before the 24hr race which is my primary goal this year.  I don’t think that 7 weeks is enough time for my body to recover from a very tough 85 miler sufficiently to race a 24hr and achieve 140 miles.  This was a hard decision but I know that it is the right one.  Instead I will either race a 1/2 marathon

Ipswich Half Marathon

Ipswich Half Marathon

(I know there is one in Ipswich which I fancy) or just do a steady 25 – 30 miler.

In other news, I managed 12 miles this morning with v little achilles pain whilst running.  Fantastic.  It has become a bit sore this morning, particularly after sitting for a while, but I’m still hoping to get out at lunch time to put a few more in the bank.  Today I should pass 1500 miles run so far this year – I’m currently on 1497.  A nice milestone.

Keep running.

Mount Snowdon

June 16, 2009

This weekend will hopefully see me running up and down Mount Snowdon. I’m being a bit of a wimp and using the “Miners” track, which is generally regarded as the easiest – but I want to try to run it, rather than climb.

This is the route I’m planning:

Snowdon - the Miners Track

Snowdon - the Miners' Track

If the weather is good, I can expect views like these:

View from the Miners Track

View from the Miners' Track

The view from Llynn Llydaw

The view from Llynn Llydaw

If all goes well I may even attempt a “double summit” and try to do it twice. 

This plan is very dependent on the weather and on my achilles playing ball.  I think it has probably improved a bit – but it is very far from mended.

Come to think of it…. maybe blasting up the highest mountain in England and Wales is not the best idea!


June 4, 2009

I can hardly believe this.  I definitely have some form of achilles injury in my left leg.  It is either achilles tendonitis or achilles tendinosis.  Not sure.  It is very tight, sore and creaky in the mornings and hurts a bit throughout a run.  I am definitely confined to “cross training” at the moment.

The attempt at the Faversham 6hr course record is in doubt.  Serious doubt.

I am taking ibuprofen (a NSAID), icing and resting it.  I know that the achilles takes a v long time to heal due to restricted blood flow in the area.

Depressed of Hampshire.

Oxford Town & Gown 10k

May 21, 2009

Goal was sub 38 min.  Result was 38:20 ish.  Rather disappointing.  Weather was bad and I started too quickly. 

Upside was that I did get a couple of half decent photos:

The start

The start

Starting to feel it

Starting to feel it

Heading for the finish

Heading for the finish

London Marathon

April 27, 2009

What a race. A truly superb performance by Mara. This really does bode well for a great World Championships for her. I felt very sorry for her that the media largely ignored the fact that she came 6th in the Olympic marathon and concentrated on the fact that Paula didn’t run well.

Mara Yamauchi finishing 2nd in London

Mara Yamauchi finishing 2nd in London

In the men’s race I felt that Wanjiru had a great shot at the world record scuppered by some very immature running from the pacemakers. How they felt that going through the first 10 – 13 miles at that speed was correct is totally beyond me. They should have their money witheld. That Sammy managed to hang on and break the course record is totally astonishing. If anyone can break Gebreselassie’s world record it is him.

Mile reps

April 21, 2009

Intended to do:

2mi warm up, 6 x 1mi @ 5:45, 30 secs recovery, 2mi warm down for 10 mi total.

Actually did:

2mi warm up, 4 x 1mi@ 5:45, 45 secs rec, 4mi warm down. 


I need to work on my speed endurance so that I can actually finish this session.  I should probably spend some time on my basic speed as well.  It is all too easy to forget this when training for ultras.

The rest of this week’s training is pretty messed up as I have to be in Bristol for a meeting on Wed.  Might try for a 20 miler on Wed am before the meeting.  Weekend long run in doubt as I’m taking Catherine to Basingstoke for 0900hrs to run a 5k.

This week’s training plan….

April 20, 2009

Will be as follows:

Mon: 10 + 8

Tue: 10 (hill reps) + 6  (actually did 10 (mile reps) + 5)

Wed: 8+14  (actually did 5…. damn work commitments)

Thu: 8 (mile reps) + 6  (actually did 10 (hill reps) + a steady 5 in 31:00)

Fri: 8+6 (actually did 6 + ?)

Sat: 20 (in doubt – might manage a 16?)

Sun: Rest, probably watch London marathon on TV with hangover.  (Murph, Rachel and Steve coming for dinner party on Sat night).

Total 104ish.