Last weekend I put in the last big weekend running a reasonably hilly 70 miles over Saturday and Sunday. Webbo, who ran the Sahara with us late last year, and I headed down to Petersfield on Saturday morning, we kicked off about 9:30am and ran 35 miles, Stage 2 of the Votwo South Downs Way Challenge from near Petersfield to the windmills at Clayton. The day went by pretty quick without too many navigational errors. We hit the downhills hard and walked most of the ups and finished in 6 hours flat.
After the night spent at a local pub, Day 2 (Stage 3) for the rest of the racers, started from where we'd left off the night before and we quickly hit the front of the small pack of early starters. At mile 4 we went at 90 degrees to where we were supposed to be headed and set off on a route which took us all the way down into the centre of Lewes rather than 4 miles east of it. That first stage should have been a simple 6.5 miles and ended up being 10.3. We pressed on regardless until on a steep downhill section Webbo's hamstring blew out and he was forced to a walking pace. He was adamant he would drop at the 2nd checkpoint due to the pain he was in so I went off ahead and pushed reasonably hard through CP2 and then a short sharp 53 minute 6 mile section to CP3. At that point I was alone and hadn't see anyone else for a long time & I ended up going wrong in the last 7 mile stage but made pretty good time afterwards down to Beachy Head and the finish in 6 hours 14. This is a great event and i recommend it to anybody whether you do just a day or all 3. I'll be back to do it again for sure.
The 70 miles was so comfortable all the way it just capped off a good solid period of training and left me feeling as confident as I could be about the massive distance of Badwater ahead. I didn't have any real leg fatigue, was able to run easily on Monday and through the week and was just happy to have got through the mileage without picking up any last minute injuries.
Now its taper time. That means Ive finished most of the running part of training and Im in to a period of winding down and resting. It is so important not to start events tired, espcially priority races or 135 mile ones. The two times Ive trained properly for a race and not tapered properly or been able to get adequate rest in were Old Dominion 100 mile and Sahara Race both in 2009. In both those races I went ok but being tired was the difference between going ok and finishing strong. Old Dominion I was sure I would break 24 hours but smashed into the wall at mile 68 ish and walked most of the last 9 hours for a 24:58 finish. I was so tired when I started the Sahara that I never found any form and i ended up feeling dreadful for the entire week.
It is the price you pay for entering ridiculously hard races that you end up doing things that seem, and frankly are, absolutely ridiculous within the training cycle. For Badwater there are three factors: Distance, Hills and Heat. Distance training is about logging big miles, quality miles but big miles. Hill training is about power walking for long stretches on inclines & a good amount of work on the never ending stair machine. Heat training can be done by either a) heading somewhere hot ie. the desert and getting decent exposure to heat over an extended period of time, preferably running in it or b) sitting in a sauna and getting your body used to the heat but more importantly taking on and absorbing huge amounts of liquid.
This week Ive spend over 3.5 hours in 85 degree Centigrade heat. I still cannot handle more than about 20 minutes in one stint but it is becoming easier. In that 20 minutes I am easily putting away 1l to 1.5l of water.
This weeks most listened too (used in the intro to one of my favourite all time films)
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Volume has been ok. I had a big blow out on the Saturday after the bike ride and made it back to the hotel for 4am! So Sunday was a non event but other than that Ive stayed away from heavy boozing.
Saturday: 32 miles
5th June - 11th June: Finished the bike ride with a time trial up Ditchling Beacon and then a 10 hour boozing session. Back to running on the Monday and felt fine, didn't want to go too mental as I was still a bit run down and had the South Downs marathon on the Sat morning.
Saturday: 80 mile bike
Monday: 8 miles
Tuesday: 16 miles
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: 16 miles
Most listened too this week
They don't make em like this anymore
Its pretty hard not to be moved by this when you've been running for a few hours already