I’ve done it now. Yep, really done it. I’ve signed up to my first ultramarathon – the Chiltern Challenge 50k with XNRG.
I did this pre-London Marathon thinking I’d build on all the training I’d done for that. But now, after 2 weeks of doing some shortish runs and being on the ‘see food’ diet, I’m not feeling my fittest. The food was good. There was cake.
Since booking, I’ve been in denial. It was only last week I counted the weeks till the day. No, not freaking. No. No, really, I’m not! 10 frigging weeks to go!
So much to do. So little time. So many plans to choose from. I’ve looked at a few and cobbled together something that might work for me. The key theme of all of them is a lot of miles, hitting the trails, and some speed work.
There are two features of this training that give me hope I can do this thing. The first is that easy weeks follow hard weeks so there’s a bit of a break from the inexorable increase in miles which formed the basis of my marathon training. The second is that walking is not only OK, it’s expected!
A lot to do and it goes something a little like this …
I know what I should be doing…. OK, time to give this a bit of an overhaul. Nothing dramatic, just to up the veg and protein and reduce the not so quite healthy food.
I also need to work out the sort of food that’ll work for me on the trails. I will take a few gels but I know there will be a need for ‘real’ food. Perhaps peanut butter sandwiches, dried fruit and nuts?
I could do with losing some. This is not vanity or health related. This is about becoming a better runner. So the plan is to lose a few pounds through portion control and having lots of great snacks to hand like boiled eggs and sugar snap peas.
I don’t diet. Even a thought of going on a diet ends with ferocious munchies. It might have something to do with my contrary nature. And as for labeling food as good or bad, or eliminating entire food groups, not going to happen!
Time on feet
I think this one’s going to be critical. So in addition to all the running, there’s going to be a lot of walking and standing so my body can get used to it.
Trails and hills are going to become my friends. It’ll go a little like this…
I think races should have theme tunes.
And if I’ve got the energy, I’ll be throwing in a little speed work along the way.
I managed to get to the London Marathon pretty much injury free. This is largely due to almost daily core, stretching and rolling, with a little pilates thrown in. I’m sticking with this as part of my plan as part of ultramarathon training.
I’ll also be throwing in some light weights. Running trails seems to take a lot more upper body strength than is needed for the roads.
In addition, sleep is going to be critical to training well and recovery. I must get to sleep earlier…
And the most important thing to remember on ultramarathon day …
With running mojo well and truly back, I want to enjoy the process and the day!
For you ultramarathon runners out there, anything you think I’ve missed? I’d welcome thoughts.