Monday, 15 October 2012

Picking it up

It's a wee bit tricky when you have two "A-races" isn't it? My Autumn goals have centred around the Luberon marathon on 7 October and the SaintElyon on 1 December, two very different challenges. The first one is now obviously over, and so is my first week of recovery from that: Tuesday = 3 mile jog, Friday = 3 mile run, Saturday = 1h50 min off-road gentle and some clambering over rocks. And I feel tired still, not that recent just run hard tired, but a deeper, still-needing-to-recover from 3h04 of grilling myself! And in some ways I should be glad. If the recovery had been really quick (last year's was quicker than this), then maybe I hadn't run as hard as I needed, and proper recovery does take time. In fact, most of us, and I am well and truly in the "most-of-us" category, need to be thinking about a very low number of very-long (marathon and above) events in the year.

But having these two races together, 1 in October and 1 on 1 December, seemed like a really decent gap. The idea was to allow my body to recover from the marathon and then use that training to benefit my first dabble in the Ultra world. I think it will work out, but what I realise now is that actually I have given virtually no thought to how I will build up to Dec 1. My thinking now is to keep it gentle until my body feels able to clock it up a bit, and keep in view a few training programmes for marathon (I use MarathonTalk ("competent") and Runner's World (sub-3) downloads and tweak as needed. The only thing is that even if I were to jump on that band wagon now, I would already be more than half way through! That is quite scary. The key change to those programmes that I will be looking at is extending the easy stuff. I really need to build up to some outings. I estimate the SaintElyon to take me in the region of 7 hours, which is I hope taking into account my lack of experience and forcing a slow 6 min/km-ish pace for the first 50 km. This expectation is of course likely to be tweaked also as I factor in the experience from my remaining long runs.

Incidentally, there is also a long trail event with 1000m of vertical assent of 28.5 km planned for 4 november. This will obviously be one of my long runs that I will be running faster than long-run pace but not flat out either as I will need to be not recovering for the next two weeks, which basically precede my taper period. This planning stuff is quite tough!

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