The Plan this year is to complete at least one Marathon distance per month. In fact it will actually turn out to be a lot more than that taking into account Ultras and training runs in between events. Sunday’s 30 miler will count towards January’s 26.2 albeit a few days late.
As long runs go this was just about as easy as it gets at that kind of mileage. The course from Ashtown to just outside Kilcock is as flat as a pancake, the only challenge being that the Royal Canal route is a little technical in places as most of it is on trails. The rain was coming hard for a few days so it was very sloppy in lots of places today.
I had been preparing for this run for about a week, seeing it in my mind and contemplating in a positive way the length of time I’d be on my feet. This is vital preparation for me before a long run. I see myself running the distance and I feel a different sense of my self as I think about it. I get into the correct state of mind before I ever put my shoes on. This is all psychological and has a profound effect on my ability to go the distance.
Someone suggested recently to me “What are you running from?” I think I speak for many long distance runners when I say;
It’s not that we run from or to anything, it’s that we know there is nowhere for any of us to go”
If you are preparing for a marathon or half marathon or even an ultra, and you become absorbed by the “enormity” of the task, the amount of time this is going to take, then you are beaten before you start. Forget about the clock and the distance and just run. If you have put in the training you will get there. If you dwell on where “there” is, then every step will be a challenge.
Breaking It Up
I had food with me for every 5 miles so I’d walk and eat a banana and have a slug or two of Chia. All I was running was a series of 5 milers, and sure 5 miles is a walk in the park right? So I had 5 intervals, 5 breaks during the run where I’d walk for a few hundred meters. I also knew that Kilcock was 15 miles from my door so making it there was never going to be a problem. If I wanted to get home in the same day I’d have to run it.
Breaking up the run into bite size chunks is a great way of reducing a long run to manageable pieces.
0 to 15 was fine
16 to 20 was a challenge. Not sure why, I just found it tough.
20 to 25 went better for me
26 & 27 were comfortable and I felt strong
28 to 30 were not too bad at all, I was nearly home.
I was happily scoffing down the bread and other carbs for several days before this run. There is absolutely nothing more torturous than running on empty on a long run. The run itself is challenging enough without running out of fuel. Getting this right, individually for you, is critical. I wasn’t overly hungry when I finished but I ate anyway.
1 x Bowl Porridge with Chia
1 x Glass of water
Lunch On The Run
5 x Bananas
500ml Chia in water soaked over night
2000ml Water with 4 tablespoons Agave, 1 tablespoon Caster Sugar, 5 teaspoons Vanilla Essence
100ml Whey Protein Shake
1 x Banana
1 x Raw Veg Smoothie
1 x White Pitta with Peanut Butter & Jam
1 x Cup Tea
1 x Hot Bath
1 x cup of tea