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What lies in wait on 2nd July - The 110k course profile

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Doing the double!

No, I haven't entered another Ultra marathon (let's just get this one out of the way first). The title of this post refers to an ultra marathon training staple of two long runs back to back over two days. It's not recommended by anyone to run the full length of an ultra in training - although I'm sure there are plenty of experienced old hands who do this sort of thing all the time - but this 'double' is the next best thing. It gives you a proper experience of what it feels like to run on tired legs, but without such a danger of overdoing it or injuring yourself.

So it's something I've factored into my training plan the weekend before my '40% reduction week'. This is another training staple that has you reduce your distance/time by 40% for a week every four weeks, giving your body time to recover and absorb the training you've done. I love 40% reduction week ......

Anyway, the double. I've kept the two of these runs shorter than my individual long run on other weeks, but have made the total of them add up to more. As my maximum long run for a long time was only 3 hours, this meant 'the double' wasn't actually too hard but now I'm stepping my hours up I'm starting to feel it a bit.
Spot the difference - Ill Bell summit on Saturday .....

....and on Sunday. Still not much of a view!
A recent weekend felt like a bit of milestone for this, when I cracked the 3 hour barrier on both Saturday and Sunday. Being a bit short on imagination and not wanting to drive anywhere I did the same run twice, heading out from my house and running to the top of the mysteriously named 'Ill Bell', before turning round and running back down again. It was quite interesting to see the difference a day makes, with Saturday's miserable weather meaning I had the hills to myself and a slight upturn in the weather on Sunday bringing runners and hikers out in some numbers.

The trail leads on along the ridgeline ...

Finally! A view!
 An unforseen benefit to doing this was also that I could compare how I did on the two days - turns out I was actually a whole 2 minutes faster on the second day than the first. Didn't expect that, but I certainly felt quite pleased with myself for it. Another thing I was quite pleased with was how well my legs stood up to it, considering the route was around 16 miles with 3000 ft of ascent and descent.
Coming out of the clouds on the way back down on Sunday
Then I realised that over the two days I'd run almost half of the total distance of the race in 2 1/2 months and wasn't sure how I felt. On the one hand still quite pleased, but on the other suddenly sobered and daunted. As the race gets closer I'm finding I get this particular mix of emotions more and more regularly .....

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you are doing well and on course. Keep up the good work :-)