Paul's Ramblings: The Training Steps Up

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Well, the training continued well last week despite the gorgeous but draining weather. The preparation for a long race should involve building up endurance.

So last week, as well as the shorter speedier runs, I had two long walks scheduled. This meant that on Wednesday and Thursday I was out for 14 hours and 12 hours respectively.

I had been dreading these days ever since I updated the training plan. The idea of spending that time on my feet “just training” takes a degree of determination. But as I said last week, I have failed to complete the Lakeland 100 on two previous attempts and so I am determined to do what needs to be done to succeed. To add to the logistics, I made a public vow about 18 months ago to never buy a single use/one drink plastic bottle ever again. This means that I now go everywhere with my water bottle which I hopefully remember to fill before I go out.

So, the route had to take into account that I needed to refill my water bottles as I didn’t fancy carrying 4 to 5L water with me. I’m normally happy to fill the bottles from mountain streams but with the lack of recent rain, the streams are at best a trickle increasing the risk of picking up something nasty. And so it was, that I walked for both days from Monmouth up into the Forest of Dean making use of the great trails and fresh drinking water available at the cycle centre right in the heart of the Forest.

What did I learn and gain from my training? Well, I learned that I can clock up around 130km within 36 hours, carrying a pack without any company. That’s all good to bank in the memory, ready for when the mind games start to kick in, halfway through the race in just under 3 weeks’ time now. I also learned how powerful an ego is; so powerful in fact that having covered around 60km with just 30 minutes to go on day 2, the sound of runners approaching from the rear can provide enough inspiration to get me initially shuffling and then to run alongside the said runners for fear of looking like a rambler!

The aforementioned runners turned out to be from Spirit of Monmouth running club and so it appears that I may well be joining them soon on a Tuesday or Thursday evening. But that will be later in the summer. For now, I need to focus on my last couple of weeks of training. Back to back sessions this week are just 10 hours x2 before things really ease up next week.

With all of this training, I'm often reminded of what a great team I have behind me at work. It says a lot about the company and how all of the staff work within it that I can spend time out and things carry on so well in my absence.

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