‘You start without any problems, without any pain. All the pain comes after 30K. Sometimes, it’s possible to have pain even in the finger’ – Haile Gebrselassie
It’s been a while since Dave’s done an update about his ultra running adventures at the beginning of the year and it feels like loads as changed since then. From an outsiders point of view i.e. mine, its seems to be going well. He’s fitter now than he was this time before The Wall, and he’s managing to do some incredible distances practically 3 times a week. Here’s Dave to explain more:
It feels like a long time since Christmas and training’s been going really well since then. Now that all the indulgence of that time of year is out the way I’ve been able to concentrate more on my diet; eating more fruit, vegetables and fish to make sure I’m nice and light but still strong enough to tackle such long distances. The typical North East weather hasn’t helped and we’ve had a much colder February than January, with more threats of snow and ice which has forced me inside to run on the treadmill – something I’m not overly keen as it makes a long run even longer and more boring.
Getting some small sponsorship of some Argi+ from Angela at Versatile Aloe Vera has been a massive help. I’ve tried all kinds of rehydration drinks with varying degrees of success. Argi+ is probably the nicest tasting rehydration drink (mixed berries) I’ve had so far which sounds like a small point but when hydration is so vital, drinking plain water all the time gets very boring very quickly – taste is everything. Apparently it has two uses; to boost your energy pre-race or aide with recovery post race. I found it has a mild bloating affect on me so feel it’s definitely better suited as a recovery aide. I’ve found it incredibly moreish so really helps with getting the much needed electrolytes back in the body. The extra hydration means I’ve definitely noticed being less crampy after long runs. The little sachets have also proved useful as they’re small enough to fit in your running vest to take out with you in case of an emergency when you’re 15K from home and bored of warm, tasteless water!*
A real high point of training so far has been getting 70K done in one weekend (35k back to back on the Saturday and Sunday). Sometimes having a break between long runs can be worse than just keeping going as you tend to seize up or don’t rehydrate enough to go out and do it all again. To be able to manage this without much in the way of crampiness or fatigue really shows how far I’ve come with training. Sadly last week I seem to have tweaked a muscle in the top of my right leg which hurt to even walk on for a few days. I’ve given myself the weekend off and it’s feeling much better now. I’m learning that sometimes it’s better to sacrifice a weekend’s training to make sure you fully recover than to force yourself to keep on training and risking more permanent damage.
Rather out of the blue at the beginning of February we got a call from Newcastle racecourse to say the big race; EnduRun24, the run I’ve been training so hard for has been canceled due to renovations to the course that won’t be complete by race day. This came as a huge shock and really threw me for a few days. I’ve got mixed feelings about it now though. I was psyched up for it and it would have been a massive achievement, and something completely different from The Wall I did in 2014 but on the other hand it would have been extremely mentally challenging. It would have been easy to stay hydrated and fueled up due to the lap nature of the course, but I feel it would have been mentally hard to keep going for such a long time round and round the same course for hours on end.
All that being said it hasn’t really changed my training plan really as I was always going to do the Kielder Ultra (100k) as part of my training for EnduRun24 so I’m still remaining focused on that. I also have my eye on the St Oswalds Way 100 Mile Ultra in September as it’s also quite local. Having EnduRun24 cancelled at least means now I can recover fully from Kielder and still have plenty of time to train for St Oswalds without running myself ragged, no pun intended!