It’s been three months since I was ran nearly 160 miles around a track at the Barcelona 24 hour, but it’s past in a blink of an eye. It’s an event that takes a long time to recover from and is certainly not ideal preparation for the Anglo Celtic Plate 100km that I’m running this weekend. But the chance to run for my country and join Team Scotland was too good an opportunity pass up on. So I seem to have gone from recovery to taper, with a brief period of focused training for what is arguably one of ultra running’s toughest challenges.
Some people assume 100K will be a breeze when I have experience in longer distances, but it requires different training and effort. Almost like comparing a parkrun to a marathon. In a 24-hour it is easier – almost imperative – to relax the pace and take walk breaks, as long as you’re continuously moving forward. With 100km, it’s straight out of blocks from the gun. OK, it’s not eyeballs out, but it requires the same amount of effort and mental strength as running about three marathons back-to-back. Not only do you have to keep the pace, there’s the battle of running on a loop course too.
So, the training has been tough with my recoveries after runs being quick sluggish. A 30 mile run seems to take days to get over, whereas pre-Barcelona I’d be up for another long the next day. My higher than normal heat rate during speed sessions has also been a tell tale sign that I’m still dealing with the track aftermath.
But in the last few weeks, I have finally feeling like my old self and this is where I have to trust my training and all with come good on race day. My training mates I use the term “kaboom” for blowing up and I don’t want to hear that word from them next week.
Training has been a roller coaster ride but what has gone well is that I have been able to give the Mountain Fuel products a thorough testing and this has helped me build confidence in using it as part of my nutrition solution. I may actually be addicted to the Chocolate Recovery Drink!
For a 100K race, where there’s more focus on pace, I used to rely on gels and coke and have to deal with the inevitable highs and lows. But this time I have been receiving support from Mountain Fuel, with help on using their products as a supplement to normal food rather than the complete fuel solution. I am going to have Tropical Xtreme Energy from the start, homemade gels, banana and peanut butter bites and Mountain Fuel pancakes.
My energy requirements will be about 250 to 300 calories an hour and I will mix up my food throughout so that I don’t get bored of one thing. Of course I will have backup plans but using Mountain Fuel means I won’t have the ups and downs that I have had before and so I don’t think I’ll need to resort to that.
Of course at the end of the race – I’ll have the MF Chocolate Recovery Drink and seeing as it is Easter Sunday, a big chocolate Easter egg. I think I’ll have earned it.