Ultra Training – The 100km week, marathons and a 1 mile PB

Here’s an update on ultra training and my first week ever reaching over 100k, a new 1 mile PB and running 2 marathons on consecutive weekends.

This is all part of my training towards running the Montane Lakeland 50 in July. The furthest distance and toughest terrain I have attempted to date.

Over this 7/8 day period in the final week of May ’18, I ran 2 marathons on consecutive weekends and I’m feeling so much more confident in my abilities at going the distance and completing the 50 miles.

The first marathon was after a decent week of training and was supposed to be a 22 mile training run. This would be my first foray into testing out back to back long runs over the weekend. Something that I have found hard until recently to find the time to complete.

In all honesty I just felt great (the training must be working) so decided on a slightly more interesting/hilly trail route home. I accidentally ended up running much further to complete a spontaneous marathon. I’m surprised at how good I felt and completed it in sub 4 hours with some decent elevation in the second half: 2,158 ft to be more precise. check it on strava here.

After that the following week was slow and steady but the miles were rolling in. I maintained some early starts and 5am runs so that I could get the miles in before everything else in life got in the way.

Rising early has really helped the way I train and made it possible to clock up the bigger miles.

Time for a FAST mile:

I have been using the Ben Parkes training plan as a base for my training and adapting it where I need to fit in with my life and this week was mile repeats as a speed session. I decided that after a 2 mile warm up I wanted to go all out and the reward was a feeling of ‘lungs on fire’ and a new sub 5 min 1 mile PB 4:57. Absolutely stoked!

Most of the week was then easy laid back running to clock up the mileage and after a Friday rest day I had 25 miles on the training plan.

Ultra Training: This time I wanted to suffer.

I wanted to replicate how I would feel at the Lakeland by half way so I planned a route on the southwest coast path that had a similar elevation, I started at roughly 11.30 when the race will kick off and the weather was hot and humid.

I felt fresh for 15 miles but soon realised the scale of the task I am undertaking.

50 miles in the Lake District is no joke.

I tried to ease my pacing to replicate my plan for race itself and got to 25 miles in just under 5 hours. It’s fair to say at this point I was barely running and my legs were stiff and struggling to open up to more than 9min/mile pace at best.

I learned so much on this ultra training run about myself and also small tactics like water placement, about different body parts that have rubbed on my kit, nutrition and little mental tricks that could help.

Also I really hammered the downhills thinking I was making up time, but really I think I was just setting myself up for a lot of knee pain towards the end of the run, so I’ll work on that.

At this point in my ultra training 7/8 weeks out I feel I am making good progress and seeing gains in both distance and speed, also my VO2 max has gone up from 56 to 57 so things are heading in the right direction.

If you missed my post about why I am choosing to run 50 miles then check it here.

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