Last year I ran 21 miles at about this time as my longest training run for my marathon debut at the London Marathon. I returned home a shattered, battered man wondering how on earth I was going to be able to run another 5.2 miles. Yet I did it. I completed my first marathon 4 weeks later.
1 year on and I’ve run 2 marathons and have signed up for my first ultra marathon.
Long runs are now on both Saturday and Sunday, the aim being to train the body and mind to run on tired legs and (as far as possible) replicate the ultra marathon experience before race day. What I’ve noticed is that my perspective on the number of miles for the longer runs has changed. I’ve found myself breaking the runs down into smaller, more manageable distances and the run/walk/run nature of ultra running seems to suit me better than the all out marathon running.
Revising my Garmin data I was delighted to see that so far this year my #projectultra training has led me to complete the following:
58 hours of running
Today’s 22 miler was an early one. I set off with only a vague idea of where I was going to run but discovered some new trails, countryside runs and made a note of even more footpaths and bridleways to explore in future runs. I loved it. I wasn’t expecting to run off road much but still managed to do some and get some decent hills in.
I found it tough in the last few miles but dug in and was relieved to find myself thinking at the end of the run “Well, I could have kept on running at this pace for a few more miles yet.”
I’m feeling strong, confident and calm about the NDW50. It’s 9 weeks from today.
Hope I feel this good on the start line, and even more importantly in the second half of the race.