Gary 'Smiler' Turner's Blog

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Monday, 2 December 2013

Final Phase Ultra Marathon Training

Here is the second part of this year’s Ultra Marathon training, taking me into the final preparation stages. The first part of this blog can be found here:

At the end of the blog you’ll find my daily and weekly mileages so you can see exactly what I have done. It starts with week 11, and, well, not a lot happens! Week 10 was 61.5miles and I start week 11 with a 17 mile hill run over Watership Down. I then do nothing, having flown to Palma for a week of rest and recovery with the wife. 

This recovery week is a key part of my preparation. All the little physical niggles clear up. My body has time to completely repair itself from all the increases in mileage. My endocrine system gets a chance to make the adjustments it needs. And most importantly, my mind gets a recharge. 

My huskies were on a rest week too, in some really good kennels, letting their bodies make the same adjustments mine are, and allowing them a change in environment to recharge their minds as well.

At this stage in my training the 42miles distance will be easy – the mountains, less so. Following this rest week the key parts of my training are getting further hill conditioning under my feet, testing kit and its configurations, and working hard on getting the huskies and me working as a team. 

All of my second daily runs have been in the dark. I love running in the dark with my head torch, huskies enjoying the different smells, sounds and animals. It is great proprioception training for my feet – especially when going fast. My Judo back ground came in handy too with me taking a couple of fast tumbles and my breakfalls saving my body from damage, usually stubbing my toes on tree roots. 

Here’s what I look like in my kit. Emergency kit in the back and everything I need for quick access in the front.

 To achieve this I continued with my back-to-back training, running twice daily, to ensure I am used to running on tired legs. Almost every shorter run has become a speed session. I’ve been getting good fartleks and sustained speed work in. 

This week I started with another 17 miles over Watership Down. I love this run as it has some nice big and sustained hills, and it is over varied terrain. There are also about 5miles of running on tarmac which have been conditioning my feet to the hard surface – I run in barefoot shoes offering no cushioning. 

This pic gives you an idea of the fantastic terrain at Watership Down. I’ve climbed to the ridge and am now following the ridge along, the picture taken back along the path I’ve just come. The picture makes it look so much flatter than it is!

My race is on Saturday – 42 miles across the Brecon Beacons. So I’m resting today, will do a little run tomorrow and Thursday to keep my legs turning over, and the rest of it will be rest. I won’t be changing my food at all, still just listening to my body. (I’ll do another blog post on the vastly mis-understood ‘carb loading’ another time – in most cases it isn’t effective.) The husky diet changes though – they’ll be going onto raw fatty beef from tomorrow. It is like rocket fuel for them. After a few days on this they’ll be fully energised up enough to run – and run HARD – for around 120miles without needing food nor water. Damn. I wish I was a husky…

I’ll post up my race report following the event – see you on the other side!

Week 11 10th Nov
Sunday                                 17
Monday                               0
Tuesday                               0
Wednesday                        0
Thursday                             0
Friday                                    0
Saturday                              0              17 miles

Week 12 17th Nov
Sunday                                 0
Monday                               5 + 4.5
Tuesday                               15 + 2.5
Wednesday                        8.5 + 2.5
Thursday                             4.5 + 4.5
Friday                                    3.5
Saturday                              0              50.5 miles

Week 13 24th Nov
Sunday                                 17
Monday                               10 + 4.5
Tuesday                               4.5 + 2.5
Wednesday                        7 + 3.5
Thursday                             2.5 +3.5
Friday                                    0
Saturday                              0              55 miles
Week 14 1st December
Sunday                                 17

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