Link Love July 2015

As I’m spending more and more time on blogs I sometimes find some really nice blog posts that I’d like to share with you all.
Most of them are running related, some of them are not…

https://robtoc.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/the-basics-proteins-fats-and-carbs/
Interesting read for everyone who wants to be more aware of what’s going into his/her mouth

http://ultrarunnerjoe.com/2015/07/19/the-five-stages-of-ultraspouse-grief
I think this is a recognisable read for every partner of an (ultra)runner!

https://runningquests.wordpress.com/2015/05/07/there-are-only-two-reasons-to-be-in-bed-and-sleeping-is-the-other-one/
We all know it, we all neglect it (or at least I do too often)


A simple shin splint exercise. Doable wherever whenever

https://wingsandfur.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/tapering-off/
Because I’ve been tapering since my last link love and I hated it 😉

https://extendedspringcleaning.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/to-eat-or-not-to-eat-before-a-run-that-is-the-question/
The eternal question…

Race Recap: 6h Of Aalter

Preparation

A week has already passed, so a recap is long overdue by now!

The race itself took place in the afternoon, which I thought was great, because I could get all the sleep I wanted and do all the food intake I wanted.
So I got up around 7:30 am and started eating some oatmeal, a banana, piece of chocolate and starting drinking water water water.

The food I brought to the race myself.

My brother was going to pick me up at about 10:30 so we could get there early enough, install his stand in time and see the course beforehand.
It went over a track for about 200m, followed by a small but steep uphill, some streets in and out and ended through the building, which was a good find!
This made up for a 2km total, which I hoped to lap about 33 times.

Because of the expected warm weather an extra water/sponges stand was put out at 1km, which meant that water was provided every km, together with my own stand (manned by my brother), this ought to mean that I could be hydrated enough and beat the heat!

The Race – Part 1

The race goal was hitting 66km in 6h.
The way towards this goal was running 11k first hour, 12k 2nd hour, 11k, 12k and then see how I feel with two hours left. In the best of circumstances I would be able to run more than 66km, in worse circumstances I “only” needed 20k in two hours.

From the start my heart rate was up. “Must be the adrenaline”.
Sad thing was, after about 5km it still wasn’t where it should be. Starting around noon (sun high up) and being hot for quite some days (less oxygen) did no good to running conditions, but here I was, so no use to complain about. Just watch the heart rate and keep going!

First hour went fairly uneventful. My brother gave me all the dates I needed and provided me with mental support every lap I did.

Second hour was a “fast hour”, with the heart rate already up, I was somewhat afraid I would go above my threshold. Luckily this wasn’t the case and the hour passed good.
After this I was about to start my last “slow hour” if everything went ok, so I decided to eat a bowl of oatmeal. My biggest fear was hitting the wall, since being out and about this long was new to me. Apparently, this meant my “downfall” as well.
In the first two hours I ate a dozen of dates, some gingerbread, a “melikoek”, some salty nuts and a bowl of oatmeal.

The third hour I drank a lot and ate at a normal rate but my stomach started to acting up.
I don’t know if it was the heat, some dehydration, the nerves, the stress to my body, but my stomach acted up and I decided to switch to mainly drinking for the next “fast hour” of 12k/hour

The Race – Part 2

The first half went really well, with ~34,5km in 3h. I was 0.5km ahead of the pace I wanted and 1.5km ahead of my halfway-goal.
But then I started dropping in pace.

Everything I tried to eat I felt my stomach turning and protesting, big things were not an option at all anymore, so I stuck to sugary drinks and small bites of salty crackers, dates and pieces of gingerbread.

After the fourth hour I seemed to be climbing back from my mental setback and decided to just run it out and see where it took me. 66k was still possible, although it would be pushing myself to the limits.
Legs still felt good, breathing worked, heart rate wasn’t a lot higher compared to the start, but my head started aching and the stomach still was bad.

I couldn’t drink more than I was doing, so the I just had to work with the (minor) headache, but my stomach and the lack of food worried me more.

Halfway the fifth hour, my brother joined in to give me some mental support, this was well needed, as I needed to stop for some time at this point. It was never long, nor was I planning to DNF, but it was rough.
It felt like my body was constantly saying “stop this shenanigans and go rest. Lay in the sun and just relax!”.
But I clenched my teeth and kept going.
Sadly it was clear by now 66km was no longer an option, so I really hoped to get to minimize the damage.

The last 1.5h was clenched teeth, as less thinking as possible, taking my time to drink at the aid stations and just keep going.

For my final laps I decided to skip the aid station and just get out of it wat was possible.
At 6h they blew the whistles and I stranded at a decent 64.6km.
Glad I could stop I threw myself on the grass 🙂

 

The aftermath

According to my watch I had about 1km extra, which means I didn’t follow the perfect track, but did get me closer to my desired goal.
Officially I stranded at 64.664km.
This lands me at 14th place of the 93 men, 16th of the 107 men+women.
The winner landed 73.102km, which puts my goal-shortage in perspective, seeing this 6h run already had winners of 80km and more.

It feels somewhat strange to not getting my goal, but all in all I’m happy.
There will be other races and everything is the road to the ultimate goal of 100k 😀

One week after the race I still feel tired, but the legs and body feel recuperated.
I did 2x4k last Thursday, which went so-so, that’s when I decided to wait until today for my next run.

Statistics @ 6h Aalter Strava & 6h Aalter Endomondo!

Counting Down To My 6h Race!

Nerves are rising, mileage is dropping and I’m eating carbs carbs carbs, I guess this can only mean one thing: it’s TAPER TIME!

Monday I did a slow run from an hour and I’m planning to do the same tonight, Friday a small half hour and Saturday is game time!

6h of running a 2km lap and hoping I manage to do it at least 33 times!

Writing this down already makes my heart pound, hope Saturday I can keep the adrenaline to a minimum 🙂

 

Running 100k A Week

In order to optimally prepare for my 6h race that’s coming up I felt I had to step up my game and run more distance per week.
Feeling comfortable with 100k a week was the goal to achieve, but never before having run 100k in one week, this was somewhat challenging.

For me it was a somewhat magical line, that’s why I want to share my experiences with you all.

Make sure you do it in enough runs

Don’t go out as a madman and keep on running until you practically collapse so you only have to do three runs for making it to 100k.
There are seven days in a week and with the rule of thumb of ‘the long run = 1/3 of your total week’ you can even have a rest day (or two) if you plan properly.
I commuted by run to work and easily could go for a 20k a day without really tapping into my family time.

Rest afterwards

Afterwards being the week after.
Especially after breaking the barrier a first time you’ll feel tired. No problem, take a calm week and go back to your comfortable week distance.

Don’t overdo your long run

Sort of covered this in the first point, but don’t go out and suddenly do a long run that’s double as long as your normal long run. Your system, joints, muscles just won’t take it…

Skip the interval/high intensity for a while

70% of my runs were in my lowest heart rate zone (~60% max heart rate), the rest was one zone higher (~70% max HR).
I steered clear of intervals and high intensity for a while, because tomorrow and the day after and the day after … I needed to go running again 🙂

Listen to your body, as always!

I cannot repeat this enough in all of my “advice” posts.
Listen to your body! Always!
Pain is bad, not just an annoyance.
It’s normal to feel stiff or sore, but pain (stabbing, constant, …) pain is a clear signal that you’re not ready yet.Trim down for a while and try again.

It’s more than running alone.

Once you’re at the point of 100k a week you should know that your body benefits from more than running alone.
Clean, healthy eating and a decent amount of sleep (~+1h per week for every 10km) is paramount if you run distances and as frequent as this.

Make it your new comfort zone

This was my goal, feel comfortable running this much so it doesn’t feel like “having to”
At some point I ran 300k in three weeks and yes my body needed rest after that, but every day I went for “just another run”, which felt nice.

 

Did you break 100k a week? Was it as much planning for you as it was for me?
Or do you have another ‘mental barrier’ that you want to break in one week someday?

Goals For 2015: Halfway Evaluation

Hooray July! Welcome summer!
We’re halfway through 2015, so it’s time for an overview of my goals for 2015.
3 months ago my quarterly evaluation could be better so let’s see if it’s already better.

2 ultra distances
Nope, not even one ultra yet.
At least, not in a race. Furthest training has been 46km, so technically I’ve done an ultra already, but I’d say it doesn’t count.
Next week will be my 6h race, so first one is definitely covered!

+2500km of running

I have not yet covered 2500km, but I am ahead of schedule, so I’m hopeful.
I should have done 1250km by now and already covered 1476km, which meant I’ve done a whopping 1020km since April 😮

Break distance record (currently ~57km)

Nay, let’s keep them fingers crossed for July 11

Break duration record (currently 5:51)
See above 🙂

Nice-to-haves:

  • PB on the 5k
  • PB on the 10k
  • Marathon under 3:20
  • Run a nice trail just to enjoy the scenery (chance is, I’ll already get this at the end of January)

I did the last one with Trail Du Mont and will do it again with Trail Des Fantomes in August.
Funny thing is that ‘PB on HM’ is not included above, but I did achieve this already this year...

 

So how are your Goals going for 2015? Will you make it or do they need some adjusting?