As I had a twinge in my right calf a week ago at parkrun I had been taking it easy with just a gentle 11 mile run on Tuesday, Kettle Bell workouts and lots of calf massages with “The Stick” and ice packs.
So on Sunday I decided to do one of my longer runs to see how my fitness was looking as mu Ultra was only 5 weeks away and I’ll have to start tapering in 3 weeks time.
After a cup of tea (but no breakfast) I headed out at 8am Sunday morning in my Luna’s, with 2 litres of Nuun, a few Clif bars and a waterproof in my Camelbak. My intention was to run 20 miles, which is a 10 mile run out along the Thames Path to Weybridge Ferry and then turn round and run back. I’d run this at around 60% of my Working Heart Rate (WHR) which equates to around 10:15 min/mile. The aim of which is to focus on a pace I can maintain for hours, but also one that will burn predominately fat (which I have plenty of), rather than carbohydrate/glycogen (which we all only have about 20 miles worth).
All went well to the 10 mile turn around point, loads of rowers on the river and it was a cloudy morning which was good for running. I had been drinking frequently and had a clif bar at 10 miles which tasted great.
Around 13 miles I heard runners behind me and as they drew alongside I saw it was a young couple with camelbaks and the girl was wearing Merrell barefoot shoes. My sandals were spotted and we spent the next 5 miles chatting about running, “Born to Run”, Ultra’s, nutrition and loads of stuff that would have had “normal people” asleep in 2 minutes. He was training for a 100 mile ultra in Cornwall in June, and his partner was recovering from an ITB injury and training for an Ironman.
It was great having people to talk “boring running stuff” to on a long run, even if it meant my pace had to step up to 9 min/mile for the next 45 minutes and still be able to maintain a conversation!
We finally parted once we had crossed Hampton Court Bridge but hopefully we will meet up again on another Sunday morning.
On the fluid and nutrition side the 1 Clif bar (,mmmm chocolate chip) seemed to be enough and I finished my 2 litres of Nuun, although I still seemed a bit dehydrated so I think I do need to stick to my 1 litre per hour target in future. I just find it difficult to know how much I am drinking when using a bladder, rather than a bottle.
Throughout the whole run (and even the following day) my calf felt really good no twinges at all, hurrah!
A good start to a Sunday morning, now where’s my mug of tea and peanut butter & jam on toast (separately of course).