Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Ring O Fire preparation

It's all been a bit strange in the build up to the Ring O Fire race in just over a week's time. For my previous long ultras like the West Highland Way and the Lakeland 100, I have carefully planned a 3 week taper and have had no problems keeping to the plan, this time I have found it difficult to stop myself from going out for a run and have, in fact, done probably too much training over the last four weeks, to the point where I now have to take some rest days to stop myself from getting injured.

The obvious difference in the build up to this race is that I will have been off work (school holidays) for the six weeks leading up to the race. When I am not charging round like an idiot at work all day long, I have so much more time, energy and inclination to go out training - so I do!

On my previous visit down to Anglesey to have a look at the course, I definitely overdid the first day of running (45 miles in hot conditions) and then compounded the body-kicking with 23 miles the next day. It took me some time to get over that physically, though it was great, psychologically, to run those two big days back to back.

Last week, Tracey and I went down again to spend another few days on the island and I planned to do a couple of 20 milers, back to back as my last big push before easing back in the final couple of weeks. Unfortunately, I made a bit of a schoolboy error and miscalculated the distances between checkpoints and ended up doing 30 miles on the first day and then the planned 20 miles on the following day. Still, I felt fairly good doing it and finished strong on day 2, again giving a confidence boost that I might be able to cope with the full 3 days.

There are a few interesting points on the course, including times when you have to wade in the sea round rock out-crops on the beach. On my recce it was only thigh deep, but it could be interesting on race day if the tide is any higher! One thing I am going to do is carefully check the high tide times just prior to the race, estimate what time of day I will be at the significant points round the course and then make a decision as to whether I need to take the slightly longer but much drier options along the coastal path.

My route round the outcrop!!

Having done these two back-to-back sessions in the space of two weeks, I am feeling the effects a little and have, therefore, really backed off the running and am just going to trot out a few easy jogs in the final two weeks build up. I am starting to put together a battle plan, but am going to have a very different focus for this race than I had for the West Highland Way Race a couple of months ago; it will be interesting to see how things work out. I'll put some final thoughts together just before I head off down to Anglesey again for the race proper in the middle of next week.

This weekend, I am really looking forward to marshaling on the Grand Tour of Skiddaw Race. I'll be helping to look after the runners at the Caldbeck checkpoint, so if you are in the race, good luck and I look forward to seeing you spring in and out of the checkpoint on your way to achieving whatever goals you have set yourself.

1 comment:

Debs M-C said...

Very best of luck for the race, Dave. I'm sure you'll smash it.