With the Trail Marathon Wales just over 3 weeks away, this week was the last opportunity to get the long runs in before a 3 week taper. Tuesday and Thursday I ran an early in the morning and managed to get 8 miles in apiece, not massively quick but miles in the legs none the less. Saturday was the last really long run, a 20 miler both on road and trail.
The distance wasn’t the only aspect of training that I was focusing on, I was also trying out different nutrition types (gels etc) during the run to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t work . Changing from my normal Torq gels I had purchased a Powerbar Carb Bar for before, Powerbar Gels x2 for during and Sports Beans (one with and one without caffeine) x2. I also had 625ml of Electrolyte water, 625ml of normal squash and 1.25litre of water.
All that seems quite a lot to carry for a run, but given that on the 20 mile run I burn up to 2700 calories, all the above only equates to replacing about 700 calories. The week before I did a run in blistering heat, 19 miles in total and only had (along with the above fluids) 1 gel and a pack of Haribo and I can honestly say I really felt it, so in my mind carrying too much was preferable to not enough.
The weather was not nearly as nice and was a lot cooler which was no bad thing. Focusing on the nutrition I had the Carb bar before the run, it is Banana Punch flavour, nice texture. I did feel like I had more energy starting out so things were going well, the plan was to have a gel 45 mins in, a pack of beans 1hr 30, another gel 45 mins after that and the caffeine beans 30 mins after that. The gels I won’t be using again, they really don’t sit well in my stomach and leave a sick feeling after.
The beans however, yum! I will be getting a couple of packs of these for the Marathon and will have them on the Ultra as well. Very tasty and the caffeine hit did wonders as my energy levels dipped on the later half of the run.
I am not looking forward to the taper, it seems counter productive to do less and I want to keep training, but I know the reasons why and will stick to it and ignore the urge to throw in another long run.
Total distance: 37.39 miles, Total Time: 06:22:22, Total Calories: 4967