Sunday, 19 February 2012

A lot is not enough. Must try harder.

2 weeks of blog this week – I didn't think last week was worth blogging about.

23 weeks till the lakeland 100
? Weeks till BG

Mon – Sat: Nothing, resting sore left heal and recovering from a cold.
Sunday – BG leg 4 reconnaissance with Jim. 13 miles, 1800m of ascent, kept cocking up the nav on the way to Wasdale, see picture. 3 cockups in about 5 miles is going some. But in our defence it was claggy and snowy, good to get a bit of climbing in the legs after a week off.

Total of 13 miles and 1800m of ascent – not enough.

Can you spot the 3 cockups? - prize for anyone who can explain cockup 2 to me - I don't know what we were thinking.

Mon – Nothing
Tue – BG L1 reccy – 13 miles, 1800m of ascent.
Wed – Run with Fiona around Langdale – 9 miles, 1200m of ascent.
Thursday – Clough Head reccy – 7 miles 800m.
Saturday – Kinder Scout run – 22 miles, 1400m.

Langdale running down The Band
Kinder Downfall blowing up.
Total of 51 miles and 5200m of ascent – biggest week for a long time (ever?)

Not a huge about to say this post except the obvious that the first week wasn't enough and the second was big.

I have managed my heal problem by running in my knackered old innov8 X-talons, which seems to have let it settle down despite the big week I have just had.

I thought I would take this week to look back on my highlighted issues from blog post 1.

  • Not being prepared for running out of energy.  Sounds silly, but when I hit empty on the way to Bow Fell I collapsed so spectacularly that I must have done something wrong.  More days training on little or no food to get me used to it this time.

Mixed success with this, I have tried several runs on no food and generally bottled out and eaten something when I started to fall apart – I did manage 2.5 hours without food or breakfast a couple of weeks ago, so perhaps progress here – I will keep on with this over the next few weeks.

  • Bad weather - don't set off in shit weather next time.  Have a small moveable team.
I reckon I can do a BG with a running team of 3 – L1/2, L3, L4/5 and I hope that I have 3 good enough guys who are reliable and generally available to put this plan in place.

  • Pain killers, play around with paracetamol and ibuprofen to get used to how it works with me on long days.
Ibuprofen seems to work well – felt really strong on my 30 after a couple of Ibuprofen half way around, and this has fixed a small pain behind my knee cap on another occasion.

Good progress on all these points I think.

The other thing in blog post 1 was this.

  •  “Not enough long training days, I didn't get out for over 8 hours enough times, so when I did, it was a shock to my system.  I figured if I could do 55 miles and feel fine, then I could get around the BGR, I was wrong.  More long days this time. “

I count a good training day as 8 hours+, looking back I see the rather disappointing tally of 1 good training day, and 1 day that came in at around 7 hours. Not good enough, I told Jim yesterday that I would be BG ready if I managed 6 good training days in the next 6 weeks and I do believe that. So that's the target. Six 8+ hour days in the next 6 weeks, then I am ready for the first spring weather window that comes up.

Something else that has been nagging away at me is that the BG gold training standard is 3000m of ascent a week. Counting up now I realise that of the last 12 weeks I have only managed 3000m of ascent 4 times. This is a body blow for me to realise this.

I thought things were going well with the training for the BG and writing the last 2 paragraphs makes me realise how I have been kidding myself.

Must try harder. I want to do other things, but feel I need to get round a BG first, I can't explain why, but it is something I need to do.

6 weeks good training and I have a chance.


  1. On runs over 2 hours I would experiment with feeding routine for the BG rather than starve myself. get used to eating 200 - 300 calories an hour and taking on fluids.

    Couldn't agree more on the bad weather!

    Don't get hung up on the 10,000ft a week people have done it on less and its been done with out 8 hour long days.

    After doing your 30@30 you could do a BG now.
    Main thing is eating and drinking enough and WANTING to do it

  2. Dont use Ibuprofen here is part of an artical from a USA ultrarunners blog. (andy jones wilkins)

    In the 2004 AC100 after finishing 2nd to G Medina I peed brown, had flu like symptoms for 5 days following the race and ended up spending 8 days in the hospital getting IV's and blowing up like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow man. Turns out my CPK had been 145,000 and my creatine upwards of 8.0. Dangerous stuff. After recovering and doing a bit of soul-searching I met extensively with a nephrologist at Kaiser in Oakland. The end-game of the conversation went something like this:

    Me: Doc, I want to keep running these things. What do I need to do?
    Doc: Well, the muscle damage you did here means you ran beyond your body's ability to handle the pain. So, what you need to do is pretty simple; you can either slow-down or stop the next time the pain gets this bad or you can train harder so that the pain never gets this bad again.

  3. Cheers - i'm happy eating all day and with what I can eat, I just seem to have an usually quick drop off when I don't eat enough, the thinking being that one can't eat enough on a BG so I had better try to get used to it. I agree it doesn't sound sensible though.

    I feel like I could do a BG now, but want to be better prepared than last year (when I also felt ready), hence the self doubt. I don't struggle with motivation for the round, just finding the time and motivation for the cold training!

    Thanks for the comments.

  4. Getting the rest of this from here.

    "Me: Some people have said I got this because of Advil. You think that's true?
    Doc: Look, Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory, therefore, it's job is to
    basically shrink things in your body. The last thing you want to happen in your kidneys is for the tubules that process the waste out of your body to shrink.
    Me: OK, so if I do not to take Ibuprofen is the tubules will stay open.
    Doc: Yup "

    More info here...

    I'm not decided on this one. It seems it isn't the safest thing to do, but perhaps not the biggest concern. Will have to think about it some more....

  5. Hi Andy, just discovered your blog after you left a comment on mine. Good luck on your Bob Graham. I agree that for a BG, if you are already more or less fit enough, there is a lot of stuff you can work on that will pay dividends quicker than basic pace. The BG is much more technical than most trail ultras, difficult ground (especially the rocky descents) to cover quickly, navigation, etc. Not sure my knees are up to the whole deal these days but I'm aiming to support two or three legs in May. I would think after your thirty at thirty you should be OK if you get reasonable conditions. Experience of time on your feet when you are tired is important I think. Have you considered a 2 day BG (stopping at eg Stickle Barn) as a training outing? Cheers, Andy C.