Saturday, 27 August 2011
24...The Long Run
I have not completed any specific Marathon training programme, but I am aware of what they contain and knew the time had come to complete my longest run ahead of race day. With 4 weeks to go my plan was to run 22 miles on a fairly undulating course, which would reflect some similar elevation to my race. I was intending to run this alone, but by the weekend it was all change. In the end I decided to run with friend and running partner Brian. He planned to run 24 miles; our route of 12 miles along the Basingstoke Canal to work, get there and then turn around and head back, One for all, and all for one!
Although this was longer than I planned, the canal is very flat apart from about 15 locks that on the way back give you some short hills to go up. Brian's thinking was this would be more of a confidence booster in completing the distance rather than struggling on a hilly run.
It was also a chance to fine tune my nutrition. Like my previous long run I stuck with my bite size flapjacks, jelly beans and Powerade sports drink. My Camelbak can take 1.5 litres of fluid, so I put 2 x 500ml bottles into the bladder, It didn't quite last the run, but come race day will be plenty of water stops.
It was around mile 18, I noticed the tiredness, and this was more mental than anything else. But I kicked in and broke down the final 10K in my head in the typical way all of us runners do. " If I can just get to the BP garage.....train station.....that tree!".
So I made it and Brian had been right, this has boosted the confidence. The short walk home was more of a struggle than the last 4 miles had been running, but I was lifted when my two son's came past me, the eldest going for a run and his brother following on his bike. If I had inspired, then job done!
Just under a week later from this run, and as I conclude this post, I have been out for a couple of runs. I went for a 4.5 mile run 2 days after the long run. The legs were heavy but by the end of the run had loosened, so I think this was worthwhile. Yesterday I ran into work on a 12 mile run, again I took this easy.
That now leaves 3 weeks until race day. I have a 20 mile race next Sunday which will leave 2 weeks to taper. I have not planned what to do in them couple of weeks and have never tapered before, so any thoughts let me know.