Sunday, 6 November 2011

It’s all a bit easy. Is it supposed to be?

Well today is my last session prior to tapering for the West Highland Way which has been moved to the 25th November. I’ve never been a runner until recently so I’m a bit nervous about reducing my training for 3 whole weeks, especially as I feel as though I could go on indefinitely at the moment.

Take today’s run for example; 31 miles, all trail. This brings my 3 weekly total to 215miles. In that time I have also done some strength and core workouts, high intensity cross training and some road cycling. Every day I wake thinking that I couldn’t have done much the day before because I don’t feel any fatigue from it.

Normally at the end of a 3 week block I’m at deaths door. Not today. I even had a few beers last night - and I never drink. It was business as usual just another day at the office.

I had thought about doing 27miles i.e. twice the distance I nailed yesterday at high intensity – on the same trail; Mabie forest, purple route. But as I was feeling quite good I thought I’d throw in a loop of Lotus Hill i.e. an extra 4 miles with about another 100m of ascent.

So first things first; my eating routine:
Got up and had 1 scoop of neovite in 300ml of water,
Half an hour later I had my breakfast – just a couple of slices of toast and a cup of tea.
An hour after that – 250ml of beetroot juice

Ideally I then have to start training within 90mins of that beetroot juice and it’s important that I have nothing else. Essentially I have to give my stomach a chance to empty into the intestine as once it’s in there it can’t come back.

Just before I set off on my run I down about another 300ml of water and get on with it. This keeps the stomach fullish and in that state it empties a bit quicker into the intestine when running – I got this from the Lore of Running by Tim Noakes.

The run itself was just chilled. I averaged 142 bpm which for me is less than 70% of mhr. The dew from the ground took an age to lift this morning so at times I was running through it and cresting out of it. The sun was burning brightly but the air was nicely chilled.

The legs started getting a bit achy towards the last hour but I’d take this any time considering what I’ve got through over the last few weeks – the most I’ve ever done. In terms of nutrition on the run;

4 go gels,
1 mini mars bar,
3 mini sausage rolls,
1 pkt of Clif shot Blocks
1pkt mini cheddars, and
2 litres of water with 2 caps of elete.

The best bit about this is that I had no stomach issues. I really hope this works out on my WHW run.

I reckon I’m fit enough now to get a sub 9 Fling but I don’t know how to extrapolate this to a proposed WHW time. The fact that we’ll be running for nearly 16hrs in the dark also makes things difficult to predict. This will be my mission over the next three weeks no doubt.

I’ve had a few people wishing to join us which is good. Ali, if you read this I don’t know how to get in touch?

The taper is on shaky ground. The predicted pace for the challenge hasn’t been predicted and I’m quite apprehensive about pulling back now. Will my gains stay? I suppose it’s good that I’m going through all of this without the pressure of a race. It should stand me in good stead for the future.


  1. like a good slow roast..let it settle now and all will be perfect :)

  2. Hi Dale, unfortunately I've got to go to a dinner in Glasgow for work that night. I had wondered about meeting up with you afterwards but hopefully you'll almost be in Fort William by then. Have you checked what parts of the A82 are closed that evening?

    Hope the taper works its magic for you.

  3. Cheers UC that sounds like wise and soothing words. Shame about that Ali, I had a look on traffic scotland - doesn't seem to be any road closures. Take it easy

  4. Good luck on the 25th Johnny Smash/Dale. Looking forward to reading of your adventure.