Sunday March 8th 2015

Workout Soundtrack: –

31km 3:17:52 (South Downs Way 50, session 8)

This is the first long training I’ve ever done with a running buddy and it worked out well. My mate Trev and I hit the trails at 0815hrs this morning with no real idea of how far we might end up going and only a vague route idea too! We worked the run as a team like we did when we raced Country to Capital 45 in January with each of us leading certain sections of the run and encouraging one another to keep up the pace, drink and eat.

We made a number of stops to take some photographs along the way and ran most of the route on feel with only a few checks on pace, time elapsed and distance covered. We got a little bit lost trying to link one trail to the next and nearly ended up taking a long road based diversion before slowing it down to walk and use the Google Maps on my phone to get us back on track!

I’ve had a really productive day so this post is going to be pretty short – my mind doesn’t seem to be taking to the writing like it usually does! So, as I usually do for long runs, here’s a list of what I learned on the trail today:

  1. Treadmill sessions have made me feel a lot stronger on the hills. I only power hiked the last one today and ran the rest.
  2. A real strength I’ve identified is my ability to turn off my ‘central governor’ when it comes to running fast downhill in general and particularly on singletrack.
  3. A litre of water, 500ml with an electrolyte tablet added and 500ml plain, staved off the worst effects of my usual long run dehydration over the 19.25 miles covered today.
  4. Tangerines are the best trail food.
  5. Running with a pirate is a proper laugh (Trev is a pirate).
  6. We are now officially to be known as the ‘Tangerine Pirates Ultra Squad’ whenever we train or race together. We may even get tech tees made for racing…
  7. Running on muddy trails is tiring but very good for giving the stabilising muscles you don’t normally use a workout.
  8. I’m looking forward to late spring and summer when the trails are harder and thus, faster.
  9. I’ve lost a lot of my speed from last year’s end of year marathon training but my endurance and general strength has increased.
  10. I’m a bit nervous about racing the Midnight Sun Marathon in light of point 9.
  11. I’m excited about racing the South Downs Way 50 – less than a month to go and I can feel the training paying off.
  12. Curry and coffee is an awesome refuelling combination after a long run.

And with those gems I shall sign off for the weekend and wish you all a happy Sunday. I hope your Monday is short and your coffee is strong in the morning!

Peace & Blessings x

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