It is coming to the end of my Winter Ultra Run Challenge, where I was going to test myself (and my training plan) to see if I thought I could run the 53 miles that is the Highland Fling from Milngavie to Tyndrum in April 2012.
My training was to include various long runs on the West Highland Way, as well as long walks which would grow my knowledge of the route and get me ready to walk the full West Highland Way at the start of April 2012.
My challenge was meant to end at the end of this week with a 40 mile run on the West Highland Way. I’ve taken Friday off work and everything with the idea that I would run 40 miles from maybe Tyndrum on the route, but the more I’m thinking about it, the more I’m thinking I’ve done enough and I should just go for it (the Highland Fling – and not do the 40 miler … yet).
I’m also thinking that it’s December and the weather is bad, and I’m thinking it’s best not to risk anything when I don’t really HAVE to do the 40 mile run. (Excuses excuses … lol)
So far in my training (of about 8 weeks), I’ve run:
- 25 miles / 4 hours (Trail: Glasgow to Milngavie)
- 26.8 miles / 4:30 hours (WHW Milngavie to Drymen and back)
- 24 miles / 4:30 hours (WHW Rowardennan to Memorial and back)
- 33.33 miles / 5 hours (Road run Glasgow)
(So I sort of acheived my Ultra Run Challenge, as I ran an Ultra distance … 33.33 miles… 😉 )
And I’ve walked (mostly on the West Highland Way):
- 12.5 miles (5 hours) – Glasgow to Milngavie
- 16.2 miles (6 hours) – Drymen to Rowardennan
- 15 miles (6 hours) – Rowardennan to Inverarnan
- 19.6 miles (7 hours) – Inverarnan to Tyndrum
In one way or the other, I’ve covered the whole route… and I’d cover more of it if I were to train for the Highland Fling for April next year.
Throughout my long distance running I’ve found that I have the motivation levels, the positive mental attitude and stamina to keep going. The only thing worrying me is if my legs (ankle in particular) can handle the distance. All they’d need to do is keep putting one foot in front of the other… for a long time… so it should be ok!
My body has been good at recovering after long runs (not much Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). And I’ve learned to ensure I have enough rest (and cross training) as part of my training so that I don’t overdo it.
I can run for 5 hours, and perhaps just need to work on my food / energy intake for if I’m running longer than that and make sure that my legs are as strong as they can be to keep me running for longer than that.
I think I know what I have to do to train towards running for 53 miles (or 8-11 hours). It will be a challenge, and it might just wreck me, but………. I think I can do it. 😀
So on Friday… instead of running 40 miles… I think I am going to enter the Highland Fling, and then step away from long distance running in December, to go back to training for it (and my WHW walk) in January 2012.
In December, I’m going to change plan a little bit and work on strength work instead of concentrating on long runs, and see if I can build a bit of strength to compliment my running. I’ll do more about that and my Strength training plan in another post.
Woohooo!! Here goes!! Ultra running here I come! 🙂
What do you think – does this all make sense??