Just like that, there are only 8 weeks until I run 100km

Not that those actual details are a surprise to me, I’ve been banging on about it for months. No, the thought of 7th September has long been a source both giddy excitement and pant-wetting fear. What has been a surprise is the few unplanned hiccups over the last month or so which have made training a little more seat-of-the-pants than I intended. I’ll tone down the pants references now.

I’m not going to dwell on details as this post is meant to be about the next few weeks and the countdown to September so I’ll briefly summarise. It was all going as planned, popping in 20 mile long runs at the weekends. In early June, we did a 20 mile walk as training for Race to the King, a two-day 85km walk which was planned two weeks later. The change of activity and footwear, I suspect, then led me to pull my calf on the easiest of easy runs the following week. I went into full recovery mode and a week later it all seemed much better.

My pride had other ideas; Valtteri Bottas rounded some of us up at work for a charity run, which I gladly went on, thinking I’d take it easy. Clearly in the heat of the moment I wanted to put in a good show and promptly pulled my calf again. I know, schoolboy error.

There he is, safe in the knowledge he’ll comfortably out run me, barely breaking a sweat

I did nothing but rest and calf rolling and strengthening for the next week leading up to Race to the King. It was still a little tender going into the race on June 22nd. Lo and behold, 2 days and 85km of walking later and my calf felt stronger than it had done for months. I was more than a little surprised, if not totally delighted.

The Race to the King gang on completion and still smiling. About all we could ask for at that moment

And that is pretty much where I find myself now. Race to the King was absolutely amazing and deserves an entire post devoted to it so I won’t dive into details of that now (apart from the teaser pic above). Since then though, I’ve only done chilled out, easy runs, slowly building up my mileage again. Do you know, it has been absolute bliss.

The weather has followed suit too by finally stopping raining so I’ve had a lot more of this:

And a lot less of this:

I do think the few weeks I had of calf recovery plus the strengthening with all the walking was actually just what I needed. Looking back there were some tell tale signs of overtraining (which may also have contributed to calfgate) but now I’m ready and raring to go again.

My plan for the rest of the summer is to run entirely within myself at all times. This isn’t some gruesome contortionist’s trick, I just intend to keep the pace super comfortable, the HR low and just enjoy being out there putting miles on my legs. And boy do I need to put miles on my legs. And boy should I not use phrases like that again.

There’s still plenty of time but I don’t want to ramp things up too quickly. I’m planning 24km this Sunday, making it about 60km for the week and I’ll creep it up week on week. The target is a 40km run in 3 weeks or so, upping the weekly distance to about 80km. If the weather stays like this and I keep things nice and easy, I’m really looking forward to pumping the miles in.

More runs like this one in the sunshine please

And you wait till you hear the parkrun-related plans my brother-in-law, Jamie, and I have for the night of August 2nd into August 3rd! You will actually have to wait as that will be a post if it’s own, so keep your eyes peeled but I’m very excited about this particular challenge which will hopefully be the perfect training for the 100km.

So it’s been a rocky few weeks, not exactly plain sailing but I’m back on track and thoroughly enjoying getting back out there. Will I squeeze all the training I want in before I start to taper down? Who knows? It’d be boring if it was easy though, wouldn’t it? Well no, boring and easy would be nice but that’s not how running works sometimes!

Have a great running weekend.

12 Comments

  1. As a Formula 1 fan, I think I’d have a slightly less unhappy face getting to run at Silverstone. (Relatively speaking, though, I run more like Williams at the moment… ) Does Bottas run as fast as he drives, adjusting for method, of course?

    I have my half in late September too; but I’m in the same boat: just try to Zen Run my way through the training miles. Our summer here has been far more rainy than the previous few years, so the cooler air helps a little. I haven’t had to deal with drenching downpours. Okay, I’m done rambling on your post… Good luck with the training!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, thanks for the comment Matt, Silverstone is a lovely place to run around (if not surprisingly quiet for a lot of the year!). And yes, Bottas is comfortably quicker than me – he was certainly pushing low 6min miles without too much trouble!

      Glad your cooler summer’s helped your Zen miles; good luck keeping that going through to your September half too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done on your recovery, great work. And well done on RTTK too, of course. In a week’s time I’ll hopefully be home after completing my first (AND ONLY) 50k … so plenty of rest for me this week.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you – watch out for the update on the blog! I might not get a race report done until later the next week, though. I’ve booked the monday and tuesday off work …

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    1. I’m not actually, we’re in Silverstone in Northamptonshire. My better half us Welsh so I do have an affinity. Good spot with the T-shirt, I’ve done the Cardiff half a few times because I love the race and the city for that matter! I gather you are Wales-based?

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      1. Swansea based but from Southampton originally. I have managed the Swansea, Cardiff, Port Talbot and Llanelli half marathons over the past couple of years, Cardiff was my favourite 🤓 I did a little work with active sensors down in Christchurch who supplied McLaren, Williams and few others with potentiometers but never got to the tracks- but you look like your enjoying it all 👍 good luck with your up coming race, how are you feeling!!

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