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Training Log: UltraJaney

In the last 7 days:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Intervals (speedwork) with NTC1 1:15:00
  Regeneration1 49:22 4.01(12:19) 6.45(7:39) 34
  Chester Ultra1 1 52.0() 83.69()
  Total6 2:04:26 56.01 90.14 34
  [1-5]3 2:04:23
averages - sleep:8.7

Tuesday Mar 28 #

6 PM

Intervals (speedwork) with NTC 1:15:00 [3]
slept:9.0 shoes: Inov-8 Mudclaws

Structured run session with NTC - Newcastle (Staffs) Triathlon Club

I am up to 45 minutes running and my peroneal tendon has been ok so decided to do the Tuesday track session at the rugby club. This usually takes place around the rugby pitch but the very muddy conditions forced us to use the adjacent fields and hills.

We did a hill session comprising 10 hill sprints with 2 minute recoveries or longer depending on the terrain. Advised to stay safe due to the uneven surface which was like a cross country course in places.

Not sure about the mileage but about 3 to 4 miles approx. Included a warm up and cool down followed by stretching.

Positive aspect: NO problems with my ankle or peroneal nerve despite the uneven terrain. NO problems with my Achilles or anything else even though I did steep hill sprints. No pain or aches afterwards.

A good sign and one that I hope, means my peroneal nerve has recovered.

Sunday Mar 26 #

REST DAY 1 [0]
slept:10.0 (rest day)

Recovering after Chester Ultra.

Some tiredness but not as much as I'd thought. Sore legs which have eased during the day.

Knees are fine so no worries there.

Some slight soreness at the back of my left heel (Achilles) which I suspect is that bursa diagnosed by my physio. It flared up a bit during the race but that was early on and only for a very short space of time so it held up for 52 miles!

I am booked in for a post-race massage tomorrow so will see what he says.

Saturday Mar 25 #

Chester Ultra race 1 [3] 52.0 mi ( / mi)
slept:6.0 shoes: Inov-8 Trail Talon 275

Chester Ultra

52 miles (even though it is advertised as a 50 mile race).

Started at 6am and finished at 8pm.

I completed it!!


I enjoyed this race, felt completely different to February's Trail Half Marathon when I was tired and a bit stressed after a family situation (and bereavement). The lovely weather helped and the route was a cracker! Fairly straightforward early on but more of a challenge after Dunham Hill and onto Frodsham, Helsby and Delamere Forest. That was when it began to 'bite' as the organiser described it!

The official results will be published in the next day or so.

I finished in 13 hours and 45 or so minutes. There was a 14-hour time frame for this race but the organisers extended it. However, my focus was on finishing within the 14 hours. I think I could have done a faster time, say 12 hours or possibly less without wishing to sound cocky!

I ran with three others from my running club and the four of us stayed together which was a help as I wasn't fully confident about finding my way around event even though it was signed and waymarked. The recce's would have helped. But I had a map, a printout of the route and a GPX file on my phone so probably could have managed if I'd been on my own. I stayed with the other three until the last section along the canal when I went ahead to ensure I finished within the time limit.

For two members of my group, it was their first ultra so we all took it steady and helped each other which meant a slower pace and periods of walking to ensure they were not left behind. Myself and another member (male friend) were the strongest out of the four of us and were running in front most of the time and as he admitted, we could have gone faster. He thought I could have completed this race in 11 hours but I think that was him being nice!

If I'd run on my own I suspect I could have completed this race in a faster time. I am guessing you will think the same. I know my finish time is slow and I can improve on that.

I felt strong right from the word 'go' and considering I never get up at 6am (or earlier) unless it's a race or meeting a client, I felt fine. A bit keyed up but ready to get on with it. I had a light breakfast at home as you suggested then porridge and a coffee at the race HQ about 40 minutes before the start.

I used Tailwind throughout which I topped up at the checkpoints and also nibbled on energy bars - those 'Nakd' bars you suggested. I threw in walking breaks which included the hills and there were a few of those. Frodsham and Helsby Hill were steep plus there was a diversion onto the road near Helsby due to cattle and that road section was very hilly! My Nordic Walking technique proved to be useful as I power walked my way up the hills, catching and even passing people. I felt strong up the hills, as if I could run up them but resisted the temptation.

My male friend and I were averaging around 10 to 10.30 min/miling on the road sections/hard packed trail earlier on and I used my 'Specific Endurance' pace for this. Was about 11 to 12 min/miling off-road although this slowed later on. I used my Regeneration Run pace in the latter stages as my fall back pace and alternated this with power walking on the last bit along the canal which was mind-numbing!

Did the first 20 miles in 4 hours, 6 minutes.

I still felt in good form up to 30 miles and beyond. Felt the first bit of tiredness at around 38 miles and more so after the last checkpoint at 44 miles. Pace dropped but I knew I had the 'Regeneration Run' pace and/or power walking as a last resort.

Equipment worked well. Salomon race vest was great and I used soft flasks instead of the bladder as you advised. Took all the items on the kit list but went for lightweight versions.

I managed to bank as much sleep as possible in the week leading up to the race. Not perfect as I am still up until late but not 2 or 3 am. Pulling it back to 1 am and then again to midnight so it's a work in progress. But I managed to get around 9 hours unbroken sleep each night of the week before the race. And, got to sleep no later than 11 pm on Friday night which was early for me!

I held my running form throughout and managed to run (not jog!) the 200 metres from the last canal section to the finish.

I didn't get everything right but then you never stop learning with ultras. However, I think there are a lot of positives from this and I had a good race. A big 'thumbs up' to Tailwind as it worked brilliantly! I didn't have any stomach problems, i.e. sickness and no sugar spikes or blood sugar crashes so the unsweetened version suits me. I'll be using it again.

Having a pre-race massage two days before the race helped followed by rest also worked. My legs were fine, not heavy or sluggish.

There are areas I can improve on - diet, sleep pattern, pacing but overall, it was a good result.

Friday Mar 24 #

REST DAY 1 [0]
slept:9.0 (rest day)

Same again - Rest Day due to last minute preparations for Chester Ultra.

Travelled up to Waverton to register and underwent a kit check - all fine!

Thursday Mar 23 #

REST DAY 1 [0]
slept:10.0 (rest day)

Busy preparing for Chester Ultra so took today as a rest day.

Wednesday Mar 22 #

5 PM

Regeneration 49:22 [1] 4.01 mi (12:19 / mi) +34m 12:00 / mi
slept:8.0 shoes: Saucony Triumph

Regeneration Run - tapering.

Nice and easy like the others, 12 min/miling or thereabouts on a mainly flat route. I walked up any hills.

4 miles in total.

I also had a pre-race massage at the physio today. My peroneal nerve has settled down which is good news and no problems with my knees (bonus!).

Now, the physio has spotted a mild bursa on the back of my Achilles (near the insertional point). Nothing serious and as I have only had the odd twinge or two from it this week he isn't worried. He thinks there is some inflammation there which has caused a small 'bump' but it's manageable. It's probably a flare up from that tight Achilles I had several weeks ago and a reaction to training load.

He is fine with me running the Chester Ultra especially as I will be mostly off-road and using a run/walk strategy. I am booked in again on Monday for a post-race massage so he will re-assess it then. But he isn't concerned about it at present.

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I am an endurance athlete who does running, cycling, Nordic Walking, pilates, Cage Fit and Boxing for Fitness. And, strength and conditioning work - weight training, mobility etc. I'm a bit of a fitness fanatic!

My main sport is running. I run ultramarathons.

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