Last week I raced in my first ever track ultra marathon - 40 miles, or 161 laps of the 400 m track at Barry's Jenner Park, home of Les Croupiers Running Club and Barry Town United FC. This was by far the hardest race I have ever competed in - even harder than running 100 miles along the South Wales Coast path. You might think that the 161 laps had something to do with how hard it was, but that really didn't bother me at all. In this post I go into detail about how the race went, how I finished, and what I found hard about it.
My longest pram run
This week, as I do most weeks, I set out for a long run with my son in the pram. As I've written about before, I enjoy these runs as I get to spend time with my son. Pram runs also make me run slower and enjoy time on my feet. They act as a bit of a recovery run and help when I'm putting in big miles week in week out. And when I've got the pram with me, I can do other things like pick up some shopping from the supermarket as I've got somewhere to carry it. I planned on running 20 miles with the pram this week but things didn't quite go to plan.
Fuelling an ultra marathon
I've got two big races coming up in the next 8 weeks. The Barry 40 miler on the track, which is also the Welsh Ultra Distance Championships. And the Northern Ireland Ultra Running Association 100 km race which is also the British 100 km Championships. As I'll need to be running these races at a decent pace to be competitive (~6:00/mile), carbohydrate will be an important source of fuel. With that in mind, I've been refining my fuelling strategy recently so that I can be well prepared on the day.
Making changes for good
I've been enjoying some of the best running of my life over the last year and 2023 is my first year in the V35 age category. With this in mind, I've started to look towards the future and consider how I can make long lasting changes to benefit both my performance and health. This post explores the changes I have made, how I feel they have had a positive effect, and some of the science behind why.
This week my work schedule changed slightly so I wasn't able to get my usual run commuting miles done. I could only fit in one run per day and this meant that I had to be flexible and change my day around to hit my weekly target of 100 miles. The weather didn't help as we've had sub zero temperatures overnight all week. And to make things even more challenging, I live out in the countryside where there aren't many pavements or well lit streets. It's definitely been an interesting week.
The Fan Dance is done
This weekend I started my journey as a charity fundraiser by completing the Fan Dance for Action CP. The Fan Dance is famous for being part of SAS selection and is notorious for being tough. The terrain and the weather make for a difficult course and this weekend didn't disappoint.
New year, new challenges
I’ve started 2023 like 2022, with a 100 mile week to kick the year off. The turn of the year gives us a time to reset our sights and set new challenges for the 12 month ahead, like many people will have done. Whether those challenges are health and fitness based, performance based, work based, or relationship based, the period between Christmas and New Year and is a great time to set them.
2022 in review
I went into 2022 with no real running goals other than to have a first crack at an ultra marathon after missing my first due to illness in 2021. I increased my weekly miles and started running to and from work so I could clock a minimum of 100 miles per week and still have time to spend with my family.
Doubling up vs the long run
This week I was fortunate enough to be able to work from home and it gave me the opportunity to try something different.
Sea to sky
It's been a while since I got some decent vertical distance in the bag on the trails, so this week I decided to get it done.