Sunday, 6 May 2012

L100 Training Rolls On

My training has picked up over the last month or so. I feel like I've entered a new phase. Having put in the miles over the winter I've learned a lot and have a much better awareness of what my capabilities and requirements are, so I've started the process of refining my plan.

I've had 2 more trips up to the Lakes and have now covered the full 100 route, and I've started doubling up long runs on the weekend, doing a 30+ miler and a 15+ miler back to back on consecutive days. My body is now well conditioned to keeping going, and I am confident that I have good levels of stamina, but I am not getting any faster. My main concern continues to be that I will get timed out, rather than my inability to go the distance, so this will have to be my focus over the last couple of months.

With this in mind, and in the hope that shedding some extra weight will have the desired effect on my speed, I've recently changed my eating plan. I attended the March L100/50 recce talk on nutrition given by Marc Laithewaite, and this gave me the impetus and motivation to make the change.

Years ago, for completely different reasons, I tried, enjoyed and had success on a low carb diet, so following Marc's talk, I've reverted back to this plan and have seen some very positive effects. My weight has dropped (more needs to go!), my mood is consistent and I am feeling generally more positive about all aspects of my life, including training.  Best of all I don't seem to need to eat as much when I'm out on long runs, I don't experience any energy dips and I never get that empty feeling that usually results in me stuffing my face with any bread, potato, pastry products within arms reach.

I've stopped using gels and fizzy electrolyte products, and found two excellent products that work really well for me and have got rid of the dodgy stomach that used to arrive to distract me at the 25 mile mark. I'm using Elete Electrolyte in my water. This is an excellent product and has no taste or fizz and so far has done a great job for me.  My race nutrition has also changed. I've ditched the cheese and onion pasties (!) and now carry a handful of Nakd bars, with a couple of sausages or a scotch egg just in case I fancy something savoury.

The other revelation I've had relates to foot care. The Wye One Way was a good early test event that brought lots of issues to the surface. Aside from the realisation that the electrolyte supplement I was using was the cause of my stomach upsets, the condition of my feet was also letting me down towards the end of the 50 miles.  My legs were fine, my head was in good shape, but my feet were blistering following an early river crossing and I realised that if this repeated in the L100 I would fail. So I borrowed my Dad's book 'Fixing your Feet', and learned how to tape my feet properly and so far, so good - not a hot spot or blister in sight.

There's now just 12 weeks left before the L100! I've got 2 more trips planned to the Lakes to train on the course, and I aim to continue building endurance and stamina through doubling up on weekend long runs. I also want to drop a bit more weight in the hope that this helps me gain a bit more speed, so it's just about putting in the time now in the hope that I can achieve my finish the L100.

Training Highlights:

Braithewaite to Wasdale (and back) - April 1st

Coniston to Seathwaite (and back via the Old Man) - April 2nd

Training on the MCN Brecon 40 Mile Ultra Course: 13 April
(Event on May 12th, but I don't think I'm going to do this afterall. I'm in the Lakes on the weekends either side of the event training on the L100 course)

Black Mountains Roundabout: April 14th
(pulled out / wimped out early because of blizzard conditions, and it just wasn't fun)

Pooley Bridge, Fusedale & Whether Hill, Roman Road Loop: May 4th

Braithewaite to Pooley Bridge: May 5th


  1. Hope the training is going well and all this rain has not slowed you down.

    1. Have you seen this?

    2. It's an interesting read and I've been trying to follow the principles set out and it really does work. I did 50 miles on Thursday and felt great - energy levels were consistent and good, and I ate a relatively small amount (5 Nakd bars and a sausage roll) over 16 hours. But after another run on Friday (10M) and not great eating because we were camping, I ended up seeking out anything wrapped in bread yesterday! Back on the straight and narrow today!