Ultra marathon training – a long solo run 

After a week of rest, this week was all about recovery from Paris marathon and building back into training with three weeks to go to the NDW50 ultra marathon. I was still on holiday (I write this on the Heathrow Express on the way back into London) so was maximising sleep together with some good runs and long hikes.


Run 1 was awful. 75 minutes at an easy pace sounds like it should be fun but it was really tough. For the first half of the run, I had a strange feeling in my left leg I’ve never had before when running – kind of like a dead leg that started in my hip and ran all down my leg. It meant it felt hard to lift my left leg up and occasionally I scuffed my left foot. It was also very hot and I hadn’t taken any water with me. Overall not an enjoyable run! 

Run 2 was better – a hills workout on a treadmill in a South Bend gym. Not easy and my pace was slower than it would have been otherwise but I went on effort level and got the workout in.

Run 3 occurred in the driving rain and freezing cold of Northern Michigan, a hour with 30 minute warm-up and then 30 mins tempo. The warm up felt very tough, my legs were like lead, so I wasn’t holding out much hope for the tempo. I was pretty surprised then to glance down at my watch and see I was running 7.45 min miles!! 

Run 4 – it was a good thing my energy had come back because Run 4 was 24 solo trail miles, the first of the ultra marathon long runs in my mind – i.e. training runs longer than those I would usually do in marathon training. More on that in a separate blog post – the last 4 miles were tough and it was  slow, taking me well over 4 hours, but it was a nice morning out on the trails!

Run 5 was a slow 6 miles the day after my 20 mile run. The first 3 were so slow and sore, I could barely move, but gradually my tired legs loosened up and I was able to increase my pace. I was pretty proud of myself by the end! 

Cross-training: two strength sessions, one in the South Bend gym and the other on a TRX machine – these are great for core strength especially. And a lot of hiking to loosen up those legs! 13 hours in total.

Something fun that was nothing to do with running: spending a whole week with James. He had to teach on two afternoons which is when I went running and caught up on the “life admin” I haven’t had time to do due to being far too busy at work. But other than that we were just able to spend time together, cooking, hiking and reading on the sofa. Perfect.


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