The idea of the 100 mile run week is borrowed from fellow Ironman Triathlete Russ Cox who wrote about his experience here. With the bike leg being my strength, I am keen to develop my running both fresh and off the bike, using the 100 mile run week and over-reaching prior to my last race of the season seemed like a good idea...
Monday – Run 1 15.00mi/24km
The first run of the week and I was keen to get going, using the Wycombe Half Marathon course as a template for my route, I set off at IM race pace (6:51/mi) and felt comfortable for the duration. Towards the end, I began to feel an all too familiar sensation of tightening on the outside of my left knee, a brief stop to stretch out my quads and hamstrings and the tightness subsided leaving me to finish the run in relative comfort.
Monday – Run 2 5.39mi/8.7km
Having arranged a ride for Wednesday with Russ, I wanted to get a few miles in the bank in the event I was too knackered to run off the bike. So a quick gallop around The Rye bought my Monday total up to 20.39 miles leaving just 79.61 miles to go.
Tuesday – Run 3 16.38mi/26.36km
I had intended to use my regular long run route for this one and was going to be joined by my friend Alex, riding his MTB to keep me company and carry some fluids for me. However, all did not go to plan as Alex called me to explain that whilst changing a puncture on his bike he'd managed to somehow buckle his wheel quite badly?!?! Since a large percentage of the planned route was off-road it wouldn't allow him to ride his road bike so, I quickly planned a new route using some of the quieter roads so he could still ride with me. Heading out towards West Wycombe, I began to see the error in my hasty planning as I began to notch up what would be 1,053ft of climbing by the end of the run.
Wednesday – Bike with Russ 124mi/199.56km
As I had called the first route we rode together it seemed fitting that Russ should choose the second, nearly 7 hours after leaving the house I was riding home soaked to the skin muttering under my breath about the insane distance I'd just ridden! On a positive note I later learnt that Russ had punctured shortly after we parted company so not all bad!! By the time I had gotten home my run mojo had vanished so I decided to drink coffee and sit on the sofa instead.
Week to date: 36.77mi leaving 63.23mi to go...
Thursday – Run 4 15.12mi/24.33km
By choosing not to run the previous day I had left my self a daunting challenge of running a minimum of 15.8mi for the remaining days. I felt the safest way to tackle this was to run twice a day, 1 longer run followed by a shorter 'recovery' run to give me the desired mileage by the end of the week. Through the course of the week so far I seemed to be absorbing the miles well and the average pace from this run (6:40/mi) confirmed that I was still going strong.
Thursday – Run 5 5.42mi/8.72km
For my second run I followed the same route as Monday's second run, my legs we're feeling quite heavy for this one and I kept looking back to see if I was inadvertently towing a car behind me! As I ran the final stretch to home, my legs began to ease up and I started to flow and feel relaxed, pity I was at my doorstep!!
Friday – Run 6 10.76mi/17.32km
For the second time this week, I was joined by my friend Alex, but this time he would be running not riding after I had assured him that the purpose of these runs was about distance not about speed we set off. I must confess I enjoyed having someone with me again, and we chatted as we ran, as we approached the 6 mile point, Alex's recent injury and subsequent lack of run training meant he was finding it hard going so we agreed that he would slow down and jog and I would do a few laps of The Rye to make up my mileage.
Friday – Run 7 5.41mi/8.71km
I decided to keep the second run of the day a constant route as, by this stage, I wanted to know exactly where I was in mileage terms and how far I had left to go. I was beginning to find the week hard, not just physically but mentally too.
Saturday – Run 8 10.25mi/16.50km
With a 6 hour shift at work today, I had to get out the door early to give Helen a chance to get to the gym before I went to work, using my alarm clock which also doubles as my daughter I was up at 6:30. I woke with the feeling that I was about to go down with a bug and since Isabelle had had a cold all week I knew the likely source! Still, no time to mope, I got out the door and started off. I found the first few miles pretty tough going as my legs we're a little tender but I soon settled into a comfortable pace which would see me run an average 6:29/mi pace.
Week to date: 83.73mi leaving 16.27mi in keeping with Russ' original Lydiard inspired week that left one long run to finish the week...
Sunday – ZERO – SICK AS A DOG!!
I didn't do it, I never achieved the 100 mile target. But I don't feel bad, I have learnt that I am able to absorb a significant amount of run training without serious negative effect, and as I write this my legs feel good, actually they feel great. The process of over-reaching on my run training has had a positive outcome despite a bad end to the week. Will I attempt it again? Probably not. Will I run 80 miles in a week again? Yes, very much so! By blind luck, I think I've stumbled on my magic mileage!