My brother used to refer to training sessions as putting jelly beans in a jar. The harder the training sessions the more jelly beans you put in the jar. The more jelly beans you had in the jar the more reserves you had to call upon come race day. I deposited quite a few jelly beans in that jar today!
My plan for training for the celtic 100km is based on the principle that running 50km in 3hours 45 minutes is easy, it's running the next 50km in that time is the hard bit. What I wanted to do is get used to running that pace when my legs are already tired. So this weeks plan was to tire the legs out as much as possible during the week then do a 45km run on Saturday.
So the week included weights on monday including lots of plyometric work ;jump lunges and hops. Tuesday 10 miles including a solid session at the track, Wednesday was 19 miles in 2 hours 15 including a couple of big hills, weights again on Thursday, then just to make sure the legs were really tired, 2 hours of hills on Friday evening.
So I headed off on Saturday morning with legs that were giving me all the signs that they really didn't want to be running today. The plan was run to Regents Park ( 2.5 miles) and then do 8 laps of the 4.4km Regents Park circumference with a 2 minute rest after each lap. I chose to rest after each lap because I wanted the pace up - under 4minutes 15 seconds per km (6.48 per mile)if possible.
As I set off for the first lap my legs still weren't too happy with the thought of running so I decided that if I couldn't run quicker than 4.30 per km or 7.12 per mile I'd run home and have an easy day. No point running lot's of slow km when the aim is to get used to running faster ones when tired.
First lap 18.40 or 4.15 pace - that's ok I thought , although it didn't feel very easy.
Second lap 18.33 (4.10 pace). Wasn't sure if I'd make 8 laps of this as I felt like I was working pretty hard.
Third lap 18.27 (4.09 pace).Still not easy but holding the pace so thought I'd push on until the pace dropped below 4.30 pace.
Fourth lap 18.34 (4.11 pace). Halfway. Felt completely stuffed and still had another 23km to go.
Fifth lap 18.23 (4.10 pace).Mentally felt stronger as three more laps seemed achievable
Sixth lap 18.30 (4.12 pace). Only two laps to go!
Seventh lap 18.27 (4.09 pace). In a world of pain but only 1 lap to go.
Last lap. I was lucky with the last lap as a runner went past me just before I started the last lap so I set off in pursuit. Half way round I noticed we'd been sitting under 4 min k's. I was working very hard and legs were screaming to slow down but couldn't let him get away from me. Outsprinted him at the end to finish the lap in 17.35 ( 3.56 pace) He probably thought I was a bit of a tosser outsprinting him over the last 400m especially as he kept on running but I consoled myself with the fact that he probably hadn't run 42km up to that point.
Ran back up the hill to home feeling very satisfied with the days run, legs sore but not destroyed. Big confidence builder for the 100km.