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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ultra Marathon Training Weekend - Part 2 (Bramley 20 Mile)

Today I did the Bramley 20 mile race.

Previously I was thinking about cycling there as it was only 3 miles but I thought against it due to the ride back may be a bit of a struggle.I got their earlier than normal so I could get to the closer car park which was only 1/2 mile away from the start/finish the other was over 1 mile away which I did not fancy walking that far after the race. When I parked up the car next to me was one of my running club mates.

There was a few from my running club, local tri club and another pirate but all seemed to be doing the 10 mile option. I did see and speak to Mick and Phil at the start (after 300m they pulled away). There was another person who I had ran with at the Norwich Half Marathon as he was running the 20 mile at a similar pace we ran together.

As the air horn went off there was about 2,000 people doing either the 10 or 20 mile option. It was crowded for the first half mile but then it thinned out a bit. After this I took of the bin liner that I was wearing at the start to keep warm, I decided to keep it and wrapped it round my running belt.

As we went on some of the country lanes there was some tractors which there was just enough room to get through. There was a few gentle inclines on the country lanes, the roads were in good condition due to the recent snow, ice and flooding over the last two weeks. As I was using the run/walk method for 25/5 minutes it allowed me to get the right nutrition every 30 minutes which I think helped me get round. There was a couple more longer inclines and when I got the big hill I thought it was another mile away but I was half way up it by then.

I got to about 9 miles in about 1:45 and was then lapped by the winner of the 20 mile race, he was well clear of the next two, no others lapped me!!

As it was a 2 lap race for the 20 miles you had to go past the finish line which was a bit gutting but at least you know what to expect for the second lap.

I was running quite strongly at the pace I was doing, I ran over ran over half the race together with the person from the Norwich half marathon until the Tractor Boy power left the budgie supporter (norwich city supporter) behind.

It was starting to get tougher but not as much as the previous day possibly due to the better nutrition plan I was sticking to. As I got to about 14 miles there was a couple of large buzzards flying overhead, I decided to slightly pick the pace for a few hundred meters.

About another mile later it started to get noticable cold with an slight cold wind, so I decided to put my bin liner on for the next few miles which kept me warmer. The big hill was harder this time round but I knew there was only 2 and a bit miles left to go which helped with the motivation.

For the last 3/4 mile I picked up the pace a bit which felt strong run. In the end I completed it 3:47 which I was pleased with due to the long runs this weekend, I think my best here was 45 minutes quicker!!

Overall I was pleased with this race due to the amount of undulations and the climate being hopefully similar to the ultra, it did start to try and rain after I had finished.

I learnt my race nutrition from this and also what kit to wear.

I had calf compression socks (from referee kit), full length compression leggings and a running trackie bottoms which I was comfortable in. I had a couple of layers on my top but critically my pirtate cycle top which has pockets in the back which I used to put the solid food in with the gels in running belt pack. I also had my running club vest on with a buff scarf and Ipswich town hat. Also had my GPS watch without heart rate monitor and a referee watch to loop throught the run/walk times.

The only thing I would change for the ultra is the amount of nutrition (twice as far) and what base layers subject to the temperarture.

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