Update and race plans for Hardmoors 55

I’ve not run for 5 days now and while my chest is getting better a sneeze this morning confirmed that there is still some way to go. I’m finding it really strange not running after averaging 50mile or so a week since the turn of the year. Normally when I wake up one of my first thoughts is when am I running today and I plan things around that.

I’m in two minds now what to do between now and the Hardmoors race in 9 days time. One side says I must have at least 2-3 runs to make sure I’ve not forgotten how to run and get the legs ticking over and the heart pumping.

But the other side of me says this might the perfect opportunity to try a two week ‘no run at all’ taper and see how it feels. I know of other friends who have done this and they have found it works. I wouldn’t normally be brave enough to try it but since I’m trying to allow my chest to fully recover why not go the whole way and not run at all for the next 9 days which would be 13 days in total. Just writing that down makes me shiver.

The last time I didn’t run for two whole weeks was when I hurt my foot in Sept 08 and that wasn’t by choice.

So I’m still undecided – a few easy runs from Friday to Thursday or nothing at all????

While I’ve not been running I’ve still been thinking about it and I spent a very happy hour or two the other night going over my plans for the Hardmoors 55 mile race. I’ve come up with a 10hr 30min and an 11hr schedule.

This is based on my run over this section in the Hardmoors 110 mile race in September 2009 and what I feel is reasonable/challenging for now. The route is slightly different so I’ve tried to amend it a bit. I’m basing the distances on the official rouote we’ve been given so it will be interesting to see how accurate they are.

I always like to have something to base my race on. So when I start the race all I’m focusing on is getting to Sutton Bank after 9miles in 1hr 35mins at 10.33 pace. Then once there I can focus on the next one and hey ho I eventually arrive at the finish hopefully inside my target time. If I am going quicker that’s great and if not I can readjust on the way. There is plenty of time to think and replan on the way.

Other runners have very different tactics. The opposite to me would be those who run without a watch and just go as they feel without any splits in mind at all. I keep thinking I ought to try that one day but I’m not sure if I could. Maybe one day??

That’s one of the fun things about running though – there is no one right way. We all work out what’s best for us. I think a lot depends on your character and personality. I like to be an organised and a goal orientated person and I think my running reflects that. Whereas others would be more ‘go with the flow type’ and their running reflects that to.

I wonder if any see the way they run as totally different to the way they live their lives in general?

Anyway for those interested in my schedules …..

My ‘Guess my Time’ competition has now 15 entries ranging from a very, very, very optimistic 8hrs 35mins 00secs (I think the winner will do well to beat that!) to a conservative 12hrs 13mins 00secs. So almost a 4hr window.

If you want to enter you have until 6pm Thursday 18th March to send in your guess.

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8 Responses to Update and race plans for Hardmoors 55

  1. Fiona Rennie says:

    Take your injury as an opportunity to try something different. (If it doesn’t work just don’t do it again) I think not running between now and your race won’t harm you at all, it’s just mentally reassuring if you can. You may feel a little sluggish at the start of the race but you shouldn’t be pushing anyway! Take it from a go with the flow runner, it’s fun to run without specific goals, it throws up some pleasant surprises!

  2. Lee Maclean says:

    I can almost hear the conversations you must be having with yourself in your head. Must be quite unsettling for you to consider not running for two full weeks before racing. Looking forward to seeing everyone next week. You might need to factor in a wee extended stop at Kildale as Mike Mason and I will be on your case 😉

  3. Andy Cole says:

    Hi John, I don't perform at your standard so maybe it's not the same, but I'm happy not to run between now and the Hardmoors – I'm going skiing!
    If you can get your head round it, take a rest and enjoy it, go for a couple of gentle jogs next week sometime, you've already done the work. (I'll be more than happy to complete the Hardmoors in 12 hours, but you'll make it in 10). Andy

  4. Julien says:

    Hi John,

    Glad you feel better!

    I was a bit surprised to see how similar our splits were given the final one-hour difference. You might want to double-check your total times for Roseberry Topping…

    See you soon!
    Julien

  5. Thomas says:

    John, this is a difficult time for you. Fact is you are injured.
    It will not make your life much easier but I have to tell you that “no running at all” does not work for me. I would never run an ultra again after a three week training pause.
    I am now convinced that one week taper (which is not even a pause in your training!) is more than enough and my last race was following the same formula.

    Everyone is different though and there are a few runners around who according to their own account did not run for weeks even month and still finished their ultra races in relative comfort.

    In my case I did not have a choice because I just could not run at all and not even walk before the WHW Race.
    If you have the choice then I would recommend to keep on running. Slowly, but spend some good time on feet. Can you perhaps walk? Then “go” for it. That is much better than doing nothing.

    If your injury is so bad that you cannot even walk I would even consider a DNS. Get healthy again and you will be in good form for your next race.

  6. Thomas says:

    Oh, ok then. Your time for the race will be 10:13:25.

    If you do decide to add some training runs, make doubly sure they are short and slow!

  7. Tim says:

    As I've said before John, I think resting will make not one jot of difference to the healing of your almost certainly cracked ribs. If running with some chest pain is undermining your confidence then don't do it but I really wouldn't worry about it delaying your recovery.

  8. I'd be careful if i was you John. if you dont run for 2 weeks then attempt to run at full-on race pace then you're risking another injury. it might be better to run without your splits and go on only how your body feels, just take it easy for the first half then, if you feel ok, step it up after that.

    what about an exercise bike for training? it would be good enough to keep you in shape if you substituted all your training runs for ex bike sessions and if you dont feel good you can just step off it.

    its a tough one, only you know how you feel, but think about the year as a whole you dont want to cause problems that might linger on into the Fling and beyond.
    all the best with it.
    Richie

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