Training. At the beginning of the year I changed to a low carb high fat diet to a) lose some weight and b) to help my fueling over the ultras I've got planned later in the year. To start with, running was really hard work. My pace slowed by 2:00 mins per mile and I kept bonking as I had little fuel in me. The adaptations are slowly working and I now do most of my runs fasted. I did a 20 mile run a couple of weeks ago that included 5 @ MP and this was fasted and I didn't take on any food/fuel during the run. The problem I'm having is that I'm trying to change to become a fat burner while training for a PB in Manchester in April. The process can take quite a bit of time to become fully adapted. So, my runs are hard, particularly the speed sessions where I go into my anaerobic zone that requires carbs to fuel me. At the moment I'm a bit uncertain as to what might happen on race day, I think I could either knock out a great time (looking for sub 3:30) or completely blow up. Decisions decisions !
I'm yet to be converted to a believer that massages are that beneficial but the fact that all professional athletes have them must mean that they are doing something positive. That said, I will be having one the week before Manchester.
In general life and every day activities, to me, it makes sense that the more you practice the better you will become. So, I believe you will be more successful in doing say 5 x 20 mile runs than just the 1 or 2. Yes, some people might be aiming just to get around but surely it would be easier, and less painful, if their bodies were more adjusted to running for longer. Not that I'm saying these other training plans don't work but I think marathon training should be focused and specific.
A 12 mile run for me last night that included 8 miles @ MP. A rather cold, windy evening in Sheffield made it difficult to judge the pace but I averaged 7:58 which is bang on what I wanted.
Sean - good session from you last night. You reckon the arse will win tonight ? Re my race day nutrition. One of the purposes of changing to the low carb diet is to get to the stage where I don't need to fuel during the race. I don't know how long it will take me to achieve this state but if I can by Manchester then my race will be fuel free. However, my thoughts at the moment are that I won't achieve that state in time, I reckon it will take many months to get to that state. As you say, I will definitely bonk if I don't get this right. It's all to do with when I move from the aerobic to anaerobic state, last nights run told me that was after 7 miles of MP. I have 6 more weeks to get to the 26 miles state.
I'm starting to bump up the mileage from this week so my MLR last night was 11.5 miles with 8 @ MP. It was a cold, windy night up north which made it a toughish run. 1 mile warm up then straight into the MP miles which were up a gradual climb into a biting wind coming off the peaks. The rest of the MP miles were done on a slight descent and these felt very comfortable until I got to the 8th mile where I had to slow down to an easy pace. I seem to be able to churn out miles comfortably at an easy pace but the MP stuff is harder work. That said, I remember 8 miles @ MP this time last year feeling tough and wondering how I would cope with 26 of them on race day. So, I seem to be in a similar position to last year which is a good sign. The fat adaptation is going well and the muscle fatigue during runs is getting better i.e. it is taking longer during each run before the legs start struggling. I'm still not sure if I will be able to race fasted without taking on fuel during the race as I won't have given my body long enough to completely adapt. I've decided that by the end of March I will have decided on my strategy for Manchester; the options are: 1) a fasted race with no fuel - high risk, 2) during the 3 week taper start carb loading, 3) during the last week of taper start carb loading; apparently my body wont have 'forgotten it is a fat burner' in this space of time but I will have the added carbs for fuel on race day. What will happen is that for the first few miles my body will be in an aerobic state and be feeding off my fat. As the race progresses and the effort increases I will gradually move into an anaerobic state and this is when my body will be looking for sugars/carbs. If I've given my body long enough to adapt this move into an anaerobic state will not come and I wont need any carbs but I don't think that 3 months is long enough to reach this state. Anyway, enough of my rambling, that's where I am at the moment