July 7, 2015

30 Days To 50k

By Marek
50k in 30 Days!

That’s right, I have 30 days to get ready for my 50km run. How have I been preparing for it? The truth is, very poorly. Yes, I have been running (although I have been actually running less in the past month), however, I am far from where I want to be. 30 days to 50k – how much of a difference can I make? Just over 3 weeks ago, I ran in the Wings For Life World Run at a pace just under 8 minutes per mile for over 17 miles. I would like to maintain a slightly slower pace (about 8:30 per mile). So here are the main objectives for these 30 days:
1. More miles – running more often will be the first step. Running twice per day at least once per week – step two. Interval training and hills – step 3.
2. Nutrition – cutting out hard liquor to start with. Sweets and junk food out. Limiting meat and flour products to complete things. Instead, more vegetables, greens and alkaline foods.
3. Supporting exercises – 100 up exercise daily. Regular planks and slant board exercises. Not to forget, a bit of kettlebell exercises for the upper body.
4. How could I forget, some motivation is needed as well. Guess I will need to get my Anthony Robbins CD’s out and listen to them on my runs!
50k ultra
Here it is, my running log for the 30 days leading to 50k!

30 Days to 50k

Today I got up for an early run. It was difficult – last few weeks I have been really struggling to get up for morning runs and today was no different. But I did it. Just over 10km to start the countdown with. It was just a relaxed run.
Big steps nutrition wise – I stayed away from coffee. Also, no meat today. No sweets. Had a couple glasses of champagne though – could not object, my wife passed her driving exam!!! Hurray!!!

29 Days to 50k

No exercise at all today. Got up, felt weird, so went back to sleep. Not a good start but thought I’d better make sure I feel well. Big plans for tomorrow.
Nutrition wise, I stayed off coffee and sweets. Had soup with a bit of meat in it, otherwise, kept things very clean.

28 Days to 50k

What a great day. Got out in the morning, slightly later than intended. This was rather motivating to run faster. Managed to do 14km at a very good pace. This was just a warmup to my first ParkRun. So, after a 5 minute break, I entered my first 5km ParkRun race, which I managed to finish in 3rd place (my first ever podium finish in an organised race) with the time of 21:10. What a great way to start the weekend.
Nutrition: very low on meat, had a couple of beers and a bit of a cake. Plenty of vegetables and healthy foods.

27 Days to 50k

12km to close off the weekend. Slower tempo than yesterday, however, did a bit of hills. Overall, a good weekend for running.

26 Days to 50k

No running, no exercising. Took a day off today. Still staying off coffee and managed a meat free day.

25 Days to 50k

No running, no exercising but took in a delivery of new fencing, with 40kg concrete poles and slabs. Will definitely feel this tomorrow.

24 Days to 50k

Back in action. Ran 11km this morning. Quicker than usual tempo. Felt very nice early morning. I made a decision to have a 5 day rolling total of 50km starting today. This means, that if I have a day off, I will have to make sure I make up the difference. Meat free again today!

23 Days to 50k

11.5km today. Another morning run. Today, something new. #BeatTheStreet – a new community initiative being rolled out in local schools. This is to get kids and adults to get active. There are little boxes in various locations, where you can scan your card and collect points for local schools. I have been recruited by my daughter and joined in the fun. Makes for interested runs, trying to located these points and get as many scans as possible.

22 Days to 50k

Rest day. Had a beer and a few glasses of Champagne and some cake.

21 Days to 50k

Managed to get 10km this morning prior to #ParkRun. 30 days to 50kThis time, I ran the ParkRun in a new location, and guess what? A new PB for 5km set at 19:44!!! Once again, goes to prove, the longer I run, the quicker I get in shorter runs! 15km total for the day! Drinks at the end of the day – had to take advantage of the occasion, as my wife recently passed her driving exam and I now have a designated driver after 15 years of marriage. Meat free today.

20 Days to 50k

colour runOnly 10km this morning during my warmup run followed by my first Colour Run (5km). A fun day out with the family – a different approach to running. Proud of my wife and daughter, who ran their longest distance to date! 5 day running total: 51.5km

19 Days to 50k

Rest day. 5 day running total taking the first setback – will need to catch up tomorrow. 5 day running total: 41.5 km.

18 Days to 50k

Great start to the day with 13km run! Again trying to Beat The Street! Trying to make up for a day off yesterday. 5 day running total: 43km.

17 Days to 50k

11.5km today. Slower pace but a good start to the morning. 5 day running total: 55km – hurray, back on track!

16 Days to 50k

I missed my morning run. The good news is, I made it up in the evening. To make things more interesting, I ran to the pub, had 2 pints of beer and ran back home. Total 11.5km. No meat day as well! 5 day running total: 51km!

15 Days to 50k

Rest day! This will again screw up my 5 day average but big plans for the weekend! 5 day running total: 36km…

14 Days to 50k

Another Saturday, another ParkRun, another PB! This time, 5km in 19:38! The secret is in the warmup, which I finished less than an hour before the race, a mere 13.5km. This always helps. The warmup pace was good as well. 5 day running total: 54.5km!

13 Days to 50k

It was difficult getting up today. Stayed up late last night, and had quite a lot to drink – hard liquor, that is. As I got up, I eventually came to the conclusion, that I must get out. Had a banana and 3 glasses of water and I set off. 30 days to 50kAt the beginning, it was a bit difficult but soon afterwards I found a good pace and ran, and ran. I decided to run part of the route of the race and managed to run the last 12km of it. After about an hour running, I started flying and managed to do over 30km in 2.5 hours. To test myself, I only managed to get the first sip of water after 25km and had nothing to eat during the run. I figured that I need to get exhausted so that I will be able to cope with it better during the race. To be honest, had I managed to get a snack a little earlier in the run and had more water, I think I would have tried to finish the marathon distance, as I was on pace to break 3.5 hours. Overall, I ran 50km this weekend in the combined time of less than 4h15m. That is great news, being less than 2 weeks from the race! Meat free day as well. 5 day running total: 73km!!!

12 Days to 50k

Rest day! After a fruitful weekend, one day rest is essential! 5 day running total: 61.5km!

11 Days to 50k

Another rest day…. 5 day running total: 50km!

10 Days to 50k

Back on track. Slow pace but got 11km in. 5 day running total: 61km!

9 Days to 50k

Back out running today. This time an evening run to the pub for a couple of pints and a return home. Fair pace as well! 5 day running total: 55.5km!

8 Days to 50k

Back running less than 10 hours after my last run the previous evening. Slower pace again but got 12km in. 5 day running total: 36km.

7 Days to 50k

Had to have a day off. Too much beer the night before. As you can see, nutritional goals have not been met in preparation for this event. I still feel confident I will do well, but going forwards, I need to be more conscious of what I fuel my run with. 5 day running total: 36km.

6 Days to 50k

I have got off road a bit today with some trail running. Great pace and a nice distance as well. Last serious run before the big day. All runs from here on will be slower paced and lower distance. 5 day running total: 52km!

5 Days to 50k

Legs a bit heavy but still going strong. Slow pace today. Still rubbish with my nutritional intake. Looks like I will need a good 3 day cleanse before the race. 5 day running total: 52.5km!

4 Days to 50k

Rather good tempo, taking into account that I ran to a pub, had 3 pints and ran back for a total of 12k. Last of the training runs. Will have one more run day before the big day. From now, it’s rest time. 5 day running total: 51.5km!

3 Days to 50k

Rest day. No running or any other exercises today. No point giving 5 day running total from now on.

2 Days to 50k

Another rest day. Will run a quick pace run tomorrow morning in preparation for race day. I figured I will try to repeat what I had done 2 weeks ago, where I had a 5km Park Run, with my personal best set for that distance and the following day I ran over 30km and felt very good. We will see if history repeats itself.

1 Day to 50k

Morning 12.5km done at race pace. That is quarter of the distance in 1h7m. Puts me right on target of 4h30m, which is what I would really like to accomplish. I also broke tradition. I had meat prior to race day. Let’s see what impact that will have.

The Big Day – Race Day! 50k!

An extraordinary race. The event featured 25k, 50k and 100k distances, where everyone started together. 50k ultra race dayAfter the first 2km, I was in the leading pack of 5. We kept together until the midway point. Well, actually, it was a midway point for some of us. The 2 runners setting pace were actually only doing 25km distance. I’ve reached halfway point in 2h3m. From there on, I was actually leading the race until about 32km, where I ran out of steam. I made the last rest stop at 35km in 2h58m. I had to refuel there with a couple of bananas and half an orange. Also, I needed to take a seat for a few minutes. From there on, my pace dropped by about 45s-1m per km until I reached the marathon mark in 3h46m. I decided to enjoy the rest of my journey and alternated walking and running each 500m to 1km. I crossed the finish line in just under 4h50m, short of reaching my time goal but very fulfilled. It was a great accomplishment, the announcer said I finished 3rd. For a first ultra, I think I did well. Lots to learn though, which will make future runs more interesting. I still need to figure out my nutrition prior and during the race. This in my opinion played the biggest role. The other lesson I learned, is that late June is not the best time for ultra running, especially for inexperienced runners at this distance. 30 days to 50k is enough to prepare if you run regularly, it is not however enough, to reach best results. Had I done everything outlined at the beginning of this article, I would probably be much closer to my 4h30m goal. It’s all about sticking to the plan.