This week I got an inkling as to what I’m up against. I completed the most miles I have ever run in a week, 45, and my longest ever training run, 21 miles. But I also got home after 9pm on two days this week because I was out running. So run-life balance has the potential to get out of whack during my training if I’m not careful, and my family’s patience may start wearing thin, if it hasn’t already.
I structured the training this week to try and emulate a small part of the Marathon des Sables experience. For a start I did my long run on tired legs by doing a 7 mile run the day before. My thinking here is that, after day one, every day of MdS is going to be run on very tired legs. My long run was really hard work, which might seem like stating the bleedin’ obvious, given that it was 21 miles, but it was the first time I’ve run that kind of distance outside of an actual marathon, and both my marathons have been preceded by periods of rest and tapering for the race. I cramped and stiffened up so quickly after the run that I looked like a tree doing yoga in my cool-down and stretch afterwards. The cramping and aching lasted into the night which meant that I got another taste of what life in the desert could be like, when I had to get up the next day and do yet another run on aching legs after a poor night’s sleep. Still, I ticked them off and the aches and pains of this week were soon replaced by a smug feeling of achievement, slightly tempered by the fact that I’ve got another 45 mile to come this week. However, it should be easier, because my longest run will only be 14 miles. Listen to me: Only 14 miles! It wasn’t so long ago that this would have been an unfathomable distance to be running.
I’ll be doing a ‘mini-MdS’ week like this every two to three weeks and gradually building up the distance of the both long runs and the day-after runs until it starts to look like a couple of MdS stages.
Some more incredibly generous donations to my JustGiving page. If you are so inclined, but haven’t yet, you can make a donation, however small at www.justgiving.co.uk/damoisrunningmds – it all goes straight to the Lords Taverners.