Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Training for the Highland Fling

There were six weeks in between the D33 ultramarathon (17th March) and the Highland Fling (28th April). I needed to keep the off-road runs ticking over so I won’t die in a big heap come race day. It is pretty hard to plan for this as there are no text books or ready made training plans- just word of mouth and advice from folk who have done it before. With the Fling looming next Saturday this is a summary of the weekend fun (in conjunction with normal weekday training). 

Lochnagar run Sun 1st April

Mike Raffan organised a run at Lochnagar via facebook and about 15-20 people turned up. We ended up running about 18 miles but this took 5 hours 40 mins. Party this was due to terrain (5 munroes and 2 corbetts) and partly this was down to sociable running with lots of food stops and chats! Time on feet was more important for me given that I always fade quite quickly after the 4 hour mark. I got some great running/food/nutrition tips from George and Karen as my eating strategy is always a problem. Overall I was pleased with the run. I had done something similar with Mike the year before and it knocked the stuffing out of me (and made me abandon the 2011 Fling) so it was good to finish stronger.

30 mile forest run Sat 7th April

3 weekends before the Fling I wanted to get a long run done. Preferably 6 hours off road. This was a chance to test out the new eating strategy, some kit and fitness levels. As per George and Karen I had an asda mini bite (caramel slice/rocky road) every 15mins, a succeed electrolyte tablet every hour and a “checkpoint” snack every 2 hours (muller rice with mini coke worked wonders). I only had a mouthful of water every 15 mins and this worked for me - only 1 litre for the run. This all came together very well - I felt strong at the end (5hrs 26 mins) and never felt ill which is a first.
I also have finally settled on a bag combination that I am happy with - my old manky salamon ski rucksack for waterproofs/sunglasses/sundries and my small waist bag for 15 minute snacks/phone/tablets. Nice to get this sorted before the bigger event.
Wild camping trip Sat 14th April

Not technically a training run but more for mental endurance. A number of folk had expressed interest in doing a “run/wild camp/run” one Saturday night/Sunday morning so we got it arranged on facebook. I knew it would be bloody freezing at times so there would be some element of endurance involved. Overall it was superb fun. We tootled up Clachnaben and sauntered towards Mount Battock (or Buttock as some were saying). Then down to Charr Bothy  to pitch the tents giving us a 10 mile run/climb/bimble. Camping beside the bothy was a great idea as we had somewhere to sit and natter with our hip flasks. I learned a lot of mistakes during the night about keeping warm and it found it quite tough - however I am gagging to go back and “tweak” my keeping warm strategy.

I will find the Fling hard going next weekend but I am massively looking forward to it. My aims are to enjoy the day out running, see some spectacular scenery, chat to some familiar//new faces and try to finish without swearing too much!