In just over a week I will be running my next marathon. This one is a bit different to the others I have run in that it is all off road over the South Downs.
I’ve reached that time when I should be tapering (cutting down on mileage), resting, getting plenty of sleep and doing all the right things…. This is never easy because there is that little voice in the back of your head telling you that you still haven’t trained enough… and then the doubts start to creep in…. Have I done enough long runs ? Have I got my kit sorted ? Have I got my race day plan sorted ? and you realise that the answer is that you really aren’t sure.
My last long run was two weeks ago… and I found a bit of a problem with my trainers. I have been running in Inov-8 X-Talon 212’s and they have been great in mud although I’ve always found them a bit of a close fit… on my last long run the ground was drier than normal and I realised that after 20 miles you really can feel every single flint that you run over.. and running down hill meant that my big toes were pushing on the ends of my trainers giving me very sore toes (I still have a purple “stripe” across the middle of one of them). Again this comes back to the right kit for the run and as much as I love them for my muddy runs I’m not sure that the 212’s are going to be very comfortable for a full 26.2 miles unless it is deep mud all the way. I think I have found a compromise and have bought a pair of Inov-8 Trailroc 255’s (a half size bigger as well to allow a bit more room for my toes). The downside is that I’m not planning another long run to fully test them before the marathon so I will have to see how I go on tonights muddy/hilly 6 mile run and tomorrows 8 mile run…. It is funny how the smallest of things start to take on enormous proportions in marathon training ! I suppose it is the thought that the one day that you have been training for over the last 4 months could be thrown by what seems a relatively trivial thing. (PS if you have a cold please stay away from me this week; I REALLY don’t want to catch it !!)
Long runs also give you a lot of thinking time…. and I have been busy thinking about the type of running I want to do for the rest of the year. I’ve really been enjoying the “muddy” runs that I have been doing and think I could actually do quite well in my age group if I put a bit of effort in (At the December one I did come 8th in the age group…) so this is where I think I will concentrate my efforts for the rest of the year… plus they are FUN !
The last muddy run I did I ran with friends, if you’ve never tried one you really should and running with friends takes all the pressure off 🙂
These are a couple of the photos.