Author Topic: Quick update on my training for the Grand Union Canal Run  (Read 6198 times)

Bob Wild

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Quick update on my training for the Grand Union Canal Run
« on: April 20, 2014, 07:50:17 PM »
Someone said to me on this morning's Sunday club run, that people might be interested in my progress, and what I was doing to train etc. So here goes...

The GUCR is a 145 mile run, with a cutoff of 45 hours, following the path of the Grand Union Canal from Birmingham to London.  Usually about 100 people start, and 50% ish dropout.  There are some amazing pictures of feet that are in tatters if you like looking at that sort of thing :o.  It is at the end of May, about 4 or 5 weeks away, so I suppose I've already done the majority of my training, even though I've probably got a couple of big weeks left.

The conventional wisdom for training for an ultra is to do back-to-back long runs (20 miles-ish) to get your legs used to running tired, but not to push so hard to injure yourself.

Mostly due to work & family commitments I've havn't been doing this, but a few numbers show what I have been doing:
 * 940 miles run since Boxing Day (in 125 days - that 7.5 miles per day average)
 * 23 runs over 20 miles
 * longest run 52 miles
 * I've done a couple of weeks over 100 miles, just for fun, but most are about 50-70.

The funny thing is that I still really enjoy the running, it hasn't got to be boring at all, I even look forward to the long runs!

Most of my long runs have been done early in the morning: I've got very used to watching the sunrise over the sea, and although Jan & Feb were unbelievably rainy, I havn't had too much poor weather since then.  My biggest fear is that the GUCR will be done in 20 degrees heat which will destroy me.

My longest run was a 'trial' to check how I felt after running through the night, so after finishing work at 10pm on a Saturday night, I left home at about 11.40pm, and ran through the night to meet the club run at Dereks house at 8am.  I was surprisingly awake and felt a bit stiff but OK.  I managed to stay awake for most of Sunday, so I'm reasonable happy with the overnight part (except that on the real run I'll have been going since 6am, so I suspect I won't feel quite so good).

Food?  I can run for hours on coke (flat or fizzy doesn't make any difference to me - it's still like rocket fuel), I've discovered instant potato - the guys in a 24 hour McDonalds look strangely at you when you ask for a cup of hot water at 4am, but it's pure carb and very digestible.  Otherwise, it's bananas & biscuits.  I used to feel ravenous when I finished a long run, but I don't seem to anymore, so my fuelling must
be doing something.

I've got a support crew that will follow me down the 145 mile route, meeting me every so often to keep me fed/watered/alive.  I'm allowed a 'buddy runner' from 70m onwards, which hopefully will mean a bit of conversation and someone to keep me positive.  Thanks in anticipation to Jo & Jonothan Holl from the club for volunteering, I hope it's an 'enjoyable' experience, or at least an experience.

And what else...well, my latest 'expedition' is that I'm catching a train from London to Birmingham tomorrow morning (Easter Monday) and then running back, over about 5 days.  I'm trusting that there will be pubs/shops/B&B's on the way, or I will be very hungry/smelly/tired by the time I'm back.  I quite like the idea of not knowing where I'll be stopping each day (and I've got a headtorch in case there is nowhere to stop).  It will be all very slow, with lots of walking, but I'm hoping to recce the course and sort out any navigation issues before the day itself.  My wife is understanding, but naturally slightly bemused.  I will be tweeting my progress if you're interested...follow me at @24hourbob.

If you have any advice or nuggets of information about how to survive the run, then please share here....I can do with any & all ideas right now, just to survive it.

Oh yes, if any male has size 11 or 11.5 feet, and a pair of worn-in Mizuno Wave Inspire 7's that I can wear for the last 20 miles, please let me know.  Apparently your feet start to swell badly towards the end, and the suggestion is to get a pair of shoes a size bigger to prevent problems....a long shot I know!

Thanks for reading!

Rick Ryder

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Re: Quick update on my training for the Grand Union Canal Run
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2014, 02:29:34 AM »
good luck with this training run over the next few days Bob, I guess you will be fully mentally prepared having covered the ground (Birmingham to London) in training, you certainly seem to have done the miles!
please do keep us informed. 

philpotm

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Re: Quick update on my training for the Grand Union Canal Run
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2014, 06:23:58 PM »
Love to know how your getting on Bob ,
Best wishes Michael and Pam

Andy Stevens

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Re: Quick update on my training for the Grand Union Canal Run
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 08:42:38 PM »
Well done Bob.  I find this stuff really inspirational.

Ed Heardman

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Re: Quick update on my training for the Grand Union Canal Run
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2014, 11:03:43 AM »
amazing stuff Bob - keep it going! I wonder if Pete is doing it again this year - probably, he's mad as well!!

Bob Wild

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For those with nothing better to do, there is now a pre-race report, a race report, even a youtube video (which misses out all the painful parts overnight).

Took me longer than the bloody run!

http://ultra-average.com/


Andy Stevens

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Re: Quick update on my training for the Grand Union Canal Run
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2014, 08:38:20 PM »
Fantastic Bob.  Really enjoyed reading that.  Motivational and inspirational.  Well done :-)

danrichards

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Re: Quick update on my training for the Grand Union Canal Run
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2014, 07:27:46 AM »
Fascinating account - great writing.. Look forward to reading the Greece blog !