Blog: Couch to Ultramarathon
Blog: Couch to Ultramarathon

“A marathon is hundreds of miles long, it’s the lap of honour that is 26.2 miles.”

I saw the above quote somewhere on the Internet. I can’t find an individual to ascribe the quote to, but I think it’s safe to say that at some point he or she trained for a marathon.

The problem with running a marathon, or in my case an ultramarathon, is not necessarily the actual race. I know from bitter, painful, experience it’s possible to run a marathon with no training, it’s just very hard and will probably make you cry.

If you want to train for a marathon or ultramarathon you have to commit quite a lot of time to the training. I’m pretty sure my wife and children are sick of me disappearing for at least half of one day of my weekends off to run around for a bit.

The training plan I am following is broken up into four blocks. I am just about to enter the last week of block two during which the mileage started to increase. I am now about to have a restful week of about 25km in total.

During the next block, lasting about four weeks, the total mileage is going to be about 40-55km per week, which is less than my normal weekly mileage, but I’m supposed to be concentrating on running off road, on trails, on terrain as similar to the Ridgeway path Race to the Stones is run on as I can find, so you’ll probably see me on the North Downs over the next couple of months.

The last few weeks have seen my mileage gradually increase. On Easter Sunday, a rather warm and pleasant day, I ran 25km – about 15.6 miles – and I did it having prepared myself the night before by eating the largest Easter egg Cadbury’s do. I felt sick before I even started.

Once the heat was added to the equation it became a thoroughly unpleasant three hours. Luckily, a couple of friends from my running club, Rebel Runners – Medway, were able to help me round, and I briefly stopped to talk to the helpers at Junior Parkrun (a free timed run on Sunday mornings for 4-14 year olds) which inspired me to keep plodding on.

Suffice to say, I shan’t be preparing for Race to the Stones by sitting in my hotel the night before scoffing chocolate.

In terms of my other preparation, I have my hotel and transfer to the start booked and I have been dipping into participant forum on Facebook in order to get hints and tips from veterans of the race.

I will shortly be purchasing a new pair of running shoes, which will hopefully be the ones I run the race in – by then they’ll have been worn in sufficiently so I don’t suffer blisters. I am also doing my long runs with a hydration pack containing 1.5 litres of water with an additive in to replenish salts that I’ve lost through perspiration.

I am, as always, thankful for the support of my friends and family, especially those people who get to run with me for a couple of hours while I whine about the training. You are all awesome.

I am trying to raise funds for the Oliver Fisher Special Care Baby Unit Trust – feel free to sponsor me by visiting my Just Giving page. Any amount will be gratefully received!

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/john-allen35

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