Saturday was another long run; 20.2 miles and it was made that little more challenging by the weather. Rain and a very strong breeze. It was good to get the session done in those conditions as I must really focus on why I’m out there. It can be easy to pick the pace up when you are being pushed by a strong tailwind, however caution is required as that tailwind will be a headwind on the return, and this requires even more patience and energy. If you’re spent at the halfway point, then it is going to be a world of pain on the return.
I’ve reached that part of my training schedule where nothing but total focus is needed. I can’t and won’t take my foot off the gas now. I’ve spent months training to get to this point and I just need to keep this going for another couple of months.
I’ve reached that part of my training schedule where the long runs are becoming the norm. Between now and the Serpent Trail 50k I have 4 more runs of over 20 miles to complete plus another 2 of 18 miles. In between those longer runs I have the normal runs I do of around 6-12 miles. I have another 23 runs sessions to complete.
The mileage is really starting to ramp up now. This is the stage of the training I’ve been looking forward to. This is the stage of the training where I need to work the hardest and focus the most. This is the stage of the training where it gets tough, and I know I will need to dig deep at times to keep moving forwards. I enjoy that part of training. It is when you reach that point where your mind is telling you to quit, where your mind is telling you your body is aching and in pain and the way to stop that is to quit or rest. This is when the training gets interesting, and I know if I can endure those sessions then I have that focus to complete the ultra.
Total focus and nothing else.
I’m not really paying much attention to the outside world at present and don’t feel I need to. I’m busy in work, I’m busy with study, I’m busy with some other work-related projects, I spend a lot of time reading (I’ve already read 20 books this year), occasionally I’ll watch a film or a documentary on ultra-running, and the rest of the time is taken up with training or recovering from training.
Both the preparation for training and recovery are vitally important. My diet has changed this year, and I’m more aware of the food that I eat needs to give me the fuel I need to complete the sessions as well as recover from them. There are foods I’ve completely cut out of my diet and foods that I am eating a lot more.
I’ve realised the importance of adding in core work to supplement my training and I think this has been beneficial, especially on the longer run sessions.
I’ve got just under 8 weeks to go until I stand on the start line for the Serpent Trail 50k ultra. I know that by giving it my total focus, like I have done since I started training for the event, for the next 8 weeks I will be ready to give it everything I have, both physically and mentally to cross that finish line. I will have the miles in my legs and know I have done the training required, I will have my nutrition plan correct, I will have the belief that I’m good enough to be taking part, I will have the belief that nothing along that trail will stop me getting to that finish line, I will have the belief that I can overcome any negative self-dialogue that tells me I’m not strong enough, I will know that I will have total focus and nothing less.
Richard Guy, 47 years of age, born and grew up in London and have lived in Portsmouth since 2017.