As many of you may know, I like nothing more than running long distances on beautiful, preferably hilly, trails. From technical rocky mountain terrain to muddy bogs; from torrential rain to blazing sunshine; I live for the feeling of freedom and closeness with nature that it brings. The opportunity to hang with likeminded folk and stuff one’s face with all manner of foods before, during and after, an added bonus. You may therefore wonder why on earth I’m returning to racing by running 100 miles around a 400m athletics track?!
I’ve questioned the same, as I’m sure I will on many occasions during the 402 laps. Lockdown and home schooling has been tough, but I’ve just about held on to my sanity, thanks largely to my craft beer box subscription. In truth, I’m intrigued by taking on such a simple format, not only to explore how fast I can run 100 miles but also discover if I’ve got the mental fortitude to keep circling the hamster wheel and stick it out to the finish.
So how does one prepare for such an event? Well, the craft beer experimentation has helped with fuelling; various very fit ladies on youtube have conditioned my buns; and I’ve also invested in some super padded hoka rafts to stick on my feet that have allowed me to up my mileage a bit. After a couple of years of injuries, I’ve also finally managed to stick a decent run of training together, including regular 70-mile weeks, by slowing down, taking rest days and mixing terrain and footwear. In recent weeks, my longer runs (c.20-25 miles) have been fasted (without food or drink) flat road miles to fire up the fat burning system, condition the legs and prepare for the mental boredom. I’m certainly not at my fastest, but my hamster endurance should be good and I’m hungry to give it a go.
Anyway, should you not have any paint to watch drying on 24th April, you can watch my progress in the Centurion Track 100 on their website (www.centurionrunning.com). Let’s hope the wheel doesn’t stop spinning as I’ve got some celebratory craft IPAs I’m looking forward to trying upon completion.
GOOD LUCK ROB FROM ALL YOUR CLUB MATES (Ed)