Ultravasan 90km Preview

Could I be any more excited?! ……probably not and that’s saying something for me :-)

This is my first experience of being involved in a big Ultra race where I’m one of the favourites and I have to say I’m enjoying the experience. Even though this is the 1st edition of the Ultravasan 90km, you can tell that the organisation behind the race have also looked after 90 years of the winter skiing version of the race as it is all very slick and professional.
This morning consisted of a pleasant organised run through the last 7km of the race with all the other elites and some of the coaches/media guys.

and then this afternoon we had the Elite press-conference


Some good friendly banter between myself, Jonas Buud and Thomas Lorblanchet. Can’t wait to mix it up with these boys tomorrow and see for the first time where I stand against some world class ultra runners on the “trails”. There is also some good depth in the field with a number of quality runners from Norway in the elite field.

All the details of how to track the race can be found HERE

Race starts at 4am UK time and we will have real time GPS tracking on us which should make it easy to follow the race. From about 30km to go (8:30ish UK time) there should be some actual live “GoPro” video from the lead cyclist on the streaming feed so if I’m lucky enough to be near the front still at that point then you may see me. Also keep a close eye out for my english counterpart Holly Rush who should be smashing it in the ladies race if all goes to plan!

It’s been a great season so far with 3 target races which couldn’t have gone better…. is this a race too far before a much needed break?….. we shall see by lunchtime tomorrow but I’m going to give it a damn good go. Successful or not I know I’m going to enjoy the battle with the likes of Jonas and I’m certainly going to enjoy the post race recovery “nutrition” and rest!

By the way – I’m not contactable by phone at the moment as there was an incident with a bottle of water and my Samsung S4…. the water bottle won.

Not being shit four times in a row??….get those lucky t-shirts on guys!!

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Weekly Summary – 17/08/14 including World 100km Selection

Mon – 6 miles (6:47m/m)
Tue – AM 6 miles (6:15m/m) PM 10 miles (6:03m/m)
Wed – AM 6 miles (6:03m/m) PM 11 miles including 8 miles MP (5:10m/m)
Thu – AM 12 miles (6:05m/m) PM 6 miles (5:56m/m)
Fri – 20.81 miles including 17.6 mile Purbeck run (5:52m/m)
Sat – 13 miles (6:09m/m)
Sun – 6 miles (5:55m/m)

Total Mileage – 96.90 miles (6:02m/m)

This week has been HARD!!
I’m reasonably happy that I have got in one more useful weeks training before Ultravasan but I have been fighting fatigue, aches and pains all week and have just managed to keep myself going knowing that I can now taper down again before the race on Saturday.
Monday and Tuesday were all about managing the recovery from the 50km on Sunday including some serious achilles pain (quite common for me but this was a little worse than usual) but was happy that I was recovered enough to put in a mini session on Wednesday evening so just did 8 miles at marathon pace…. it felt hard enough ;-)
Thursday included some steady running and a much needed massage and catch up with good friend Eamonn Deane which physically and mentally got me in the right frame of mind for Fridays Purbeck run.
I have done a fast Purbeck run before both of my 100km races and I wanted to replicate the same again this week. Had to stick a couple of miles either side of the run due to parking issues down at Sandbanks ferry (bloody tourists!) but was pleased how the 17.6 mile Purbeck run went with a 5:52m/m average over the hilly trails. I also managed to do some more race day nutrition testing getting two ChiaCharge flapjacks down me running at 6m/m pace which was pleasing. The plan at Ultravasan will be to get a few of these down me in the first half of the race before moving on to shotbloks as the heart rate starts to go up and solid food gets tricky.

So the taper is now well under way for the 4th time this year including my standard carb depletion, just needed to remember to start a day early as the race is on Saturday. Looking forward to the race now with this exciting new challenge but also looking forward to the 2 weeks downtime I have planned after before I knuckle down for my next target race which will be the World 100km Championships at the end of November.
On that note, the official selection for the GB 100km teams happened this week confirming UKA are backing both a strong mens and ladies team. Its also great for me personally to see my good friend “marders” making the team…. should be fun!!
In all the excitement this year, I need to remind myself that this is a real milestone for me as it will be my first GB vest having only ever represented England before, can’t wait!

Anyway – back to more pressing business…. I will be blogging later in the week once I’m over in Sweden with a final update and some details on how you can track the race.

Time for some more meat and eggs….. oh joy ;-)

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Weekly Summary – 10/08/14 including BAL 3000m & Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1 50km

Mon – REST (Stomach Bug recovery)
Tue – AM 6 miles (6:03m/m) PM 8 miles (5:34m/m)
Wed – AM 12 miles (6:11m/m) PM 8 miles (6:22m/m)
Thu – 13.11 miles (5:41m/m)
Fri – AM 6 miles (6:20m/m) PM 6 miles (6:22m/m)
Sat – AM 5 miles incl parkrun (8th – 17:56) PM 6.34 miles incl BAL3000m (3rd – 8:53)
Sun – Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1 50km (1st – 6:26m/m 3:23:03)

Total Mileage – 100.07 miles (6:10m/m)

See those……
battered legs

They’re my legs they are…… absolutely BATTERED!!
My aim for this week and the next 6 days of next week is to get in some worthwhile training before tapering again for Ultravasan, I’m doing okay but I can definitely confirm I gave 100% at Glasgow – lets just say I’m looking forward to my 4th taper in 5 months!

After giving myself another day off on Monday due to last weeks stomach bug I just wanted to get some steady and faster paced miles in during the week without any full on speed sessions as I knew the weekend was going to be a bit taxing! A couple of the runs in the week had some faster miles in them (see Garmin links above) including a single quick mile in Thursdays half marathon to try and prepare the legs for Saturdays 3000m on the track.

After being the official 18min pacer at Poole parkrun in the morning I then headed off to watch an afternoons British League athletics at Kings Park where my club Bournemouth AC “track & fielded” their arses off to try and secure promotion!
Wasn’t looking forward to my bit which would be the 3000m as the legs still don’t feel particularly up for going “fast” but hit went okay with an 8:53 after a slower first couple of laps. I had to take the headwind after the the first 800m as I knew I wouldn’t have another gear at the end and led until the last lap when I inevitably got passed by mate Marders and a quick 1500m runner to come in 3rd.
The club managed to secure promotion by coming second on the day only .5 of a point behind Yeovil with it all coming down to the final event of the 4x400m.
The boys were in good spirits even though we were just pipped to 1st place on the day and enjoyed the seasons end with a cheeky “chunder mile” competition. (Marders smashed it with a guest appearance wining in 5:38 for his 4 pints and 4 laps!)
Well done to the whole team and to our team manager Tim who lost his voice within 10min of the meet starting due to his passionate support!

After seeing the weather forecast for this morning, I couldn’t face a planned solo 35 mile Purbeck run and so got an “on the day” entry for the Salsibury 5-4-3-2-1 50km.
There was a great turn out considering the weather and after getting lost a couple of times, asking some cows for directions and showing my age a bit by making a real meal of climbing over some of the bigger gates, I took the win in 3:23:03. Cardio was very comfortable but I have to admit the legs were creaking a bit at the end and they are now in that previously mentioned “battered” state ;-)
Was also great today to finally meet up with Holly Rush who was using (and winning!) the 50km for her last big run ahead of Ultravasan as well. Holly is one of the favourites for the ladies race and so it will be great if we can both do well on the day.

Holly and I ….. and Mole!! (Holly’s dog)

Full results for the race HERE

Right, just got to get through the next 6 days (session on Wednesday and 18 miler Friday) and then I can taper again!!

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