3 weeks to The Stones

So the final 3 weeks. Whats not been done now isn’t going to make much of an impact – it’s near enough now or never!

So, this week as the final run in approaches, I’m feeling positive and confident (big -ish) and know that the nerves will really kick in any minute. For now my soundtrack for the week is…

The Plan

So I had planned this for my approach to the Stones:

So this week was meant to be 62Km. I had a big family birthday over the weekend so only managed my second LSR on Sunday evening. Overall for the week I hit 52Km, so 10Km short. Not the best result, I’m always disappointed with missing the mark for my training, but at this late stage I’d rather be sensible than try and squeeze runs in for the sake of it.

Next Week

So the w/c 24 June im hitting my largest run week ever and my longest training run on the Sunday – a 50Km run around the Thames Path and up onto the Ridgeway at Goring and Streatley and then home.

Final long run – 50Km

Stones strategy

I’ve been thinking about my strategy for the event, and also my 50Km long run this week.

My plan for the long run this week is to test my strategy. Im going out with my final race day kit bag pretty much, but with more water as I won’t have pit stops every 10Km – so my pack will be heavier. Im going to take some cash and by more water in Goring when I get there!

As for run strategy I’m targeting 6min per Km, 5 minutes pit stop every 10Km, which I will simulate on the test run, I’ll be changing shirt and socks about half way on Sunday to feel how that lifts the spirits.

I’ll aim to walk a lot of the obvious hills, as I would at The Stones, run the downhills to make up the time and keep a steady pace on the flats.

In theory I should hit 50Km in under 6 hours. Im comfortable that this is my aim, but I’m equally thinking that its a very ambitious target for my first 50Km. I think it’s important to have a target to hit, but realise it’s ambitious and it might fall by the wayside as you go. I’m not worried if I miss this plan, if things take a bit longer. I’ll try and see how things go. All things being well I’ll be home for 1pm (maybe earlier!!)

Final Preparations

So I’ve got a few things to sort out still:

Transport – my wife is driving to drop off on the Saturday and will pick me up at the end. Exactly how that works with the kids and needing to be a very early start and possibly very late finish – Hmm might need to call on support from the in-Laws.

Hydration – planning to run with 2 x 500mL flasks in my running vest – the number of checkpoints/aid stations is such that I don’t see the need to overdo the hydration and soft flasks are much easier to manage to refill. They are also much easier to monitor consumption. The only thing here is to get a third one in case I get a damaged one. I don’t need the stress of dropping to one flask during the day or final couple of days prior to the race.

Clothing – all sorted.

Shoes – it’ll be a last minute call. I might go Hoka Challenger ATR 5, but if the run in is very dry I might go Brooks Levitate 2. The route is likely to be very dry and firm if there is not much rain in the next three weeks. If its wet over the final week and on the day, its a definite trail shoe course for me. Otherwise road shoes probably fit well.

Food – mostly going to rely on the checkpoints. however I love the Chia Charge bars and will take 6/8 of these to ensure I have food I know I can eat and get a boost from.

Feet – well these are the biggest mystery so far – yes I will bring them ! But how to prepare to avoid blisters. I’ll likely tape them and use talc/blister prevention powder too and hope that does the trick. I’ll end up with some blisters I don’t doubt but I will hopefully minimise them using this approach. I’ll see how this goes in my final long run this week!!!

Kit bag – Decathlon 10L Kalenji trail bag.

Preparedness

Be lying if I wasn’t thinking that I might have bitten off more than I can chew, but as I said earlier. I’m equally in a good place. I think nerves will be massive in about 2 weeks when taper is in full flow, miles are low and I just want to get out and run, but have to hold it back for the big day!! Right now we’re good!!

The Ridgeway isn’t always a sunny place to be!

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