Sunday, 22 August 2010

Ridgeway a week away...

So with less than a week to go now before I toe the line for the start of the Ridgeway85. Ive been looking forward to this race for ages. I think it was the first ultra that I became aware of when I started out in going long. It starts on my door step in Ivinghoe and is a spectacular trail. It will also be my first point to point ultra of significant distance. The fellsman being he other. I'm under no illusion that this is going to be a real test and perhaps stretch me further physically and mentally. This might sound strange having come off the back of my 111 miler at the TR24 but I was always never too concerned about that race probably because you were always only 6m away from your drop bag, provisions and support crew. This is quite a bit different with no support crew and only 8 or so check points over the entire 85 miles (apparently it's actually closer to 87 miles and that's without going wrong!)

I did an easy 9 miler this morning and it's apparent that I still have the miles in my legs from the TR24. Hence I think it's going to fill as if I've already have 20 or so miles inhe legs when I start on the ridgeway. I really am expecting this one to be the toughest run I've attempted yet which inself excites me emmensely. Whatever happens next saturday I will finish. The only thing on my quit list is a broken bone or the complete inability to even put one leg in front of the other and even that won't stop me.

Just got to get in the right head space for this race now. Eg. Do I attack it and go for sub 20 hrs or run to finish (26 hr cut off). It starts at midday which if I employ the strategy of going for it means doing the 1st half in the light and 2nd in the dark. Thus I'm inclined to follow a proven strategy as used on the fellsman which is to give it your all in the daylight cos however you are feeling when it gets dark you WILL slow down. So this is kinda my mind made up for me. The only other factor which wil determine my speed is my left and/or right foot. Both are still mildly grumbling so I wil have to stay aware as the miles go how they are coping with the terrain.

Ok I had better stop there. I'm typing this on my new iPod touch which my lovely wife and family bought for my birthday yesterday. Thus don't want to lose everything I've typed now! Sorry for such a dull post. This was more for me to think through the race and how it might go and how I should approach it. I would be really happy and eager if I could get the thoughts of others on this race. Should I push hard and go for it or take it easy? What would you do? Let me know guys...


  1. Hey Stuart.

    I must admit you are a braver man than I am coming off the back of the THR24 straight into another big ultra.

    On the subject of plan of attack here I have a rather limited ingsight but one thing I have begun to learn about these distances is that it is better to go out fast in these races because in the end you are going to slow down anyway at the same rate as everyone else over the duration of a race like this.

    The key thing to ensure is that you have your hydration and fueling plan worked out. Of course in the early part of any race your burning your glycogen stores in your muscles (especially if you go out fast) so keeping fuelling up early and regularly will help in the early stages. Overall the majority of the fuel you will use will come from your fat stores as your body will only be able to process 250 kcal or so on average per hr so why not go out quickly I say :-)

    Then again you might not want to do this and have your plan worked out already but in a race like this after such a big outing a few weeks ago you have a chance to experiment.

    Good luck mate. I sure would love to do this race myself or even just get over there for a long run.


  2. Cheers rich. I'm pretty much thinking the same as you. The unknown is what they are going to have food wise at the check points. Only half way is doing hot food. Gonna have the home made energy bar in my back pak which will make all the difference. And as normal SIS energy drink throughout.

  3. No idea! If attacking it for the first half means aiming at a 5mph average then yes, I'm attacking it. I'm working on a strategy of get to half-way in a reasonable time (9-10 hours) which makes the second half walkable - if it comes to that.

    Then again, maths may have very little to do with it by midnight on Saturday.