Will Thames

swim, bike, run, tech

Looking Back on April

April was a productive month in running terms, with lots of events specific to training for The North Face 100.

In my Fantasy North Face post, I mention a few key things I thought I needed to do to be 100km ready. One of those was normalising the distance. With that in mind I did Nerang 50km as a fantastic race tune-up run, with no specific preparation — I signed up on the Wednesday and did it on the Sunday.

I also mentioned hill training, which is what I was doing two weeks later when I ran a marathon around Camp Mountain — which was a 42.9km run with 2400m of elevation. That was also a good opportunity to test running with full race kit and test nutrition and hydration strategies.

In between those I did a nice short sharp race at the Pinnacles event.

My weekly volume has averaged on the high side — I’d planned to do 70km a week — I took a short week of just 51km the week after my 50km after Nerang, but the other weeks beat the target (by 15km in two of the other weeks!). More importantly for the North Face, I have managed nearly 8000m of ascent in April. The Pinnacles and Camp Mountain were both events that were proportional in ascent to the North Face race.

Someone asked me at the weekend if I’d lost weight (other than the haircut). I haven’t been diligently tracking but it’s probably 5kg since Christmas. I’m at my lowest weight since Ironman Zurich — around the same weight as just before Challenge Henley. My optimal race weight is probably still a few kg lighter but that’d involve sacrificing pizza and beer — which would negate the point of running in the first place, for me! So around ten hours a week of running appears to be sufficient — slightly more efficient than 18 hours a week of triathlon training.

All in all, I could feel more ready, but I’ve been pushing my body to do what I’ve felt physically and mentally capable of. Just over two weeks until the main event! This week will be another 70km week and then I’ll reduce volume and probably elevation too so that I stop feeling so bloody tired every time I run! I probably haven’t done enough steps (so I’ll run some more tomorrow) but at least this year I know what to expect and I’ve at least done plenty of uphill and downhill to strengthen the legs.

And I got my mandatory kit signed off, so that’s one less thing to do at race registration. Still going to be a busy Friday afternoon given the mandatory race briefing at 7:30pm plus registration etc.

I also went through the route for the course, looking at where the specific tough bits are. There are a few quite nasty looking bits, particularly around half way as we come out of the valley up into Katoomba. But then I thought ‘that’s not much worse than a loop of Camp Mountain, and I did eight of them in a day’.

April stats:

  • Distance: 323km
  • Ascent: 7918m according to Garmin — usual disclaimers apply.