Just capped off a great week of training with a 5-hour trail run with friends in the hills outside of Zürich. It was great to run with company — long solo runs get a little mind-numbing after a while! I made sure that I didn’t overweight the duck (like some other recent runs) — I kept the backpack right at 20 lbs. (9 kg) for today’s run and I hardly noticed it until 4 hours of running when my ankles and knees stared to question this whole “run with a backpack” concept. It really is getting easier to run with the extra weight — not easy — just easiER!
I also made some small, but important nutritional changes during today’s run. I upped my calorie intake by about 100 calories an hour. Recent long runs have been around 200 calories an hour, with the first couple of hours about half of that. In those runs I bonked (hit the wall — started to feel really weak) around 4.5 hours in. Today I made sure to get in 300 calories an hour starting from the beginning and it made a huge difference. At 5 hours my legs were feeling it a bit, but my overall feeling (breathing, heart rate, motivation, and mindset) was great and I felt that I could have pushed on for quite a bit more — not enough to deviate from my plan and actually add more though!
Today’s ice bath was fun as always. Looking forward to enjoying some homeade veggie soup I’m cooking in between keystrokes — a little stretching — some Swiss chocolate — and a good night’s sleep.
For those inclined to hear a few more training details, this week I also did a couple sunrise 10-milers (with the duck), a strength/core session, and a little bit of early heat acclimatization (sauna time, something I’ll do progressively more of as the race approaches). Next week will be fairly typical training-wise and then the following week I’ll be building up to three consecutive days of long runs. Other than doing my best to stick to my training schedule, I’ve been spending a lot of time reviewing gear and pack list recommendations and planing my nutrition for the race. This requires a lot of up-front research and planning, but it’s a key to a successful race experience, so I’m logging the time now as I read a plethora of recommendations from people and search for products online in Switzerland, the rest of Europe, and the U.S. I didn’t realize how good I had it when I lived in the States — sports supplements (like bars, drinks, and gels) are so much less expensive and easier to find in the U.S. than in Europe — often 3-4 fold cheaper!
Upcoming posts will be on core and strength training, some of the medical testing I’ve recently undergone, and a charity announcement.
All the best from a surprisingly warm evening in Switzerland! Thanks for reading and have a great week!
Jeff Grant is the author of Flow State Runner: Activate a Powerful Inner Coach’s Voice, Hill Running: Survive & Thrive, Run Faster: Unlock Your Speed in 8 Weeks, Running Heavy, and UltraRunning: Coach’s Handbook. Based in Switzerland, Jeff is a coach and writer who specializes in mental coaching, peak performance, and transformation. Jeff’s popular newsletter is a digest containing inspirational and instructional resources, including his latest content. See recent issues and subscribe for free here. Refer to Jeff’s bio for more information, and please check out Jeff’s Coach & Author page on Facebook.