Friday, October 3, 2014

To Ultra or Not...

is the big question!!Having run a 50Km or more at the Bangalore Ultra every year(probably one of a handful of runners to do so)  since its inception in 2007 I am very tempted to continue the streak and run 50Km on 8th of November. However, having not run beyond 25 Kms in the last 6 months and still not feeling quite normal on the left side(hamstring, calf, sole) it probably makes sense to skip it this year. Both the running coaches that I seek advice from namely Dharam and Bill Pierce are categorical with their view - not to run anything beyond a HM and continue to focus on strengthening the glutes for several more weeks and then slowly increase distance and/or pace. The head of course agrees with them. However the heart wants to keep the streak going - even with a very slow run/walk say at an average pace of 7:30 per Km to try and complete the 50Km in 6.5 hours or so. Knowing fully well that staying that long on my feet will stress the weak muscles and significantly increase the chance of setting back my recovery process by several months!

With running mileage of 25-30 Km per week and cycling mileage of 40-45 Km per week for past couple of months my cardio fitness is fair. The weight is also under reasonable control.  However, running Ultra distance needs larger weekly mileage and a few runs of 35Km+. My current thinking is  is to run a 4.5  hours/35Km  on 25th October assuming one is feeling fine after the HM at the Bangalore marathon on 19th October. If I am not in a shape to attempt this then Bangalore Ultra is certainly ruled out. If I feel OK at the end of it then I will probably take a chance and register for the Ultra. While I would like to get back to my peak fitness and try and do a sub 3:40 at least one more time it does not look like I will be able to do that at SCMM 2015 or anytime soon and this season is anyway a washout. So the logic is that after SCMM 2015 (where again I will run slowly probably a 4 :45 time) I will have good 6 months break to recover in  (the worst) case of setback due to these races. Is this really something to lose sleep over from now itself?

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