I have been thinking about and planning for the Thames Ring 250 since last year. After a great end to 2022 with the Sunrise Ultra I took 3 weeks break in December to give my body a rest and focus on Christmas. The plan was to start 2023 fresh and ready for a big training block. The reality was everyone, including me, had the lurgy over Christmas and I started 2023 feeling tired and drained!
I don’t have a coach and tend to make my own training plans, which seems to have worked well so far! My plan for the start of 2023 was to increase my miles both walking and running and focus on time on the feet. I started with 2 aims in January. The first was a run streak (all good so far!), hopefully for the year but at least up to race day. The second was an accumulator challenge in January adding a mile a day.
The January accumulator went really well and meant plenty of miles in the legs and plenty of back to back long runs. It also meant I gradually built up the miles at the start of January which was great after being ill. Overall January was a huge success with only 2 really challenging days. There were a few niggles during the month but I was able to run through these and the difficult days have boosted my confidence that I can keep at it even when things are tough. It was a great challenge to complete but I’m not sure I will rush back to doing it again as the time commitments at the end of the month were tough to fit in to family life.
February was planned as a quieter month. The first week I reduced my running considerably to allow my body to recover and adapt from January’s efforts. I added in more walking to keep my overall mileage up. The second week was school holidays which I always struggle to train through. I just planned short runs to keep the legs ticking over and then increased the mileage again the last two weeks of the month. I also added in a pilates class in February, which is new to me. I really struggle with strength and conditioning so figured a structured class was the way to go. It has been great and has really challenged me to be aware of and strengthen individual muscles – my abs had a big shock!
March was all about the miles – no massively long runs just lots of shorter runs (up to 18 miles). Lunch runs and the odd weekend run with Iain added in some speedwork and I tried to run with my race vest as often as I could. I really enjoyed this month and felt great. By the end of the month I was tired and ready for a slow gradual taper. I deliberately opted for a long taper because of school holidays and the challenge I have training during them. It has all gone to plan and I feel as ready as I can be for race day.
The last couple of weeks when my mileage had been less I have focussed on race prep, studying the route and organising everything at home for while I am away. My bags are packed and the buses booked – I am good to go! Can’t wait for the adventure 😁