My England kit for the forthcoming Commonwealth Championships arrived yesterday. Two vests, a pair of shorts, a long sleeved top, a windproof jacket and windproof trousers.
Now I've got to wear everything, and have it washed and worn again. And washed a second time. Nothing is to be worn for the first time during an ultra - everything must be thoroughly tried and tested to make sure all the seams are comfortable and nothing rubs anywhere.
During a race that lasts for 24 hours I'm sure chafed nipples would be extremely painful.
Tomorrow I begin a week of crash training. This is basically an extreme training week in which I double everything. Double the mileage ... double the cycling sessions ... double the strength sessions ... double the fartlek, tempo and other speed stuff. Before last year's Tooting 24 hr race I did this and four weeks before the competition is ideal because I know that the following week can be an extremely easy training week because I begin tapering. I first came across the idea of crash training when reading this article by renowned coach Frank Horwill.
Yesterday's training went much better than expected. The plan was to do a 7.6 mile tempo run (using the mile markers for the Otley 10) at 6:37 to 6:42 per mile. As it was very windy I didn't hold out much hope so I just set off at what I guessed would be the correct pace and as I passed each mile point I refused to look at the stopwatch. I expected my speed to be up and down so I figured it was useless looking at the watch as it would just let self doubt creep in.
Anyway, at the end I stopped the watch at 51:08 which represents about 6:43.7 per mile. Very happy.