Monday, 30 August 2010

Preparing for the Nevis Beast: Mixed Hill Training

Location: The Wrekin, Telford, UK
Date: Sunday - 29th August
Workout: 75 minutes of mixed walking, hiking, running

Next week, it's Ben Nevis beast. I keep referring to these races as beasts. Which they are. But each one has its own special form of beastliness. Last month, the Borrowdale Fell Race's beastliness derived from the length of the race. With Nevis it's the height.

I approached yesterday's training run with caution. Last week I had a great outing in the Malvern Hills, which saw me go barefoot for part of a 4-hour low-intensity hill run in which I did some Pose Running practice.

Funnily enough, I picked up a foot problem. Who'd have thought? 4 hours with no shoes trying a new running method?

Anyhoo, yesterday I decided to simply do a mixture of barefoot and fell-shoe power hiking yesterday. My new x-Talon 190 shoes had arrived, a minimalist, studded trainer I've conceded is necessary for muddy, steep, grassy fell races.

This photo shows the full range of my current grip options, from foot to fell shoe.

  • 21 minutes power hiking in bare feet to the top via the light side (took a steep shortcut to make it harder but quicker)
  • * At the top, donned new x-Talons *
  • 7 minutes jogging / pose running down the dark side because my foot felt better than expected.
  • 14 minutes power-hiking back up the dark side - taking myself closer to the lactate threshold after my success with this pre-Borrowdale (that training session is in this post.)
  • 35 minutes walking back down the light side with Mrs M.
Total Time: about 1 hour 15

: was a hare's leg for lunch when we got back and roast chicken for dinner.

The stony paths on the Wrekin made the first barefoot part a challenge - but I feel I am continuing to build toughness in my feet and this was not an uncomfortable experience.

The x-Talons felt great the minute I got them on. It was like getting the suspension on your car fixed. Don't read too much into that analogy. I am not saying it felt 'right' - just nice!

My sore foot seemed to benefit from being used. I was nervous about the downhill, but it seemed far happier when running than when I had been walking during the week. Fingers crossed, it will be fine for the rigours of Nevis.


Chris said...

I have total respect for you do the Nevis race - it is a monster. Have you been up there before?

No carbs after the workout? What has happened to Leangains?

Methuselah said...

Hi Chris - yes, walked it with Mrs M a few years back, and ran to the foothills on the same holiday. So I have a sense of what's in store!

I didn't make today a high carb day because it was low-ish intensity and I have interpreted the Leangains rules to mean that this is technically a rest day. I would see sprinting as a workout day. Does this make sense or do you think I'm off the mark with that?