50 Is Just A Number!

Thought it was probably time to do a bit of an update. Things almost seem quiet, but in some ways that is good as everything seems to be tracking well. Ok, now I know I’m tempting fate making such a bold and outlandish statement!


Training has been remarkably consistent. I’m running 8-10km each day and have been getting steadily faster. I’m now holding 5:45-6:00min pacing for my runs. It’s been years since I’ve been able to do that.

My long runs have also gotten significantly longer with a marathon plus distance every second weekend now. Last Sunday was a 50km training run. It got a bit tiring towards the end, but otherwise caused no issues. What was stunning was that I set a 10km PB 36hours later, which would suggest

  • I’m recovering from long runs really quickly now
  • I’m also learning how to pace myself more effectively and confidently in shorter races

I’ve also learnt that in endurance racing 5km, 10km, 15km, 21.1km, 42.2km, 50km are just numbers. The body really doesn’t care about what distance you are doing, just that you are running at a reasonable pace and you fuel it efficiently. Once you understand that then distances don’t scare you anymore. (Now I’m not sure if I can confidently say that about 100km yet?)


Should I really touch wood and say that I seem to have lost my injuries? Since starting Pilates I’ve been stunned to find that a number of long term niggles have simply gone away as my core is getting stronger and my flexibility is improving. Don’t get me wrong, the grandmothers in my class still leave me for dead and I’m still the weakest student there, but I am a bit of a convert. (Even though I still hate most of the ‘simple’ poses)


I’m really starting to see the benefits of the LCHF diet I’ve been following for a few months now, both in terms of fitness and recovery. Body mass isn’t falling as I’d like (it never does), but muscle tone, fat loss and strength have all improved significantly, so I can’t complain.

Training Tools

One major irritation is that my Garmin 310XT died completely. I even tried to get out the soldering iron, but to no avail. It finally met the big hammer god in the sky, which is appropriate comeuppance for a bit of kit that singularly let me down every time it really counted. Like when it just decided that it had, had enough and turned itself off in the middle of the Ironman Western Australia bike session. Or when it failed to record my run on Ironman UK. So in some way’s I’m not disappointed and it has given me the opportunity to drool over number of new GPS watches. After some significant research, it looks like I’ll be going for a Garmin Fenix 3. Mainly because

  • It has a huge battery life
  • It is compatible with all my other Garmin kit
  • It is focussed towards ultra running
  • I can charge it while running (important in multiway endurance events)
  • It will tell me how fast I’m going if I ever fall out of a plane without a parachute. (Apparently this is important)

NorthFace 100

Oops, I’ve realised this is only a few weeks away. I’ve got mandatory gear to buy and need to make a final decision on whether I’m actually ready for it yet. I’ve a 62km run in a couple of weeks and will make a decision after that.

Research Guinea Pig

I said in a previous post that I’d been approached by a University to be a guinea pig and hopefully I’ll find out in the next week or so whether they will accept a middle aged fatman or not. I won’t be too disappointed if I’m not accepted. The requirements for the research testing have become quite onerous in that

  • I have to be at the research facility at 6am, which is ok except that I have an 1.25hr drive to get there
  • I can’t leave the facility until 6pm which after driving home, doesn’t really give me much time to sleep and recover
  • The actual running increased from 5x42km sessions to 5x50km sessions. It might only be an extra 8km, but for me that’s an extra hours running per day

There are five of us that have put our hands up with only 3 spots and to be honest I’ve seen the quality of the other guys that have been approached. They are all well proven ultra racers and far more experienced and capable than me. I’m honoured to have been asked and put in the same category as them, but I won’t be at all upset if I don’t get in this time.

That being said, the University have started sending me food parcels of experimental meals to try for them, so maybe they know something I don’t!