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Welcome to my blog which I hope to develop with some interesting material on ultra running both on the trails and road including reports on races and interesting training runs, views on kit and equipment as well as anything else I find of interest. I love running for adventure, opportunity and well being. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Western States (2)

I’m heavily into my pre-race taper now, the final wind-down/ rest phase before the race gets underway on Saturday. As strange as it might sound to non-runners, this period of little running and little activity is actually a horrible time. We’re runners, we like to run, so not running – or running very little – is a weird feeling. But it’s arguably the most important part of race training, the final charge-up of the muscles and full recovery of the body after all the high mileage training.

I’ve spent the last five nights sleeping high – between 6,500 and 9,500ft – to try and get used to the altitude as best as possible. I’ll continue to do the same until race day on Saturday. The first 30 miles of the race has an average altitude of 7,000ft, so sleeping at a similar height will help my body get used to the reduced levels of oxygen so I can hopefully run more efficiently during the race.
Hanging out in Yosemite - enjoying a bit altitude!

Temperatures; well the race-day forecast for Auburn, the town where the race finishes, is mid-90s so it’s looking like being slightly above average in terms of temperature. Not a super-hot year, but not the cool year I had perhaps hoped for. In the high country early on the temperatures should be cooler, particularly with the early morning start, but in the canyons which I will be tackling during the middle part of the day it will really heat up. Temperatures have hit well over 100 in previous years – smokin’!

The heat is probably my greatest concern going into the race. I know I can run the distance at a decent pace, I know I can deal with the altitude and the terrain is fine. But running in the heat is not something a runner from the UK usually gets much practice at, so I will need to be smart about my nutrition and drinking to keep things on track. I’ve had some decent training in the heat this year and i’ve got a nutrition/ drinks strategy mapped out in my head, I just need to make sure my head doesn’t get fried and I forget to stick to it!

So final preparations are in hand, i’m looking forward to Western States race experience more than anything. Not long to go now.......
A fine Yosemite view at the close of the day, with Half Dome in the background.

7 comments:

Thomas said...

I hope you can cope with the temperature.

We will try to follow you online and cheer you on. Not sure if you can hear us though ;-)

Good luck!

Chris said...

Good luck Jez. I hope you have a great run, and I'll await with interest your post race report!

Mark B said...

Good luck Jez, I'll keep an eye on your progress through the site, best wishes.

WHW Runner said...

Jez, all the best. We are all rooting for you. Ian

Brian Mc said...

Superb view and scenery you lucky fella. All the very best of British.

oneproudsis said...

Good Luck bro, Mum and I will be cheering you on from The Gables!

One piece of advice- Watch out for any flat rattlers, they may just be breathing in! :)

We're all very proud of you

x

martin carter said...

here in alberta canada watching the live link..you seem to be going well at 70miles..as a ultra runner from coventry now living in alberta it was good to see a uk runner doing so well..good luck and well done...
ex kenilworth runner
martin c....