8 weeks into the training plan with only 10 left to go before the big day; things are getting more serious each week! I've just finished a 96k week, with a 35k on Saturday and a 21k on Sunday, and am well and truly exhausted.
The training is going well though; no signs of injury, no recurrence of the top of foot pain, the only real issue being my shoes wearing out faster than I'd like.
Scouting the Route
With the help of my long suffering partner with drops offs I've been able to do a few point to point runs along the route to become familiar with the challenges I'll face on the day doing the Green Man.
Here's a few notes on the course:
General: The elevation on the course isn't that bad at all, with the only real kickers being at 5 and 6. It's a well maintained mixture of trails, lanes and footpaths and has plenty of variety to keep things interesting. There are a few patches where it's overgrown and more of a struggle to get through, but they are few and far between.
Temperature: One main concern I have is that I'm use to running in the cooler morning hours. As we approach a hot summer I'm training as much as I can in the heat to acclimatise, but I'm noting just how much more hydration and nutrition I'm needing whilst running in these conditions, and the impact it has on pacing.
Points on Map:
- From the start point is a gradual climb out of Ashton Court, will have to stay disciplined and not go too fast out the gate here into the first set of hills! From here up to Catbrain is my usual stomping ground, nice and familiar with the Downs, Stoke Park, Shirehampton & Blaise so no worries there. There's a gradual climb past Blaise up a lane that's none too bad
- First big climb up and over the M5 into Patchway: good for a walking break here, not a hill to be running up. Thankfully it's short and leads to a long flat section.
- Lovely stretch of trail running at Winterbourne, with some technical sections and overgrown areas, before a long steady lane run past the golf course
- From Warmley all the way down towards Pensford is relatively flat, easy running. A good "calm before the storm" moment as we pass the marathon point
- After Pensford is a huge climb, the steepest of the route. One to go low and slow up definitely.
- We then have the bit I'm really worried about. The climb up to Dundry is 4km of steady uphill with a few sharper parts. When scouting this section sapped my energy and morale, and on the day it's one of the last parts of the course. At this stage I'll be looking to take it very slowly and not exhaust myself further. Thankfully after Dundry it's downhill for the most part into Long Ashton for the finish line