Too much or not enough?

Posted on June 7, 2012 by Chris Baynham-Hughes

It’s been a tough 6 weeks since completing the Bob Graham and I’ve been plagued by a fatigue that I’ve just not managed to shift. In hindsight I’ve made a number of mistakes in my preparation, but I can’t change those now so the big question is am I over of under cooked?

In hindsight the Fellsman was a bad idea so quickly after the BGR. Two mountain challenges with over 60 miles in distance each in two week is too much for me. some people are able to just churn out Ultras week in week out and place well – my local hero in that context is Richard Webster who is just a machine! but I think adding the mountains and poor underfoot conditions just beats you in a different way. Combined with my lack of regular access to prolonged climbs and descents meant that the two big ones together just broke me.

Since then I’ve had commitments to people that I felt I couldn’t let down. Carwyn Philips whom I joined for the BGR took on the Meironnydd Round and I supported his first leg. Caz became only the second person to make it around in under 24 hours on just about the hottest day we’ve had – really incredible work. I was not feeling very well but also just didn’t have the leg power – poor support if ever there was any!

This last weekend saw me supporting legs 1 & 2 of the BGR for Andy Robinson who made it around in 23 hour and 37 minutes. Again awesome work, but I lacked any zip and just finished feeling knackered. Some may argue that 7.5 hours of exertion on the BG will do that, but it was something else. My dilema is knowing whether it is because I’m just fatigued or if the time I have taken off and the lack of regular training has meant that I’m hitting these things under cooked.

With the Welsh 1000m peaks race coming up I guess I will find out. I had a torrid day out there last year as I just wasn’t prepared and the heat was incredible. This year I’m prepared, but arguably too knackered so it will be interesting to see how my time fairs against last year. If it’s worse or similar then I need time off, if it’s 30= minutes better I need to train more.

Another factor is putting such big milestone events in as part of the run up has backfired a little psychologically. I felt that knowing that I can and had completed a BG would put me on the start line with the mental strength to take on the Dragon’s back and have the confidence to know I can do it. In reality I feel like I’ve peaked and it’s such an achievement it has taken the wind out of my sails for the DBR. Definitely time to find my focus again and tweak the formula. I plan to enjoy the DBR and make the most of the experience, this doesn’t necessarily mean flat out beast myself everyday, it means enjoy the race and do the best I can… whether the two goals are compatible is a different question for me to answer in September!

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