Leading up to our LEJOG trip we've been training so that there aren't any surprises on the trip. With a World Cup on, Wimbledon, occasional F1 Grand Prix's, bad English weather, and general commitments it's been tricky making the time, especially to train as a trio. But we have still got in quite a few runs.
Because of this we started our training mid April, and focused on making the most of the May bank holidays for back-to-back training. Here's a break down of the runs we've done. In between the below runs done at the weekends, I (and typically the others) also cycle to work during the week. 32km round trip, but not every day so that I can rest for a big weekend run.
- Week 1 - 60km
- Week 3 - 70km
- Week 5 - 90km
- Week 7 - 50km / 110km
- Week 9 - 135km
- Week 10 - 140km
- Week 11 - 110km / 100km
- Week 12 - 110km
The furthest we reached was a 140km. Not too bad, our longest day is 165km. I had planned for us to do a 155km training run, but we didn't manage it. Given our typical day is around 110km, we've done plenty at that distance, although with not quite as much ascent.
Food / Breaks - A few of a runs we would have a relatively quick lunch, maybe 20mins. I found it quite beneficial to up the break to 1 hour, and have a decent amount of food. This rested the legs properly, and gave me a belly full of energy to do the second half of the day with. Plus it's a lot more enjoyable and social, especially if sat in a nice pub beer garden.
Water - We didn't get the water quite right on a few runs on a few of the hotter days (30C+). The body is very bad at letting you know when you need fluids, and often tells you far too late. I typically try to drink a whole bike bottle (750ml) in around 25-30km. I carry 2 on the bike, and a spare in my bag. We then just buy top-ups whenever we have the opportunity. It's even more important coming up to 1pm, as 1-4pm is when it's usually hottest.
Rain - after a couple of training runs in heavy rain we decided to make a few changes. We'd take legging to keep the legs warmer. You'll still get wet, but the combination of rain + wind made it hard to keep the legs warm, especially when taking breaks. Leggings don't completely solve the problem, but they reduce it, and are light and easy to carry. Overshoes are another consideration although we've yet to make the final decision. Wet feet for 6+ hours is not a good thing, and something overshoes would help reduce, but at the cost of taking up a fair big of packing space.
Pace - It wasn't until the later runs that we began to focus on our pace more. In the earlier runs, feeling fresh, we'd go out flying for the first half, and pay the price the second half. It wasn't enjoyable, and as we all agreed we didn't want to o LEJOG enjoying the first half of each day, and not the second.