Nijmegen 4 Days 50k per Day

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Nijmegen 4 Days 50k per Day

Post by Mike Channin »

Hi Team. Just a quick topic to explain why on earth I'm doing this challenge and how I'm getting on. Suspect this is going to get pretty tough by day 3, so may need some encouragement from you all by then.
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The Challenge

Post by Mike Channin »

The challenge came about as a consequence of a discussion with my lodger, who is into the ultra distance walking scene, and has done several years of Nijmegen. (Nijmegen is a Dutch 'marching' event where participants cover 50k a day for 4 days running). He was going on about the training he had to do, and I, in my infinite wisdom, pointed out that it was 'only' walking, and it'd be much more of a challenge to row it. Needless to say, I then had to put my money where my mouth was, and hence I'm now trying to do 4 days of 50k a day.
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Post by Mike Channin »

The Challenge Itself
I thought it'd be an interesting motivator to post Nijmegen as a challenge on the ELM list, more to make sure I had to go through with it than as anything else. Afterall, I can't back out with you all watching, can I?

The dates chosen are the actual dates of the walking event this year. If anyone else feels interested in actually doing this too, I can open the dates up to something more helpful for group participation. It is a handy way of clocking up a lot of distance for some of the other challenges, although it's pretty tough in this heatwave (31 degrees in my rowing den at the moment!)

The actual challenge is to complete 4 days of 50k per day. The time entered should be the cumulative time for the 4 50k pieces, although the 50k pieces don't have to be done as single sessions - you can have breaks, etc. but the time for each day must include this. Think of it as exactly like the walking event - clock starts each day when you cross the start line, and stops when you complete the 50k, including any breaks along the way. Then you have a few short hours to recover before doing it all again!
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Post by Stan »

Hi s3mjc (awkward name - please let us know your real name).
I have to say this challenge is beyond my ability at the moment and puts my intended marathon in October into the shade, so unfortunately I will have to decline this one. However I wish you the very best of luck.
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Post by Mike Channin »

Hi Stan - thanks for taking an interest. And don't worry if it looks beyond you now - we all have to start somewhere. (And I'm not certain that I can do this yet either!) Good luck with the marathon training - can give you some good advice on that!

PS - My name is Mike (Channin) - just using s3mjc as it's an id that's never usually taken. Maybe I'll try and change my id on here.
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Post by Thomas W-P »

Mike - if you want pm me with the name you'd like and I will change it.

I can see that 50km a day is a big ask! If I was single I would probably have a pop at it, but I think it is going to need the "NF" lost of low energy stuff to complete. I cannot imagine doing 50km hard four days in a row.

If I were to do it (I'm not!) - I would aim to do 5 x 10km with about an hour inbetween? If you are used to the long distance stuff you might break it in to two 25km pieces. But the whole time I would be rowing 2:20 or something. I would also watch my heart rate very carefully and do it all at about 130 max?

I have no idea what your capabilities are, but I will say that you have balls like a buffalo to go for it in this heat. :lol:
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Post by Thomas W-P »

Thomas W-P wrote:I have no idea what your capabilities are, but I will say that you have balls like a buffalo to go for it in this heat. :lol:
In fact I would say that to go for it at all. I am trying for 250km this MONTH and that is over a third of my annual target before joining Free Spirits!
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Post by Mike Channin »

Day 1 - 18th July

Plan for today was to do the entire 50k in one go, and hopefully pick up a personal best as well. (The only previous 50k I'd done was actually a marathon, with a 10 minute rest and then got back on to finish the 50k in 3:44 (av split 2:14.7) just to see if I could do it.)

Training has gone pretty well, and I seem able to hold around 2:08 for long distances, even in the heat. Provisional plan was to hold 2:08 for the first half, and then slide to 2:10 for the second half. Should also pick up a season's best for the marathon en-route (only marathon this year was done last week in training for this, and had rests, so was slow at 3:07:40.4)

The high intensity stuff from the last two weeks seemed to have paid off, with my rest pulse dipping down to 39 this morning. Started off at 9:45ish to try to avoid the heat, but even so it was up to 31 degrees within a few minutes of starting.

There is something very daunting about seeing a full 50,000 on the PM2+.

Got comfortable at 2:07.7 av split, with the stroke rate initially at 23, but starting to rise as the distance went by. Got through to the half marathon (21097m in 1:29:50ish, HR 143ish, Av 2:07.8) before stopping for first drink stop. Had a fairly extensive seat repad (more bubblewrap!) as it was getting a bit painful. Got going again, but the average split had dropped off to 2:08.8, which was a bit discouraging.

Next bit went ok, holding 2:08, HR drifting a bit higher and SPM going gradually up too. Was hoping to hold on another 21k before another drink stop to keep marathon time down, but started feeling hungry and dehydrated by 30k, so stopped again for another drink at just under 10k to the end of the marathon (32500m in). By this point, I'd dragged the split back down to 2:08.4, only to see it back up at 2:08.8 again after the stop. Heart rate up to 149 before stop, and 26-27 SPM.

Next bit was steady drag in to complete marathon. Could see it was going to be just outside 3 hours from a long way out, and could have made the time up, but didn't want to burn out, so kept it steady. Marathon went through at 3:01:01, which was still a season's best, and stopped for a final drink stop at 42500m. HR was now up to 155ish, still holding 26-27SPM.

Split was down to 2:09 on getting going again, and didn't feel too strong to pull it back, so just held it steady at around 2:09, with a few 2:10s and 2:11s starting to show. Seat getting pretty uncomfortable by this point, and several of the plasters had come off, so was getting painful. Legs starting to feel pretty heavy too and back getting stiff. Kept an eye on that all time PB at the end, and felt able to chase in from 2k out, raising up to 2:05 ish, and even a brief spell at sub 2:00 in the last minute. HR up to 165 by end. Had spotted that I'd have to pull in hard to get under 2:35, and managed it with 2:34:44.7.

All over for day 1 and not feeling too bad, considering. Not looking forward to doing it all again tomorrow, though...
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Post by Thomas W-P »

s3mjc wrote:21097m in 1:29:50ish, HR 143ish, Av 2:07.8)
OMG - and this is less than half way through on the first day of 4! I still ache from my HM on Sunday.

I had no idea you were so used to this sort of load. Go for it!

P.S. I was thinking about your comment "it would be much harder on a rower". YES! So why do 50km too! How about, say 35!?
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Post by Mike Channin »

Funny thing is I'm not particularly used to this sort of load, but I did manage a decent run of training after getting over a dreadful 4 week cold back in May-June. I'm not really a distance junkie either, and my first concept 2 million metre challenge back in 2000/2001 half killed me. Previously the best I'd done in distance work was 5 x half marathons and 2 marathons in two weeks in the run up to the 2005 marathon challenge, but only one of each was at any pace. It's quite noticeable if you drop the pace a bit it becomes a lot easier, although you still get just as sore, and it takes even longer.

Haha - and that wasn't supposed to be a cool smiley at the end of that - it was actually just the 2:07.8 split, but seems to have combined with the closing bracket in an unforeseen and amusing way...

And now for the REALLY scary thing, which deserves a :shock: !
There is a single day 100km march too, the Dodentocht, or "Death March". Anyone for a visit to "Death Row"?
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Post by Mike Channin »

Just logged on to check progress on the real thing, only to find the following press release:

Four Days Marches 2006 cancelled
Because of the extreme weather circumstances, 2 deaths and many people falling ill, as well as the upcoming weather forecast, the Four Days Marches organization has decided to completely cancel this years event. This means there will be no start of the March tomorrow.
Erk. :shock:
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Post by jlemon »

I can't think about 100km in a day. Maybe if you break it up into 10K pieces, and spread it over 10-12 hours?

Next thing you know, some insane person is going to suggest 4 days of 100km/day. :shock:

(If there is such a thing, please don't tell me, I don't want to know. :shock: :lol: )
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Post by Gregor Andrews »

Good luck with your challenge Mike. Remember to keep us up to date with your progress.

I think I might just wait until day 4 and do all 200km. :wink:
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Post by Stan »

Mike - well done on the first day of your challenge. Makes for fascinating reading from the comfort of my armchair.
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Post by Thomas W-P »

Mike Channin wrote:Erk. :shock:
So, are you going to continue?
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Post by Mike Channin »

But of course I'm going to carry on. How could I stop now with all my team-mates waiting for the next installment. Personally, I'm dreading Thursday most. Wish me luck for tomorrow!
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Post by redshell »

Good Luck for today Mike...let us know how you get on
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Post by jainser »

Good luck buddy, Just read this for the first time. You must have a butt made of iron!!!
Know what you mean about rowing in hot conditions, my garage gets the morning sun so its roasting in there. I stop for a quick drink every 5 - 10 minutes. Doesn't do my times any good but I'm worried about dehydration. Sometimes I think it would be easier just to pour the water over my head and cut out the middle man!
Any way like I say good luck. I look forward to the next installment.
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Post by johnglynn »

Incredible job Mike, very brave
jainser wrote:Good luck buddy, Just read this for the first time. You must have a butt made of iron!!!
Know what you mean about rowing in hot conditions, my garage gets the morning sun so its roasting in there. I stop for a quick drink every 5 - 10 minutes. Doesn't do my times any good but I'm worried about dehydration. Sometimes I think it would be easier just to pour the water over my head and cut out the middle man!
Any way like I say good luck. I look forward to the next installment.
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I drink water in lucazade sport bottles . The top of these bottle's are very wide which allow me to take a decent amount of water in a single slug of the bottle.

I don't stop rowing, I catch the bottle at the end of one stroke, take a slug of water starting the next stroke and have put the bottle down before I've finished that stroke. My pace-split will increase about 30 secs for the stroke I'm drinking on and takes another 3 strokes to get back to race pace . Overall each drink costs me about 2 seconds of the overall race, I generally drink once every 4K.
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Post by steve the slug »

Come on Mike, the whole of FS are with you (in spirit) and behind you (thinking as Thomas said OMG. is the man insane)

did you agree to this challenge when out one night?

Simsy, when you get back off holiday dont even bother reading this thread and what jlemon has said about the 4 days of 100k.

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Post by webberg »

Mike - respect. :P

I've just done a couple of 10k and in this heat it's a killer.

Seems a shame to waste a good start now?

I'm proud to be in a team with anybody who could contemplate your challenge let alone actually do it.
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Post by Mike Channin »

All covered in plasters and ready to go again. Was going to wait until 1pm to start today to get a bit of extra recovery time, but it is getting hotter by the minute here, so decided to cut the losses and get going now. Room temperature 30 degrees right now. Plan is to do two half marathons with an extended warm up and cool down to make 50k. In this heat, no attempting any decent pace - will be glad just to finish. Hope to let you all know the results in about 4 hours time.
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Post by Mike Channin »

Day 2 - 19th July

Feeling surprisingly good before the start of this considering, but the temperature was up to 30 degrees plus again and this was a concern.

Plan was to do a warmup (3705), two half marathons, then 4k to finish off (with 5 min breaks between each piece for rehydration, etc.)

Warmup went well, despite heat with pulse rate well under control and no significant obvious damage from the previous day.

And onto the first half marathon. Had a sneaky plan to do the first one quick and try for the top of the HM vs PB Challenge. Yesterday would have just needed a 2:03.9 average, which looked within reach. However, checking just before starting showed me a certain Mr Sims had posted a 1:25:43.3 Av 2:01.9. Now this was a bit more of a challenge than I'd planned. Decided to go off at 2:01 ish and see how it felt. Felt fine for the first half averaging 2:01.2, and HR under control. Started to suffer a bit after half way, but kept an eye on getting under 1:25 and just made it. So far so good, but how much was this going to cost me in the 2nd half.

Set off for the second half with a vague plan of trying to hold 2:08, but realised very quickly that wasn't on, and settled back to 2:14ish. Had to stop 10k from end for another drink stop, and then had to stop again at 5k out because I was feeling pretty dehydrated - 2 more pints of water and back on to finish in 1:35:30.8, for a total time for the marathon of 3:05:28.2 including the 5 minute rest.

Off for yet more drinks then back on to finish off the last 4k of the 50k. This went ok - was tough getting started, but managed to cruise in to finish the 50k in 3:50:30.7 including all rests, drinks stops, etc.

Hands are starting to look a bit of a mess. Plasters are only staying on for about 30k and the blisters are starting to mount up. Left wrist was pretty painful for 22nd half today too. On the good side, frequent repadding of the seat with bubble wrap is keeping that from getting too uncomfortable.

So, half way through. The day I'm dreading is tomorrow. Hoping for it to be a bit cooler...
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Post by JanetS »

I am totally awestruck! :shock:
I can't begin to imagine how you do it - especially in this heat
Keeping my fingers crossed for cooler weather for you tomorrow.

Good luck!
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Post by johnglynn »

Incredible job Mike. And doing a fast first Half Marathon :shock:

Best of luck for tomorrow
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