Tag Archives: #TP100

Thames Path 100 2015 – The Crew View – Guest Blog by Sarah Barker

I can’t remember when David slipped into the conversation that he had entered the Centurion¬† Thames Path 100 for 2015. I probably wasn’t paying too much attention. It’s entirely possible I was asleep on the sofa at the time; I’m sure this is the moment he chooses to let me know about most of his races.

I’ve often likened the whole running 100 miles thing to childbirth, for a number of reasons:

  • It seemed like a good idea when you signed up months ago
  • You have to make a few sacrifices along the way if you’re going to be properly ready (in my case, mostly gin)
  • Packing your bags for the event is complicated
  • The actual thing takes a long time
  • It hurts
  • It’s not glamorous
  • It takes a while to recover
  • You can’t do it on your own.

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Thames Path preview

With the London Marathon run, I’m now entirely focused on resting and recovering for the Centurion Running Thames Path 100. This is my first real race of the year. All the others have been run as training exercises. However this is now my third race at the 100 mile distance, and I’m keen to discover just how fast I can go. The results so far have been 23:24:57¬†and 19:02:09. I don’t expect to take another 4 hours off my time, but hope to improve.

The Thames Path is a flat course, so my usually strategy of walk the hills and run everything else won’t work, but I’ve been experimenting with a run / walk plan, and tried 9 minutes running with a 1 minute walk break. This worked well on a 34 mile training run on the Thames Path a few weeks ago. I managed to maintain a steady 9 min/mile average for each of the ten minute blocks, without fading at the end.

I also have a tendency to go off far too fast. So my plan for Saturday will be to start at an easy pace, and start taking walk breaks immediately, sticking to a run 9, walk 1 pattern for as long as possible. I can then gradually increase the walk breaks in the second half as I need to. Hopefully the slower start will leave me with more energy in the second half, and also encourage me to eat more.

My training has been going really well this year. I’ve done less speed work than last year, so will have lost a bit of speed, but I’m not running 5k races this year. I’ve done a lot more hill work, so feel stronger.

I’ve set myself an aggressive target for the race, but I also need a ‘B’ and ‘C’ target to keep me motivated if the things start going wrong with plan ‘A’.

  • ‘A’ target – 17 hrs
  • ‘B’ target < 19 hrs (my SDW100 time was 19:02)
  • ‘C’ target

Now to relax, and ignore all the last minute panicky posts on facebook & twitter. My kit is sorted and packed: the S-Lab 12 for me and a crate of spare kit for the crew car instead of drop bags.

Thames Path at the top with SDW below

Thames Path at the top with SDW below

The wall map is up, so the kids can track my progress, although it’s not as impressive as last year. The Thames meanders a lot compared with the relatively straight South Downs Way.

I’ll use that image to try and convince myself it’s not that far!