Running is a pretty simple sport – just bung on your trainers and go. As is my wont, I thought I’d try and make that a little more complicated and have duly spent a reasonable amount of time obsessing over what kit I might need to employ, both for the actual running but also for the recovering bit, which I suspect will be almost as important as the time spent on two feet.
For the curious, or indeed those lacking a freshly painted wall to watch, here’s a run down of my approach to running and resting the #256CHALLENGE.
Most runs will be in Salomon S Lab Wings – it has a grippy trail sole,is very light but doesn’t have too minimal a drop and is quite well cushioned. I’ll be mixing up the terrain though so will use even lighter Salomon trail shoes for flatter canal runs, fell shoes for..fells and road shoes for… you get the drift. Mixing the terrain, gradients and surfaces that I run on will, I hope help break up the routine of running, reduce the impact of running one type of surface all the time and more importantly prevent too many niggles and avoid injuries.
I’ll mostly wear merino socks for soggy feet comfort, wicking baselayers for warmth, long tights to keep achy legs warm, a superlight windproof and a couple of thicker cold weather running tops including a lovely Inov8 Primaloft Alpha pullover for when it’s really baltic but I want to keep moving without overheating. The long range forecast for December is pretty good at the moment with cold but dry weather due from a stable high pressure system. However, it will rain at some point so full taped seam waterproofs will definitely get used. Buffs, hats and gloves of varying thickness (including neoprene gloves for rain) will help with the fine tuning of keeping warm but not too warm.
Recovery and maintanence:
I know the science is inconclusive, but I swear by RockTape kinesio tape for supporting achy muscles, dealing with little niggles or generally just easing tired legs through their paces. Allied to Ibuprofen, plenty of foam rollering and stretching as well as Epsom salts baths, I should be fine if I take the time each day to look after myself. The purple spiky ball thing is a recent find – you can use it for pressure point self-massage on feet or anywhere else for that matter and it really works. Oh and eating well too will be crucial, especially on the back to back longer runs and within the 20 minute window post-run. I’ll take a race vest with water on longer runs to make sure I don’t dehydrate and can carry extra clothing and trail food.
Recording the runs:
A Garmin and heart rate strap will both record my runs and help restrict my heart rate to lower levels of effort (probably no more than 137bpm) – this will be a long haul effort not a flat out blast and I am very conscious of the need to keep my heart rate down so as not to build up unneccesary fatigue for the large number of consecutive days running. Allied with Strava, I can watch the total distance and climb build up over the month.
The kit is ready, I’m ready, and I’m looking forward to getting started.