On Saturday I ran 50k. It was flat and slow and … difficult.

On Sunday I ran 42k. It was steep up and fast and … easier, much easier.

Why is that? I am trying to understand it and can only make some assumptions, and these assumptions may not be accurate for you. (But they might)

I think that when I run faster, I get into a different type of flow, I get more efficient. I am lighter on my feet. I don’t quickly get out of breath. Blame it on a high VO2 max. What gets to me, are pains in my legs and erosion of the will to run. Once I run at a faster pace, I usually stay fast.

On Sunday I ran with Amit, and since he was going to do 60k, I thought he would start appropriately slow which for me is about 5:45 or 6 minutes per kilometer. But he flew out of the blocks at 4:45. So I went with it on my semi-sore legs carried over from the previous day. And it felt good. So good that when my partner stopped for water or a short walk, I just wanted to get back to it.

We went up about 300 meters according to Strava and reached 21k at 1:58 close to Pinjore. Amit continued, but I had to turn back so that I could go to church later in the morning. How lovely to get to 38k (my old nemesis in the marathon) and still feel fine. Sure, I was tired, but nothing close to how I felt at the same stage the day before.

And so I completed 42.2 in 4:01 which is somewhat slow for a race, but this was not a race. The incline was also a serious obstacle to being faster. But for the circumstances, this was quite fast for me.

So that brings me back to the question. Why was it so much easier? Maybe the fact that I had a friend with me? Maybe my nutrition needs were met a bit better? Or perhaps it is just that I am more efficient at that speed. I think it is the latter. I will test this out again coming Saturday when I am planning to run 75k as the peak of my Comrades training. If this works, I have discovered something about myself which may benefit me well into the future as I plan to keep on running ultramarathons if God permits it and gives me sufficient strength,

I was too busy running to take any pictures this time.

Keep running

Stephan

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