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Race or training run?

I am in doubt. Should I race tomorrow or do a training run? And in both cases; where do I go?

It’s hot in the Netherlands. Tomorrow it is going to be 35 degrees in Bergeijk. That’s hot for here. Tomorrow is also the day I have my long run planned. Sunday is normally the day of my long run, but this Sunday is a work day. Now the question is, where am I going to run?

Seriously hot

I have been looking at 2 races; La Chouffe Trail and the Maasdal Trail. The Veluwezoom Trail has a 28 kilometers race. That’s an interesting distance. Yet, the start is at 10 am. I prefer an early start. The longest distance of the Maasdal Trail is only 20 kilometers. That’s a bit short. The start is 11.30 am. That’s when it starts to get seriously hot.

Hot is not my thing. I know, I have to get used to it, because the Trail des Fantomes – the race I am in training for now –  is August 12. There is a big chance it’s going to be hot as well. But that race starts at 5 am. We will be running for 3 to 4 hours, before it gets seriously hot.

Running slump

The reason to do a race, is that I am in need of a bit of inspiration. Don’t get me wrong, I still love running, but the Dolomiti Extreme Trail last month was my big race of 2023; the race I’ve been preparing for for a year. With Kullamannen in Sweden I have another big race coming up, but that’s in November. So at this moment I am in a bit of a runner’s slump.

That’s one of the reasons I picked the Trail des Fantomes. It gives me a reason to go out and run again, but somehow that race still feels far away. Maybe because I’m missing the build up to it; I haven’t focused on it in training, there is almost nothing on their social media, nor any e-mails. The Dolomiti Extreme Trail was really good at that. Posting things online, sending emails with bits of information. It made the race come alive weeks before the event was actually happening.

One or two?

So, a race would be cool, but the thing is I don’t feel like running in the middle of the day. I prefer the early morning. That’s why I’m thinking of just going for a run close-by. Now the question is; am I going for one long run of 25 to 30 kilometers or am I going to do 2 runs of 12,5 to 15 kilometers?

Mentally one long run is easier. If I do 2 loops, returning to my car in between, I might have to convince myself to actually do that second run. At the same time, it will give me the option to fill my soft flask with water and Isostar and maybe to have a bite.

So, race or training run? One loop or two? Decisions, decisions, decisions. What will it be? I hope by tonight I know.

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