Running on polenta

I am in Lierde, Belgium. I got my Bib number. Now I only need a race plan for the Mighty Marathon of tomorrow. A race plan and polenta. 

I am in Lierde, close to Geraardsbergen, Belgium. I got my Bib number. Now I only need a race plan for the Mighty Marathon of tomorrow. A race plan and polenta.

RELATED: My legs are ready for the Mighty Marathon

Okay, I admit it’s a bit late to think about a race plan, but I like to do that last moment. First I want to get to where I race, then I want to see how I feel. Well, I’m here and I feel good. Tired but good. Tired, because the trip took us 4 hours, instead of 2, due to one big traffic jam from Antwerp to Brussels. Yet, I feel good, because I’m really looking forward to this race.


Unknown territory

As with every trail, I don’t know what to expect. Okay, it’s 45 kilometers long and we have to overcome 1.300 meters of altitude. Among them the Bosberg and the Muur (wall) of Geraardsbergen. Those are the 2 most serious climbs of the 7 we have to do. But that’s all I know. I’ve no clue how the trail looks, I’ve no clue how steep the climbs are. That’s all going to be a surprise.

That’s what makes it hard to come up with a race plan. I admit, plan is also a big word. Most of the time I’ve just got an idea of what I want to do. This time my idea is to keep my heart rate below 150 beats per minute for the first 30 kilometers. After that, all is fine. I’ll leave that up to my legs. If they feel good, they are allowed to go faster, if not, not.


Strava says I’m fit

The goal is to run faster than 8 minutes and 30 seconds per kilometer on average. That’s what I ran in Sussex, so if I’m faster now, it means my training schedule of the last month has been working. If so, I can build on that towards the Dolomiti Extreme Trail.

RELATED: Mud wrestling at Endurance life Sussex

I should be able to, if I have to believe Strava. It keeps track of my Fitness & Freshness. Before the Ommerland Trail my fitness was 30, before Sussex 51 and now 59. So I should be stronger. Although, my fatigue is higher as well, so I’m not sure how that’s going to turn out.


Secret potion

The other thing I am going to try tomorrow, is polenta. Sara made some for me. As I told you after Sussex, I can’t handle all the sweet stuff, all the gels. So tomorrow I’ll cut some polenta energy bars and I’ll put some peanut butter on them. I know I shouldn’t try things during a race, but this race is training as well. A training for the Dolomiti Extreme Trail.

RELATED: Five lessons from my Sussex ultra

That’s it, that’s my whole race plan. Start slow, yet run a bit faster than last time, eat a bit better and finish with enough energy in the tank to dance a bit, because the MUT Trail Festival isn’t only a trail, it’s also a festival. So let the party begin.

Today's training

John Kraijenbrink

The Running Dutchman

I run. Trails mostly. I am Dutch. That makes me The Running Dutchman.

I am also a massage therapist, yogi, sports science nerd, and journalist/writer. Everything I learn and research about trail running, I share here, on this website, with you.

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