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Should I run another ultra this weekend?

We’re out for a little run. After a day in the taxi, airport, plane and car it feels great to run. I don’t know about you, but I feel better when I move than when I sit still. Plus it gives me the time to clear my head and ask myself: should I run another ultra this weekend?

The weekend after would be a better moment to run another ultra, but this weekend there is an ultra run close by in Leende. It’s not too demanding, if I look at the altitude; 125 meters. On 50 kilometers of running, that’s nothing. It’s altitude that normally kills my legs, so this looks easy.

Dolomiti Extreme Trail

It will be good to do another 50 kilometers run before the Dolomiti Extreme Trail, my big goals of this year. I will run 55 kilometers there, but I will also have to climb 3.800 meters. If I’ve done twice a 50k, my body is at least used to the distance. That means only the altitude is new. Well, so much altitude. I mean, I’ve done 1.600 meters in Sussex and I still have to run Snowdonia next month. That will be 1.300 meters of altitude.

To get to Leende only takes me half an hour by car. That’s another big advantage. On top of that, the first start is at 7 am. That means I could run it and still have some free time in the afternoon. So what’s holding me back?

Mighty Marathon

Well, for starters I just ran a 43,5 kilometer race last Saturday; the Mighty Marathon. With 1.100 meters of altitude and lots and lots of mud it was a demanding race. My legs aren’t 100 percent recovered yet, the way they feel now.

Now I don’t mind running with legs that are a bit tired. In Italy I will have to run at some point with tired legs as well, as we’ll be climbing 3.800 meters. It’s more that my right ankle hasn’t totally recovered. I made a strange move last Saturday when I slipped. My ankle bent in a way it shouldn’t. I can run on it, but it’s sensitive.

Rest or run

The trick of getting fitter is not in training harder, it’s in recovering smarter. A week between a trail marathon and a trail 50 kilometer race isn’t a lot of time to recover. Normally I taper for 2 or 3 weeks. On the other side, I haven’t done any running this week, except the little run Sara and I are doing now.

So yes, for every argument in favor I can give an argument against and the other way around. Maybe I should just let the weather decide. I don’t fancy another run in the rain. A week from now we’re going to Snowdonia. I like to do some serious altitude training there. If I do the 50k, it should be an easy one; dry trails, nice weather. The day before the race I’ll check the forecast. If it looks good and there is still a spot, I race, if not, not.

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