Who wants some Llama-nade?

Thames Path Challenge 50k is all go! I completed my last long run on the weekend, a very slow 34+km meander along London’s canals and riverside, and now I’m into the taper. I didn’t blog anything about my run beforehand because I found myself feeling trepidation that despite my improved running of the last couple of weeks, the 22mile distance would be beyond me.


Hertford Union Canal. Feels like the countryside but is only 20 minutes jog from central London.

Tell you what, after completing that run I’ve really felt a lot of pressure drop off. I’ve had a compromised build-up and while it won’t be an easy race, I’ve got a bit of confidence back having made it through the three long runs without injury and pretty good recovery. Of course, I’d be lying if I didn’t say my pace is way off where I thought it would be six months ago when I embarked on this madcap scheme, but I can also say that I’m content with having shifted my goals and am now happy with aiming for a ‘completion’ for my first Ultra. It’s like being back at my first marathon all over again…


Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford. ‘The Pringle’ velodrome in the background, coolest building of the 2012 Games.

So, into the taper now. Two short weeks of reduced running to let my body recuperate without losing too much conditioning. I would normally have done a three week taper, but after a successful experiment with a two-week taper before my last marathon (Marathon de Paris), as well as the reduced running I’ve done in the build-up, I figured two weeks would suit this time around as well. I certainly don’t feel like I’m carrying too much fatigue in the legs, that’s for sure.


East London grime. Or is it? Inside the seemingly derelict building are hyper-cool loft style studios…

Funnily enough, I think the hardest thing for me to do over the next two weeks is sort out my caffeine taper! Caffeine is a stimulant and gels almost always have it added to give you an extra boost during your runs. However, if you always intake caffeine during your normal routine, the ‘boost’ you get from gels etc on race day can be comparatively less. To counteract this I’m reducing my caffeine intake – this week I’ve cut out all coffees, and only allowed myself two cups of tea a day. Next week will be a caffeine-free zone. Hopefully this will be enough to allow my body to reduce it’s caffeine desensitisation so the gels will have full effect on race day. Apologies in advance to all the people around me who have to deal with a withdrawal case!

In other news, I stumbled across a petting zoo on my long run on Sunday. Right in the heart of the docklands in London. Who would’a thunk it?


“Me!” Get it?!? The clue is in the title. Very droll I know…

Anyone else tapering for a fall race at the moment?

Happy running everyone!


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About getgoing-getrunning

Hi, I’m Bernie and I’m a just guy who writes about the things which get me going and get me running, even though my running is never going to result in me standing on a podium!

Posted on September 3, 2014, in Blog, Thames Path Challenge 50k and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Ha. I get it. Good luck Bernie on the race. It sounds as if you are right on target for a good one. I hope so. Enjoy the experience!

  2. Wow that’s beautiful! Love the llamas! Good luck with the race.

  3. Interesting to read about someone else experimenting with how long they taper. I think 3 weeks for an endurance event is too long…….apart from anything else I end up climbing the walls. I tried 10 days for my IM and think it worked. I may stick with it. It will be interesting to hear how you think 2 weeks worked.

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