Can I run a half marathon after a 56 mile bike ride?

With race day just over a month away, that was the big question we set out to answer today.  We’ve been asking each other the ‘Do you think you could run a half marathon now’ question every time we’ve got to 56 miles on the bike recently as the race looms over closer, and there’s only one way to find out – a mid week day off for some serious half ironman training in the sunshine.

Of course we managed to chose the wettest day so far this year and were woken this morning by rain lashing on the windows.  No amount of checking the BBC weather app would stop the rain, so, rather disappointed, we pulled on our wetsuits and headed over to the lake for a swim.  Every time we visit the lake it seems to be gloriously sunny, like its own micro-climate, and this morning it seemed to be the only place where it wasn’t raining.  Getting in wasn’t too hard, after the initial cold plunge and we had a good swim, fitting in 1.5 laps (around 1.75km).  We were both swimming comfortably, if a little zig-zaggy and could have kept going longer if the lake wasn’t closing.  A good start to our training day 🙂

Berinsfield Lake this morning

After a sausage baguette it was a time to head out on the bikes.  The rain was back so we put on our rain coats and headed out, starting off on our ‘power hour’ route towards Wantage, before heading in the direction of Uffington and the White Horse Hill, which were almost completely hidden in the clouds.  We cycled up the hills in the middle of a cloud, but it wasn’t until around 30 miles in that it started raining in earnest and we got really wet.  Dan had planned a good route, with a nice mix of hills and flats, but as the rain worsened we got soaked through, the visibility was terrible and wished I’d kept my goggles on from the morning!  Nearing home, it began to clear up so we opted on taking a bit of a detour through Milton to check out our run route and add the extra miles on to make it up to 56.

Today's bike route out to the White Horse
Today’s bike route out to the White Horse

The last activity of the day was the half marathon run, and probably the part that I had been most nervous about.  It actually went quite well, I averaged 8:22 a mile taking in some upflats, downflats, traffic and funny pavement placement.  I also managed to take a wrong turn (despite having looked at the route this morning!) which cut 2 miles off and meant that I met Dan 10 miles in when I had done around 8 – a nice surprise!  I added a couple of miles in at the end and finished happy and thirsty just at the bottom of the road.

All happy after the run!
All happy after the run!

We’re both exhausted, but really pleased with how the day went.  I feel more confident about the race in June knowing that the distances are doable, even in less-than-perfect conditions, now we just need to do it all in one go!

Tonight’s reward for all our hard work was a delicious and enormous dinner!  Stuffed, tired and happy 🙂

Dan with lake hair


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