Before I ran at Naseby Great Naseby Water Race (GNWR), I thought the course format of 10km laps would be a real mind numbing challenge - how wrong I was!
Laps can be several things, including such training techniques as hill repeats where you run up and down the same stretch of hill, but for most people it's a circuit that you repeat. It doesn't have to be circular, just have the same start and end point and be repeated. Many people think that running loops/laps will be boring, but why would we design what we think is an amazingly awesome course if laps were boring?! I can say however that before I ran my first 100 kms race at Naseby GNWR I was dreading having to repeat something I'd already run multiple times. I thought it was going to do my head in! Where was the fun in that? But wow was I wrong. And I thought it might be helpful to share my experience to show others the benefits of lap running.
At Naseby I actually found the format of running laps really really helpful. It meant I didn't think like “OMG I've still got 70km to go”. Instead it was “I've got 7 laps to go, and 7 is a small number – easy!” It sounds silly, but it really did help. And if/when the mental or physical going got really tough you can break the lap down into ¼ lap and smaller portions along the lines of “Once I get to that spot up there I've only got a ¼ lap to get back to the aid station - I can shuffle along that far and quit then” and then of course you ge