Sunday, 26 February 2012

A 50km run (no walking) with an 8kg backpack

Today I wanted to do something hardcore.  So at around 12.30pm I set off for a run with my backpack weighing in at just over 8kg.  I had a route in mind and it was one that that some of us used to cycle after work at UBS on Monday nights.  The route heads out past the airport to Bulach, then out into the countryside and to Dielsdorf, returning to Zurich via Niederhasli.  I wasn't sure if I would make it all the way, as it is a very long run indeed, but as is often the case in Switzerland the small villages along the way are serviced by train stations and it is no problem to find your way back to Zurich.

I haven't been feeling that energetic the last week or so, and I wondered how well today would go.  At first I felt sluggish but after a few kilometres I started to loosen up and felt okay again.  The sluggishness came back around the 19km mark, and I figured I needed to eat something.  Luckily there was a petrol station nearby and I stopped there for some sandwiches and pastries, and a large energy drink.  I was worried that I wouldn't be able to run again with such a full belly, but it seemed to go okay and I was jogging again after just a minute or so of walking to get back into the rhythm.

After that stop I didn't stop again except for a couple of quick pee breaks and once at the 42km mark to dump 1.5 litres of water so the pack wouldn't dig into my back so much for the last 8km.  I can tell you that the 1.5kg reduction in my pack weight (from dumping the water) was extremely noticeable.  It was okay getting to the 42km mark, albeit not that fast, but the last 8km I found tough.  Today definitely tested my mental toughness as it would have been easy to just call it quits at 42km, but I wanted to run further than that.  In fact today is the furthest I have ever run (the 70km I did the other day doesn't count as I only ran half of that and walked the other half).

I decided to finish my run once I hit the 50km mark, and luckily I was near to a train station when I was at 48km, so all I had to do was a small loop to complete the last 2km and arrive back at the train station ready to catch the train.  The end of my route was Niederhasli.  From there I took a train back to Zurich HB and then came home.  I didn't take any photos en route but I took the following one to show that running with a backpack can have it's downside.

Some nice chafing from running with a pack

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