I’m a few cycles into base period training for a 50k next spring which will be my first race ever and I’ve been thinking about the need to practice things like nutrition, aid station strategy, etc and getting used to what it feels like to really push for a few hours of running.
I thought a good way to do this might be to take one long run a month (probably the last long effort before the lower volume week in a 4 week cycle) and structure it close to the race I’ll be doing by making a multi-loop course around a local mountain starting at the parking lot and then using my car as an aid station to store food, clothes, etc and then just going for it on the run. I’m sure there are all sorts of things that can/will go wrong on race day and I figured this would be a good way to get some practice dealing with some of them. I’d rather find out now how early to eat beforehand or that my favorite food gives me GI problems when I’m going at a harder than usual pace.
Is there any reason I wouldn’t want to make a fitness withdraw so to speak once a month or so to practice this stuff? Should I hold back regardless of how I feel or is it OK to go hard as long as the rest of my training is progressing well and I’m feeling good on that day? I’m going to retest in a few weeks but my AeT is getting close to being within 10% of my AnT (143/162 respectively) in case that makes a difference.