Journey to 50 Miles - GSER PART ONE

The Great Southern Endurance Run is well known as being one of the hardest races in the Southern Hemisphere. We've had a blog series running since last year detailing the lead up to the 100 Mile event - now we'd like to welcome guest blogger Lachlan Smeed to share his training & preparation for the 50 Mile event.

Over to you Lachie!

“Well this will be fun……… Signed up to GSER…….. Don’t tell the misses!”  This was the first text I sent to one of my good mates after stewing over a GSER signup.

My name is Lachlan and this is how I will try to finish the Great Southern Endurance Run.

If you have not seen anything about the Great Southern Endurance Run (November 2022), it a trail running event that encompassing a variety of distances - 28kms to 100 miles, with a eye (or mouth) watering elevation change of 10,000m+ It starts and finishes at Harrietville in Victoria. Before you say this guy is my hero, I only signed up for the 50 mile edition (with a more reasonable elevation change of ~5200m+). Being quite honest, even signing  up for the 50 mile race still makes me consider my mental state!

So, to give you a little bit of a background to me, I am an ultra runner novice by night and high school teacher (chemistry nerd) by day. I have only recently ventured into the world of endurance events. My first attempt at the 2020 Blackall 50 was an absolute shambles (9.5hrs) where heat exhaustion occurred. Once finishing, I said I would never do this ever again, however the bug soon bit me. Completing The Guzzler 50km, Blackall 50 (3hr improvement), Beerwah@daybreak and the Yandina Five-O in quick succession. Let’s be clear, it is safe to say that I am not a front of the back runner, I am not back of the pack, I am clearly mid pack and comfortable about it.

Post Guzzler 2021, I sought the tuition of the one and only Hunter….. Jamie Hunter at Run Vault Performance. Since collaborating with Jamie, I have managed to improve my weekly distance and elevation covered, as well as race tactics.  I am at a point where I have the confidence to compete in the GSER.

At this stage one of the biggest challenges for me will be covering the distance and also dealing with the elevation change. So to give any readers an idea of the training that I am currently doing it is as follows:

Monday: Gym (leg and core focus) and 30/45 min easy run (~7km)

Tuesday: 60-90 minute run with roughly 45mins of speedwork (~15-20km)

Wednesday: 60 min hill repeats followed by 75min social run (~15-19km)

Thursday: Generally Rest (if life gets in the way, I train Thursday to make up)

Friday: 75-90 trails (I like hills so will try for at least 500m vert). (10-15km)

Saturday; 60-90min Easy (road)

Sunday: Long trail, generally anything 30km+ (currently 38ish+)

Averaging around 80-100km and ~3000m of elevation.

This has been a repetitive practice for the last few weeks now as I move through the final stages of my training block before tapering and running in Western Branch 100km race (my first 100km race).

However, for those reading, just confirming that I am eating a lot of food, I am always hungry, I make sounds of pain because my muscles get stiff, I have running friends now, I can only have two beers now and no, I wouldn’t change a single bit of it!

In summary, this journey to GSER that (if you keep reading) will take me through some tough times. However, with Jamie and Run Vault Performance behind me, I find it hard not to envisage a successful build-up and race day (even if it means rolling/crashing down the last hill)!


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