Monday, 31 December 2007

Woohoo!

Route: 6m, trail/road, undulating (ca. 850 ft total)
Weather: 6C

Ran without any discomfort for the first time in ages! :)

Ran from home, along railway line, through fields and farms and up on to Leeds Road before heading home through Danefield Chevin. Feel like I've lost a little cardio-vascular fitness, but felt strong at the end. Sure fitness will return quickly, just got to be careful on leg. Iced the knee afterwards and stretched/did inner thigh strength exercises as directed.

Felt SO good to be running again, albeit tentatively.

I'm going to rest from running tomorrow and cycle 20m or so instead.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!

Sunday, 30 December 2007

A bit more running

Route: 4m, road/trail, undulating
Weather: 7Cish

Ran up Leeds Road to the Bar House and back along the railway line. This knee injury is really odd. Felt fine up to 3m then felt a tiny bit of discomfort so walked (as promised) for a bit and walk/run home. Tonight I have no grinding feeling, but it doesn't feel quite as it should I don't think. It is really hard to tell as I have iced it a couple of times which makes it feel different. Also when I took the tape off yesterday, it took all the hair off and at least one layer of skin too which makes it feel funny! I just don't know how it's doing really. I am going to cycle a bit tonight and try another short run tomorrow.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Running again

Drove up to the top of the Chevin and tried out a short run on soft, slightly undulating terrain. Ran 2m without any discomfort and knee is still feeling ok a few hours later. Really enjoyed getting out and feeling quite positive about the progress.

It's a bit difficult to say for sure if the knee is feeling completely ok or nor. It has been so messed with over the last 2 weeks with taping, removing tape (ouch!) and reapplying tape, masaging, accupuncture, electric shocks, icing etc! That feeling of grinding and swelling has certainly stopped.

I am also feeling the benefits of stretching - something I promise to do on a daily basis from now on!

I will try for 4 miles tomorrow and see how I cope with that. It feels rubbish to run such short distances but I think a softly softly approach is the best way forward. If 4 is ok then I'll run 6 on Monday and increase my mileage on a daily, or 2-day basis.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Physio update 2

Back to the physio today for a good pummeling! She seemed to be pleased with the progress. She worked on loosening my IT band, lower back and hamstrings. She worked on the knee and finally taped it into a better alignment.

I have been told that I can try small amounts of cycling and running provided I stop as soon as I feel any pain. Went for a short cycle tonight down to the rugby fields and ran 200m across them. It was hard to feel what was going on in my knee as it is heavily taped and has been battered arounf today, but I'm pretty sure there was no rubbing or pain. Fingers crossed!

It was interesting talking to the physio today. She explained that most runners have a lateral quadracep bias - the outer quads being more developed than the inner quads and the hamstrings being even further developed. All this places a strain on the knee and can bring (and has done in my case!) the knee out of alignment. To try and combat this I have been given a number of stretches and strengthening exercises to do inculding sqats, leg raises, and IT band looseners. I have done my sets for today along with the other stretches and I have to say I am already feeling more supple. I think I may even have touched my toed momentarily tonight in a standing position - something which hasn't been achieved for about 20 years! I am going to keep the stretching up now and really start listening to the body (honest!). It's a perfect New Year's resolution.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and I wish you all a happy New Year.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Chevin chase

Walked up the hill with Beth to see the second half of the runners come through Danefield gate and up East Chevin road towards the quarry. Felt a bit down about not running the race, but nice to see the usual mix of angels, Santas and Christmas puddings running the race. Well done to all those who competed!







Thursday, 20 December 2007

Physio report

Visited the physio today. She was brilliant - very down-to-earth but also very knowledgable and passionate about her job.

She backed up my theory that my knee is slightly mal-aligned and not tracking properly, causing some irritation and swelling. She used ultrasound, electric current and accupuncture to help bring the swelling down. She then looked at my muscle length and balance. Seems I have a more developed right quad than my left one and it also seems (and this was no shock) that I have very poor flexibility in both legs. So I have to start strectching properly. I have promised a 3 X 10 minute stretch of all the major leg muscles. She then taped up my knee in a better alignment and sent me on my way.

I have to go back next Thursday (27th) and am not allowed to run between now and then. I have also agreed not to cycle as this may exacerbate the problem. The only down-side to all of this (apart from not running for a week!) is that I'll miss the Chevin Chase race on Boxing Day. I am gutted about this. She did think that the Thames Path Ultra in a month is still possible. I imagine I'll have to think very carefully about the training and recovery for this one.

Overall I am pleased with the consultation today. I have been really worried all week that I have some kind of irreversible problem and that this is the beginning of the end of my running. A little meladramatic I know, but when something is that important to the quality of your life then it becomes very precious.

What this injury has done is remind me that I need to listen more carefully to my body and to learn to stretch.

Will probably be a bit quiet on the blog for a few days now with no running and Christmas nearly upon us. So Merry Christmas to all those kind souls who keep up-to-date with the training! I'll post again when something interesting happens (like I can run again!)

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Cycle therapy

The knee has been a lot better today and despite some moments of stiffness (usually after sitting long periods) it hasn't really troubled me. I am resisting the urge to run however until I speak to the physio tomorrow and get a better idea of what caused it, althugh I think I know already.

My theory is that (contrary to some sound advice from John Kynaston!) I ran too soon after the Rotherham 50. I was very tight on the Sundar, particularly in my hamstrings and I didn't really stretch after the event. I rested Sunday, cycled Monday and ran a quick pace on the Tuesday. This (I think) was my undoing. I think the hamstrings were very tight casuing my knee to be out of line and resulting in an inflamation of the cartilage from rubbing. This is my theory.

I got the bike back from the bike shop today. They haven't fixed it, but they did say it's ridable while they put the parts on order. I need a new chain set, new cassette and new chain. Sounds expensive, but they seem to know what they're talking about and were helpful as ever. The guy at the shop even suggested I stay in a low gear for my training with more revolutions as pushing with my bad knee might exacerbate the probelm. I cycled about 16 miles to Ilkley and back through Burley-in-Wharfedale and had no probs with the knee. Fingers crossed that that the inflamation has gone down and it is returning to normal. I'll update the blog tomorrow after speaking to the physio.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Knee update

Well the knee has been bothering me today and I haven't even run :(

I have booked physio for Thursday just to get some kind of a prognosis and an idea of when I can run again. I am icing it every few hours which helps and warming it before bed. Needless to say it is very frustrating. I had wanted to cycle for a few nights as this doesn't seem to aggrevate it, but my bike is also doing strange things and has been sent to the bike doctor (due back Wed). So it is total rest for today and tomorrow which is hellish.

I'm sure it will all get better, but it does beg the question: What on Earth would I do with my life if I HAD to stop running? Not a pleasant question and one that I hopefully won't have to answer for a number of years!

I'll keep the blog updated!

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Knee Bother

I had intended to run 15m today, but have decided to rest as my left knee is still bothering me. Have been icing it intermitently and did set off for a run at 4ish, but knew by the top of the road that it was foolih to carry on. It is an annoying pain - not really painful but the kind of feeling like you know something is not right and running on it will make things worse. So I'm not going to. It is so hard not to run and I am feeling very grouchy. The plan is to rest today, tomorrow and Tuesday and try to have a run on Wednesday if things feel better. I will keep applying ice between now and then. Fingers crossed...

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Cold run

Route: 7m, hilly, trail
Weather: -1C, foggy

Ran to Yeadon over the Chevin to take back some DVDs! Felt really strong in terms of breathing and energy, but still have a pain on the top of my left foot. This is not as concerning as the pain in my left knee which was quite sharp on the run today. I will ice it tonight and see how it feels tomorrow. If there is still pain tomorrow, I will cycle 30m rather than running 15m.

Wintry scene on top of the Chevin:





Cool inversion layer over Otley:



Interim Training Plan

I have been thinking hard about how to both recover from the Rotherham 50 at the same time as prepare for the Thames Path 50. I have come up with the following tentative and flexible programme:

Things to consider are: top of right foot (still painful) and left knee (overuse, I think)

Week commencing: 15th December
Sat: 10m
Sun 15m
Mon: Rest
Tuesday: 7m
Wednesday: 4m
Thursday: 7m
Friday: Rest


(mileage = 43)

Week commencing: 22nd December
Sat: 15m
Sun: 25m
Mon: 6m
Christmas Day: Rest!
Boxing Day: 7m trail race
Thursday: 7m
Friday: Rest

(mileage = 60m)

Week commencing: 29th December
Sat: 10m
Sun: 30m
Mon: Rest
Tue: 7m
Wed: 4m
Thur: 7m
Fri: Rest

(mileage = 58m)

Week commencing: 5th January (Taper Week 1)
Sat: 10m
Sun: 10m
Mon: Rest
Tue: 6m
Wed: Rest
Thur: 6m
Fri: Rest

(mileage = 32m)

Week commencing: 12th January (Taper Week 2)
Sat: 3m
Sun: 6m
Mon: Rest
Tue: 4m
Wed: Rest
Thur: 1m
Fri: Rest

(mileage = 14m)

Week commencing: 19th January (Race Week)
Sat: 50m Trail Race
Sun: 1m walk
Mon: 20m (cycle)
Tues: gentle 6m
Wed: Rest
Thur: gentle 6m
Fri: Rest

(mileage = 62m (run), 21m (cross))

It's a plan!

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Up high and freezing

Route: 4m, hilly, trail
Weather: -2C, clear, light breeze

Ran up to the top of the Chevin above Otley (see photo). Rough, steep trails covered in ice so glad to have got back unscathed! One fall, but didn't hurt anything. Legs felt tired with a couple of niggles. One sore spot on top of right foot still which is causing a little worry. The other on left knee which I imagine is just overuse. Will keep an eye on them both.

Off to cycle to my staff night out now in Guiseley.


Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Club run - 11/12/07

Route: 6.5m, road, undulating
Weather: -1C, heavy frost

Ran with the club tonight. Wasn't sure how the legs would react to a run, but overall I was quite pleased. Set off with the faster group at a quick pace. Stuck with them up the hill for 2.5m, then jogged a bit on my own and finally met up with a slower group and returned home with them. Legs felt ok. Bit of a sore point on top of right foot but nothing to concerning. Think I am going to be three toenails down from Saturday by the feel of them :-(

Will probably rest tomorrow then run again on Thursday.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Cycle to leeds

Route: 24m cycle, undulating, road
Weather: 1C Brrr
Decided to cycle rather than risk any impact running. Actually legs are feeling remarkably good tonight. Cycled into Leeds and back and felt good all the way. Can feel the quads a bit, but that's to be expected. Overall, I'm pleased with the recovery and looking forward to getting back into some gentle running tomorrow.



Sunday, 9 December 2007

RRR 50 - Race Report

Having spent the night in Sheffield, rather than travelling down on the day from Otley, I arrived feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead.

The weather forecast had been increasingly unpleasant as the week had gone on, but on arrival at the University in Swinton, we were all thinking that maybe they had been wrong... They hadn't.

We enetered the sports hall and picked up our numbers, T-shirts and badges and made a few last minute tweaks to our kit. There was the usual long line for the toilets from nervous runners, so Paul decided to leave things to the last minute, and we ended up setting off 4 minutes after everyone else.

As Steve had left with the pack, Paul decided to try and catch him up, so I tagged along, glancing at my GPS and noticing a 7:19 min/mile pace. Concerned, that this was Paul's race pace, I was truly delighted to settle into a much more realistic pace once we caught up with Steve and the main pack of runners.

In darkness, we followed the easily navigable trails (this was soon to change) in really good weather (as was this!) Steve was navigating from the beginning so I just concentrated on my running and enjoyed the converssation. Steve did a great job navigating some increasingly tricky stretches and only got lost once when we followed some barrier tape which marked a lot of the route. It turned out that this tape was from last year's race!

Walkers in the event had set off at 6a.m and it was amazing how far some of them had got round the course. It was quite motivatiing having them to 'aim for' along the way.

Towards 20m, Steve was keen to slow the pace down a bit, but I was feeling so strong at this point that I pushed ahead. Paul caught me up at about 22m after Steve had settled into a pace with another runner. From this point it was my turn to navigate and I managed to take a wrong turn almost immediately causing us to run uphill for a bit before realising and returning back down hill. I wasn't overly popular!! After this point, I conferred with Paul about the route!

From about 24 miles, the weather worsened and by the halfway checkpoint, I was freezing. My gloves were wet and I felt under-dressed. It was also difficult to leave the warmth and comfort of the check room. We did manage to tear ourselves away and apart from the cold, I felt pretty good. At half-way, I was lying in 79th place.

From this point the weather and terrain made the going very difficult. Fields were really boggy and temperatures dipped down to 3C, which in the wind and rain felt like worse.

We plodded on and met up with a runner towards the end who had recced the final section. She kindly let us run with her for most of the way as my tolerance for reading the map had all but dissappeared!

We managed a bit of a sprint up the car-park at the end and finished joint 54th in 9h47m,58s. I was pleased with the time and position, but I was really just pleased to have finished in such poor weather conditions. I am now going to siginifiacntly add to my kit for the Thames Path Ultra in January!!

Overall, it was a good race. There are some really nice sections (Roche Abbey) and some not so nice urban sections. The volunteers were friendly and there was excellent food and drink station all the way round.

Here is a map of the route:
















Here is a profile of the course. Not that hilly really (check the scale!). The GPS sems to have had a wobbler at 37m!


Saturday, 8 December 2007

Only in yorkshire!





Only in Yorkshire would you get shepherds pie, mushy peas and mint sauce at the end of an ultra! It was delicious too!

Done it!




Paul Tranter (left) and me (right)

Finished in 9hr 47mins and really (I think!) enjoyed it. I was hoping for nearer 9 hours, but the conditions were dreadful - driving rain, cold temperatures and bogs of fields to run through. Also, the navigation was really tricky and we ended up running an extra couple of miles. Ended up 54th out of 300 entrants, so quite pleased with my placing for my first 50.

Yay!

60k



50k



Taste of the west highland way



32k



17k



Thursday, 6 December 2007

Last post before the 50!

Haven't run since Tuesday as I have wanted to rest and very busy etc. Will run once more tomorrow, 2 miles or something just to loosen the legs.

Bought some energy bars and gels today and the traditional new pair of socks!

Looked at the Wainright style maps of the route today which Henry Marston has provided on his website for the race - they are superb!

Full of nervous anticipation now as this will be my biggest run so far by a long way. The weather is forecast to be 6C, 15mph wind and heavy rain on Saturday which sounds rather unpleasant, but I suppose it could be worse (Winter Hill fell race running through ice puddles along the top for 2 miles springs to mind!)

Setting off tomorrow at 8pm with Paul to stay in Sheffield overnight then on to Wath for a 7a.m start. Depending on how much pain I'm in, I may be able to send a quick post from my mobile en route!

See you Saturday night for a full report!

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Taper 6m

Route: 6.5m, road, undulating
weather: 10C, windy

Ran a slow 6.5m with the club tonight. Last run over 3m before the big one on Sat.

Really pleased that the mobile video blog worked!

Mobile video blogging?!

video
Can this really work?

Monday, 3 December 2007

It worked!

Wow! The Mobile blog post thing worked!

Route: 4m pace-taper, 2m up, 2m down, road.
Weather: milder than anticipated so far too much clothing worn! (about 12C)

Ran a quickish 2m up and 2m down like last night. Will be nice to vary the training tomorrow when I run with the club.

Mobile blogging?!


Got a new phone today and it has a 'send to blog' option so i'm testing it out before my run! Next step is to work it while i'm running! It's the future...

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Taper plan

On Saturday I will run my first 50m race, so this week I am running a mini-taper. The plan is to run:

M: 4m
T: 6m
W: Rest
Th: 3m
F: 2m
Sa: 50m
Su: Rest

My plan is to then get straight back into the normal training schedule with a weekly plan that looks like this:

M: 2m
T: 7m
W: Rest
Th: 7m
F: Rest
Sa: 10m
Su: 20m

It's all theory, but it's good to have a plan.

wet 4m

Route: 2m up, 2m down, road
Weather: 9C, very wet

Ran a steady 4m taper session.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Beginning of semi-taper

Route: 6m, road, undulating
weather: 6C

Reduced the mileage today as next Saturday is my first 50 miler. Ran a steady 6m. Will run 6 again tomorrow, then 3m Tues Wed and Thur and 2m Friday.

Get well to J.P alias Terry Butcher:

Friday, 30 November 2007

Restless Rest Day

Rest day today which should be a good thing after 54 miles this week, but I am itching to run! I won't run as a rest will be more benefit than a run I think.

Got my Chevin Chase race number today which is great as it fills up really quickly. A great 7m trail race but more importantly it gives me something to do and a reason to get out the house on Boxing Day!!

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Fast 10 miles

Route: 10 miles, road, undulating/hilly
weather: 9C

Ran a quick 10 miles tonight at a good sub 7 pace. Quite pleased with how strong I felt as this is the end of a reasonably high mileage week (54 miles) including one fell race and some hilly training runs.

Rest day tomorrow and although I will take it and do probably need it, for the first time I don't actully feel like it! Good sign?!

Maps

I seem to be spending a fortune on maps at the moment. Ordered a couple of Harvey maps for the WHW to study and have just ordered two OS maps for the Round Rotherham 50 and two more for the Thames Ultra 50. Not a big fan of difficult navigation so am hoping my next two ultras will be straightforward. The Draycote 35 in Feb is certainly idiot-proof as it's round and round the same reservoir for 35 miles! Oh well, I'm certainly keeping OS in business at the moment!

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Midweek run

Route: 7m, mostly flat with one big hill, road
weather: a bit nippy, 8C but with a breeze

Not much to report really, straightforward midweek run on my own. No niggles, felt ok all the way round but can feel that this has been a high mileage week. last run of the week tomorrow. Can't run with the club tomorrow, so will head off and do a headtorch session myself.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

27/11 club run

Route: 7mish, 7.20ish pace, undulating, road
Weather: warmer than I thought so was utterly over-dressed!

Thanks to John and Chris at the club for a great 7+ run round Menston. The legs felt tired tonight after a 30 mile w/e. Should be a 50+ mile week this week. Next week, I will cut the mileage back a bit for the RR50 which I will run on Sat 8th.

Many thanks to my recent sponsors who have brought me up to 60% of the £1000 target. I really appreciate it and I know what a difference it can make to my charity Epilepsy Action

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Further 10

Route: 10m, undulating, road.
Weather: 9C

Completed my second run of the day with Carl from Otley AC who kindly let me run with him on his long run. Ran 8 min/miles for 10 reasonably hilly/undulating miles.

I wasn't sure how the legs would react having stopped for a couple of hours after the earlier fell race, but although they felt a little heavier than usual, they coped remarkably well. I did feel tired at the end, but I was not exhasuetd and could have run a few more miles I think. Overall, a good day's running.

Rivock Edge

Route: 7.5 m, fell and trail, hilly
weather: pleaseant 10C, light breeze

Ran the Rivock Edge Fell Race today. This was my first fell race 3 years ago and it took me over 1hr 20mins back then and I felt like death at the end. Today I ran round without totally going for it in about an hour and felt like I could have done it again at the end. Nice to see some improvement!

Planned to run back but was a bit cold, so will go out again for 10 miles later on today.


Thanks to Faceman for keeping up to date with my training via the blog! He knows more about me than my wife! And cheers for the good company and cracking curry last night.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Reservoirs, forests and fields

Route: 11-12m, fell, road, trail, hilly
Weather: cold, 5C, windy showers

Ran with John from the club - great to have some comapny and he took me on a route I had never been on before, North of Otley to near Memwith Hill and round and back through Stainburn forest. I might see if I can remember the route sometime as I really liked it.

Felt good running at a reasonable pace and it was nice running with John as a year ago I couldn't possibly have kept up with his pace (and the conversation was ok too!!)

Thanks John. Rivock Edge fell race tomorrow at Silsden. Might run the race then run home, might not (!) Will see how I feel.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Moonlit run and 50%

Route: 7 miles, hilly, trail and road
Weather: 3C, windy (felt colder)

Good run with the torch over the fields to Farnley, Clifton and Weston. One guy's headtorch failed but it was so bright from the moon, that he could carry on fine! Felt strong and no stomach cramps. Felt colder than 3C due to the wind. Forecast for -5C tonight - Brrrrr.

Thanks to Ella for sponsoring me and bringing me up to 50%!

£500 to goto get to the target of £1000 for Epilepsy Action.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Another late short one

Route: 4m ish, trail and road, hilly
weather: light rain 9C light breeze

Ran up the Chevin again. No probs with hills, but still a bit of stomach cramping tonight, so kept it to another short one. Glad to have gotten out though.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Zero Visibility!

Route: 4mish, road and fell, hilly (I think!)
Weather: 8C, rain, mist

Went out to run 6m but ended up doing about 4m as I couldn't see anything and it was getting a bit treacherous to run any further. The mist and fog just caused the headtorch beam to reflect back so it was effectively useless. I hope it's not similar conditions on the big day!

On the plus side, I am now back to 100% and feeling fit.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Foggy Run

Route: 7m, road and trail/field
weather: cold and foggy

Back into it again today after the w/e stomach bug. Don't normally run on a Monday, but wanted to get some mileage in this w/e. Am rapidly approaching my first 50 miler in three weeks time and am not sure I'm up to it yet. Next coupld of weekends will run 10m (race) Saturday and 15m on Sunday, then 10 and 20m the following w/e then 50m on the following Sat.

Ok run tonight - legs a bit sore, but just cos I've been sat down for a few days. Still a bit of stomach cramping tonight, but should be right by tomorrow.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Little Bug

Have had a few days off since Tuesday as I have had a little stomach bug or something. Felt it was better to rest and recover fully than to push myself and end up being out of action for a longer time. What's that? A sensible, mature approach to training?! Surely not!!

I did have a good chat to Paul Tranter who lives close to me and has finished the WHWR before (and is running this year). He gave me some useful tips on pace, support locations, kit-list etc. Great to get that inside info when you're a first-timer. Paul will also be running the Marathon de Sables next in 2008 for Facing Africa. Have a look at his homepage: Paul's Desert 'Marathon'

I will be trying to keep up with Paul for as much of the Rotherham Boundary 50 on December 8th.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Fast Menston Triangle

Route: 8.5m, road, undulating/hilly
weather: cold, clear, light breeze

Ran with one other club member round the Menston triangle (not quite Bermuda - an 8.5 mile hilly-ish road route). Ran a quickish pace, probably averaging between 7 and 7.30 min miles (didn't wear a watch). Enjoyed it very much and recovered quickly. John (who I ran with) is also keen to join me for 20 miles in two Sunday's time which is great. Next Sunday for the long run I am at my Brother-in-Law's in Warwickshire so I will head up to Draycote Reservoir and do a few laps (I will run the Draycote 35 there in Feb). Might even attempt the full 35 if things feel ok then taper down over the next two Sundays for the Rotherham 50 on 9th December. Sounds like a plan. Scary.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Cold long run

Route: 21m, road and trail, hilly
weather: much colder than I had anticipated!

Set out for a 25m run today and managed 21. Could have easily gones the extra 4m, but I was just so cold! Had seriously under-dressed.

Ran a nice route today with some good hills and some lovely scenery. Ran a steady 9min/mile average which is still a bit quicker than I would have liked.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Saturday evening run

Route: 8m, trail/road/hilly
Weather: windy, light rain, cool (10C)

Another great run at a steady pace over trail, field and road around the back of Otley. I love this route at the moment.

Felt good all the way round. Will run 25ish tomorrow and see how strong I feel at the end.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Climbing

Went for a climb tonight at The Leeds Wall with my friend Iain - someone who will hopefully be running the last bit of the WHWR with me next June. Good to do a different sort of cross training. Can't feel my forearms this evening, but great fun.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Great evening run

Route: 6m, undulating/hilly, road and trail
Weather: Beautiful, cold (4C), clear and breezy.

Ran with the moonlighters from the club around 6 and bit miles at a good pace. Split off at the end to keep the pace up with one other guy. Great run, really enjoyed it and felt like I could have run lots more.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Just a run

Route: 5.5m, road, hilly
Weather: Light drizzle, mild

Late night run as couldn't make club run. Ran a steady 8 min average pace.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Road shoes after 600+ miles

Bought a new pair of road shoes today. I really must change them sooner this time!

Boredom Training

(Edited to say that it was only the 2md loop that counted as boredom training - the comapny was very good on the first lap!!)

Route: 20m, road, hilly
Weather: Another great November day!

Ran 2 X Otley 10s back to back. I ran the first one with someone from the club who wanted to know the route. We ran this at an avergae of 9min/miles. Ran the second one alone at an average pace of 8.20 min/miles.

I decided to run 2 hilly loops to get used to being bored while running. In a 24+ hour race there must be moments of boredom.

Anyway, at the end of the run I felt good and strong - probably could have run another loop. I didn't though :)

I must get new road shoes this week as mine are in a dreadful state and my feet are starting to get sore - something they only do when I need to change my shoes.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Warm November Run

Route: 11m, Road, Flat with two nasty hilly sections
Weather: 17C, sunny

Nice steady run in balmy November(!) weather this morning. 11 hilly miles to and along the Otley 10 route.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Full strength again

Ahhh! Injury free! Virus free! What a great feeling. Total runner's high this evening as I ran 6 hilly miles with the rest of the 'moonlighters'. Felt like I could have run for hours tonight. I wish you could analyse why it is you feel like this sometimes and not other times and bottle whatever it is you find!

Route: 6m, trail, road, hilly
weather: mild but windy

Halloween

Route: 6m, road, undulating/hilly
Weather: really mild

Finally back to near normal again after a few disappointing runs. Ran a quickish 6m and felt strong at the end.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Time on feet vs Training sessions

Route: 8m, road, undulating
Weather: 12C, light breeze

Ran with the club tonight but decided against the coached session as I'm not sure what I would have gotten out of it. As I am training for a long run, I feel I am better served by running distance rather than speed work or intervals etc. I will take part in hill reps when we do these as they are (I think) beneficial.

Instead went on an 8 mile run. Great run, but stomach cramps from 6m - definitely not right at the moment. In terms of legs and lungs, felt good however.

2 rubbish runs!

Ran on Sunday and Monday but neither run was worth writing about - felt tired and not inot it at all :(

Monday, 29 October 2007

Coastal run

Route: 8m, hilly, trail
weather: 15C, windy, light rain

I stayed in beautiful Staithes this weekend at a freind's holiday cottage. It was very relaxing and not bad for a run either. I ran from Staithes to Hummer Sea bay along 4miles of coastal trail and back. It was nice to be able to see the sea the whole time.

Below is a picture of the view:

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Moonlighters

Route: 7.4m, undulating/hilly, road/track
weather: 9C, slight fog, dark!

Every Thursday at the club a group of us go moonlighting - that's off-road running with headtorches. Great for me as a fair chunk of my run will be in the dark under similar conditions.

We followed the same route that I ran yesterday. Felt strong and could have run a lot further. No problems from the leg again. Heading up to the coast tomorrow, so will rest on Fri and try and find some interesting routes on Sat and Sun.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Building it up again

Route: 7.4m, Road and trail
weather: 12C, clear, nice

Ran with Helen round the back of Farnley and Weston. Nice run and no real leg pain, so happy.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Gentle club run

Route: 5m, road, undulating/hilly
Weather: cold and clear - nice!

Everyone else went out for hill reps but I decided it would not be such a good idea afterb the slight pull last week, so went with one other guy for a gentle 5 mile trot. Good fun. No muscle pain so pleased I opted for the run rather than the reps tonight.

Fingers crossed

Have been patient with the slight hamstring injury over the weekend. I cycled Sat and Sun and rested Mon. Will go down to the club tonight and see if anyone wants a longer run rather than the coached session as I think that's where I went wrong last time. If not then I'll go for a trot on my own.

Haven't felt a niggle since Saturday so fingers crossed...

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Another setback :(

Set off to run to my cousin's house today in Harrogate (13ish hilly miles). One mile in and had to return home with a slight pull in my right hamstring. I don't think it's too serious, but I certainly couldn't have run on it.

Returned home to get my bike and cycled instead as this didn't seem to bother it at all, so at least got in some kind of workout, although it wasn't the nice run I'd had in mind.

I will do some more cycling tomorrow instead of the long run and rest the leg until midweek and see how it is then. I am trying to be philosophical about all these setbacks, but they are a bit depressing.

With hindsight, Tuesday's sprint session was the cause. I came back after a few days out and went straight into a hard sprint/pyramid session. My hamstrings felt very tight afterwards, but as I had such a good run on Thursday night, I thought I was out of the woods. They must have been tighter than i thought. I think with the intensity of the running I am working up to, I will give the tempo runs a miss and concentrate on hill reps instead.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Stars and an owl

Route: 8m, hilly/undulating, road
Weather: Freezing!

GREAT to be feeling better again after the cold. Ran a steady 8 miles and felt great. Would have kept on running if I didn't have school tomorrow. Might do a night run over the half term next week, especially if the weather stays so good - I'll see how things go.

Beautiful starry night again and also saw an owl fly past me.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Starry night

Route: 5m-ish, road and trail, hilly
weather: 2C, clear and still

Dragged myself out for a run this evening as feeling tired. Ran 5ish miles up the chevin with the headtorch. Legs felt a bit heavy and lungs probably only at 85% so not a great run, but glad to have got out just the same.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Pyramid

Ran for the first time since the w/e tonight and felt ok. Did a pyramid session with the club. We did some warm-ups, some sprint sessions and then a pyramid session. The pyramid was (with 100m recoveries) 200m, 400m, 600m, 800m, 600m, 400m,200m efforts (X2 with 3 minutes rest).

This was a tough session, but I was just glad to be back into it after being sick. I hate being sick!

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Blip

Have had a bit of a training blip for a few days now. Started with the niggle after a long run and then this went straight into a bad cold. I am trying to be flexible about my training as I think the only way to recover from these things is rest, but I hate not running and I get uneasy deviating too much from weekly mileages. I am hoping that by midweek I will be back on track and ready to bump up the miles again. I will post a revised October/November schedule once I see how my recovery goes.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Northumberland

Route: 13m, road, hilly/undulating
weather: sunny, 17C

Cold still pretty bad but did manage to run today. Got dropped off on the way to friends' and ran the last 13m on a nice quiet road route.

Will probably not run tomorrow as feeling pretty wretched tonight.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Snuffly Triangle

Route: 6m, road, undulating
weather: 15C

Have had a bad cold all week so this is my firstrun since Sunday's long run. I hate not running but there was no way I could have run on Tuesday or Wednesday. I went to the club tonight, but forgot there was an AGM so set off after the other runners and ran a very ploddy 6m triangle. Still not feeling myself really. Will rest again tomorrow and then hopefully be fully fit for the weekend when I'll run up in Northumberland while visiting friends.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Crumble

Although not really anything to do with running, I thought I would just record how much I love crumble in case I need to think about what food to eat after the event!!

Got the last of the blackberries today with one of my daughters and made a blackberry and apple crumble. Is there anything better than crumble and custard after a long run? If so, I don't want to know about it because I nearly exploded with the amount of crumble I ate today. Fantastic.


Reduced long run

Route: 16.5 miles, road, fell and trail, flat, undulating and hilly (everything really!)
Weather: 18C, sunny

As I'd already had a week of reduced mileage due to last Monday's niggle, I decided to give myself a generally lower mileage week. That said, I did have a testing 16.5 mile multi-terrain run. I ran an average pace of 8.53 min/mile which is still a lot quicker than I'd like, but I'm finding it hard to slow it down.

On the early road section today I fell. Not just a stumble, but a full-on, arms flailing, cartoon style splat. About 6 cars (none of which stopped to check I wasn't dead!) must have had a right good laugh. No real damage done except a bit of bark taken off the hands and my right hip. And a very bruised ego. I think if you'd measured initial fall to point of landing, it would have been a Jonathan Edwards style gold medal winning effort!

Got a very sore throat tonight and my Mum is arriving from Scotland tomorrow evening, so swimming tomorrow night might have to be postponed. Will gargle some TCP (yum) and see what happens.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Triangle

Route: 6.5m, road, undulating
Weather: 15C, sunny

Swam for an hour early on then ran the triangle route from Otley to Burley and back. Lovely sunny morning to be out running. Easy 8 min pace.

I need to find out how much training people do with backpacks and without. Also what weight people carry.

I suppose the sensible thing to do would be to make up a 'mock pack' with the mandatory items and the other things I think I will need. I will do some net research...

Early night

Friday is rest day which usually means I can't sleep as I haven't exercised. No problem tonight though - asleep at 10 :)

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Good Club Run

Route: 7m undulating, road, average 7ish pace
Weather: Beautiful sky, clear, 4C (brrr)

Ran with the fast group at the club tonight. Pleased with the run as it's faster than I usually run, but I felt strong and easily able to keep up with the sub 7 minute miles. A couple of days off has obviusly done me good.

A big thank you to today's sponsors - Lisa and Varn, I'm amazed at your generosity - thank you; and to The Face Man - you know who you are - cheers mate.

I feel so good after a fast run, especially after a couple of days enforced rest. Mmmm endorphins!

Back into it

Weight; 73Kg
Backpack weight: n/a
Weather: dunno, dark and cold!
Route: 4m, undulating

Legs feeling better today. Glad to have had a day off actually as lots on at work at the moment. Ran 4m tonight in a quickish pace. Will run with the club tomorrow.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Niggle

Supposed to swim or bike tonight but rested as I have a small niggle behind my left knee. Not overly concerned about it. May rest Tues and Wed if persistent, but will play it by ear each night.

Took ages to get to sleep without any exercise!

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Not a bad place to run

Weight: 73kg
Backback weight: 3kg
Weather: 15C
Route: 18m, hilly, trail and road, Elevation gain 2370ft

Ran from home today with no real destination in mind - just a GPS watch that needed to say 18+ miles on it by the time I got home again! I headed out of Otley and just kept taking public footpaths as I came across them. Some I knew really well, others I wasn't sure about. I still find it amazing that I keep coming across new routes even though I have run around this area for over three years.

I ran a steady pace of 9min miles, but did feel tired, possibly because of last week's mileage and possibly due to the heavy backpack I took.

I took a camera today too to take a few shots of wherever I ended up:

Looking out towards Almscliffe Crag and the beginning of North Yorkshire.


Me, sweaty, and covered in pesky little black flies, at the Lower Washburn Parish Church.



And at Lindley Wood Reservoir.



And here is the profile of the run:

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Swim + Run

Weight: 73kg
Backpack weight: n/a
Weather: Rain, 12C
Route: 6m, trail and fell, hilly

Swam 2.25km this morning then ran a hilly 6m. Felt really tired on the uphills this morning, but I think that was due to the intensity of my swim. I'm hoping that swimming followed by a hilly (and increasingly long) trail run will simulate running with tired legs - actually there's no simulation here, i did have tired legs! I hope that this will help to build a bit of endurance.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Zzzzzz

Rest Day :)

Thursday, 27 September 2007

End of another week

Weight: 74kg
Backpack weight: n/a
Weather: 8C
Route: 8.5m, road, undulating
Weekly Mileage: 49.1m

Thursday evening heralds the end of the week's running and the eve of a rest day. Ran with the club tonight, a fast-ish 8.5 miles, from Otley round Burley and back again.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Gadgets

Weight: 74kg
Backpack weight: 2.2kg
Weather: 6C, Relative humidity 81.3%, Wind speed 13.4mph, direction NNW
Route: 8.60 miles, Elevation gain 1430ft, Trail, fell and road
Max Heart Rate: 186, average heat rate: 154 (84%)

Ran a reasonably hilly 8 and a half miles tonight. Decided to take a number of gadgets. I was interested to see what sort of range my heart rate would be for a steady hill run and I also wanted to check the distance of this route. The gadgets also give you loads of other info too! I thought it was 8 miles. I was 0.6 miles out.

This is the profile of the run:

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Short run

Weight: 74KG
Backpack weight: 2.4kg
Weather: 12C
Route: 4m, road, undulating

Short run this eve of 4 miles - 2 steady uphill and 2 back again.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Swim

Monday is cross-training day. The weather was rubbish so sacked the bike ride and went for a nice swim. Swam 2km.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Long Run

Weight: (less alarmingly!):73kg
Backpack weight: 2.2kg
Weather: 15C
Route: 19.5m, road, undulating

For some reason I didn't feel like the long run today, but stuck to the schedule nonetheless. Ran from home into Leeds and back on the road. Felt fine mostly but did feel a little tired from about 16m. Recovering quickly at the moment though which is good.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Great Saturday Morning

Weight: (alarmingly!) 72kg
Backback weight: 2.2kg
Weather: Sunny 13C
Route: 8.5m Road, undulating

Started today with an early morning swim. Swam for an hour and then went for a steady 8.5 mile road run. Slightly concernlingly, I seemed to have lost about 3-4kg this morning, which I guess must be just fluid loss, but I will check later on as this is quite a bit of weight!

Good, easy run 7.5 min/miles.

Applied for the Thames Path Ultra 50 in January today. Will also think about doing the Rotherham 50 in December to give me a taste of distances above 30m (my current highest mileage).

Loads of campers round Otley this morning for the Black Sheep Folk Festival. Will go along and have alook later. Nice to get these w/e runs out of the way early on and then they don't impinge too heavily on time with the family.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Rest Day

Busy day but no running!

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Club run

Weight: 74kg
Backpack weight: n/a
Weather: 14C
Route: 8m, road, undulating
Weekly Mileage: 41m

Ran a fast uphill with some of the club and then a more gentle return. A little over 8 miles on undulating road. Really nice to be home and finished by half 8!

Rest Day tomorrow :)

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

More Nocturnal Activity!

Weight: 74kg
Backpack weight: 2kg
Weather: 14C, windy
Route: 6m, Road/Trail, Hilly

Another late run again tonight along the Chevin Forest Trail. Again, glad to have stuck to the schedule even though bed would have been a much more inviting option!

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Late night run

Weight: 74kg
Backback weight: 2.2kg
Weather: Dunno, 11C ish, drizzle, dark!
Route: 6m-ish, Road, Trail, hilly

Had a nightmare day today which centred around my laptop power supply blowing up. Not just this, but everything I touched seemed to go wrong. Due to various things, this meant that tonight's proposed club run couldn't take place.

I did run though, albeit a lot later than planned. I suppose it's good to get as much practice as possible running with the headtorch on bumpy tracks.

Ran on road and trail for 6 miles or so at a steady pace. It was definitely the highlight of an otherwise Tuesday to forget!

Monday, 17 September 2007

Quick Cycle

Cross training night tonight so cycled a hilly 10 miles. Not really far enough but the hills certainly got the lungs working.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Otley 10 Route

Weight: 74kg
Bacpack weight: 2.2kg
Weather: 16C, blustery showers
Route: 11m, Road, hilly (Otley 10 route + 1)

Cut the long run mileage back this week as I intend to every thirs week or so where possible. Ran the Otley 10 race route which is a hilly road route from Otley to Pool to Leathley to Farnley and back to Otley. It's a really nice route with some good hills, but it never ceases to amaze me the amount of cars on these 'back' roads. Some drivers are just so inconsiderate with little space being given and no indication to the cars behind that they are approaching a runner. Rant over.

Anyway, an enjoyable run even in the blustery conditions.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Carnival Run

Weight: 74kg
Backpack weight: 1.8kg
weather: 14C, sunny
Route: 10m-ish, road/trail

Went to see Carnival Messiah at Harewood House today. Not a big musical fan, but it was an amazing thing to see and very thought provoking too.

After two and a bit hours sat on my backside in a plastic chair I was ready to stretch the legs and set off to follow the Ebor Way home to Otley. I did have the map, but accidently left it in the car, so had to run on instinct and good fortune! Found the way no problem and it was a much nicer route than I had expected. I will run it again. Nie gentle 9min mile run. Happy Days.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Rest Day

:)

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Short Cut?!

Weekly Mileage: 40m
Weight: 74kg
Backpack weight: n/a
Weather: 13C
Route: 6m, road/trail

Ran with the club tonight. The planned route was a gentle flatish 5m. Missed the turn off the oldrailway track however, and one of the lads who I run with says "don't worry I know a short cut." He forgot to add the adjectives 'nasty' and 'hilly' into his sentence!

Good run, steady pace.

Rest day tomorrow :)

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

The nights are drawing in...

Weight: 75kg
Backpack weight: 2kg
Weather: 13C
Route: 6.4m, trail/road, hilly, night run

Ran an easy 6+ miles tonight through the Chevin with headtorch. It's amazing how dark it's getting so early. I use a Petzl headtorch which I think I will have to upgrade before the bid day as I'm not sure it would be bright enough on unknown trails.

A good run, 8.5min miles, steady.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Club Run

Weight: 75KG
Backpack Weight: n/a
Weather: 14C
Route: 7m, road and trail, hilly

Ran with the club tonight. Decided to try and keep up with the faster group for a run up to the top of the Chevin and back. Managed the pace OK apart from one top stretch where I took a small deviation. Pleased with the run, especially after a long weekend fell race. Particularly pleased with the recovery rate at the moment. Pace probably 7.20 minute-ish. Will try to slow it down tomorrow and run a steady 6 miles.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Swimming

Just swam a few lengths tonight. Nice to rest the legs!

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Exterminator

Weight: 75kg
Backpack Weight: 2.2KG
Weather: 18C
Route: 16m, fell, trail and road

I had a disastrous start to this race! I had decided late last night to abandon this race as I couldn't find some of the kit I needed for it. About 8.30 this morning, however, the missing kit was found and I decided to drive down to Totley to have a go at this AL category Fell Race.

The journey should have taken a little over an hour, but I managed to hit everything from wide loads to road closures for a road race in Sheffield.

So I arrived in Totley to hear the race organiser setting off the runners - and I hadn't even registered yet! I had also forgotten to go the bank to get money to pay for my entry...it was a disastrous start! The kind Totley ladies let me enter if I promised to send a cheque (which is in the post!) so I quickly changed and set off up the hill to the trig point in last place, 8 minutes behind the sweeper!

I'm not sure whether it was adrenalin, or if it was the absence of pressure from knowing I couldn't place as high up as usual, but I had a brilliant run. The 16 miles and 4000ft of fell and trail slipped by and I finished the race strongly and ready for more. Not sure of my final place/time, but as this was a 'training' race I'm not really bothered. I'm more concerened with how the legs felt after that kind of climb/distance, and they felt fine.

Really enjoyed the race - thanks a lot Totley AC!

Stanage edge (below) was just one of the beautiful sights on this race:

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Ilkley Moor

Weight: 75kg
Backpack weight: 2.2kg
Weather: 19C
Route: 5m (walk) 5m(run), track, hilly

We all walked from Burley Woodhead to White Wells today, and then the girls hopped on the bus and I ran back across the moor. It was a beautiful day for running and the only thing which took the shine off the whole thing was the fantastic fall I had descending the moor at Burley Woodhead - right in front of two bemused walkers! I followed the golden rules under these circumstances: don't make eye contact, dust yourself off and run even faster than you were running before! This is no time to assess injuries! As it happened, all I had was a bit of a sprained thumb.

Slightly shorter route than planned today and conservatively run in view of tomorrow's 'Exterminator' fell run.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Comedy Vegetables

Weekly Mileage: 37m
Weight: 75KG
Backpack weight: n/a
Weather: 17C
Route: 6m, Trail

Nice steady run with the club tonight. Beautiful evening for running. Enjoyed the last run of the week before tomorrow's rest day. I'm looking forward to resting the legs before the longer w/e runs.

Also...I won a prize! Didn't hang around for the prizegiving as was running home, but was given the beautiful marrow pictured below as a spot prize in last night's Ilkley Incline! I am very proud of this my first ever running prize!

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Ilkley Incline

Weight: 75KG
Backpack weight: n/a
Weather: 16C, light wind
Route: tarmac and trail, hilly
Distance: 1 mile uphill race followed by 8 mile trail/run

Ran the Ilkley Incline tonight (organised by Ilkley Harriers). A one mile uphill event. I entered it with a friend thinking 'come on, how bad can a mile be?!'. Bad.
It is a total lung-buster, but lots of fun. I think I snuck in just short of 10 mins.

We then ran back to Otley over beautiful Ilkley Moor, following the last section of the Rombolds Stride, a race in Feb which I will try to do in preparation for the WHWR. Ran a good pace home, especially the penultimate mile as we attempted to catch a lone runner (6.45 mins!) Thanks Helen, for a great run.

Legs are quite sore tonight as I have increased the hilly mileage this week. Club run tomorrow then total rest on Friday :)

Picture courtesy of Ilkley Harriers

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Just don't look behind you!

Weight: 76kg
Backpack weight: n/a
Weather: 15C, windy
Route: 4m, road/track, hilly (especially that last mile!)

Otley AC Eccup Handicap

As I'm sure those of you who ever run club handicaps will agree, the one thing you can't do is ever look behind you! It's terrifying!

Started with an 8 minute handicap today and managed to overtake a few and creep up to 3rd with a time of 27.56. Somewhere just under 7 minute miles. Not Earth-shattering, but I enjoyed the run.

Midnight Bike Rides

First day back in the classroom today, so quite a lot to do this evening. I planned to do a cross-training session on a Monday (either biking or swimming) so when I looked at the clock at 11:15 and realised I hadn't gone yet, I thought about giving it a miss. I swore that unless I was injured, I would stick to the training schedule even if it meant running in the middle of the night (something I'm going to need to get used to!). So out I went on the bike for a quick 10 hilly miles. Once I was out (and particularly up the first big hill) I had a great time!

Sunday, 2 September 2007

First Long Run

Weight: 76kg
Backback weight: 2.8kg
Weather: 16C, heavy showers
Route: 14m, road/trail, hilly

Not a bad run today for the first 'long' run, although still pretty short really. Had a bit more in the backpack today, taking it up a few grammes to 2.8kg - that seemed to make a huge difference. Ran a nice steady 9.45 average pace.

Pretty good view from the top too:

Saturday, 1 September 2007

That's more like it

Weight: 77kg
Backpack weight: 2.3kg
Weather: 18C
Route: 8m, road, undulating

Second 'official' run of the campaign today and it went much better than day 1's miserable start. Ran from Ilkley to Otley and included some good hills. Ran average pace of 7.56 min/mile which is a little faster than I intended to run, but was in a good rhythm and felt great. Really enjoyed it today. Will aim for a nice gentle 14 on the trails tomorrow.

Kettlebells

Now I don't like you, and I know you don't like me...



I plan to do three upper body strength sessions a week between now and June as I'm a bit weedy in that department. I hope that it will help me to run more efficiently (core strength and all that) and help prevent injuries.

Kettlebells are much more fun than weights (yawn) and I can do them at home without the inconvenience of going to the gym (which I hate).

Fly a kite

Fridays will be days I grow to love more than any other as these are the days I have earmarked for rest. The most strenuous activity today was flying a kite with my daughters - so much fun!

Thursday, 30 August 2007

That dreaded first training run

Weight: 77kg
Backpack Weight: 2.2kg
Weather: 18C
Route: Trail, 5 miles, hilly

Although I have run every night this week, this was the first one that I considered to be part of a schedule. The symbolism of this changes the feel of the run completely. I started this long journey with a gentle 5 mile run up the hill behind my house. Despite being in reasonably good shape over the summer, I am feeling very tired after cycling from Newcastle to Edinburgh with some friends (see pic below). My legs were not very pleased with me at all. Huffed and puffed up the hill and felt generally horrid, then got into a good rhythm on the flat and the downhill. This is supposed to be the 'assessment phase' and one thing for sure is that I have a lot of hard work ahead of me.

I am a good bit heavier than my fighting weight of around 70kg due to the delicious food in Croatia and the amazing pies in Melrose on the way to Edinburgh (yum!) but that will come off once this schedule kicks in (I hope).

Overall a bit daunted, but glad to have run. Seem a shame that tomorrow's a rest day, but I have vowed to make Friday's the most sacred of all the days!

Training Outlook

I sat up until 2am this morning devising a training programme for the coming months, sorting out races I can enter to use as training runs etc. I think I've got it sorted.

My training is loosely broken up into four 'phases':

Phase 1 - assessment and foundation phase: This will last from now until mid December and will be a period of seeing where I am and working on building a good solid foundation for when the training demands increase.

Phase 2 - increasing mileage: This is the period when I begin to boost the mileage.

Phase 3 - high mileage: This is the peak of the training programme.

Phase 4 - taper: This is when the mileage eases off to prepare for the race.

My weekly schedule will look something like this:

Mon Cross Training (either swimming or cycling)
Tue Club run of 6+ miles
Wed Tempo run or Hill reps
Thu Club run of 6+ miles
Fri REST :)
Sat 8 miles+ (early on) and long run (later phase)
Sun Long Run of up to 30 miles with one training run 'race' of 53 miles

I will try to be as flexibile as possible with this routine, but this is what I am aiming for. Besides this I will do three weekly sessions of upper body strength training (as I'm a bit weedy in that department) and a couple of hill walks a week.

The First Post

I have decided to keep this blog to record my training in the build up to The West Highland Way Race 2008. I have read that lots of people have found that a blog helped them in their training and I certainly need all the help I can get!

So over the next few months, I will be posting information about how the training's going as well as any races that I enter. It will be extremely boring reading for anyone else I'm sure, but it might just provide me with the extra bit of motivation I need to complete this race.

Thanks for dropping by!

Phil

Monday, 30 July 2007

Brac Run

Ran the width of Brac much to the bemusement of the locals who were more than a little concerned that I'd get lost and succumb to the ferocity of the midday sun!

Ran from Postira on the Northern coast of Brac, Croatia to Bol on the Southern coast. Only 15 miles, but in the middle stands Vidova Gora, the highest summit in the Adriatic.

Very proud of this run as I was alone throughout, had limited water and no water supply, had to find tracks to get down from Vidova Gora and (most importantly!!) the locals said I couldn't do it!

Me at the top of Vidova Gora, only downhill to go now :)