Monthly Archives: April 2012

Fun in the Sun

Mr Blue Sky, please tell us why
You had to Hide away for so long

It was lovely to get out under a warm sun today, over the downs to The Ridgeway, even if it was only about 5 miles.

Nuff said.


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Pain in the Rain

I had a 20 miler around the lanes with my friend Matt this morning. The weather was wet and breezy, and my legs got pretty sore by the end.

Rule #5 and #9 obeyed!

The push to the Kent Coastal Marathon in September has begun. ūüôā

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It’s a Crazy Plan…

but it might work. Well, I know¬†that the events I was going to do anyway over the summer¬†won’t stop me getting round another marathon in September, but beyond that they’ll be great endurance training, as they’re mostly long or very long (ultras).

So, in the summer, I shall mostly be doing:

  • 11-12th May – The Ridgeway 40.¬†Or Ridgeway 80 if you’re me.
    This is a walking event (that takes runners), 40 miles from the start/end of The Ridgeway National Trail at Overton Hill to Streatley on Thames Youth Hostel.
    The proper event starts on the morning of 12th, but for the last 2 years I have set off from the finish at around 10pm the night before and ran though the night to the start. Setting off on a long journey on foot overnight feels very intrepid and it has been quite a special experience the 2 times I have done it. It has also earned me ‘celebrity’ status, including royal treatment at the mile 29 ‘tea & cakes’ checkpoint.
  • 9th June – Welsh 1000m Peaks Race.
    Approximately 20 miles and 8000m ascent, covering all the 1000 metre summits in Snowdonia. A classic in the fell racing calendar.
  • 30th June -1st July – South Downs Way 100.
    Miles that is. I’ve run 100 miles once before, and it was the toughest thing I’ve done: I’m hoping this one will be more straightforward. I ran the 95-mile West Highland Way Race 3 weeks after my last 100, and it wasn’t too bad, so it’s not a far-fetched hope.
  • ¬†29th July – Seaview 17.
    A lovely, scenic run along the South West ¬†Coast Path from Countisbury to Minehead. Roughly 20 miles (the 17 is alliterative and possibly refers to the ‘as the crow flies’ distance), with plenty of climbing, especially the monster up to Selworthy Beacon.
  • 4th August – Creag Dhubh Hill Race.
    A possibility for my first few days of my main summer holiday in Scotland. 4.3 miles, 1319ft of climb – fell races are very accurately measured! It’s part of the Newtonmore Highland Games, which sounds fun.
  • 5th August – Glenshee 9 Hill Race.
    Another classic: 21 miles and 6000ft, covering 9 Munros. I really want to do this one, but will need to do the Welsh 1000s to qualify! After all, the race the day before is a bit short.
  • 19th August – Lomonds of Fife Hill Race.
    Another holiday possibility. 10.1 miles, 2493ft.

I probably won’t be able to fit any other races in before the Kent coastal Marathon on 2nd¬†September. I’ll need to mix in a bunch a speed training with that to get my sub 3:15.


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Whoa there!

I went out with my club last night; my first run since London.

It felt surprisingly easy, but then seriously achy afterwards!

Still, one of the benefits of my training is that the aches go quite quickly, so I’m already feeling quite normal this morning.

My friend, Matt has arranged for us to do a 20-miler tomorrow with his friend Yousaf. Then I’ll know what achy means!

I’ve got some ‘interesting’ races lined up over the summer. ‘Interesting meaning’ a couple of 20 mile mountain races, a 20 miler on the South West Coast Path and 100 miles along the South Downs Way. I’ll elaborate on them in my next blog.

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Two Minutes, Fifteen Seconds

That’s how long I missed my target in The London Marathon by. I want to do this in Kent in September, so let’s think about what I got right in London, and what I could have done better.


  • I ‘grazed’ continuously (in addition to my meals) in the 2 days leading up to the big day, including a good 600 calories on the morning of the race. The Lucozade Sport Speaker at the Expo explained that the majority of the runners they surveyed didn’t carbo load enough: big, carb-heavy meals and plenty of snacking in-between are needed.
  • I hydrated well.¬†I needed to pee a couple of times in the hour before the start, but not too much. I sipped a Lucozade Sport drink in the starting pen, and picked up 3 water bottles on the way round, keeping hold of them and sipping ‘little and often’.
  • I had some old clothes and a disposable poncho to wear in the start area, so I could keep warm until just before the start.
  • I wore familiar clothes and shoes (OK, so I had my brand new ‘charity vest’ on).

Could do better:

  • I set off too fast: the start felt so easy and the gentle downhill of the first half and the crowds encourage quick running. Start fast, suffer later!
  • I had a really busy few days before the marathon: all stuff I couldn’t avoid, but plenty of sleep and relaxation would have served me better

Lessons learned to take forward to September…

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I did it. OK, so I didn’t manage my 3:15 target, but that was based on me wanting to get an automatic Fast Good for Age place for 2013 or 14, rather than a definite notion that it was a realistic target.

I’ll blog some more on lessons learned, etc later. But, for now, I’ve got lots of stuff to do that I allowed to pile up before the big day.

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