Yeah, OK.  I’ve been crap at keeping this up to date.  “I know, I’ll write a blog and it’ll be easy to just put some stuff up occasionally and…”… well, I’ve been rubbish!

The last post was 7th July – a week or so after Endure 24, and it’s now almost the end of November.  So what have I been up to?  Well, I’ll write a few bits below, partly so when I look back at this blog in a few years, when I’m running 100 milers in 16 hours (*hysterical laughter*) I can try and remind myself where I came from…

So, Endure 24.  Some time after, and do I look back on it in a positive way? Damn straight.  I’ve entered next year, and all I remember about this years run is the good points.  The night running, the camaraderie, the feeling at the finish.  Just amazing, and I’m really looking forward to next year.  But this time, I will get to 100 miles.   It’s my “A” event for next year, and any ultras I do before June next year are effectively working towards E24.  I’ve learnt from what went wrong, and I know what to train.  The highest priority is coping with not much sleep – so I’m planning some night runs, and also some 36-48 hour awake times – not necessarily anything to do with running, but more to do with getting used to how I function when sleep deprived.

I’ve also entered the Green Man Ultra for next year too.  It’s a bit different this year.  Firstly, it’s 44 miles instead of 46, and the time limit has dropped from 13 hours to 12 hours.  It’s also chip timed and marked.  My goal is to get it done in 10 hours, hopefully comfortably under 10 hours (which will be quite an improvement on last years 11:25).

So, that’s the current events for next year.  I want to do 1 or 2 more ultras – I think I’m in the mood to concentrate more on training now and do some of my own “adventure” runs of 30-60 miles, with a view to enter my first 100 mile ultra in 2016 (I’ll be 40 that year, and I’m deliberately holding off until 2016 to run a 100 mile distance event).

And what have I been up to since July?  Well, the Bournemouth and Poole Marathon was my target race for October, and through August and September I focused more on speed.  I desperately wanted to break 4 hours, but I’ve now realised that my training was a bit wrong – too fast and not enough endurance work – so I fell apart around 16-18 miles and came in at 4:01:46.  I’m over it now – and quite pleased, because next time I do a marathon I am not just going to break 4 hours, I’m going to smash it!

We went on a family holiday to Switzerland at the end of August (the same place as last year – Saas-Fee).  The running there is fantastic if you like vertical!  I did considerably better than last year – I did a few 600-700m climbs, and managed my first vertical kilometer (1070m in total) – 1 hour 25 minutes to the top, and about 30 minutes back down again in a total distance of about 5-6 miles (I can’t remember the exact distance).  I so want to go back!!

Walking and Slow Running

I’ve just had 2 weeks pretty much off running completely.  Why? I don’t know really, I just didn’t fancy running, so I thought I’d try a bit of walking.  I’ve got in to walking down to work and back which is about 12 miles a week, so instead of running I just made sure I did that every day, and added various other walks in to bring the distance to 15-25 miles per week.  And I really enjoyed it!  I ought to point out, that when I’m walking it’s at 14-15 minute miles, so pretty fast.  But it’s something I can keep up for hours, and it got me thinking about running…

For one reason or another, I’ve started paying more attention to aerobic training, and I’m currently (as of a couple of days ago) toying with the Maffetone method.  The last 3 runs I’ve done (20ish miles) have been at a heart rate of between 132 and 142.  Or trying at least!  The times are 9:30-10:30/mile average and it’s frustrating running that slow and having to walk when the terrain goes uphill, but I’m going to keep this up until the end of the year (about 5-6 weeks in total) to see what happens.

The one nice thing about this is that I’ve gone out for 3 runs of about 1 hour each for 3 days in a row, and each one I get back from feeling like I’ve been for a walk.  My running up to that point was pretty much to treat every run as a race, and reading about aerobic fitness I’m not sure I’ve got any at all by most measures!!  So, hopefully I’ll see some improvements.

On top of all that, I’ve lost about a stone in the last 2 months, with more to go, so by the Green Man Ultra next year I’m planning on being around 35lb lighter than last year.  And that’s gotta help!!

Onwards and upwards… for the first time in all my running, I feel like I have some decent goals and some plans to get there.


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