Monday 14th to Sunday 20th December 2015

Training for: Grizedale Trail Marathon

Runs: 3, Total Distance: 21.6km, Total Time: 1:39

Week 1 of 8 - Grizedale Trail 26.

Week 1 of 8 – Grizedale Trail 26.

I had 9 days straight off from training after CTS Dorset Ultra. I figured I had earned the break after a very decent, consistent block of training and a great race to finish off 2015! I did a little foam rolling and a little bit of yoga but nothing structured or regular and no cardio at all.

When Tuesday rolled around and the start date for my Grizedale Trail Marathon training block arrived I was feeling a little apprehensive. This was mainly down to feeling heavier than I did before CTS Dorset (psychosomatic – I checked, same weight) and because I have a trapped L3 spinal nerve which causes my knee varying levels of discomfort. I’ll cut too the chase, although apprehension was probably warranted, it wasn’t needed and this I learned within the first klick of the run! I opted to run road, straight after work with no target in mind for heart rate, distance, pace or anything at all. I just wanted to run entirely on feel – if it feels good, speed up. If it feels bad, slow it down. It feel good. REALLY good. I went through 5km in 19:15 and ran on through 8km in 32:00. I could not have asked for a better start to this training block really.

Wednesday evening I changed it up a little and entered the gym for a treadmill workout for the first time in over a year! During Wednesday morning I signed up for a 12 month membership before entering the ballot for TDS (Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie) which is taking place on the Wednesday of UTMB week in August – 120km, +7250m with a cut-off of 33 hours and an average finishing time of 27 hours…naturally, if I get a spot, I’m aiming for 24 hours as an A-Goal, 26 as a  B-Goal and just finishing the thing as my C-Goal!! Anyway, the treadmill will be featuring a lot in my workout schedules throughout 2016. The plan is to run speed work outdoors on Wednesday evenings when the sky begins to brighten and to use the treadmill for incline workouts on Sundays (and Wednesdays until the sky brightens)! I had a good first session, covering 6.5km in 30:00 at a 5% incline gaining +325m.

Continuity and consistency took a hit this week and will likely do so next week as it is, according to some, ‘the most wonderful time of the year’. This being the case I worked late on Thursday before taking my Dad and brother to buy the food we will be cooking on Christmas day, Friday I met with my best friend and his girlfriend for a pint and a curry as they are going away for Christmas and New Year and then on Saturday I was doing some plumbing/labouring work with the aforementioned best friend as he didn’t want to leave any jobs unfinished before going away!

All day Thursday, Friday and Saturday my inner coach was nagging it me that I should been making the time to get the workouts done regardless but my outer self was doing its utmost to ignore that. I am now sitting and writing this with a guilty conscience but with the knowledge that this tends to happen for these 2 weeks of every year! As soon as Christmas weekend is out of the way I am going to be back in complete, dedicated training mode: Monday  rest day and then six days on. Standard. No excuses (aside from illness or injury)!

I rounded out my week and quieted my inner coach by getting up early, heading to the gym and undertaking a swim/run brick session! Now, I know that some of you who read this will know that I have had my head turned by Ironman once or twice in the recent past but I can safely say that next year my focus is on long, mountainous running races…I have just decided to introduce swimming and indoor cycling into my regular routine to help with my running longevity and, let’s face it, to help me be more prepared when the time inevitably arrives and I sign up for a 70.3 or an Ironman! Anyway, I swam a 1650m in 33:58 and then attempted to transition from pool to treadmill as quickly as I could…this didn’t go so smoothly as my locker with my gear in malfunctioned and I had to wait 5 minutes before an attendant could open it…but, in the end I got onto the treadmill within a 15 minute window from getting out of the pool (something tells me I’ll be investing in a two-piece Tri suit soon). The treadmill workout was tough! I started immediately at 5% incline and within about 2 minutes I realised I wouldn’t be able to maintain that for the entire planned 7km workout – at the 1km mark I reduced it to 2% to allow for 1km recovery and then increased to 5% again and maintained that pattern until the end of the run. I logged +262m and 7.1km in 36:00 so not a bad run at all.

As I say, next week will likely be just as jumbled an inconsistent as I try to fit in what I can, when I can around the Christmas period!

That’s it for this week folks. Enjoy the holiday period next week! I hope the trails, treadmills and roads treat you all well.

Peace & Blessings

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