The first week back, I started fairly steady, including some minimalist running in the park, but by Thursday I felt ready to do some proper work so slotted in one of my "Skiddaw reps". This is a simple concept but can work wonders. For those that know the mountain, you will be aware that it is just one long relentless climb on a good track which makes it ideal in the dark/fog/mist/cloud. The aim of the session is to condition my quadricepts to the eccentric contractions of downhill running, so a Skiddaw rep is simply a run up for a certain length of time, nice and steady, followed by a hammer back down. At the moment, I'm just doing a 40 minute run up, but I will progress this over the months until I'm doing the summit and back in late spring.
On the Friday I broke my 8 min/mile rule about a week early but it was just such a lovely evening that I found myself skipping along at a good tempo pace and just decided to go with it. It was nice to take the shackles off and run with a bit of pace, though I have a long way to go before this type of running is going to be easy!
|Tempo run round Derwentwater, looking towards Skiddaw|
|17 hours after the previous photo!|
This week has been built around my first long run on the West Highland Way this year. Over the last few years, during my half term break, I have ran from Balmaha to Tyndrum (33 miles) and used this as a good guide to how well I have wintered. This time I decided to extend the run and continue to Bridge of Orchy (40 miles). To make matters just a little more interesting, the only bus all afternoon back towards Glasgow left Bridge of Orchy at 3pm - so the race was on!
|On the final section to Bridge of Orchy|
What I have decided is that, next time I go out for an ultra length training session, I am not going to put a time pressure on myself - you shouldn't be rushing through scenery like this!!