Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The last few months

Octobers big race was the Loch Ness Marathon. This has to be my favourite marathon due to the scenery, low numbers, course profile (HILLS!) and social event. Myself and Mike Raffan went up with my pal Al (aka "mamemeister"). I knew Al from a few retro videogames forums where he had asked about the sensibility of running 26 miles after watching the London marathon on the TV in April. He did not take much persuasion to enter Loch Ness which gave him just 4-5 months to go from zero to marathon runner. I had a lot of fun being a virtual coach :-) The trip to Loch Ness was excellent - lots of beer, laughs and an enjoyable event. Here is what I wrote at the time:

"To go from nothing to marathon fitness in 4 months is nothing short of amazing. It has been great fun for me to give advice to Al since April and be a "virtual coach". It was also a pleasure running alongside him yesterday on the big day as he is such a great bloke - friendly, decent and down to earth. We had a right old laugh this weekend. 
Although he got a cracking time for a first attempt (4:16) I was personally impressed with the fact he had a really strong race. He ran fast but always within his limits. At no point in the last few gruelling miles did it fall apart and you could tell from the determination on his face that he was not going to let the distance beat him. He really did himself proud. 
And we did a sprint finish over the line :)"
Mike, Al and myself.

Mike also got a huge PB at Loch Ness of 3:26. Fantastic stuff.

Since then I have been considering my options for next year and how I finish this one. I am drawn to trail runs, especially the longer events, however the waters were muddied by getting an entrance to the London Marathon next year. I have decided to pay for it but defer running it until 2012 thereby allowing me to chase my goal of 5 Scottish Ultras in 2011.
I have also decided to use this period of training to cut back on mileage (without compromising fitness) and properly heal my knee niggles. In fact I abandoned a 26 mile run on the West Highland Way with mates last weekend for a more sensible shorter local run. My foot psoriasis is healing a lot after getting some new cream from a specialist. Training for the rest of the year looks a bit like this:

M 1 hour cycle with core exercises
T Intervals  or hill session (around 6 miles)
W 1 hour cycle with core exercises (or Rest)
T 6-8 mile Tempo run 
F 1 hour cycle with core exercises
S 10-13 miles trail running
S Rest

Then I'll be looking to increase my long runs in the New Year to prepare for the Dee33 in March.

Also trying to lose a good bit of weight. This is ongoing and looking promising.

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