I’m very happy to be able to say that I am officially back at this running business. I allowed several weeks of very slow build, just adding a smidge more distance each week. This meant some very short runs but I am now at a minimum of 5k each run, four runs a week. I could probably do with adding a fifth run in the week. Having re-established a pattern of running, my thoughts turn to upcoming events. Here is what I have booked in the next few months:

i) Mapledurham 10 – a muddy 10 mile trail event. (6th December)

ii) Woodcote 10k – a hilly 10k road event. (10th January)

iii) Green Boy 30 – my first ultra, 30 miles of muddy hilly fun around Bristol, the shorter version of the Green Man (6th March).

I am doubtful about the Mapledurham 10 given the imminent lockdown, but anyway the 30 miler in March is the big enchilada so that is what I am structuring my training around.

Including my initial ramp up I am seven weeks into this plan and going well, so far at any rate. I have borrowed from training plans for other ultras I was planning to run this year that got binned off due to our friend Covid-19, incorporating a few relatively light weeks for recovery purposes. I have not yet included any quality sessions, no hills or speedwork. I intend to plod around the Green Boy so I don’t have any great need for speed, but I am worried I am not preparing adequately for later, hillier ultras I have on the books. Perhaps I should reserve my proposed 5th run for a weekly run workout.

In the meantime, I am working on some specific strength exercises to keep my tendon injuries quiet. Lots of standing on one leg, calf raises holding a 24 kilo kettle bell, resistance band work, glute bridge holds blah blah. Both the tibialis posterior and the high hamstring are responding well to this. Neither is perfect, but in my judgement, good enough to run on and importantly both are improving rather than going backwards.

As distances have been stretching out a little, the dizzy heights of 7km were reached recently, I have been able once more to incorporate more trails into my running. A relatively recent convert to trail running, I really enjoy it, I don’t know what I was thinking sticking ignorantly to roads for the preceding years. The uneven ground is a bit of a test for my (ex) ankle injury but that’s no bad thing, I need to get used to it again.

In more normal times it was my habit to run most of my midweek runs on the way home from work, incorporating them into my commute. At this time of year a head torch is needed to make that safe, more to be seen than to see, really. I have one that serves for lit roads, but earlier in the year I bought a really bright headtorch from Decathlon and I’m just now trying it out properly. It works very well on unlit paths, road and trails alike. I’m going to try it out on an evening trail run later this week.

I think that’s it for now, I will be back in a month or so with another update.

Run well and stay safe!