Sunday 15 April 2012

Getting back into long runs

In many respects this years been a funny one in terms of running. After little or no training in November and December, January and February saw 5 races on not very much training- and whilst they were all enjoyable (with special mention for the box hill fell race) I didn't feel on top of my game in any of them.

March saw no races and neither will April (OK, maybe the odd Parkrun).  I've been doing more training and starting to feel the benefit of it in my running. Importantly I've been getting back into the long runs in preparation for the Surrey Hills Trail Challenge and Trail Marathon Wales in May and June respectively.  I'd forgotten how great it is to head out for a few hours with a map and explore some new trails.

Today I headed over to Dorking to recce the Surrey Hill's (it's a non-marked self navigating race), I've run over there a couple times for Trionium races and today proved how much great trail running there is around Leith Hill and the Greensand ridge.  My running navigation is coming along slowly; however my 10 min miles for the 20 mile run today show that I haven't quite mastered running and map reading at the same time. There was certainly a few extra miles and a lot of standing around at junctions, but as the run went on I got more into it and made less mistakes and was more 'fluid' with my route choice.  All being well I'll head over again in the next few weeks and if that doesn't improve my map reading I should at least know where I'm going on race day having run the whole course in advance!

Despite upping my long runs over the past month I've left some room for the short stuff. On Saturday I headed down to the Nonsuch Parkrun and despite some windy conditions I knocked a few seconds off my PB (19:32)- which was nice but if I'm honest I was a bit meh about it all- I think two flat laps round a park is just not for me.

Finally- Trail Marathon Wales have released the route info for June- it looks set to be a corker: 26.2 miles, 4,500 ft of height gain and loss, some big climbs, single track sections, downhill finish.  The marathon's sold out already, can't wait.

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