Tuesday 5 September 2023

Trying yet again to to keep up endurance

I find it hard to commit time to long, slow runs or walks. By this I mean over 30km or 6 hours of walking.  Even with a week's holiday that pattern doesn't fit in and I often only mange a few short runs. Today I was fortunate to have some annual leave to take, lovely weather and nothing else pressing to do. However I'm out of practice and didn't want to over do things. So I decided on a walk/jog to Hathersage which is 32km round trip from home.

I also took along my poles which I rarely use as I'm not well practiced and find them an overall hinderance. How would I get on with them today, how would they fit onto my Harrier pack? I found them useful on uphill sections, which I'd already decided to walk, with a bit of arm effort I felt I'd got a good ascending pace. On one or two easy level bits I was able to use them whilst jogging but anywhere else they went back on the pack. That wasn't ideal either as they fit horizontally at what turns out to be elbow height so I was aware of them if I was swinging my arms. So I had to put the tip covers on to reduced the risk of injury. Jury's out currently....

Despite the leisurely pace I tired on the return leg, dragging my feet and managing to trip over a teeny rock. Luckily I'd enough water to rinse off the various grazes. (My ribs still hurt a few days later).

Whilst on holiday I'd seen the Southern Upland Way and fancy a go at that - so I need better long distance pace. I'm not thinking of running 214 miles but due to the lack of settlements you're committed to some pretty long days. 

Tuesday 18 April 2023

HRM strap battery swap

Once again I spotted erratic heart rate data from the 935. On checking there wasn't any running dynamics data so the heart rate strap was offline.
I've just swapped the battery and according to the blog it's 3 years since I did it last. Can't complain then.

Sunday 2 April 2023

Crookstone Out Moor (Edale)

 I was in Edale for a few hours so planned a 2 hour run/walk towards the east. I included Ringing Roger so the first section was a tough ascent at a brisk walk, but from there it was pretty much downhill all the way back to the village.

Some parts of the route were muddy and slippery (not helped by worn shoes) but overall a good morning's activity.

Don Valley Way

I've been looking at options for a longer run, something longer than a marathon, for some weeks. Peddar's Way was an option for the summer but after reading a few hike reports I didn't think it sounded worth the trouble. It's a fair way from home and with endpoints in rather inaccessible spots. I suppose that's just how Norfolk is.

With a day off work I wanted something easy. Somehow I spotted the Don Valley Way which starts a £5 train trip from home and ends a bus ride away. The weather forecast was reasonably favourable too. After an evening of indecisive packing I was on my way. The video below gives an overview of the route. As others have said, it wasn't the most inspiring of trails.

I took sandwiches which were very welcome but bought a coffee and extra water at Thyrburgh. Overall I was slower than hoped and shocked that the GPS track says that I was stationary for an hour. My coffee break was brief so a substantial part must have been navigation. The route was vaguely marked throughout but was blocked all through Rotherham. I had to find an alternative and check the map often. It was also disheartening to be tramping on busy main roads, adding to my tiredness.

The Five Weirs was a pleasant change although that had a closure too. I mostly walked after Neepsend.
Having been off the route so much I can't even think about putting it on FKT so that wasn't an incentive.

Fly tipping was common along the path

Also, I can't recommend the route to others as the diversions and plentiful litter make it unpleasant. It's been a day out and shown me that I need to practice longer runs. I'm in a 15 to 20 km rut!

Thursday 9 March 2023

In the snow

This afternoon I'd got leave booked and was initially disappointed by the poor weather forecast. "It'll be magical" I was told by a keen runner at work just before leaving the office. Indeed, the woods in snow could be lovely. 

So I wrapped up well and made my way rather slowly up to Oxstones.
Near the stones the snow was quite deep and relatively undisturbed which made the final bit of ascent tiring. Even downhill along the pavement was slow as the path was slippery. Near the school I slipped on compacted snow and ripped a small hole in my overtrousers (and my skin).

I'm pleased I made the effort to go out and being 30% slower was probably what I should have expected!

Sunday 12 February 2023

Sensible progress

I realised that I hadn't posted for some months. I have been running regularly, although not swimming, but at a good steady level with no injuries so, in many ways, no news is good news.

Since Christmas I've tried to do 3 runs per week. Of course this doesn't always happen, but that's not a problem. Importantly, I've introduced a weekday evening 5km road run. A loop to a local road junction is within 1% of 5km judging from repeated GPS tracks an that's good enough for me. I'm still a plodder but over some weeks there is a trend to gain pace. The route starts with a distinct ascent so it'll never be a PB route, and that section must be taken gently as part of a warm-up.

In January I've also been low on alcohol intake as dry-January was ongoing and I mostly joined-in. I'm not sure if this has helped pacing or whether it's simply the result of ongoing training.

This week I've got very close to my long term plan to run 40km weekly. Yesterday I ran nearly 25km, although some was walked and the rest was at a jog pace. Nonetheless it exceeded 20 km clearly. I'm wanting to do a long run in spring, or perhaps a few this summer, but haven't chosen a route yet. There's a loop around Castleton that looks interesting, or perhaps rather demanding, but the Liverpool-Leeds canal is also a possibility. A shorter canal might be a good practice first.