It’s been a funny couple of weeks with a mixed bag of training, racing and injury coming amid plenty of non-running distractions, all making this a pick ‘n mix of an update! First things first, however. Yes, it really is just 100 days until the start of the Brathay 10in10. How on earth did that happen?
I wrote last time about the training weekend at Brathay and the experience of meeting the rest of the 2017 10in10 team. Since then there have been lots of practicalities to arrange (choosing roommates, personalising race kit, allocation of race numbers), all of which has added to the growing sense of excitement of what is to come in just 2,400 hours. It’s also been great catching up on the blogs that other teammates are writing and being very impressed with the miles they are running. The video below captures some of my thoughts on why I’m running the 10in10, how I’m approaching my training and who I’d like to run it with!
As a whole, my training in January has gone very well. Indeed, I’ve run the most miles I’ve ever done, breaking through 200 miles on the 31 January. But it’s not just about distance; the quality of the training is probably even more important. My aim is to arrive at Brathay in May as fit, fast and strong as I’ve ever been. To do this my weekly training has included recovery sessions, long runs (at a faster pace than I’ve typically run before), hill sessions and track work. I’ve been trying to fit in six runs over five days, with one day of doubling-up meaning I get an extra rest day. Lots of time for strengthening and flexibility work as well. Thanks to our physio Adam, this year’s runners will have the most activated glutes in 10in10 history!
I’ve really enjoyed getting back into track sessions, which typically involve intervals of between 100 meters and 1km up to a total of 5km. It can be quite brutal, but a good supportive spirit gets us all round and pushes us beyond our comfort zone. I’ve certainly seen the benefit after just a few weeks, and I’d thoroughly recommend you make it part of your regular training routine, whatever your distance or speed targets.
Last weekend also saw me race for the first time in 2017. The Ferriby 10 is a great (if challenging) local 10 mile race and coming so early in the calendar it offers an opportunity for runners to see where they are at this stage in their training. I enjoy the challenge of racing. Not only does it provide an opportunity to push yourself harder than you would if you were out training on your own, but you have the added incentive of duelling with teammates and local rivals, picking off places and holding off challenges. You also get free t-shirts! It was a great morning for all representing our club, and I was extremely pleased to have run a personal best – a good start to the running year.
It was nearly a disastrous start, however! All ready for a pleasant Sunday morning club run over some local trails and dales, I heard and felt a ‘pop’ in the top of my foot as I was putting on (ok, forcing on) my trainer. I immediately knew I’d done some damage as I could barely fasten the shoe and walk on it without pain. The trainers were thrown back into the car and I sulked-off home. Now, I’ve been injured before. And like most runners I suffer from whatstheworstitcanbeitis. Other symptoms include turning into Mr Grumpy and mumbling “I’ll never run again”. OK, slight exaggeration, but you get the picture.
We run, we get niggles, and we often blow them up out of all proportion. Usually, a little bit of rest and basic TLC (stretching, massage, ice, compression etc.) is all it takes to get you back on the road pretty quickly. And if it doesn’t clear up after a few days rest then seek some professional advice (there are loads of great people out there who can help). Whatever you do, try not to worry about it, and remember that missing a couple of runs really isn’t going to make much difference in the whole scheme of things.
So, apologies to loved ones who have to put up with Mr or Miss Grumpy when we have our little scrapes (apparently being round the house moaning about not running is more irritating than always being out running!). My foot cleared up after only a couple of days (simple as loosening off the laces on my trainers made a big difference) although a slight calf strain later the same week saw Mr Grumpy return for another pitiful visit.
The first stage of my 10in10 training complete, it is now time to turn to the final 144,000 minutes, starting with the fantastically named Wadsworth Trog fell race this weekend. It will also be time for me to turn my attention back to the important business of fundraising for Brathay Trust. Thank you for reading and following my 10in10 journey. Your support means so much and will help me push on through the serious training I have ahead in the coming weeks.
Now, it must be time for a run –well I am down to my last 8,640,000 seconds! See you at the start…