Training Almost Over – The Positives and Negatives

Does training ever go to plan?  I’m leading up to my first 100-miler (Lakeland 100) in a few weeks so the nerves are setting in but I’m trying to focus my brain on all of the positives that have happened this year. For the sake of balance I’ll list both…

I’d completed Lakes in a Day in October 2018 and decided just to tick-over for the rest of the year and start the “real” training at the start of 2019.  I meticulously crafted a plan from January onward and booked on to some key training races and I was literally bursting to get going.  Of course, it didn’t go to plan.

What went wrong: –

  • Training run number one 18km (January), my right foot started aching and stopped me getting going with training.  It gradually became worse and an on-going issue – not stopping me running entirely but not letting me train.
  • Missed the Surrey Half Marathon in March due to foot problems and dropped mileage right down to barely anything for a few weeks.
  • Missed the Manchester Marathon in April due to foot problems – I just wasn’t ready to run 42km.
  • As I just seemed to be getting better, at the start of June, my left ankle started hurting quite badly affecting training by another 2-3 weeks.  I started to think it was never going to happen.
  • Drinking too much alcohol, generally.
  • Some work and general life ups and downs.

All of this made consistent training difficult and, as the time to the race was ever decreasing, I felt like I was nowhere where I needed to be.

What went well (I need to do a bit of trumpet blowing here): – 

  • Two great Lakeland 100 recces (Buttermere to Dalemain 53km and Ambleside to Coniston 25km).
  • Completed the Welsh 3000s (and had some fantastic and challenging recce runs along the way).
  • Got a 5km PB (track) – 18:39, fastest run since 2016.
  • Ran the Lakeland Trails 55km at the end of June in under 7 hours in very hot conditions and came in 7th.  I paced it well and drank and ate loads – I have a working strategy for an ultra.
  • I was the editor of RunUltra for 4 months – and learnt loads.
  • With just over two weeks to go, I’m feeling fit, no real niggles (fingers crossed) and feeling faster/stronger than I have ever been.
  • I have had some glorious times in the hills and mountains this year.
  • I’ve done strength work and plyometrics on a reasonably regular basis and have had some blocks of consistent training.
  • I believe I can do it.

Thankfully list two is longer than list one, so which one should I focus on?  List number two of course, and that’s exactly what i’ll be doing over the next few weeks.  Very limited drinking, eating healthily and imagining how amazing it will feel to cross the line in Coniston – however long it takes!

Wild camping in the Peaks – another new life experience (slightly ruined by midges)

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