Summary of Week 8 Training for Hardmoors 55

This was my easy week so I ran just 3 times for a total of 18.72 miles. With four weeks to go now to the Hardmoors 55 I’m going to have two harder weeks and then a two week taper when I’ll run every other day.

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Monday 24th February – Easy Run

  • 6.14 miles in 55:45

I decided not to go to the club as I wanted an easy run rather than a Fartlek session. It was a good decision as I felt good and enjoyed the run.

Thursday 27th February – Easy Run

  • 5.09 miles in 43:50

I actually felt I was running a bit stronger and was pleased to see that my fastest mile was mile 5 – 7:55.

Saturday 29th February – Run on the Gleniffer Braes

  • 7.49 miles in 1:19:42

It was pretty windy up on the Braes. I was happy to do a shorter ‘long’ run as we were looking after two of our grandchildren for the weekend.

2020 miles in 2020

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Summary of Week 7 Training for Hardmoors 55

This week was my biggest week of the year so far with 56.28 miles over 4 runs. I planned to run 5 times but circumstances work against me on Thursday so I only managed 4 runs.

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Monday 17th February – Club Fartlek Session

  • 7.31 miles in 1:06:08
  • Session – 10min (2min recovery), 10 x 1min (30sec recovery), 10min

This is another good session where we note how far we reached in the first 10min run and then after the 10 x 1min runs we try and run the same distance for the second 10min run.

I worked as hard as I could and I was happy with my effort over the session.

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Wednesday 19th February – Run to work

  • 6.54 miles in 1:03:49

I left at 7.30am and to be honest this was hard work! I started off with a jacket and had to take it off after 3 miles or so I was feeling too warm! It was novel to have a run without getting wet.

Saturday 22nd February – Long Run on the John Muir Way

  • 37.17 miles in 8:03:13

I wanted to do my longer run for February somewhere fairly near home so I could get home in time to give Katrina a lift to her colleagues leaving do and also I was keen to run on a new route.

So I decided to run part of the John Muir Way. The section from Balloch to Strathblane was just over 18 miles so an out and back would be perfect.


profileI was keen to have some company so posted on Facebook what I was doing. I was really pleased when our good friend Neal Gibson responded to say he would join me. I really enjoy running with Neal as we have known each other for a long time and we have shared many races and runs together.

Neal and I drove to Balloch together arriving about 8.15am. The weather forecast was for rain and wind but we are used to that.

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John Muir Way well signed posted all the way

We set off in dry weather and over the next 8 hrs we had a bit of everything. On the highest points both ways it was very windy and we were battered by hail stones but we also had parts of no wind or rain and even a few minutes of sunshine.

We really enjoyed running on a new route. It is quite a varied section with some road, some compacted trail and some wet underfoot sections.

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Neal running past Balloch Castle

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We decided to run all the way to Strathblane as it felt a good place to turn round and also we had been told there was a Co-Op so we could buy some coke and an energy bar to fuel us on the way back.

John and Neal

Half way at Strathblane

On the way back we met a few runners including Lynne Allen. It’s always good to see friends out on the trail and realise you are not the only nutters venturing out in this weather!!

The out and back was fine as the views are very different on the way back. The toughest bit of the whole run was running past the Burncrooks Resvervoir as the hail and wind was right in our faces.

John by Neal

Thanks to Neal for the excellent photo that captures the mood

I was grateful I’d brought my golf mits and waterproof overmits as my hands were getting really cold with my lighter gloves. Neal was grateful too as he borrowed the overmits as his gloves were soaked through and not much use.

We both really enjoyed the run and I was very grateful for Neal’s company. The 8hrs certainly passed a lot quicker than if I’d been on my own! So thanks for coming Neal!

Sunday 23rd February – Run with Katrina

  • 5.26 miles in 50:44

Katrina wanted to do a 10 mile run as her last longer one before the Inverness Half Marathon in two weeks so she joined me for a 5 mile loop and then she pushed on and did another 5 miles or so.

My legs felt quite heavy from yesterday but it was good to get another run in. We started in dry and almost warm conditions but half way round the sky got very dark and we had more hail stones but thankfully they didn’t last too long.

2020 miles in 2020

Good to see a bit of daylight between the red line (plan) and the blue line (actual).

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Summary of Week 6 Training for Hardmoors 55

This week I felt I had a mixed week but I was able to run 5 times for a total of 45.93 miles. My running felt sluggish but I was happy that I got it done!

Weekly stats

Monday 10th February – Club Session

  • 8.07 miles in 1:15:43
  • Session – 10 x hill reps

We travelled back from Inverness earlier than we planned due to the weather so I decided to go along to the Club session. The weather obviously put a lot of people off as there were only 5 of us!

I like the hill reps but right from the start I was really struggling. I think it was a combination of driving 4 hrs and I’ve not been feeling too good over the past few days.

Anyway what ever it was I really struggling. After 5 reps I said to Donald don’t wait for me. I’ll keep going at my own pace. Two of the guys stopped before the end.

I completed the 10 reps but it wasn’t pretty! Last time we did these my average pace was 7:47. At least it gives me something to aim for next time!!

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Wednesday 12th February – Lunchtime Off Road Run around Pollok Park

  • 6.53 miles in 1:10:53

The rain eased off in time for my lunchtime run but underfoot it was very wet and muddy. I had to walk a few bits as it was so slippy. Well that was my excuse anyway.

I did have one classic slip and fell hands down onto the mud.


I was hoping that this week would be a step up in my training but I feel I’m struggling again to get much pace in my running.

Thursday 13th February – Tempo Run to Work

  • 7.41 miles in 1:09:42
  • Session – 1 mile easy, 2 miles @ tempo pace, 1 mile easy, 2 miles @ tempo pace, 1 mile easy

I decided to run to work and do my Tempo effort. Once again I was struggling to get much pace and it was pretty average effort if I’m honest but I was going as fast as I felt I could.

For what it is worth here is my stats compared to last week which wasn’t that brilliant either!

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Again at least I got it done! It was very wet on the way in so I was grateful for the shower at work before I started my day!

Saturday 15th February – Long Run on the Kilpatricks

  • 18.62 miles in 4:38:07

With storm Dennis on its way my friend Cammie and I decided to start early at 7.15am so we might get most of the way round before the worse of the storm came in and that’s how it worked out.

We’ve not had a run together for a few months so we had lots to talk about which always makes the run pass a lot quicker.

I must admit I was a bit apprehensive setting off that I would be struggling but I actually felt a lot better than I thought. We weren’t going particularly fast which helped but it was good to feel strong all the way round.

It was very wet and boggy underfoot which slowed us down a bit as well. The last time I ran this route I met Marco and when I looked at his route I decided to change my loop with some of his route.  It meant that we missed some of the worse of the ground and didn’t have to climb over a big fence by the radio mast!

Here was our route and profile …


We met a few other runners out doing their long runs including a group who recognised me from the whwrace podcasts I do and my blog so that was nice!

The last hour or so was very wet and windy so we were glad to get to our cars and drive home. The shower 20mins later was very welcome!


Selfie at the Whangie

Sunday 16th February – Easy Run 

  • 5.30 miles in 51:51

It was very windy but dry when I set out at 8am for an easy recovery run before heading to church. The wind was behind me for the first 3 miles but right in my face for the last 2 miles which made it a lot harder run that I’d planned!

2020 miles in 2020

I’m still ahead of the red line!

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Summary of Week 5 Training for Hardmoors 55

This week I had to change things round a bit as we were away at the weekend visiting family in Inverness.

I ran four times for a total of 33.17 miles which was a little lower than I’d planned but not a disaster! I had planned to run on Thursday but I needed to cycle to work so did that instead.

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Monday 3rd February – Club Fartlek Session

  • 7.87 miles in 1:11:04
  • Session – 15 x 2mins (1min recovery)

It was a bit windy for this session but as we run round a loop sometimes the wind was actually behind us! I pushed hard and was happy with my run. I was pretty consistent right through the session.

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Wednesday 5th February – Tempo session after work

  • 7.04 miles in 1:01:21
  • Session – 1 miles easy, 2 miles @ tempo, 1 easy, 2 @ tempo, 1 easy

We had an event at work all day so I couldn’t run at lunchtime so I decide to go down to the cycle track and do my tempo effort as an out and back. I was working hard and even though my tempo pace wasn’t too quick I was happy with my effort!

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Friday 7th February – Long Run

  • 12.17 miles in 2:11:18

I wanted to do my longer run for the week on Friday morning before work as we were going away for the weekend to spend time with our grandchildren and family.

Initially I was going to go up on the Braes and then cycle to work but I thought it would make more sense to run to work with an extra loop of Pollok Park to make up my 12 miles.

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It worked out well. I ran on the cycle track to Pollok Park and then a very muddy loop of the park meant I got a good off road run.

Sunday 9th February – Easy run in Inverness

  • 6.09 miles in 57:45

I was up and out by 7.30am to get a run in before we headed to church. It was windy and wet but nowhere near as bad as a lot of runners faced over this weekend.

It wasn’t my best run ever but I got it done.


2020 miles in 2020

I’m just ahead of the red line still ….

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Summary of Week 4 Training for Hardmoors 55

I like to have a four week cycle in my training with 3 harder weeks with a progressively longer run each weekend and then an easier 4th week. So after 3 harder weeks with longer runs of 12 miles, 15 miles and 30 miles this week was my easier week.

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This week I have run 31.33 miles for 5 runs

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Monday 27th January – Club Fartlek Session

  • 7.77 miles in 1:09:45
  • Session – 10 x 3mins (90sec recovery)

Initially I hadn’t planned to do the club session and have an easier 5 mile run instead but I’ve been encouraging Katrina to join the ‘A’ group and so I said I would run with her!

My legs were feeling okay after Saturday’s long run which was good. In the end Katrina did 8 of the 10 reps.

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Wednesday 29th January – Run the Park after Dark

  • Warm up – 0.79 mile in 8:33
  • Tempo Run – 3.10 miles in 23:49
  • Cool down – 0.81 mile in 7:40

David Mushet has organised this run for a few months. It is on the Linwood parkrun course but the opposite way and held over two weeks. Depending on our church house group we can’t always come but it worked out that we could this week.

The weather was very wet and very windy so it was quite surprising to see 17 hardy runners turn out at 7pm to run.

I set off at the front and paced as hard as I could all the way round. Donald and one other runner caught me with about 200 yards to go!

Katrina came in just after them so she wasn’t too far behind me.

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Thursday 30th January – Run after work

  • 5.29 miles in 50:10

I had a busy day at work with an Athletics event at the Emirates Arena so I couldn’t run at lunchtime.

So I ran after work at 5pm. It was very windy so I was quite happy that it was a planned easy run.

Saturday 1st February – Run on Gleniffer Braes

  • 8.30 miles in 1:46:56

I was quite glad that I just had 8 miles planned as the weather was pretty wet and windy. It was also very muddy and wet underfoot so I chose the part of my normal loop that would be on firmer ground for most of it.

I spent the time thinking about the 6 day Deadwater Race I have entered for August. Initially it looked as though it wasn’t going to go ahead but there are now enough entrants so I’m really looking forward to it.

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Here is the 235 mile route. It should be quite an adventure!


Sunday 2nd February – Run before church

  • 5.27 miles in 49:38

Another wet run but it wasn’t too cold. A do this route regularly and rarely see another runner. This morning I saw 3 in the first mile.

Plan for the next 4 weeks

I’ve had to change my long runs around a little for the next four weeks due to family commitments – basically we’ve been asked to look after our grandchildren for the last weekend of February when I had planned to do my 35 mile run. So I’ve moved it a week earlier.

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I’m on target for my 2020 miles in 2020 so far

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Review of January 2020

I always enjoy running in January as I feel it is setting me up for the coming year. With my first ultra of the year, Hardmoors 55, at the end of March giving me focus to my training whatever the weather.

In January I ran a total of 178.82 miles.

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I’m on target after 1 month for my 2020 miles in 2020!

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Summary of Week 3 Training for Hardmoors 55

Another good solid week. I ran four times for a total of 51.03 miles. Each run this week felt stronger and was faster than last week so my fitness is definitely coming back. It has taken a long time since the Dragon’s Back last May but I’m getting back to where I was!

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Monday 20th January – Club Fartlek Session

  • 8.11 miles in 1:11:04
  • Session 3 x 4mins (2min recovery), 3 x 3min (90sec), 3 x 2min (1min), 3 x 1min (30sec)

This was another encouraging run. I really felt I had a bit of spring in my step and I was able to push hard right through the session. We had 8 of us so I had runners to chase and runners to stay ahead of!

Here are my stats for the session …

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I was pleased with how consistent I was in each of the sets and my overall pace for the 30mins was the best I’ve done for a long time!

Wednesday 22nd January – Lunchtime Tempo Run

  • 6.16 miles in 50:46

I decided to stick to the pattern I’d done for the previous two weeks so I could compare how I was running. As soon as I set off I felt good and was really pleased that I was able to maintain a decent (for me!) pace.

Comparing the last three weeks gives me a lot of encouragement that my fitness it slowly coming back.

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Two weeks ago my average pace for the Tempo effort was 8:19. This week it was 7:28 so 50secs faster. This is over the same route so gives me a chance to compare.

Next week will be an easier week but after that I’m going to increase the Tempo effort to 2 miles and so we’ll see how that goes.

Thursday 23rd January – Lunchtime Off Road run

  • 6.50 miles in 1:03:08
  • Average pace 9:42

I have run the same route for the last three Thursday lunchtimes but I do alternate the direction. My average pace on week 1 was 10:40 per mile. Last week was 10:04 and this week 9:42 so again I’m getting faster each week.

It more than the numbers though as I’m feeling so much better. The discomfort in my chest has almost gone. Not quite completely gone but it is not stopping me and I’m not thinking about it much at all.

Saturday 25th January – Group Run on the whw 

  • 30.26 miles in 6:38:18
  • Average pace 13:10

I joined the West Highland Way training run. A number of runners stayed at the Oak Tree. I’m not sure how many runners we had but I reckon well over 50.


I took a video clip of everyone starting off which meant I was at the back at the beginning. I enjoyed that as it meant I was able to chat to various runners as I caught up with them.

By the time I reached Rowardennan I was in a group of 3-4 and we stayed together until the end of the low path when a few of them headed back.

I was really encouraged with how strongly I felt I was running. I reached Inversnaid (15.19 miles) in 3:14:41. Last year when I ran this route it took me 3:42:09.

On the way back I ran with Andrew who is a friend of Ian Beattie. Andrew had never ran further than a half marathon before and had never run on trails. He had cramp a couple of times but kept going well.

After Rowardennan I was still feeling good so decided to push on. I had my splits from when I ran this section 3 weeks ago so that gave me a target to go for!

I finished strongly and was pleased to see the run had taken me 6:38:20. Last year it took me 7:33:42.  I ran back from Inversnaid in 2:57:00. We came back on the high road which is 0.16 mile shorter but I was over 17 mins faster.

Here are a couple of photos friends took of me on the way …

John By Ian

Thanks to Ian Minty


Thanks to Billy Reid

I also took some video clips and put a short diary together of the run

I also cycled to work on Tuesday and Friday.

I’m now ahead of the red line in my target for 2020 miles in 2020

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