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!!

Screenshot 2020-02-13 at 16.59.55

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.

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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 …

map

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!

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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!

Screenshot 2020-02-16 at 15.56.12

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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 ….

Screenshot 2020-02-11 at 07.54.35

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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.

Screenshot 2020-02-01 at 14.51.27

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.

Screenshot 2020-01-31 at 07.35.53

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

Deadwater

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.

Screenshot 2020-02-02 at 09.51.37

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

Screenshot 2020-02-02 at 09.37.17

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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!

Screenshot 2020-01-26 at 08.16.07

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 …

Screenshot 2020-01-24 at 18.03.43

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.

Screenshot 2020-01-24 at 18.04.11

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.

whwgroup

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

IMG_7629

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

Screenshot 2020-01-26 at 08.17.32

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Summary of Week 2 Training for Hardmoors 55

Week two of my training plan has definitely been a turning point in my training. Something has clicked this week and I feel as though I’ve been running with more of a spring to my step.

Each run this week has been encouraging as I’ve completed them quicker than last week and with less effort somehow.  I ran five times for a total of 41.79 miles.

Screenshot 2020-01-19 at 15.04.51

Monday 13th January 2- Club Fartlek Session

  • 8.76 miles in 1:20:48
  • 10 x 0.31 mile hill reps

This week it was our favourite hill reps. We have a 1.5 mile warm up run from the ON-X Sports Centre to the hill and then 10 reps of running up as hard as we can with a recovery run back down to the start.

Screenshot 2020-01-15 at 17.55.45

It was a very windy night so only 9 of us braved the weather. The wind was pretty tough and was at its worse as we reached the steepest part of the hill near the end of each rep!

Katrina and Mel started 50 yards ahead each time and I never caught them. Last year I was doing each rep under 2:10 but I was really happy with my effort tonight as they were all between 2:19 and 2:28

Screenshot 2020-01-15 at 17.47.04

We do this session fairly regularly so hopefully I will be quicker next time!

Wednesday 15th January – Tempo Run at lunchtime

  • 6.21 miles in 51:38

I did the same session as last week. 1 mile easy then 1 mile at Tempo pace, repeated 3 times. I felt I had a bit more spring in my step today and the figures proved I did.

Here is a comparison with last week’s effort.

Screenshot 2020-01-15 at 17.47.59

Last week my average pace for the 3 tempo miles was 8:19. This week it was 7:36 which is 43 secs faster. I’m very happy with that!

Thursday 16th January – Off Road run at lunchtime

  • 6.48 miles in 1:05:13

I added an extra loop from last week as I was feeling good. The ground was still fairly muddy but not as bad as last week.

I was able to run the majority of the route and I was able to run 40secs per mile faster than last week.

Saturday 18th January – Long Run on the Gleniffer Braes

  • 15.05 miles in 3:06:33

It was very icy when I set off so I was very careful on the pavement and the cycle track as I made my way up to the Braes. Despite this though I was feeling good and looking forward to running on the Braes.

It was pretty cold for the first hour or so but then as the sun came up it warmed up and it was a lovely morning to be out running.

My basic loop is just under 12 miles so I have to add an extra loop to make it up to 15 miles which was my target. I decided to add an out and back at the far end of the loop down towards Johnstone.

It was a good choice as it was a good path all the way down and meant I had an other climb on the way back up.

Screenshot 2020-01-19 at 14.55.36

The only downside to the extra out and back is I slipped on a small wooden bridge as it was so icy. Before I knew what was happening I was down. I banged my knee a bit but it seemed fine so I got up and carried on.

About half an hour later I felt my ring finger on my right hand was sore so I took off my mitts to discover the top digit was pointing to the right and I could bend it at all. It seemed pretty obvious I had dislocated it or even broken it.

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It wasn’t painful so I carried on with my run pausing for a couple of photos!

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IMG_7599

Once home I had a quick shower and some lunch and then headed down to A&E at the Royal Alexandria Hospital which is only a 10min walk away. It was very busy with lots of people slipping on the ice.

I was there for almost 5 hrs but was able to get it sorted out. I had dislocated it and there is also a small break. The doctor put it back in line as I sucked on some gas which made me feel a bit wozzy!

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Sunday 19th January – Easy Road Run 

  • 5.29 miles in 47:42

I normally like to go before church but we had Micah and Anna for a sleep over so I went after church and lunch.

A nice easy recovery run which felt easy which is good as that is the aim.

I’m target after a couple of week for my 2020 miles in 2020!

Screenshot 2020-01-19 at 14.55.04

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Summary of Training week 1 for Hardmoors 55

It is 12 weeks to my first ultra of 2020, Hardmoors 55, on Saturday 28th March so I have a training plan to take me the race. I have posted my training plan up to the West Highland Way Race in June but I find it easier to work towards the next race her is my plan for the next 12 weeks …

Screenshot 2020-01-12 at 14.24.09

So I plan to do a summary of each week’s running in the build up to the race.

Week 1 went to plan so that was a good start.

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Monday 6th January 2020 – Club Fartlek Session

  • 8.00 miles in 1:16:10
  • Session: 1min (30sec recovery), 2min (1min), 3min (90secs), 4min (2min), 5min (2min), 4min (2min), 3min (90sec), 2min (1min), 1min

I was back with the ‘A’ group but was one of the slowest but I was happy to complete the session and I was happy with my effort over the whole run.

In the past I have often aimed at running 5miles for the 30mins of ‘fast’ running and it has become a benchmark for a good session. It has been a while since I have reached 5miles which would be 6min per mile.

This week I only just reached 4miles so it was a reminder of how far I have slipped in the last few years with my basic speed and fitness!

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Wednesday 8th January 2020 – Lunchtime Tempo Session

  • 6.20 miles in 55:43

I’ve decided I want / need to do a weekly tempo run rather than just an even paced run to see if I can improve my pace a bit.

So at lunchtime instead of a steady pace I ran alternate easy mile / tempo paced mile. I worked as hard as I could but the tempo pace leaves a lot to be desired but at least it gives me something to work on!

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I’ll have another go each week and hopefully my temp pace will improve.

Thursday 9th January 2020 – Lunchtime off road run

  • 6.04 miles in 1:04:29

I ran round my normal off road route around Pollok Park but it must have been one of the muddiest and wettest underfoot that I’ve done so I had to walk more of it than I wanted as it was too difficult to run.

Saturday 11th January 2020 – Long Run on the Gleniffer Braes

  • 12.07 miles in 2:55:16

I normally aim to run in the morning but it was our turn to host to cafe at our church after the Queen’s parkrun. The weather was very wet and windy in the morning but by the afternoon it had died down a bit.

I set off at 12.20pm and ran round my 12 mile loop. I say ran but again it was so muddy and wet underfoot that it was very difficult to run as much as I wanted. There were sections that I had to walk as it was so slippy.

I took my radio with me and listened to 5 Live about the day’s Football so that kept me entertained on the way round.

Sunday 12th January 2020 – Easy run

  • 5.26 miles in 50:26

I wanted to get back into the pattern of running 5 times a week so it was good to get out before breakfast and church and have an easy run.

The discomfort in my chest seems to have almost gone completely and it is good to be able to run without having to walk but it is a very easy pace at the moment.

Cycle

I also cycled to and from work on Tuesday and Friday so I either ran or cycled everyday this week.

2020 miles in 2020

I was 174.68 miles short of 2019 miles last year so I’m keen to have another go and see if I can make it this year. So far I have ran 68.24 miles which is just ahead of the red line.

Screenshot 2020-01-12 at 14.14.28

 

 

 

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Training Plan for 2020 West Highland Way

I like to plan out my training so I have something to work on. I’m best when I have a routine and a plan to tick off. I also like to be accountable so posting my plan helps with that.

For 2020 I have three main races planned for the first half of the year so I have planned out my training for the first 6 months of the year finishing with the West Highland Way Race on Saturday 20th June.

The second half of the year will depend on whether the Deadwater 6 day event goes ahead or not but I’ll think about that once June is over.

So here is my plan ….

2020 Training 001

A few comments ….

  • Monday Fartlek Sessions are with the club (Kilbarchan AAC) so I’m happy to go with whatever is set for each week
  • Wednesday Tempo Runs – I didn’t many tempo runs last year but I feel I need to try and bring my tempo pace down a bit. I will vary what I do. For example today I ran 1 mile easy, 1 mile @ Tempo pace x 3. The Tempo pace was over 8min miles which shows me how far I have to go. Other weeks I will do 1 mile easy, 2 miles @ Tempo pace x 2 etc building up to 1 mile easy, 4 miles @ Tempo pace, 1 mile easy
  • Thursday Hill Session will either be my lunchtime run around Pollok Park which is off road and includes a few smaller hills or I’ll head over to Conic Hill or Ben Lomond after work for a tougher hill run
  • Saturday long runs will be on the Gleniffer Braes, Kilpatricks or on the West Highland Way route or something similar.
  • Races. I have planned the Hardmoors 55 in March, the Great Lakeland 3 Day Event in May and the West Highland Way Race in June
  • Easy Sunday Runs. I may make these harder with another off road run to make a harder back to back but at this stage I think an easier run might be more beneficial.
  • CWU is the Cape Wrath Ultra where I am on the volunteer team so I’m not quite sure how much running I’ll be able to fit in
  • Cycling. I will try and cycle to and from work on Tuesday and Friday but it all depends whether I need my van for work but hopefully I’ll do at least one of the days.

So that’s the plan for now. I will be flexible and I may have to change a few things especially at the weekend as we might be away visiting family etc.

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Ultra Plans for 2020

I like to plan out my races at the beginning of the year so I know what I’m aiming for. These days you also need to book ahead as a lot of events do fill up quickly.

As I plan out my races there are a few priorities or key things that help me decide.

  • A mixture of races I have done before and new races
  • I prefer hilly races to flatter ones
  • The route is key. I love the journey of the race so for me loops or laps don’t really appeal
  • Multi-day events are very attractive as I love the extra planning and challenge of running day after day

So here is my plan for 2020 so far

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#1 Saturday 28th March – Hardmoors 55

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This will be the 7th time I have run this race which shows how much I enjoy it. There are a few reasons why it appeals to me including the route, the organisers and the time of year.

The last two years we have had tough weather so I’m hoping that 2020 will be kinder to us but if not I will put my head down and battle it out with everyone else!

#2 Friday 8th to Sunday 10th May – Great Lakeland 3 Day Event

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I took part in this event last year and enjoyed it so much I was keen to come back in 2020. Last year I did it in preparation for the Dragon’s Back. This year it will fit in really well in my build up to the West Highland Way Race in June.

I love the fact that each year they move the location of the start/finish and the overnight camp which means that the routes for each day changes as well. This year they have announced it will be in the Central Fells with the exact location announced later in the year.

#3 Saturday 20th June – West Highland Way Race

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I have ran West Highland Way Race six times and it is the race that got me into ultra running in the first place so it will always be my favourite race. I would like to achieve 10 races eventually so I felt it was time to get back on the route and aim for number 7.

The last time I completed the race was 2013 but in 2017 I started the race and had my only dnf (did not finish) in an ultra so I feel it is time I went back and sorted that out!

I am very involved with the race as a member of the organising committee with responsibility for the website and host of the podcasts but I’m looking forward to being back on the start line and running the race.

For the second half of the year I am still waiting to hear whether my initial choice is going ahead or not. If the Deadwater is happening I would like to do this 6 day event but if not then I have a place in the Cumbria Way Ultra. Richard Weirmuik, organiser of the Deadwater, is going to make a decision at the end of January

#4 Friday 21st – Wednesday 26th August – Deadwater 6 day ultra

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A few friends did this race in 2018 and really enjoyed it so I decided to have a go. I enjoy the multi-day aspect of the event and the route looks a real journey from Scotland, through England to finish in Wales.

As I write this post there are only 21 entries and they need at least 25 to go ahead. I really hope it does happen as it looks like an epic event.

If it is cancelled then I have a place in the following event. It is only 4 weeks after the Deadwater so I don’t think it would be a good idea to do both!

#4 Saturday 19th to Sunday 20th September Cumbria Way Ultra (73 miles)

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This event is organised by my good friend Gaynor Prior and is one I have wanted to do for a few years since it was started.

I love the Lake District and this route goes right through the Lakes on the established Cumbria Way.  If the Dead water goes ahead I will definitely have a go in 2021!

#5 Saturday 19th December Tour de Helvellyn

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I really enjoyed doing this in 2019 so I would like to go back in 2020. Katrina has also expressed an interest in doing it as well so we may well run it together.

Entries aren’t open yet but hopefully I will be able to get a place when they do.

So that is my ultra plan for 2020. I might add another one in October or November but for now this is my plan.

The other event I’m looking forward to is being on the event team for the 8 day Cape Wrath Ultra in May 2020. It will be good to give something back and also means I will be guaranteed a place in 2021.

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Summary of Miles Run in 2019

In 2019 I ran a total of 1,844.32 miles which was 174.68 miles short of my 2019 miles target but I was ahead of my target for most the year. From October onwards I reduced my weekly mileage as I tried to get the discomfort in my chest sorted.

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For anyone interested here is my spreadsheet with all my runs in 2019…..

Summary of 2019

I like to keep a track of the different types of runs I do each year. Here is a summary of 2019.

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I have been running regularly since my teens but I have kept more details stats since getting into ultras in 2007. Here is a summary of my monthly milage since January 2007.

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Here is my yearly totals for the past 13 years as a graph.

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