Review of April 2020

During April we have continued with our lockdown situation due to the pandemic. I am doing some exercise every day:-

  • Monday-Friday – Katrina and I are joining Joe Wicks for the PE workouts. We are enjoying doing them together.
  • Monday Run – I’m doing our club Fartlek session on my own at lunchtime
  • Tuesday Cycle – I’m volunteering at one of my schools to do some running games with the children of key workers who are still in school. So I cycle to and from the school
  • Wednesday Run – I do my loops of Brodie Park at lunchtime
  • Thursday Run – Another lunchtime run. This time a road run
  • Friday Cycle – same as Tuesday
  • Saturday Run – Katrina & I do a longer run on the Gleniffer Braes
  • Sunday Run/Cycle – either a road run or a cycle with Katrina

During April I ran 145.68 miles and cycled 84.50 miles. I’m working on an easy week every 4th week when I run three times

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Summary of runs from Strava

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Summary of cycles from strava

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Summary of all my runs in 2020 by category (sad to see no runs in the race column!!)

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I am 37.39 miles below where I should be for my 2020 miles in 2020 but I’ve decided to keep ticking away and I’ll see where I am at the end of this time and decide whether to up my milage to catch up.

Screenshot 2020-05-02 at 06.08.13

I’m really enjoying my ‘Live Interviews’ each Tuesday and Thursday. I have now done 12 and have another 4 lined up for the next two weeks.

If you want to watch them they are all on my YouTube channel. I would love to get to 1,000 subscribers so if you haven’t subscribed please do!!


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Review of March 2020

March started as planned with the Hardmoors 55 the main focus of the month but as we all know everything changed as the month went on!

I have decided to keep to a maintenance plan for as long as possible aiming to run 4-5 times a week from home.

During March I ran 139.57 miles

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I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to keep up with my plan for running 2020 miles in 2020 but I’ll keep a track of it and see where I am once this is all over.

To the end of March I have ran 486.06 miles which means I am 11.64 miles short of the red line plan.

Screenshot 2020-04-01 at 11.16.38

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Live Interviews

I hope everyone is safe and well in these difficult times.
I’ve been thinking about how I can contribute to the ultra running community at this time and I thought it would be good to do some live interviews on my YouTube channel so that ultra runners and those interested can gather together to watch an interview and ask live questions and comment as we go along.
So here is my line up over the next few weeks …
Tuesday 31st March 7pm – Sabrina Verjee
Screenshot 2020-03-29 at 15.39.12
  • 2020 Spine Female winner
  • 2019 Dragon’s Back Female winner
  • 2018 Lakeland 100 Female winner
Thursday 9th April 7pm – Jayson Cavill
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  • 2x Lakeland 50 winner
Tuesday 14th April 7pm Marcus and Jen Scotney
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  • Marcus
    • 2017 Dragon’s Back winner
    • 2016 Cape Wrath winner
  • Jen
    • 3x Spine Challenger 3rd place
    • 2018 Northern Traverse 2nd Female
I did a live interview last night with West Highland Way director Ian Beattie about the cancellation of the 2020 whwrace. It will be on my YouTube channel soon (it is uploading now!)
Plus I’m going to do some more for the West Highland Way Facebook page. Next one is
Saturday 4th April at 7pm with Robbie Britton who finished 2nd in 2014 behind Paul Giblin in 14:47:48
Screenshot 2020-03-29 at 15.48.22
Please feel free to share this information as I’m sure many people will be interested to still connect with other runners at this time.
To view these interviews please subscribe to my YouTube Channel
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Maintenance Plan

Today, Saturday 28th March 2020, I should be running my first ultra of the year – Hardmoors 55.

My first three ultras in March, May and June have all been cancelled and I’m waiting to hear whether the 6 day Deadwater in August will go ahead. I don’t think anyone really knows how long this is going to continue.

So I have decided to work on a maintenance plan to keep things ticking over for the next few weeks until things become clearer.

So my plan is to run 4-5 times a week

  • Monday lunchtime – Fartlek Session
  • Wednesday lunchtime – Easy Run
  • Thursday lunchtime – Easy Run
  • Saturday morning – slightly longer Run
  • Sunday – easy run or cycle

Katrina and I are also doing Joe Wicks PE Lesson each morning at 9am or later in the day if we have something else on.

The other thing I have decided to do is to host some Live interviews on YouTube.

I’m doing an interview with West Highland Way Race Director Ian Beattie tonight (Saturday 28th March 2020) at 7pm. This one will be on our whw race Facebook page. If you want to watch it ask to be part of the group and I will accept you!

The next one will be with Sabrina Verjee on Tuesday 31st March 2020 at 7pm. This one will be on my YouTube channel

So if you want to watch that interview and ask questions or comment then please subscribe.

Stay safe everyone and keep in touch.

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New Training Plan

Obviously we are in a very difficult and unprecedented time at the moment. There is so much uncertainty with our lives and very little the same.

Personally I will be working from home with some days working in schools that are open to provide cover for key workers.

As with many others runners my plans have changed with regard to the races I had entered or were going to volunteer at.

  • Hardmoors 55 – Saturday 28th March – POSTPONED
  • Great Lakeland 3 Day – Friday 8th to Sunday 10th May – POSTPONED
  • Cape Wrath Ultra (on Support team) – Saturday 23rd to Sunday 31st May – CANCELLED

Hardmoors 55 has been moved to Saturday 24th October and I’m hoping to be able to run it then.

The Great Lakeland 3 Day event has been moved to the Saturday 29th – Monday 31st August which is the weekend at the end of the Deadwater 6 day event that I have entered so unless I fancy running for 6 days then travelling straight to the Lakes and having 3 more days I will have to get that one a miss.

Cape Wrath Ultra has been cancelled and will run again in 2021 so I will just move my plans a year and volunteer for 2021 and hopefully run it in 2022.

At the moment our West Highland Way Race is still planning to go ahead but we will make a decision in the coming weeks.

So I have decided to work out a training plan for the next 14 weeks to take me to the West Highland Way Race. If things change then so will my plan!

Here is my plan at the moment ….

Screenshot 2020-03-20 at 16.11.43

As always my long runs are the key sessions. I’m planning to do two 40 mile runs and a three day weekend when I will cover 85 miles. I’ll be using the last one as my final long effort before the West Highland Way Race but also as preparation for the Deadwater 6 day event in August.

All these plans are dependant on things settling down so it could all change again in the days and weeks to come.

Finally let me wish everyone safety and good health in this very difficult time.


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Summary of Week 10 Training for Hardmoors 55

This is my final ‘harder’ week before starting a two week taper though I do plan to do the club ‘Hill rep’ session next Monday.

This week I ran 5 times for a total of 41.72 miles

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Monday 9th March – Club Fartlek Session

  • 7.35 miles in 1:03:58
  • Session: 6 x 5mins (2min recovery)

Once again it was very wet and windy for our Monday night night session. We started with 9 in our group and ended up with 4 of us at the end but to be fair a number of those who stopped are running a half marathon at the weekend so they were excused!

We start each 5min run at the same point and the aim is to reach the same finish point each time. I was pleased with my consistency.


Wednesday 11th March – Lunchtime Run

  • 6.51 miles in 1:11:49

While it was dry with no rain it was very very muddy underfoot so it was quite hard going at times. I had to walk some of the hills as I was sliding all over the place.

It was good to get it done and I was grateful for the shower at work!!

Thursday 12th March – Lunchtime Run

  • 6.18 miles in 52:05

I had planned a road run this time so at least it was dry underfoot but I was absolutely soaked on this run. I started in light drizzle but from half way the rain got heavier and heavier.

I decided to not do a specific tempo session but run as hard as I could over the 6 or so miles. I didn’t look at my watch at all and was quite happy with my effort.


Saturday 14th March – Gleniffer Braes 

  • 15.54 miles in 3:21:57

As this was going to be my last longer run before the Hardmoors 55 I wanted to do a dress rehearsal run wearing and carrying the gear I will use in two weeks time.

My good friend Cammie was keen to join me so it was great to have his company for the run. We set off at 7am in light drizzle but the rain didn’t last long and even though it was windy at places and muddy underfoot we both enjoyed the run and the chat.


Here is what I’m planning to wear for the Hardmoors 55 Race


  • Buff
  • Helly Hansen Base Layer
  • Long sleeved top (I’ll wear my favourite Green top for the Race)
  • Knee length skins
  • Long Shorts
  • Drymax socks
  • Altra Lone Peak 4
  • Suunto Ambit watch
  • Mits (with waterproof over mits if needed)


I’ll carry my Inov-8 sack with dry bags for my kit and Nathan waist sack.

  • Waterproof top and trousers
  • Hat and spare gloves
  • Running tights
  • Spare warm layer – down jacket
  • Water bottle 600ml and 500ml flexible bottle
  • Survival Bag
  • Compass and Map
  • Food and Tailwind powder
  • Camera & Phone
  • First Aid Kit
  • Headtorch

Sunday 15th March – Paisley Loop

  • 6.17 miles in 58:02

Another wet and windy run! I must admit I’m looking forward to the better weather arriving and being able to have a run with rain and wind but I think we’ll all have to wait a little longer yet!

2020 miles in 2020

I have run a total of 423.88 miles which is just ahead of the red line.

Screenshot 2020-03-15 at 09.48.23




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Summary of Week 9 Training for Hardmoors 55

I planned this as medium week in my build up to the Hardmoors 55. I ran five times for a total of 36.64 miles


Monday 2nd March – Club Fartlek Session

  • 8.12 miles in 1:10:35
  • Session – 3 x 1min (30sec recovery), 3 x 2mins (1min), 3 x 3mins (90Sec), 3 x 4mins (2min)

This was definitely my best Fartlek session of the year. I felt I was able to push the pace for this one and I was happy with my effort and pace. There was a good group of us so there was always someone to chase and someone to stay ahead off!


Wednesday 4th March – Lunchtime Run around Pollok Park

  • 6.48 miles in 1:03:59

It was good to be able to run my lunchtime off road run in dry weather and mainly dry underfoot. There was still some places where it was pretty muddy but the majority was fine.

Thursday 5th March – Run after work

  • 6.13 miles in 54:24

I had a busy day at work with the final of our Super 7 Athletics competition so I felt a bit sluggish setting off but my pace picked up on the second half of the run which was encouraging.

I do feel it takes me longer these days to warm up and get into my pace.


Saturday 7th March – Long Run on the Great Glen Way

  • 10.35 miles in 1:52:17

We are in Inverness for the weekend as Katrina is running the half marathon tomorrow. I wanted to do a 10 mile off road run so I decided to head to the Great Glen Way and run out 5 miles and back again.



Heading for this hill


Selfie at half way


Good forest trail


Nice to have some sunshine!


One or two places there was some snow!


Great view of Inverness

Sunday 8th March – Easy run supporting Katrina

  • 4.56 miles in 46:36

Katrina was running the Inverness Half Marathon so I combined an easy run with supporting Katrina. I saw her start and then cut across the footbridges to see all the runners at the 2 mile point. Then once Katrina had passed I ran to the 5 mile point and cheered all the runners past.

Then another short run and saw her at the 8 mile point and then back down to the finish. I think I confused a lot of runners around Katrina as they kept seeing me!

Katrina had a good run finishing in 1:50:23 which is over 10mins slower than her best but still an excellent run in the windy conditions.


Katrina finishing the Inverness Half Marathon

2020 miles in 2020

I’m just ahead of the red line in my aim of running 2020 miles in 2020

2020 miles


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Review of February 2020

February was a good solid month of training as I build up to my first ultra of the year on Saturday 28th March, Hardmoors 55.

I ran a total of 167.67 miles

Feb Runs

Summary of types of runs for 2020 so far

Feb types

I’m on target after 2 months for running 2020 miles in 2020

2020 target

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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

Screenshot 2020-03-02 at 17.51.54

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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).

Screenshot 2020-02-23 at 11.05.54

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