Monday, 15 July 2013

Training - 01 to 07/07/2013

Wednesday 03/07/2013 - evening
Bits of Batch Bash
0:41, 800' (3.3 miles)
Gentle jog (in reverse) around the east side of Novers Hill to the Cwmdale cattle grid, then following the route up to the golf course fence and down the ridge to the big junction of valleys in the Batch. Jogged back down the valley from there rather than going up towards Jinlye. Took the dog and was a bit time constrained...

Friday 05/07/2013 - afternoon
Ytrehornssaetra Reccie
about 1:30, 1,850' (4.0 miles)
I'd travelled over to Norway on Thursday for the Hornindal race (a long day, setting off from Buckinghamshire at 04:45 Norwegian time and arriving in Hornindal at 18:00). I needed to shake the travel out of my legs, so I walked up to Ytrehornssaetra from Grodås by an obvious but very steep and rough path through woods to come out at a twentieth century standing stone overlooking the valley and village. On the way up I met Mattias Gärdsback and his girlfriend Caroline from Sweden, who were staying in the room next to mine at the B&B, and Moritz Maus from Cologne. Just above the standing stone was Ytrehornssaetra. A saetra is like a farmstead or mountain hamlet. A lot of them are abandoned now, or just used as summer huts, but years ago shepherds would have lived in the huts for much of the year. One new addition at Ytrehorn is a mountain hut, open to the public. It just has two benches and a small table but it was a welcome place to duck out of the breeze for ten minutes at the top of the climb. I ran carefully and fairly gently down, trying hard not to injure myself for the following day. It took me 30 minutes at a very laid back pace to the finish area, the following day even the elite runners would be taking a lot more than this (due no doubt to tiredness and finishing in the strange half light of a Norwegian night).

Saturday 06/07/2013 - all day!
Hornindal Rundt Fjelløp
8:48, 9,800' (25.0 miles)
See separate post!

Sunday 07/07/2013 - afternoon
Høgenibba / Kviven and Otredalen
4:36, 4,900' (14.0 miles)
I had a great walk up from Grodås (60m ASL) to the col where the full ultrafjelløp checkpoint 17 would have been (manned checkpoint), then carefully climbed up to the summit of Høgenibba (1191m) piecing together the route by following the race markings (but in reverse so I had to keep casting about a bit and looking backwards). There were a couple of steep pitches up to the summit, and an amazing view. I ran the descent and then on across the col with a view down to the Kvivsvatnet lake. From here the running was on a lovely traversing path for a mile before a steep climb up to the summit plateau of Kviven which was mostly boilerplate rocks. The descent to Otredalen wasn't particularly steep anywhere but followed the usual Norwegian mode of picking a sketchy line from marker to marker until well below the col and down into the valley where I picked up a little path which took me down to  a few huts and two lovely new chalets at Otredalssaetra (checkpoint 19 on the race). From here instead of following the race route over the peak of Svarthamrane and down via Ytrehornssaetra onto Friday's route, I dropped down the very steep ATV track to Otterdal and then along the road back to Grodås. The road had washed away in large part and some of the going was quite rough on the newly placed rock forming the formation for repairs. A thoroughly enjoyable outing which I hope will be a useful reccie of most of the tail end of the full ultrafjelløp race for future.

15:35, 17,350' (46 miles)
I really reconnected with the bigger rougher mountain environment I love to be in this week, despite not completing the long race in Hornindal. I'd been wondering what to do about my (over) packed programme for the late summer and autumn, and I'll be concentrating on training for and taking part in events in the bigger hills of the UK. I was going to take part in the WOW 50 mile event on 21/07/2013 but I think I'll limit my participation to doing a long run of maybe 25 miles with some of my friends to celebrate Terry Davies' 60th birthday. I'm leading the first of three coaching sessions to following morning so I ought to make sure I arrive for that in reasonable state!
Coming up after that my likely targets are the Nant y Moch fell race on 17/08, and the Lake District Mountain Trial on 15/09 before the RAB Mountain Marathon at the end of September.

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