MAF Pace Climbing Reps
0:53, 750' (3.5 miles)
Got out with the dog on a slightly less hot evening. I'm trying to work on my climbing after the issues I had in Norway controlling my HR on the ascents - and I realise I hadn't done much structured fell work since well before the hundred, so it's probably been three months. Tonight I stayed local, jogging over to the bottom of the steepest sustained climb at Nesscliffe, the one I call "School Gully". I tried to climb well within myself, powerhiking and breathing through my nose every two paces, slowing down if I started to get out of breath or felt my HR creeping up. At the end of each climb (about 3.5 minutes) I jogged down the easy steady descent (about 5.5 minutes) ready for the next climb. Four reps tonight, but that was because the dog was getting hot and tired :-) Felt good, got to try to do this session or something similar more often. Probably didn't gain full fat burning effect though because I was starrving when I got in and had a Twix just before I went out to run...
Wednesday 17/07/2013 - evening
Stiperstones Fell Race
0:37 plus warm-up, 1,250' (3.7 miles)
I hadn't done a short fell race for too long! They are fun, even if you're not properly trained for them and you are tired. Primarily this was a good opportunity for some intense training, and I decided beforehand to work as hard as I could for as long as I could without risking damaging myself. I should have started a little quicker on the wider section as I got badly held up on the first climb and descent but by the second climb I was pretty much in the right place in the field. At the top of the steep section of the second climb, the character of the route changes completely, from singletrack to an ATV road, which continues to climb at about 1:10 for nearly a mile. I struggled up here and did a deal with myself to keep running. I did manage to run the route out, only Paul and Val passed me up this section and they are both considerably quicker than me on the flat. I held position on the steep technical descent but by the road my heels were burning hot (it was a very warm dry night) and I eased off for fear that the damaged skin from the ultras would give out altogether and I'd have a recurrence of the foot problems I had after Three Peaks in 2011. In the end they just about held together and a dunk in the stream at the end saved them! I lost about 7/8 places on the final run-in but wasn't bothered, and given the lack of any specific prep I was quite happy with 37:09 and 34th place of 79. My previous race was not a good one (in 2011, after no sleep whatsoever the night before, I'd run 43:41.
Saturday 20/07/2013 - afternoon
Very Easy Run on Snowdon
1:51 (moving time), 2,100' (7.6 miles)
My friend Mel got her first England cap today, in the Snowdon International Mountain Race. I went out to support, setting off up the hill 20 minutes before the start of the race after a natter with some of my many friends who were running. I jogged up to about the 1,250' point and waited for the lead runners. I stood chatting and taking photos as most of the field came up. Mel looked great and very happy in her shiny new England kit! Then walked gently on up with some of the back markers - it would have been rude to run past them... At 2,200' I met Al Tye, and stood with him for a while as the leaders and the first third of the field came back down. I then headed off in the extremely strong sun and heat, picking a nice line down into the valley under Cloggy cliffs, then diagonally up steep rough ground to pick up the Snowdon Ranger path above the Cwm Brwynog - Cwm Clogwyn col. From there a still over the fence leads to a sketchy but lovely traversing path under Moel Cynghorion. I cut across the Afon Arddu valley and climbed up to Hebron Station to pick up the main Llanberis path as the tail enders were finishing the race, and stopped at the ice cream barn for a 99 and a Fanta on the way back to the event field. Paul Jones of Mercia had won the V40 open race and Mel had done great finishing between Pippa Maddams and Helen Berry as second counter for the England ladies. A meal in the Corn Mill in Llangollen on the way home rounded off an excellent day.
Sunday 21/07/2013 - lunchtime
Burway Hill Climb (Coaching Session)
0:42 (moving time), 650' (3.6 miles)
Did our first Mercia summer coaching session this morning. Mostly on uphill technique. Afterwards 19 of the 23 students, plus Tom and myself, went for a run up Burway Hill putting some of the technique into practise. Mostly back marked and coached.