Friday, 24 January 2014

Running wild

As promised, I'm going to resist the temptation to recount the busy and incident-filled week I've just had, and restrict myself to sport stuff...

...Where my main news is that I've entered one of the two big targets I've set myself for the year: a mountain ultra-marathon. It's at the start of the April, in the Lake District, an unmarked 42 mile trail that goes over the top of Helvellyn amongst other places. Am I going to have done enough miles by then to be confident of getting round? Hell no. Am I confIdent of my navigation abilities? Double hell no. Am I a little fazed at the thought of doing it and then having to drive home down the M6? Oh yes. But, you know, whatever.

I am taking one precaution however. Two weeks on Sunday I'm doing a 'Mountain Running Skills' course near Penrith, which will, I hope, help me avoid the more obvious schoolboy errors you can make. The challenge however will be remembering what you've learned when it's 7 weeks later, you're dead on your feet and lost in the mist. 

So I need to get some miles in my legs, some of them uphill ones. That's why I'm blogging on a Friday night; Saturday and Sunday will be taken up with running, sleeping and doing all the pit stop boring things (washing, ironing, blah..) between working weeks in London. Oh, and a night out involving Tiger Prawns that should be rather good...

Friday, 3 January 2014

2014: Back to Basics

This blog wandered all over the place in 2013 in terms of subject matter. I think it might be time to strip away all the superfluous stuff and get back to running and cycling. There are a couple of reasons for that. First, I'm planning on actually doing a couple of interesting things this year that will be worth writing about. And second, I'm planning on doing them in unusual ways. By that I don't mean that I'm going to do the rides on a unicycle, or the runs backwards, or anything similarly wacky, but the training and preparation may not be orthodox.

I'll say more about both the events and the training approaches I plan to use for them in the next few posts as the plans turn more concrete. Just a bit on the latter right now though. Part of the this is borne of necessity - for the next 4 weeks at a minimum I'll only be able to do short training runs during the week; certainly nothing like the 100 miles of running (plus) that ultrarunners are supposed to put in. But I don't intend that to stop me doing my first 'proper' ultra, i.e. something of 40 miles or more. I may fail of course; but I like the idea of constructing my own plan that others might be able to use in future. There will also be some dietary changes as part of that, inspired at least in part by a book I've been reading written by ultrarunner Scott Jurek.

So I intend to describe those changes, the effects they have, the events I do, and how successful I am. There may be references to other stuff that's going on, there may be fewer posts, but I'm looking forward to getting back to where this blog started 3 years ago; sporty stuff.

And just to finish on that note...amidst the crud on the telly over Christmas there have been a couple of gems. One was Clarkson's programme last night on the North Atlantic Convoys of WW2 (and one in particular), whilst another was the Guy Martin Channel 4 programme on his attempt to break the speed record for riding a regular bicycle on the flat. I won't tell you what happened in case you haven't seen it and want to (and you should; it's good), but he did it on a Rourke bike, made by Jason Rourke, who both featured in the programme, and made my bike in 2013. I think I might now have some of the explanation of why it was late. It was worth it though...
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