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Ticking Over


It’s been a good while since I last blogged.  I’d just completed my PB at this year’s PYHMS – 1:25:02 which was an all time fastest Half Marathon for me, when I’d only been trying to improve over the previous year on this course.  I was raring to share the details of how I achieved it.  I was going to list the people who had made such a difference to me ahead of the race and so on…

Heading back toward Ecclesall Rd South and the Sheffield City centre

Heading back toward Ecclesall Rd South and the Sheffield City centre

But then it occurred to me.  It was only a PB.  A Personal Best.  It wasn’t all that great a result on the scheme of things.  Plenty of people had finished ahead of me on the day.  People have done far quicker Half Marathons.  I was chuffed, but to start thanking people and sharing the secrets of my success seemed a little ridiculous, when compared to my Team Mate Julian Lings, who quietly went about his business, post injury setback – to secure 4th place in the very same race, despite having to race on less than the required training.

So I paused – for a month – with nothing much to say.  Which isn’t like me.

But now, I’m decidedly more motivated.  I’ve a PB to feel good about and an agenda that once again features a lot of long slow (comparatively) runs.  It’s ‘Ultra Season’.

Or as I like to call it, an excuse to put that fast running behind me.

But the game has changed.  I ran quicker this year than ever before and it wasn’t all that taxing.  I just had a brand new Lactate Test with APC‘s resident Biomechanics Coach Laura Inglis and the conclusions rang true, I haven’t been taking my recovery runs slowly enough, but by contrast I’ve avoided doing anything that felt too much like hard work.  So I’ll be testing myself over the next few months and adding in a spot of Level 4 Heart Rate, or what some people call Type2 Fun*.

My focus right now is still on the 100K/62mile Ultra I have in August.  It’s a fundraising event and the longest run I’ve ever attempted, so I’m keen to do well.

In the immediate future is the Snowdonia Trail Marathon (28.5 miles???) that in 2015, chewed me up and spat me out.  So, UNFINISHED BUSINESS.

62 miles from Eastbourne to Arundel.

62 miles from Eastbourne to Arundel.

Throughout the summer then, I’ll be heading out for progressively longer runs, with plenty of ups and downs to put some climb in my legs.  I’ll stick with the tried and tested Hard/Easy schedule, but when it’s hard, it’ll be rough and when it says ‘Easy’ I can afford to take my foot off the gas and enjoy the rest.

Hopefully – it’ll mean coming out with a smile on my face after both a PB on the Snowdonia and a success on the 100K.


Then I can take a stab at a faster half, maybe (I only said maybe) a full road Marathon and the chances are…….I’ll take a crack at that 100miler….


And just to be fair – the list of people to whom I owe a big thank you:

Stu Hale (Coaching/Testing)

Colin Papworth (Podiatry advice/treatment)

Team Accelerate (constant sense of belonging, inspiration and community, while learning from better/stronger runners)

Maxine Hoad (my partner – tirelessly supports my need to disappear for hours on end and run for no reason)

Mikk Murray (supplier of Nettle Tea – a new weapon against dehydration)

Injinji Toe Socks (For supremely comfortable feet)

Saucony (for the ‘Type A’ race shoes that lent me my ‘fast feet’)

Salomon and inov-8 (who have both provided me with some exceptional running apparel, without which I’d stay inside and hide from the weather)

Montane (for my confidence in even the most brutal of wet/windy conditions)

Tom Brockwell (a good ‘running buddy’ AKA good ‘listener’ and antidote to all the lonesome solo stuff I do, day in/day out)

Chia Charge (for some of the tastiest running food I’ve ever eaten.  Not always when running – it’s that good)

High5 (for the 4:1 drink or ‘Rocket Fuel’ that makes the difference on long runs.  Seriously, this stuff is like liquid batteries)


And You – for reading and offering support just by taking an interest.  It’s always nice when somebody drops me a mention, brings up a blog or yells from a passing car.  Much appreciated.


*Type2 Fun is the kind of activity that doesn’t seem like fun a the time, but later tends to deliver a sense of satisfaction.  Not as comfortable as Type1, but a lot better than Type3 (sh*t).


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Special Guests who love to run and have something to say. Running, kit and gear, racing and adventures... anything goes, thank goodness!

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