Sunday 18th December 2011

Posted: December 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

Basingstoke Canal Towpath – 30.8 miles in 4:28

I write this latest blog update tonight slightly weary after having to run into work this morning. Its only 5 miles but after running 31 the previous day and desperately wanting a rest its a big ask for the legs. The problem occurred on Sunday afternoon after some heavy rainfall. Some hours later the temperature dropped to a chilly minus 1 degrees centigrade falling further to minus 4 during the night. I live in the highest part of my town in a quiet suburban area which means the roads are untreated with salt. At 9pm on Sunday I checked the roads by foot and found them to be like an ice skating rink so the decision was made – no cycling to work for you tomorrow mate, its too dangerous so you have to run instead. So it was early to bed early and the alarm set an hour earlier than usual. When I woke to my surprise the legs didnt feel too bad so I kept the pace low and cruised in. It was very cold, very dark and everything was frozen solid and no place for a cycle commute so despite the discomfort I had made correct decision.

So, the training run. I’m trying to be sensible and push the mileage up gradually, my previous training run was 29 miles so anything over 30 was what I was looking for today. The route I chose was along the Basingstoke canal towpath which offers a variety of terrains. My plan was to run until my GPS said 15 miles and then turn round and head back home.

Heading out-of-town its man-made footpaths for a few miles but the path soon changes to rugged & muddy tracks plus there was plenty of ice today to keep one focussed. Part of the route had been closed for works which meant crossing to the other side to use the track favoured by mountain bikers. This proved to be great fun if a little slippy. It was rooty and twisty but I was able to kind of dance through the woods avoiding obstacles and trying not to fall flat on my face which I’m good at.

Today I was joined by a friend 8.5 miles into the run. Ian (twitter i.d @runningokinuk) and I have run together many times before including a full trail marathon back in September. He wanted to run around 10 miles so we ran together until my GPS reached 15 miles, we then both turned around to retrace our steps. Ian then headed back home at his 10 mile marker and I carried on. It was at this point that I thought some music would be good so the MP3 was deployed and the volume set to a suitable loudness. There is something amazing about running on your own through trees and wild scenery locked in your own thoughts with beats pumping through your head. I dont always run with music, sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it but today for that brief period the music fitted my mood and the scenery – running along the MTB trail again on the way back was the best bit!

When I was getting near to marathon distance I started to focus on how I was feeling and what my legs where telling me. I couldnt hear any loud noises, just the usual moans & groans that I’ve come to ignore. Then approaching my home the GPS said 29.9 miles so I did a quick cheeky run around the block to ensure I got over 30 miles and bagged just under another mile.

I used my Bryton 35 GPS unit again to record this run. Its an incredibly accurate and tiny little device to carry with you plus I know the battery will never let me down beacuse I have 30 hours of power to use. You can check out my route here.

Nutrition: This run was entirely fuelled for the first time by my sponsor Maxifuel. It’s an unusual feeling being sent your first box of food and I was full of excitement when it arrived last week. My breakfast consistited of a large bowl of homemade muesli plus a Maxifuel Viperactive bar. During the run I consumed a further 2 Viperactive bars, 1 Viperboost bar and 1 Viperactive gel. Once home I immediately drank 400ml of Maxifuel  Recovermax sports recovery drink and then some regular food. After such intensive exercise its essential to replenish your system within 20 minutes of finishing so your muscles get the best chance of recovery. I think this speaks volumes of how I was able to run into work this morning.

I think my training is going incredibly well considering I’m still in the early stages. My current aim is to get a decent base fitness into the legs before I head into the hills in the new year, this is when it starts to get serious! I’m actually really looking forward to it because I live in the most incredible place to train for trail running. Rolling hills and stunning scenery is what I have to look forward too.

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you all have a wonderful time during the festive season.

See you in the new year.



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