The Deer Runner

The Deer Runner

Thursday, 3 January 2013

2013 training begins.

It was time to start training yesterday, time to burn off the good food and alcohol of the festive season. Rain and cloud soon cleared to leave a beautiful sunny day, perfect for the first run of the year. Back to the Braes for me and I was surprised to find the car park empty. Off I went, iTunes on, soaking up the scenery and happy to be trail running on my own. I tried to run down the steep muddy descent leading to the river but came close to crashing down, the Hokas had no grip at all on the treacherous surface. I ended up taking it easy, doing a sort of sideways shuffle, clinging onto the gorse and bushes by the side of the track. It wasn't elegant and not the image you would expect from someone training to run a 95 mile ultra. It's just as well no-one was to be seen as things didn't improve once I reached the river bank.

I just couldn't find grip and struggling to keep upright I couldn't work out why a track I've run plenty of times in the past was proving so difficult. It was after another couple of slippery incidents that I came upon the flattened reed beds in the valley. The Ythan had burst it's banks recently after the torrential rain. Where I was running would have been under water and the track had not drained properly.

Squirrel Bridge

Once I reached the forest track I could finally get a decent run going. The late afternoon sun appeared, showing the beauty of the Braes at its best.

As I continued the run it dawned on me I wasn't as fit as I should be. On this familiar route I found myself walking hills that would normally be run with ease, an indicator on how my winter training,or rather lack of it, has affected my fitness. There's a bit of work to do so I'll have to roll up my sleeves and get going. While on the subject of fitness, I've always followed the Hal Higdon plan for Ultras, based upon training for the Comrades Marathon which has served me well. It has to be said this is a perfectly good plan which has seen me through every Ultra race I have started but now I feel the need for a change. At this stage I'm not sure what kind of training programme I will follow or if the existing one needs tweaked but I suppose it will come down to the time available for training.

On the way back I encountered a few dog walkers enjoying the winter sunshine. I rounded the corner and startled a German Shepherd with it's owners. The petrified canine took off in the opposite direction and needed to be consoled by it's walkers before I could continue, a lighthearted encounter and end to the run.

Races for 2013 will be used for training leading to the WHW, just as I did last year.

Highland Fling

Thursday 10 miles. MP3 of the week - "I'm not giving in" by Rudimental.

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