Ask people what my running motto is and they’d probably say ‘wing-it’. I’m well known for winging it round many an event- from a sprint triathlon to a marathon, even an ultramarathon.
Now this is perhaps a little misleading and suggests that I don’t train at all… which is not true. I just don’t train conventionally. I can think of nothing worse than following a 5 day a week running plan which involves me plodding around the streets of my home town whilst looking anxiously at my Garmin to see if I’m ‘on pace’ or not. I’ve been there, I’ve done it and I’m sure it works; but it just doesn’t suit me. As I’ve said in an earlier blog, I get bored easily and when I get bored, I’m liable to stop doing whatever it is that is boring- life is too short after all!! However, I do train pretty hard, I just like to mix things up a bit.
In a typical week I will train 6 days out of 7 and it might consist of:
Monday- British Military Fitness class
Tuesday- Pilates class in the morning, 4-6 mile run in the evening (off road in the lighter months)
Wednesday- BMF class
Thursday- Weights session with PT, Pilates and Tri Club Swim session (Thursdays are pretty intense!)
Saturday- BMF class and maybe a bike ride
Sunday- Long Slow Run
Now this won’t work for everyone. Indeed, I’d probably be a faster runner if I trained less and focused on running more closely, but then we are back to the boredom factor. My primary motivation for running and training is to enjoy myself and to challenge myself, and my schedule works perfectly for that. I guess what I am trying to say is that you need to find what works for YOU. If you are not enjoying things, mix it up, try something new. By all means ask others for advice, but there are many options and Plan A is not necessarily the best.
Speaking of training, I’ve been quite busy over the last few weeks since my last post. A few months ago I had some VERY exciting news. I won one of those competitions on Facebook- you know the ones, ‘share a photo and like and share this post’ competitions- the ones you think nobody ever wins. Well it turns out they do! Wiggle and Montane were offering an entry into the Lakeland 50 Ultramarathon, plus a heap of Montane kit…and I won it! I had tried to enter this race back when it opened, but hadn’t anticipated that it would sell out in about five minutes, so I was over the moon to win this! However, I will be running this solo, without my usual ultra-running buddies and so there is an added fear factor that I’ll get lost in the dark on my own. Deep down I know it’s highly unlikely that I’ll be totally on my own, but it has prompted me into seriously refreshing my navigation skills. I CAN navigate but I tend to be a bit slow and indecisive, so I’m on a mission to improve this over the next few months.
The great thing is that it has really encouraged me to go out exploring and finding new and unfamiliar routes. I’m lucky that I live near the Pennines and so there is no shortage of beautiful places to run. The dogs are enjoying joining me which is great as I get to tire them out at the same time as getting my own training in!
This week will be a little less hectic as I’m winding down slightly for the Windermere marathon on Sunday. I’ve been told that the route is challenging, but beautiful, so it should be a great training run for the ultras I have coming up over the next few months.
Happy running folks, would love to hear any of your Lakeland 50 tips if you have any