|New Years Day, above Scout Pool Looking north towards Stuc A'Chroin|
One aspect to my training last year that worked well was running 5 or more days a week and adding in recovery run before and after longer or more intense runs. In January I started off quite easy but on the 11th I just got the training bug and decided to see just how many days on the trot I could run. My first day off was yesterday, after 31 days running ever day, covering 226 miles and 14,000ft of ascent and descent.
Running every day introduces different mental and physical challenges - the weather through January and into February has certainly been full on winter running. Rather than wimp out on tough days I've deliberately just got on with it, one can't choose the weather on race day, so getting my head around just going out running in wild weather is all part of the preparation. Full on weather has it's own beauty and raw charm, not only is the physical self exposed but the mental self too.
I have one thing that draws me out everyday, I am utterly beguiled by the Trossachs, it's quite simply an awesome place to get outside and run. As I work for myself and from home it's easy to head out for a lunch time run. Here's a sample of my runs over the last month:
|A few weeks later, same view as first photo, now available in White :-)|
|After climbing Bochastle Hill looking north towards Loch Lubnaig|
|Early morning half marathon route out along shores of Loch Venachar|
|Crossing the River Teith in Callander after a night of heavy snow|
|Looking north east back towards Callander from Inver-trossachs Road|
|Still on Inver-trossachs Road, now at the east end of Loch Venachar|
|After the snow had thawed we got flooding in Callander and surrounding fields and roads|
|Then to frosts, and on early run through the woodland of the lower crags path I startled a roe deer|
|Another batch of cold air swept through, snow and ice returned|
|Followed by another thaw, high winds and tempestuous squalls|
|And back to snow, on the flank of Ben Ledi once more, looking north|
|After another thaw, got up Ben Gulipen and at the summit saw a float plane|
I currently still in aerobic base building/conditioning phase, so keeping my runs modest in length and intensity, but mixing them up, lots of hills, some marathon paced runs but keeping comfortably below lactate threshold, lots of easy to moderate runs and some recovery runs when I feel the need.
The only damper is that I've picked up a niggle in my left calf that developed when running on all the ice and snow and hasn't settled yet, so will be avoiding long training runs and high intensity work for a while longer. With snow forecast for the next few days it looks like I'll be doing more gleeful battling of the elements!