It occurred to me today halfway through my long run foot deep in very muddy conditions that summer has finally fizzled out. The weather this whole weekend has been wet, windy and with a noticeable chill slowly returning to the air during the mornings and evenings. I don't dislike training during the winter time as I do find the cold dark mornings somehow more calming than during summer especially off road as you see so few people around.
Well I am finally back into some consistent training and although it is still on the low side of things for me I am pleased with the consistency and quality of the runs so far. Today I mapped out the next 12 weeks training wise as I have a couple of off road events organised by the LDWA that I intend on entering. Although not strictly speaking they are not races they are great events to take part in, fantastically organised and great value for money as they can provide quite a challenge both on the running front and the navigation required to complete them. The events I am definitely entering are the Gatliff Marathon (which is actually a 50km event) and the Winter Tanners 30 miler. So I am very happy that I have got something to focus on over the next 12 weeks before 2011 gets going properly.
In preparation for these events I am about to purchase some new trail shoes as my Inov-8 Roclite 315's are on their way out. I have decided to go with the Inov-8 Roclite 295's this time around based mainly on the fact that they are a stripped down pair of 315's and with a wider toe box (I have a wide foot). I am sure to post a full review of them at a later date. I am also planning to buy some racing flats for my shorter sessions and because I intend to do some shorter races to set some PB's in the 5k, 10k etc in 2011.
Although 2010 is not over yet I am already focusing somewhat on next year and what I need to do to take my performances up a notch as I feel I can improve a great deal and become more competitive. This is certainly a big goal next year. I will definitely be entering more ultras next year plus throwing in some shorter faster distances. I have already announced that the Bob Graham Round will be my number one focus however there will be several other events I want to perform well at and in doing so do some fundraising for the charity I feel strongly about (more later on this).
Lastly I have had some very positive news recently as I have now got support from 9Bar energy bars for next years events. I started using these as part of my long runs some time ago and after my last ultra race pretty much decided they would be my primary fuel of choice for both long runs I do and for the ultras upcoming next year. It's a really great company and they have a great product that delivers a very good balance of low GI carbohydrates, good helping of protein and taste great. I personally like the Pumpkin bars. So if you get the chance check them out.