The Time has Come.

It's been some time since my last blog entry and for the most part I have been struggling with a right glute and hamstring issue that has prevented me running comfotably. The glute problem had developed just before the Moonlight event but I felt that with sufficient active rest afterwards it would go away. However it wasn't to be so I booked an appointment with an Osteopath to discover what the problem was.

To save a long story I had two sessions with the Osteopath and the conclusion provided was, I should stretch out my hamstrings and glutes more effectively. In particular my left hamstring because this was the one that was actually causing a problem with the right hand side due to it being extra tight. I was told to change my shoes (current shoes have about 700 miles or so in them). I don't know if I agree with the last comment although they are looking a little bit worn out shoes are not cheap (current pair cost £80) and I won't shell out on them until they have fallen apart.

Thankfully over the last 14 days things have improved, I am paying more attention to stretching properly as part of my daily routine and have been getting out for regular runs although I am nowhere near putting in the mileage or quality I was during January however I am feeling strong and things are improving as I am doing most of my running on trails / hills.

I am concerned that with only 12 weeks to go until the Bob Graham Round that I would not have done enough preparation. Therefore all I can do is get out there day by day and focus on getting the climbing into the legs and make sure I nail those long days out. In order to do this I am taking the following approach
  • Focus on Strength and Endurance (speed sessions not a priority)
  • Minimum one long run (3-8 hours) per week in hills e.g. North Downs is within driving distance
  • Midweek runs consist of stair climbing and easy hill days on local hills
  • Easy recovery runs when needed
  • Take a rest day when needed.
It's as simple as that. It is widely talked about that you need to be getting 10,000 ft of climb each week into your running. Of course if you live near hills or mountains this is easy to achieve. For me I live in a very flat area and would only be able to get to really hilly areas once a week. I have only been getting in around 2-3000 ft at best per week so there is a lot of work to do. I am going to be doing the majority of my running on a local hill and stair climbing during my lunch time at work but neither will provide sufficient vertical climb so wearing a weighted pack will help make the session be more productive. The key sessions will be long runs in North Downs hills during my weekends and with some trips already planned for the Lake District over the coming weeks. I cannot be more up for this challenge.

The acid test though happens on Monday when I meet up with one of the other runners in our team and our key support man as we travel to the Lake District to do a recce of Leg 3. The third leg consists of 15 fells including Scafell Pike which is the highest point in England. It is the longest section on the route. The total mileage is only 15.2 miles but it has 6,500 ft of climb involved and with the thought of self navigating the whole way it's certainly going to provide a sufficient test of fitness and mind as I expect to be on my feet for 6-8 hours.

The time has come for this challenge to be made a reality and I simply cannot wait for this adventure to truly begin.

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