Thursday, 29 December 2011

Post Christmas...Hill Training

I'm lucky to have the Ash Ranges on my door step (Just over a mile away to be exact). The area is owned by the MOD and most days is out of bounds till after 4:30pm while the Army train here. Great in the Summer but not so good in the Winter with the shorter days. Credit to the Army though, in the holidays the red flags are down and you can access all areas every day.

The area is well over 2000 hectares and consists of heath and woodland but gives you just about any other terrain you can think of....and plenty of hills. Short and sharp and plenty of long tough climbs, it's the perfect place for hill training. The beauty of it is, is that some days you can be out here and not see a soul. Even members of the British Olympic team come out of London to train here, so that gives you an idea of the quality of the area.


...and more hills (This is a tough hill, even though
 it looks just like a flat path in the picture!!!)

Paula Radcliffe on the trails
I've read recently that Paula Radcliffe does a lot of her workouts on trails for her marathon training. If it's good enough for Paula then it's good enough for me and my London marathon training. Trail running is perfect conditioning for the runners body, The uneven paths under foot strengthen your feet and ankles while the undulating landscape and hills strengthen both the legs and the core muscles. Spend 10 miles over here and I always feel that my core muscles have been worked as much as my legs.

After the indulgences of Christmas this was the perfect run to bounce back.Three days at my Sisters, eating too many sweet things,not moving and sleeping dodgy on an air bed was enough to throw my body out of kilt and feel like I had turned into a slob! But this workout which consisted of nearly 13 miles, 10 of which were spent on the hills went a long way of burning off the excesses of Christmas and get my mind firmly back on marathon training.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a very fulfilling run. I always find the difficult ones the most rewarding (as soon as I've finished, that is). There are lots of trails near me (Hants/Sussex border) which I've yet to explore. I really enjoy running on country roads but am not quite brave enough to go off road completely. Need some trail shoes first.

    I'm in training for my first marathon so following your blog and training with interest.

    Good luck.