Sunday, 1 January 2012

What a way to start the New Year!

The North Downs
An amazing run to kick of training in the year, across the North Downs. Starting at Newlands Corner just outside of Guildford and getting nearly as far as neighbouring town Dorking, this was a stunning run clocking up a nice distance of nearly 14 miles.

2012 should be a great year running, what with me taking my place at the London Marathon in April. Training has now started in Earnest as I try to aim for a sub 4 hour finish. I am not following any particular training plan, just getting out there, putting in the miles but specifically putting in some quality runs. This week I've completed a tough hilly 13 miles, an 8 mile run and concluded with this run today of 14 miles putting me on 35 miles for the week with just 3 runs.

The UK despite the rain has some beautiful scenery to offer (beautiful and green, due to the rain!). Down South we have the North and South Downs, Further north, the Lake District and in Scotland the mountains. Wherever you are on our small Island there is plenty of great trail running to be had.

If you are competing in your first marathon, whether a road or trail race, get on the trails for part of your training. The hills and multiple terrains will condition and strengthen your body and make you a better runner. As I said in previous posts, I'm going to spending most my training on the trails. Although I'm training for a road race, I now consider myself more of a trail runner. Most my runs are done off road and I enjoy it so much more, the fresh air and scenery beat the concrete jungle any day!

I ran today with usual partner in crime, Brian at an enjoyable and relaxed pace. The only downside of the run was the muddy paths in places, that had us sliding around and having us slow down in a few places on the slopes. For the first few miles I struggled to get into the run, but then I always do. Note to self - This feeling is where your body is warming up and adapting to the challenge ahead. The feeling will pass as it always does come mile 5! Once I settled into the run I felt strong on the hills and enjoyed the stunning scenery that was on offer today. Brian done well, on the back of running everyday this week and clocking up over 50 miles (Show off!)

Beautiful views all the way
 I carried a bottle of Lucozade Sport with me, which is the official drink around the course at London, so I thought it best to start getting used to this.

This was the perfect start to the year and was well worth getting up for while others were recovering from the previous evenings festivities. A tough run mainly due to the mud, but if I can keep putting in quality runs like this, then maybe that sub 4 hour marathon can become reality.

At the end of a great run to start the year

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