Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Starting Line - 18 Weeks To Go

It’s Monday 30 November 2015. Today, I begin eighteen weeks of training for 2016’s Glasgow to Edinburgh Ultramarathon. On 2 April, I’ll be running 55 miles between Scotland’s great cities. I've never run more that 26.2 miles before.
Ahead of me lie 864 miles of training. That’s an imposing distance, awesome in the proper meaning of the term.
Another significant goal is the £5,000 I intend to raise for Autism Initiatives UK. That’s a big request to make of my extended circle of friends and colleagues in the different spheres of life I occupy, so the least I can offer in return is a series of blog postings.
I’ll be tracking the progress of my training and fundraising each week. I’ll try and share what it’s like to train for a long-distance event through the Scottish winter. I’ll look at what motivates me, and remember the journey that got me here, from my first competitive race in 2004 and the ten marathons I’ve since completed.
It’s a couple of months since my last race. the Loch Ness Marathon. Since then, I’ve taken a couple of weeks to recover, and then resumed running without really training, just going out a couple of times during the week for some intervals or a brisk tempo run, and then going for a long slower run at the weekend, up to 20 miles. I’ve no significant injuries or niggles. If I don’t run one day, I feel a hunger to run again as soon as I can. It’s the right time to adopt a prescribed training schedule and I’ll relish having structure again. 
The main difference between training for a marathon and this is that for an ultra, you run two long runs at weekends. Instead of a day of rest, you go out and do it again. This builds up your ability to stay on your feet longer and get used to running in the second half of the long race when you’re already depleted.
The week ahead offers tiny distances, hardly worth lacing up my shoes for. But there are runs on five days. I guess I’ll be giving my body notice that regime is changing and rather than sporadic fast runs, I’m going to be building up cumulative endurance. 
This is a radical change of strategy for me. In the past couple of years I’ve reduced my injuries and increased my speed by running faster but shorter and less often. Now I’m going the other way. My fear is that this volte-face is likely to injure me. My physiotherapist has already been warned.
I hope that’s introduced the requisite element of jeopardy into this adventure.
And we're off!

  • Money Raised: £565
  • Money to Raise: £4,435
  • Miles run: 0
  • Miles to run: 864
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