Working Away, Night Running and a Return to the Malverns…

Week 17 – Peak Phase
w/c 09.09.2019
Recommended mileage: 55 miles
Actual mileage: 40.3 miles

I was fortunate enough to be working in Cornwall this week but only managed to get in a couple of runs due to work commitments. Both were circular coastal runs; one from Cardis Bay to Hayle and the other slightly further afield from St.Ives to Hayle.

Cardis Bay to Hayle was an enjoyable, if somewhat difficult run due to the elevation and nature of the terrain. The weather conditions were favourable; overcast with light drizzle and the trails were a mix of grass, gravel and sand. As it was a circular run, there was also a large section on pavement once I came off the coastal path. I ran for just shy of 5 miles.

Average Pace:11:10 min mile

Elevation Gain: 489 ft
Mile 1 – 9:33, Mile 2 – 09:27, Mile 3 – 09:58, Mile 4 – 13:17, Mile 5 – 14:35

Lovely coastal run from Cardis Bay to Hayle

On Thursday evening I decided to run the slightly longer section, from Cardis Bay to St Ives, whereby I’d join the coastal path and head towards Hayle, returning back to Cardis Bay via the country lanes. Luckily, I’d packed my head torch which was essential on the cliff top trails.

I enjoy night runs. There’s something quite peaceful about running on trails with just the glow of the head torch lighting the way. It’s eerie yet calming. I took it nice and steady, walked the hills and clifftop sections, gently ran the rest, covering just shy of 7 miles. It was also good practice for the LiaD, where if all goes well, I’ll probably be covering the last 20 miles in the dark whilst trying to navigate! 

Average Pace:12:58 min mile

Elevation Gain: 823 ft
Mile 1 – 10:07, Mile 2 – 10:05, Mile 3 – 12:46, Mile 4 – 17:32, Mile 5 – 15:30, Mile 6 – 11:05, Mile 7 – 13:45

Dark, eerie but surprisingly peaceful 

Hayle in the distance 

Despite the lack of running, I did manage to fit in some stretches and core work, something I’ve neglected over the past couple of weeks, and boy, did I feel it! The old expression ‘one step forward, two steps back’ comes to mind and I struggled with 10 reps each of the Dirty Dozen exercise plan.

I travelled back to Bromsgrove on Friday and unfortunately arrived back too late to take the boys swimming; something I like to do when I work away for the week. The A30 was crawling out of Cornwall and the M5 was pretty much stop/start; your average Friday commute which took me over 6 hours. I had no desire to go for a run in the evening.

I had no plans for the weekend but knew I needed to get some long, ‘back-to-back’ runs in as part of my training plan.

I made the last minute decision to go to the Malvern Hills on Saturday, leaving at 7am for an 8am start. The Malvern Hills are a range of hills in the English Counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and North Gloucestershire, covering approximately 9 miles from North to South.

I’ve run the hills before, parking at North Quarry car park and running the 9 miles to Hollybush before turning around and retracing my steps – 18 miles in total with approximately 5000 feet of elevation. Its a tough run and as I don’t have access to the Lake District on my doorstep, it’s the next best thing without travelling too far.

I took the run steady, with the main focus on time-on-feet and climbing the maximum amount of elevation possible. In my mind, I wanted to hit 6,000 ft (nearly half of the elevation of LiaD) without running up the same hills repeatedly.

I failed. Although I did manage to cover over 5,200 ft of elevation 18.6 miles in just shy of 5 hours. I walked the hills, jogged the flats and downhill sections – pretty much my race plan for LiaD.

It was a great day on the hills and made me a little more confident for the challenge ahead.

Average Pace:15:56 min mile

Elevation Gain: 5,213 ft
Mile 1 – 17:53, Mile 2 – 15:52, Mile 3 – 13:37, Mile 4 – 14:44, Mile 5 – 13:54, Mile 6 – 16:27, Mile 7 – 14:44, Mile 8 – 17:32, Mile 9 – 13:37, Mile 10 – 17:05, Mile 11 – 12:43, Mile 12 – 19:10, Mile 13 – 15:58, Mile 14 – 17:18, Mile 15 – 15:14, Mile 16 – 19:52, Mile 17 – 19:43, Mile 18 – 15:09, Mile 19 – 09:52

Views from the Worcestershire Beacon – the highest point of the Malverns

It’s very rare that I listen to anything whilst out running but as it was a long, solitary run I borrowed Ruth’s bone conducting headphones to keep me company.  I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts recently whilst in the car and two of my favourites; the British Ultra Running Podcast and the British Trail Running Podcast have now come to an end (and I’ve caught up with back catalogue), much to my disappointment.  Looking for an alternative, I stumbled upon Trail Running Women and decided to give it a go. The first few episodes were informative, funny and focused on the average runner and not just the ‘elites”, as many podcasts tend to do, which I liked. I’d downloaded a few episodes and started listening to them back-to-back. It was an interesting listen until I came across a couple of episodes focusing on ‘running whilst breastfeeding’ and ‘running with periods’. As interesting as it was, I don’t think I was the right target market!

On Sunday I got to support Ruth for a change as she was running the Worcester 10k. With the 3 boys in tow (that was a challenge in itself!) we managed to get to a couple of viewpoints to see her run past and she looked strong, which proved to be the case as she smashed her PB, finishing in 57:53. An awesome run!

New 10k PB

High Five for the little man

Reluctantly, I decided to go out for a run late afternoon. Despite feeling exhausted from yesterdays 18 miler, running back-to-back on tired lengths is key to my training plan so I grabbed my gear and did a lovely, scenic 10 mile route around the Worcestershire countryside. Fitness wise I felt ok, but issues with the knee were still niggling away and I was forced to take a couple of Ibruprofen half way though the run. Not ideal but at this stage of the training plan I’ve resigned myself to just getting through it and sorting out any long term niggles after the ultra. 

Average Pace:09:48 min mile

Elevation Gain: 404 ft
Mile 1 – 09:37, Mile 2 – 09:27, Mile 3 – 09:41, Mile 4 – 09:58, Mile 5 – 09:41, Mile 6 – 09:52, Mile 7 – 09:52, Mile 8 – 10:10, Mile 9 – 09:54, Mile 10 – 09:45

One thought on “Working Away, Night Running and a Return to the Malverns…

  1. Great work and well done to Ruth, too!Very interesting to read about the coast paths around Hayle – I am down that way in a few weeks, and intending to extend my habitual run along the paved bits of the coast path between Mousehole and Marazion to get on the unpaved bits at either end (this involves me taking my running rucksack with my trail shoes in as they won't be comfy on the pavement sections), but I was also considering running across the peninsula (13 miles, all pavemented except one roundabout: I love my non-running but kind Penzance and Hayle friends for checking this for me) but would also love to run along up there. So useful: thank you.


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