Looking Forwards To 2019

Welcome to my first blog. So, hopefully you’ve read my introduction (https://runningfromtheblackdog.com/an-introduction), about the journey I’m on, how 2018 was a great year running wise and how it finished poorly due to a bout of depression.

This year it’s all about ‘going long’, I’m now in training for my first marathon which is in March, The Cambridge Boundary Run, this is a half road, half trail race.

So far my longest run has been 14.6 miles so I still have some distance to go before I’m ready. My ‘A’ race this year will be the Shires and Spires, a 35 mile ultra marathon (yes I’m insane, I once thought 4 miles was a long way!), this is run in June around the Northamptonshire countryside in a circular route from Naesby, the home of the historic Battle Of Naesby in 1645.

Talking of Naseby I have also booked myself in for a 16.45 mile race around Naesby in February. This will not only be a great training race for my upcoming marathon but will also take me around some of the area where the Shires and Spires are held. The week before this I shall also be running in the Wellingborough Trail Half Marathon organised by our local club, of course being a trail half marathon this will be more like 15 miles than 13.1! The only other two events booked so far this year are the Ups and Downs Charity Bike Ride, a 63 mile sportive around Northamptonshire and Leicestershire and the Windsor half marathon in September.

The events early this year are all part of my training for my ‘A’ race, the Shires and Spires, and added to those I plan to complete a long run every Sunday up to the week before each event. Along with my Tuesday and Thursday club sessions that are hill/speed work and a tempo run respectively. Added to this as family time and brownie points with my extremely supportive wife allow there will be some trail runs and cycle rides added in along with my weekly swimming lesson, more of this later. 

So far on my long runs I have managed to sort my hydration, previously I had suffered cramps in my calfs, these were at about 8 miles on a run and 30 miles on a ride. It seems I’m a heavy and salty sweater and standard electrolytes just were not enough, the answer for me has been salt tablets, taking one per hour seems to have solved the issue. I’ll keep a track on this and adjust as I go as my training develops.

Nutrition is the next nut to crack, I’ve previously used gels, starting with SiS and now settling on High 5 Berry as they aren’t quite as thick and are a bit more palatable. However on long runs I’m feeling fatigued towards the end so feel I need to take on more, more gels may get a bit messy, and I don’t mean when opening the packet! Therefore I think solid foods would be a wise idea, this week I’ve been in the kitchen and made some ‘power flapjacks’, the recipe is below as a screenshot from MyFitnessPal, I used this tool to work out the nutrition facts. I’ll update you next time how I get on, one things for sure, they taste yummy!

One of my other future plans, probably in 2020 now, is to complete a triathlon so I’m currently taking some group swimming lessons with a fantastic coach called Gavin Prior, great name there! I’ve started off by mainly drinking the pool water aka drowning. Yes it’s not been great as I have never swum with my head in the water before but Gav is great and last week I managed to get my breathing almost right and swim a whole length almost properly, everyone has to start somewhere! I’ll keep you up to date with how I get on and hopefully I may pluck up the courage in summer to have a go at some open water swimming.

Anyway that’s enough for my first blog so as not to bore you all to tears, I hope it gets some reads and gives someone some enjoyment, failing that it’s great therapy for me and keeps my mind focused.

All the best, Gav.

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