Respecting your elders at the Bewl 15

I frequently train with runners in their forties and fifties, and by doing so I am often led to reflect how ‘they put me to shame’ – be it through their commitment to athletics, their speed in spite of their advanced years, or their impressive never-say-die endurance. While there is the excitement of watching young…

Discovering Strava

I have discovered Strava. Or Strada, as my wife likes to call it. ‘That’s a restaurant chain,’ I point out annoyingly. ‘Totally different.’ I joined Strava earlier this year, but I did not really get it. Another way to record how far and how long you have been running or cycling, I thought. I used…

The travails of a soft southerner in the Lake District

It had all started rather well. I was running in fifth place in the Lowther Trail Run, ticking along nicely. I could not believe my luck. Despite not having raced for three months, with much of that time lost to injury, I was climbing well, descending reasonably and moving purposefully on trail. Entering mile six…

The art of the ultra-shuffle

You have to be an ultra-runner to appreciate the qualities of the ultra-shuffle. To the non-initiated (and count yourself lucky), to ultra-shuffle is to occupy the hazy middle-ground between running and walking. It occurs when the athlete is fatigued to the extent that fluent, hamstring-extending motion is no longer possible – but, while the will…

How I almost won the Steyning Stinger Marathon

I could have won the Steyning Stinger Marathon. I should have won the Steyning Stinger Marathon. Had I been running the 2012 version, I would have been clear in first place by 18 minutes. As it was, I was 40 seconds behind yesterday’s deserved winner, Stuart Mills. Mills – known as UltraStu – is a…

Nocturnal wanderings in Surrey and London

A night run of at least 30 miles from Guildford to London had seemed a good idea earlier this week. Today – at home, in the warm and dry, surrounded by food – it seems a good idea. Crossing the M25 at 11 o’clock last night, having negotiated 15 miles of the North Downs Way…

That winning feeling at the Broadway Tower Marathon

I won a race yesterday. A running race. I was the fastest. The victor. On one day, in one place, no-one could beat me. This isn’t gloating; it is savouring a moment that may not happen again. I’ve said it before on this blog, but while there is pleasure to be gained by running, the…

Shedding demons courtesy of the Fellsman

Close to three weeks ago, I felt what I took to be my left Achilles tweak at an evening race at Beckenham. I thought little of it. Running the next night, the  Achilles became increasingly sore. It was one of those runs that, in hindsight, I simply shouldn’t have done. An inexplicable, wholly avoidable error of judgement. I took the…

Winter Tanners 2012 results

The results for the Winter Tanners have finally appeared. It was not a race – the LDWA make that abundantly clear. Still, it is good to compare yourself with others. And comparing myself with others, I did alright: second, in fact, in 4 hours, 20 minutes. I trailed the leader by two minutes; he was…

Winter Tanners 2012

I very nearly didn’t run the Winter Tanners. My right soleus had tightened up following a hard track session on Tuesday, and by Friday I was on the cusp of dropping out. I had gone to work on the muscle on the foam roller the night before, aggravating it further. I was hugely disappointed. Suddenly,…

Recovery…

Post-marathon recoveries are tricky things to get right. After London in April, I abandoned the sport for a fortnight, then ran 30 miles in the following three days. My body was all at sea. There was an illustration of how not to recover after a marathon. After the Lakeland Trails Marathon  in July, I was running sections of the…