After a 60 mile week, this week is going to involve less mileage overall and a shorter run on Saturday. The mid-week plan was going to remain pretty similar with three early morning runs Tuesday-Thursday with hills on Wednesday.
Tuesday – 6 Miles
The mornings are gradually getting lighter and by the time I leave the house just after 4am it is already nautical twilight with the horizon just starting to become illuminated. With a fairly clear sky it was nice watching it slowly light up as I followed my usual 7 mile route through Somerton. The plan was actually for 6 miles but with things going well at the moment I went for a bit further without pushing too far.
By the time I’d finished around 0515 the sun was nearly rising and soon I’ll be looking forward to the sunrises and taking photos of the same locations in a different light.
Distance: 7 Miles
Wednesday – 4 Miles (Hills)
It was tough getting up this morning! But, I got out there in the rain to get things done. On the cards today was a hill session and based on the struggle to get up in really didn’t fancy hill sprints so opted for slower, longer hill climbs up Stow Hill in the city centre. The hill is just under half a mile long and fairly steep so you get a good workout with each rep and there’s ample time for recovery on the way down.
It was a good compromise for not doing the hill sprints and enjoyed the session. Like yesterday I tagged onto another mile so completed 5 instead of 4 miles.
Distance: 5 Miles
Thursday – 6 Miles
A damp and windy run to finish of the mid-week early morning sessions and it was the usual Somerton 7 route. I tend to like variety but being so early in the morning I prefer having one less thing to think about.
The best thing about these early morning runs is that the weather becomes less of an issue mainly because I make sure the kit I lay out is correct for the run and being dark I can’t see what it’s like outside so when I open the door I’ve already made the effort so may as well just get out there. If I was running after work and the weather was bad all day there’s a chance I would try and convince myself to not run.
The legs were feeling a little tired and like the other days I opted for an extra mile instead of the 6 on the training plan. Mid-week runs completed it was now time to plan Saturday’s adventure. The weather forecast is potentially miserable but that’s not going to stop me from exploring.
Distance: 7 Miles
Saturday – 14 Miles
This week’s running adventure took me to Ledbury where I would run predominantly off-road to Hereford. The route was following one listed on the Slow Ways website and would be an opportunity to review the route. The weather forecast wasn’t good with rain forecast for the morning and potentially easing off in afternoon. I dressed for the worst and opted to wearing waterproof trousers for the first time.
The route started at the market hall in the centre of Ledbury and soon went off-road where I soon realised that it was going to be a soggy run – my feet already soaking! By the second mile mud was added to the mix with huge amounts accumulating on my shoes whilst trudging through freshly ploughed fields. It felt like I was wearing lead boots!
The route took in all sorts of terrain along the way with fields, woodlands, farm yards, country lanes, orchards, riverbanks and villages all featuring. I saw numerous pheasants, horses, lambs and even a barn owl which flew over my head.
The weather started off wet as forecast and then with around 5 miles to go brightened up considerably and became rather warm.
The training plan was for 14 miles and the route was 17.9 miles. I had planned on running an extra couple of miles but by the time I’d finished it was 19 miles of which many of those were tough country miles. Still, it was great practice dealing with tough conditions and tricky terrain.
Distance: 19 Miles
Sunday – Active Recovery
Sunday was supposed to be active recovery day but with things feeling good at the moment I could resist getting out there again so headed to Westbury on Severn for a trail run. The run started well but after some encounters with cows (I know they’re just curious but when they come running in your direction it’s hard not to get a little worried) I decided to switch to the country lanes.
Like Saturday, the weather forecast wasn’t great but I managed to stay nearly dry throughout the run just getting caught in some rain with the last half mile. It was a very pleasant run and I was surprised how nice the River Severn looked when the sun was shining and the tide was in. It rounded off a great week of running and looking forward to planning next weekend’s longer runs.
Distance: 7 Miles