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Tour de Newport Training: Week 14

Week 14 and I started the week convinced that this week’s runs were easier and after back-to-back longer runs in Week 13 I was looking forward to easier runs but then I looked at the calendar! 26 miles Saturday, 1h 45m on Sunday! Still, it means another running adventure and gathering ideas throughout the week.

Tuesday – 12 Miles

At the beginning of the training plan I could recall seeing some of the longer runs and wondering if I’d manage them especially early in the morning. Well, the first longer run was completed today without any issues. Found it surprisingly easy to wake up (must have been keen) and was out the door by 0350. The sky was already starting to lighten with the sun almost peeking above the horizon and by 0500 I was greeted by a stunning run rise.

No issues on the run although the legs were a little tired towards the end. The plan is for 8 tomorrow and 10 Thursday followed by the marathon on Saturday. If I’m feeling tired throughout the week may adjust the distances so that I’m prepared for Saturday.

Distance: 12 Miles

Wednesday – 8 Miles

8 miles on the cards today and opted for the easy Riverfront Loops so that I could admire the changing colours in the sky. The downside is that I find it so hard not to stop to take photos. Still, with a route where you can easily switch off and with it being largely flat you can easily pick up the pace.

Distance: 8 Miles

Thursday – 10 Miles

Another week of morning runs completed and I stuck to the plan of 10 miles. A complete change of weather today and damp and drizzly with no opportunities for sunrise photographs around the Riverfront so opted for one of my usual routes along the SDR and past the Transporter Bridge.

Legs were feeling a little tired today so looking forward to tomorrow’s day off and then it’s the 26-miler on Saturday followed by 10-12 miles on Sunday.

Distance: 10 Miles

Saturday – 26 Miles

Me: Day return to Pewsey, please.
Train Man: Where?
Me: Pewsey
Train Man: Can you spell that?

Yep, this week’s running adventure takes me to Pewsey and unless you’re from the West Country chances are you haven’t heard of it.

After some tougher trail runs I fancied something more straightforward for this week’s 26-mile run and plotted a route along the Kennet and Avon canal between Pewsey and Avoncliff. I wouldn’t normally choose a canal route but plotting a non-trail route of that length in a new area is quite a challenge particularly as you need to check that you aren’t running on busy roads without pavements. A canal route is straightforward and isn’t so bad if you haven’t been there before. As a bonus the route has the Caen Hill Locks (29 locks over 2 miles) and I’ll be running down them rather than up.

The route was extremely scenic and being an active canal there was so much to see with lots of boats pootling along and tending to their boats. I had also timed it right to see ducklings and cygnets which meant many stops to try and photograph them. The Caen Hill lock system was as impressive as I imagined and even though that stretch only has 29 locks the locks continue much further and with each one numbered there are around 50 in total.

I’ve struggled on previous long runs particularly when it gets hot so for this run I thought I’d try out Tailwind again. I think the last time I tried it was ok the Brecon to Cardiff ultra and got on well with it but moved onto other things. Most of the electrolyte tablets I use don’t taste particularly great and taste a bit thin so could do with something stronger and Tailwind fits the bill. It aims to give you calories as well as other things such as sodium, magnesium, etc so has good flavour to it. I purchased a trial pack from XMiles (4 flavours with caffeine) and they lasted me up until mile 23 and I then switched to a cheap energy drink I purchased along the way. Apart from leftover caramel waffle that I had at the halfway point I didn’t have any else so the Tailwind seemed to work well.

Distance: 26.2 Miles

Sunday – 1h 45m

After the marathon the day before my legs were feeling pretty good and the plan was to head out for 1h 45m or around 10 or so miles. With the weather still being good I plotted a route along a section of the Wales Coast Path I hadn’t been along before. The route started at Monknash and crossed a number of fields until it reached the coast. From there it follows the cliff along to Nash Point and it’s two lighthouses (only one is active) and I couldn’t resist taking photos of them both from different angles and from a distance.

Next up was St Donat’s and I had timed it right as there was an open day which was free for those arriving on foot. I wasn’t in a hurry or worrying about pace so took some time out to explore the castle and grounds.

The route then headed inland and back towards the start. There were some tough fields to run through but it did give me another opportunity to photograph the lighthouses. It had warmed up considerably and I was finding it tough in the heat but it was good practice for the challenge in July.

Whilst running I realised that if I extended my route slightly to 10.6 miles I would reach 1,000 miles for the year so a couple of extra lanes and fields added on and I finished exactly at 1,000.00 miles. Next week is an easy week to recover and then the following week features the longest run of the training block — 32 miles.

Distance: 10.6 Miles

About Author

I once didn't run, then I started to run and got addicted. Then Crohn's Disease put a stop to my running adventures. Now I'm back with a new bum (colostomy) and starting to embark on new running adventures.

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