so, here's the idea. i'm going to attempt to train, specifically for one race. that's right, no more aimless pavement pounding, no more 'oh, i'll run tomorrow, today is biking weather'. no longer will i turn up to races with my fingers crossed and more stubbornness than fitness.
the event, the west highland way race. the plan, i've got 30 weeks to get my legs to agree to run the 95 miles from Milngavie to Fort William. this time i'm feeling focused, i've got pieces of map on the bedside table, cutoffs memorised, a willing support crew (jane and vikki), a new pair of trainers, but most importantly a training schedule.
i only work 3 days a week (4 every 4th week), which is good for getting longs days out. but fitting in a proper rest day has proved difficult. my shifts are 12.5 hrs and most of the time i'm on my feet and probably walk an average of 7m and a lot of stairs (always quicker than the lifts!). having a rest day whilst at work is a bit counter productive. so, i'm working in 3 week blocks. 10 nice little bite sized chunks, with a complete sitting on my ass, radio listening, cake eating, rest day every 2 weeks.
the other issue is my shifts don't follow a pattern but i am given my rota about 3/4 weeks in advance. it's a bit problematic but with organisation i should be able to do all the sessions. even if not always in the ideal order.
my aim is to do all long runs back to back. when the mileage increases, to get at least one of them properly off road. the terrain of the whw is more trail than fell, so i'm not too worried about trying to get miles of bog hopping in. but all of the pavement pounding will be on the hilliest roads i can find. the other crucial session will be the weekly speed work. it's likely that i'll be on my for this and i'm already predicting that this session will be my weakness.
on days off i'll try and double up some sessions but you never know, i might feel like doing the easy run after work! the session marked run/mtb is a bit vague but will either be a steady run of 4-8m or a ride. i think singlespeeding has a lot in common with running-that's my excuse and i'm sticking to it!
the other big change is diet. this doesn't mean that the cakes will stop. just that they'll hopefully last a little longer. eating and drinking well on days off is going to be really important and something i don't currently do very well. i might introduce a weekly weigh-in and am thinking about keeping a food diary.
i'm probably a bit premature 'announcing' this, as my entry is yet to be confirmed (i do have a 'plan b', just in case)...but i'm working on the premise that the more i tell folk the more real it is. and the more likely i am to stick with the program. virtual kicks up the ass are welcome!
it's going to be hard. my legs feel like lead just typing this. it's going to be cold and damp, most of the runs will lonely affairs with car fumes and street lamps. i'll have to turn down spring biking bivvys, impromptu trips to the pub and get myself organised. but the payoff will be huge. a journey from the lowlands in the south, via lochs, moorland and munro vistas, to the heart of the highlands. the route, i already know. the scenery, wild and beautiful. how i'm going to cope, that's the unknown, that's where the adventure is. and so the journey begins.