Friday 27th January
With only 8 miles on Sunday and, probably, too much food over the weekend the week's miles amounted to 44 with 4000 feet of climbing, as planned. Weight stayed the same reflecting the lower mileage and a 'social' weekend. I had a couple of round of the new road route up New Chapel Lane and then up Foxholes which involves a little over 1000' and seems like a better Monday & Wednesday run than the nearly flat route through Chew Moor.
Since this all started I have been concerned about the balance required to eat enough to train at a higher mileage and lose weight whilst avoiding exhaustion, illness and injury. So far have avoided the last three. lost weight almost every week and managed a higher mileage than last summer. I have also been checking track and hill session lap times and although this week's mileage was down I was pleased to see an improvement at this week's track session of 6 x 800m reps. Rep times were
27/09/05: 3:11, 3:05, 3:08, 3:11, 3:15, 3:21
24/01/06: 3:07, 3:04, 3:01, 3:02, 2:59, 2:57
Now I know they are not fast but this week's are considerably improved.
Thanks to the readers who provide support, encouragement and advice, off-line, throughout the week.
Sunday is "Thats Lyth", an LDWA event that Pauline and I help marshal so after closing CP1 I'll run the rest of the route to add about 16 miles to normal week so that I should get close to 70 miles by this time next week. I'll stick with New Chapel/Foxholes route for Monday & Wednesday to help the climbing. Saturday will be 14-16 miles over Winter Hill following a 4 mile road loop through Horwich to keeps the mileage up.
Since last week Steve Kenyon (HRMI & Bolton), Colin Jones, Edwin Coope and Darran Kaye (all HRMI) have offered their help - thanks. Colin has offered his dogs to help recce some BGR legs with me over the coming weeks and I'll be very pleased to take them up on the offer, thanks again.
Good luck to Darran for Monday which will be his first day back running after an injury.
Friday 20th January
A long hard week was planned and a long hard week it was. Not quite as long as it might have been had it not been for some wise words of caution from Norman who pointed out that a key requirement of a successful BGR was arriving at the start line injury-free and "raring to go" and that 80 mile weeks, this early, might not be the way to do it.
Saturday's 21 miles over Darwen Moor went well and Sunday's 25 miles round the "Two Crosses" also went well. Pauline and I did Sunday together at a steady trot (for me) and somewhat faster for Pauline. So much so that we were more than 30 minutes faster than in 2005 and she was, rightly, very pleased.
I cut Monday's miles to 4 and did the rest as originally planned to give a total of 77.3 with almost 8200 feet of climbing which is still probably not enough climbing. Managed to shed 0.8 lb to get my weight to 160 lbs, a total loss of almost 12 lbs.
After two hard weeks I am looking forward to an easy week because we are going to Glasgow to see my parents as my Father celebrated his 80th birthday recently. We should get out for a run on Sunday morning but it won't be a 20 mile fell run. With the weekday miles as normal for the rest of the week I should get about 40-45 miles done. I have also developed a new 12 mile route through Horwich involving both New Chapel Lane and Foxholes to increase the week's climbing.
I thought I had considered everything when I was working out the best date until Alan Sweatman asked what the moon phase would be on 24th because, of course, a full moon (with a clear sky) might mean torches wouldn't be required. In fact, 25th June will see a new moon so even with a clear night there isn't going to be a lot of moonlight. The nearest full moons co-incide with either the Ennerdale or Wasdale so neither of these weekends would be ideal, so still the 24th
Since last week Alan Sweatman, Mark Davies (whose own BGR is planned for 17th June), Paul Murray, Steve Barlow, Colin Rigby, Rachel Metcalfe, Alastair Murray and Karen Smout (all HRMI) have offered to help - thanks all.
I am beginning to understand the depth of wisdom in the observation that BGR training is easy - it is the logistics that are hard.
Friday 13th January
Another good week with most sessions as planned although Sunday's recce above Great Langdale was a hard day out. The two objectives were to find the descent routes off Bowfell and Rossett Pike. Route off Rossett Pike was easy to find and straightforward to follow in complete contrast to the Bowfell descent.
We started at the Old Dungeon Ghyll and climbed out of the valley by the side of Rossett Ghyl and turned for Esk Pike at the hause, in brilliant sunshine. By Esk Pike summit the clouds had cleared and the Scafell massif, dusted with snow, looked magnificent. By Bowfell summit we were back up in the clag struggling to keep our feet on the ice that completely caked the summit. I think I saw the cairn marking the descent but it was also plastered in snow and ice and we couldn't be sure that it was a cairn to we headed for Ore Gap and (frozen) Angle Tarn. Thereafter route finding was easy and after Pike O'Stickle we headed down for a beer at the ODG - a short day, I know, but my legs thought otherwise.
With 31 miles done by Sunday night I reduced Monday's recovery run to 8 miles but did the rest of the week as planned to give a total of 68.3 miles & 10026 ft. Average weight for the week is 160.8 lbs; a loss of 1.8 lbs and 10.9 lbs in total.
Next week should also be a high mileage week although the climbing will be a bit less. Saturday is planned to be about 20 miles over Winter Hill and Darwen Moor and with the LDWA "Two Crosses" on Sunday to add a further 25 miles and almost 3000 ft for the weekend. The rest of the week should be as planned to give about 80 miles in total.
Since the last note about the Support Team Tony Varley, Graham Schofield and Steve Jackson (all HRMI) have offered to help, thanks guys.
Friday 6th January
This is the first weekly update that will summarise my training for the previous week and anticipate next week's plans. My training week starts on Saturday so that (after a rest day on Friday) I am fresh for a long run (or race) on a Saturday. Usually we go to the Lakes on a Sunday to walk or run and from now on it will be to recce the route - Sunday's miles are not part of my training plan and 'walking miles' are normally excluded from the week's total.
This has been an easy week with a few days walking in the Lakes over New Year and so I have only run Tuesday to Thursday with a total of 26 miles. This week's average weight of 162.5 lbs is about a pound heavier than last week and a total loss of 9.2 lbs.
Next week is back to a 'standard' week. -
Saturday 18 miles over Winter Hill
Sunday walk or run in Lakes
Monday 12 miles - road
Tuesday 6 miles - road & track session
Wednesday 12 miles - road
Thursday 6 miles - hill session
Friday Rest Day
BGR - Support Team
Probably the most important part of the whole thing, at least the most important managable part of the whole thing because the weather isn't managable.
So far the core team comprises John Swift (Chorley AC); Jenny Wyles (Chorley Harriers); Jim Bispham, Nicky Wood, Pauline Charters (Westmorland & N Lancs LDWA); Ed Swift, Suzanne Budgett, Kevan Latham, Denis Mason, Peter Watson, Ray Stafford, Albert Sunter, Brendan Bolland (Horwich RMI).
Eventually the team needs to consist of about 15 runners, preferably more, along with road-side and other logistic support.
Thanks to those above who have expressed interest in assisting and I'm back from my New Year break clocking the miles again.