Ultra Training Diary: Getting into the Groove

Getting into the groove

I’m getting into the groove of ultra training. My miles aren’t as high as I’d like them to be and it’ll be slow – I need to manage it between life and staying injury free – but it will be done. 50k in mid-July in the Chilterns with XNRG.

I’m trying to shift my headspace a little. Marathon training is about the miles, it’s also about keeping running. Running and walking up hills etc takes a little getting used to on trails. Trails are taking a little getting used to. But there’s something about the chill factor I’m finding on the trails that I don’t find on the road. On the road, it feels like walking is somehow a failure – not fit enough, not strong enough. On the trails, it’s about taking a little more time, being more conscious about where my feet land, the negotiation of muddy quagmires and a little walking. And occasionally I stop to take a photo and listen to the birds.

The most difficult thing I’m finding is dealing with killer hayfever. Spring for me announces the coming of six months of hayfever – the choking, eyes streaming, you know how it goes. Sometimes it means lovely rashes from where I’ve been hit by pollen. I’ve stocked up and there I days I have to take the stuff morning and night.

The last couple of weeks have been good. High points include:


  • Helping out on our club’s last session of the beginners’ group where they all run 5 miles and receive a lovely bit of bling. For most, this is the first time they’ve ever run that distance. And the smiles on their faces – brilliant.


  • Meeting up with Gary, aka Gazza. Gazza is a Brit living in Australia and we met via Instagram. He was due to run the London Marathon but had to defer for personal reasons. He was doing his own version so I met up with him, his wife and another of his Insta friends on the Mall at his own finish line. It was great to meet him.


Gary and me after his own marathon finish
Me and Gazza. And he’d just run a marathon!!



The Mall on a Sunday
The Mall on a Sunday


  • I’ve started going to club again. I didn’t go during marathon training as it conflicted with pilates classes. I’ve decided to prioritise club runs – it’s great meeting up with folks and I’ve got a choice as to whether I want to run hard or take it a little easier.


Sunset on training run
An amazing sunset on a club run!


Where I’ve gotten lazy is the core work and extra stretching on a daily basis. I must get back into that. I’m also working into my training more time on my feet so while I haven’t done any really long runs, there’s been a reasonable amount of walking post-run.


This is how it’s been going –


Week starting 8 May

Monday – stretching, core, light weights

Tuesday – 6.7 miles at sub 10s which is speedy for me; 15 mins core/stretching

Wednesday – 4 miles, slow and steady

Thursday – my left knee was feeling a little tweaky so I decided to take the day off.

Friday – rest day

Saturday – 5.5 miles with a couple of hours of walking on top

Sunday – headed to the Mall and did a few laps of Green Park; 12.4 miles plus some walking so about 4.5 hours on my feet.


Total – 28.6 miles


Week starting 15 May

Monday – rest day

Tuesday – 5.6 miles with lots of hills, core and stretching

Wednesday – 6.3 grim miles with brutal humidity. After a mile I was dripping head to toe

Thursday – Back to it. 3.1 miles with 6 shorts sprints – sub 9:45 pace all up which I was happy eith

Friday – rest day

Saturday – 10.5 miles with an even pace plus 2 hours of walking

Sunday – 9.2 miles on trails. This was a bit more of a run/walk effort as my legs were tired from the day before. Back to back runs are going to take a little getting used to! I did get to see an alpaca though!

Alpaca - see on run


Total – 34.7 miles











(May 2017)





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