Category Archives: Lake District

Marathon training week 8: turbo, run, fell walk, long walk. Quite tough – but of what training value?

Grasmere from Loughrigg Fell

After hard exercise on Friday, Saturday and Sunday it was back on the turbo for 45 minutes on Monday to avoid starting week 8 of the training with a rest day. A slightly gentler 21.2km (13.2m) but still finishing in a pool of sweat.

Tuesday was blown out of the water for training by a combination of waiting for deliveries, a service for the alarm and a quick trip down to Bournemouth late on. The rest was probably a good thing after 4 fairly hard days of exercise.

On Wednesday I got out for the week’s long slow run – 14.63 miles (23.55km). It was cold and felt very hard, run at 30 seconds a km outside 4 hour marathon pace.

I don’t know why it was so tough but I’ve ruled out a Samson-syndrome, despite getting my hair cut in the morning. Perhaps it was being only 5 days after the last long run – but perhaps I’ve got to start taking nutrition and hydration more seriously. All my morning runs to date (including the 12 and 13 milers) have been done on just a cup of coffee.

This one, starting just after midday, was done on three cups of coffee, a small glass of water, a banana and a Nature Valley oat bar. I don’t take any food or water out with me. Perhaps that’s not enough for a later start and longer runs?

I was still hobbling on Thursday but we drove the 245 miles up to the Lake District for an excellent few days with friends, in Ambleside. We stopped on the way to see my father, a few days before his 95th birthday on the 13th.

On Friday we walked from Ambleside to Grasmere over Loughrigg Fell – about 6 miles with a maximum height of just over 1000 feet. Another 7 miles on Saturday but flatter in a circuit near Far Sawrey (if that makes sense) towards the south west corner of Windermere. No sign of Wordsworth and too early for daffodils but I wandered lamely as a cloud.

One good outcome is that the Achilles tendons held up well to the hills and might have benefitted from the rest from running for a few days.

Back south on Sunday.

I have no idea what the factor is for equating miles walking with miles of running – still less how that works for hill walking. So, I really don’t know if that has been good or bad training – or any sort of replacement for the running and cross-training I missed. Perhaps I’ll just count it as cross-training, accept it as ‘different’, and move on.

Week Run Cycle X-train
1 16.1m  (25.9km) 9.8m  (15.8 km)  2:00
2 18.5m  (29.8km) 13.3m  (21.5km) 2:00
3 20.7m  (33.25km) 65.8m (105.9km) 1:00
4 22.2m  (35.8km) 13.7m (22.07km) 1:00
5 24m (38.6km) 13m  (21km) 1:00
6 (Christmas) 13.2m (21.3km)    
7 25.56m (41.14km)62.7m (100.9km) 3:00
814.63m (23.55km)  13.2m (21.2km) 7.00
‘Running’ totals 129.3m (208.3km) 191.4m (307.5km) 17:00
Advertisements

I wandered lamely as a cloud (apologies to Wordsworth)

20180112_114249

Possibly Low Pike, looking down from High Pike, with Windermere in the background – or possibly somewhere entirely different

After shifting the sciatica I brought on myself back in November, the drive down to the alps went well on Boxing Day, the skiing went well but the return journey brought the sciatica back. Goodness knows how – same length of journey, same car, same seat, same seat settings … it just did.

I was taking it easy but had gone up to nearly 72kg and was suffering with a good dose of what they are calling an epidemic of Australian flu (generous people the Australians, not only were they happy to give us a beating in the cricket but they send over their flu – thanks guys).

It all meant that I was rather tired of doing nothing and after a week I decided I’d been idle for long enough and thought I’d see what exercise I could do without hurting it more.

Lunges and sit-ups were out but crunches, press-ups and ‘from sitting to standing, using just one leg (arms folded so no impetus to be gained from swinging them)’ worked with both legs. So I did a few of those.

Unfortunately, although I could do the exercises, I paid for them the following day with worse sciatica. ‘Old enough to know better’ comes to mind.

Clearly, long car journeys and vigorous exercise were completely ruled out – so we did the only sensible thing and drove four and a half hours to the Lake District to do some fell walking.

20180113_144105

An experienced hill walker – a Herdwick sheep, I believe

It was a long weekend that had been arranged months previously with three other couples – the third time we’ve done the trip and not one we’d ever want to miss. It also gave us the opportunity to stop off at my sister’s to see my father who moved in with her a while ago. It was just two days before his 94th birthday so that trip was even more essential.

20180112_104746

The sun is (almost) seen in the Lake District in January (Rydal Water or Grasmere?)

We were in Ambleside and the trip was great and, as ever, the Lake District was spectacular. We walked, ate, and I nearly cycled (I just took a mountain bike but some of the others had road bikes so I gave it a miss). As it was, the closest that I did get to cycling was working on a communal jigsaw of a stage of Le Tour in (I think) 2012.

The walking was fantastic (but very cold) although I spent the whole time not knowing where I was, where we’d come from or where we were going. In two walks we did well over 13 miles and 6400 ft of ascent – not record breaking but OK for a non-walker.

[If you like pointless trivia, how many lakes are there in the Lake District? Altogether there are over 30 bodies of water over 0.1 sq km, and more than 80 bodies of water in all, including reservoirs, but there is only one lake.

The lake is Bassenthwaite Lake – the others are ‘meres’ (eg Windermere – so ‘Lake Windermere’ is both wrong and tautologous), ‘waters’ (eg Ullswater) or tarns.]

20180112_125516

It was cold – even without the fierce wind chill

Returning on Sunday, we just had time to get things turned around before getting ready to head off for me to deliver the eulogy at an Aunt’s funeral the Monday. RIP my Aunt Joy.

So, sort of active – but a world away from the cycle training I’d want to be doing at this stage.

However, it would be churlish not to appreciate what I can do – it’s remarkable that I could do the pretty strenuous walking when it still hurts to get up out of a chair. Two of my friends on the trip are a Consultant Rheumatologist and a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon – both very talented and eminent in their fields – and neither is sure what I’ve done. Two of the others are Vets – they thought it best simply to put me out of everyone’s misery.

All in all, I can’t help but think that this getting old business is over-rated.