Last Week: 74.3 miles; 9000 feet; 14:56:23
Winter training is done and it is time to up the ante. Previously I simply ran further on Mondays and Wednesdays but with running before work I may not need to, yet. The track sessions are good but contribute little in the way of distance and nothing in the way of climbing so unless I really don’t need the climbing I am going to replace Tuesday’s track with a run up Winter Hill which adds about 12 miles and 1500 feet of climbing. This week’s run was mostly in the dark and while that will change the descent will lose the wondrous night views over Manchester and the Lancashire plain. This week also sees the start of the “no alcohol” part of the year – we drink very little anyway and only at weekends but following a hard Saturday with a hard Sunday and more on a Monday requires recovery to be as complete as possible and alcohol slows recovery remarkably. By inhibiting glycogen production alcohol delays recovery – two pints of beer adds around a 12 hour delay.
Saturday was 21 mile 3500 feet session on and around Winter Hill starting with a 4 mile loop through Horwich and up New Chapel Lane before climbing on to Winter Hill. The cold wind made this a hard session and I wasn’t disappointed to get finished. On Sunday we went to Upper Warfdale to have a look at part of The Fellsman route over Yockenthwaite Moor. One of the checkpoints has been moved since we last recced the route – the last time we did The Fellsman we had to take a long looping route into this checkpoint but now we know how to find it directly. The wind was almost as strong as just as cold but behind us when we were high on the moors on the spring sunshine. We saw the first lambs of the year, the daffodils were out in profusion and we saw, perhaps, a dozen lapwings enjoying the sunshine and the wind.
I’ll replace the 4 mile loop through Horwich with one of a similar length on Foxholes Road to add a bit more climbing before Winter Hill on Saturday. On Sunday we are planning on having a run round the Great Langdale Skyline and, unlike last week, I’ll take a camera. I need to get a few 70+ weeks and push the climbing total up to and beyond 10,000 feet. Compared with this time last year I feel stronger, not having torn a calf muscle helps a bit, of course, and the “festive season fat” has gone. The “Joss Naylor” support teams are coming together and I am waiting on just a couple of people confirming details but next up, at the beginning of April, is a self-supported “Cumbrian Traverse” with Keith and Gary Murray who are both helping on my “Joss”. I’ll get some details on here as soon as they are firm.