Running from Shadows

My Marathon des Sables . . . and beyond

Peak week of training

It’s been a tough training week in the freezing cold of Yorkshire with just 35 days to go before I toe the start line of the Sahara Race (Jordan).

At 68 miles of running this has been my peak week in my current training schedule: a couple of gym sessions for strength and core stability, with the running consisting of 7.25 miles of intervals on a treadmill for speed, a few easier 5-7 mile runs (on a treadmill, again), a 22 mile easy run on Friday with about 4kg on my back followed by a “rest day” of a faster 6.25 miles (it’s still warmer on that treadmill in the gym . . .).

Today was a 20 mile run on the muddy trails in the Dales with about 2-3kg: crisp, cold and largely deserted of people. There were no animal incidents today: when I’ve been out on the trails previously I’ve been chased by bulls, hunted by packs of cows, bitten by a Rottweiler or challenged by aggressive sheep. Today I was just spooked by an escaping squirrel inches from my face . . .

Fortunately today’s end to a hard running week felt straightforward: I could easily have plodded on at the end of my 20 miler and my legs, although stiff and sore, were still pushing me along at 10 minute miles. But I was freezing cold and wet from sweating by then so I decided to call it a day!

Another two weeks of hard training but lower mileage, with a marathon at some point, will be followed by a two week taper period and that’ll be it before this year’s Big Event.

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