Monthly Summary – November

Sort of a disappointing month, in which I failed to increase my mileage or elevation gain (or speed, but that’s not very important). I actually did more long runs than previously, with two big 23+ mile runs this month, but the shortfall comes from having been so busy almost every evening that I struggled to do my usual regular 15-20 miles per week from running home from work. That’s the trouble with the busy social season in the run-up to Christmas, but it’s something I’ll have to sort out this month. To be fair, I am pleased with the two … Continue reading Monthly Summary – November

The Marathon des Sables Expo

Saturday was the long-awaited Marathon des Sables expo, and really marks the start of this campaign (although, with only some 19 weeks until the race, anyone who hasn’t made a serious start on their training already is probably in a bit of trouble). It was very different to marathon expos I’ve been to before, which are normally a quick packet pick-up, a stroll past the dozens and dozens of sporting goods stands, buying some kit or race-branded tat, and then straight out. This one, on the other hand, was more of a full-day conference, with worthwhile talks scheduled all day … Continue reading The Marathon des Sables Expo

Sammy’s Story

Today’s post isn’t really about running, not directly, but I wanted to explain why I’ve chosen to raise money for The Lullaby Trust by running the Marathon des Sables, and maybe inspire you to make a donation. Today would have been my brother Sammy’s 30th birthday. He would be exactly two years and one month older than me and I like to imagine we’d have been close; I consider my younger brother amongst my best friends and it’s nice to think I’d have had just as good a relationship with Sammy. Sadly I’ll never know because when he was around 11 … Continue reading Sammy’s Story

Monthly Summary – October

Very happy with this month to be honest. Despite being back at work I increased my mileage again, to very nearly (but frustratingly not quite…) 100 miles a month which is probably the most I’ve ever done in a month though I’m not going back through all my records to check. Despite being back in London and no longer in the Pyrenees or South Devon, I even managed to increase my elevation gain, due largely to a lovely long run in the South Downs: 27 miles, technically an ultramarathon, and the longest single run I have ever done. So: (Full) months left to MDS: 5 Miles … Continue reading Monthly Summary – October

The most useful bit of running kit you’ll never run in

If there’s one bit of kit I’d massively recommend for anyone who likes trail running, it’s a down jacket – despite the fact you will almost certainly never actually run in it. Why? Super-warm and incredibly compressible and light, it’s the perfect thing to chuck in a bag for a long run so you know you have something warm to put on afterwards or if you need to stop running due to injury or getting lost. Just knowing I have a jacket that can keep me warm down to near-freezing temperatures gives me a lot more confidence running off into … Continue reading The most useful bit of running kit you’ll never run in

Training – Devon beaches and trails

This weekend I’ve taken on a couple of shortish trail runs along the South Devon coast near Start Point. Although I only did 5-7 miles each day, the trails are fairly tricky with some seriously steep sections and quite a bit of running on shingle. I thought the shingle running might be good MDS training and there’s no doubt it’s bloody exhausting, with every step sinking softly into the beach and taking all the spring out of your gait.       I’m Between each bay the path generally goes up and over a point, with some steep sections of classic … Continue reading Training – Devon beaches and trails

Sussex Border Path trail run

Yesterday, as it was beautiful and sunny and it’s a while since I’ve done a big run, I did a 15 mile trail run in the South Downs. A big part of planning a trail run is figuring out a route that runs between two train stations, but is still attractive and interesting to run along. I’ve been a fan of the Ridgeway for that, but it’s sort of the wrong side of London for me, whereas most of the train stations in the South Downs are an easy direct train from Clapham Junction, my nearest big station. Although I’d … Continue reading Sussex Border Path trail run