January was a wash out. Following a slow, low mileage December the plan had been to pick up the pace and the mileage a bit over the Christmas holiday, running the coastal path in Cornwall and other challenging routes to build fitness in time for the Donnington Way 66 miler at the beginning of February.
But over Christmas we all came down with proper flu. It wiped us all out for 2 to 3 weeks and so for me, running was not an option for 3 weeks. Once I was over the worst of it, picking back up was difficult. I started in a new job, lost my Friday training day and settling into the new routine was disruptive.
My mileage for January barely scraped past 70, and this hole in my training, the lack of consistency, long runs and cross training left its mark on my fitness. Over the last 4 weeks I've been trying to regain a good base. I had no choice but to drop out of the Donnington Way and I've rejigged my events diary to allow myself a period of rebuilding before the LDWA 100 in May.
My main focus for 2013 will be as follows:
May LDWA 100
June UTSW 60
July UTLD 100
August UTMB CCC
Going forward, Ive planned my training in blocks of 4 to 6 weeks. The first block was aimed at getting back a good base fitness again .... Tick.
In this second block I'll aim to get my running mileage back up to 40 - 50 per week and improve endurance through a weekly long run of 25+ miles, get in some regular bike work, focus on strengthening hamstrings and core, and drop some weight. This will take me up to the Might Contain Nuts Round 1 (33 miler) at the end of March where I can test myself.
In March and April I have a couple of training weekends booked in with Annie Garcia in the Lakes and in Snowdonia where big mileage back to back runs will be the order of the day.
Having a plan has helped me refocus and feel more positive about what Im doing. I think I was getting a bit stale and the winter blues have played their part in this too I'm sure, but I love getting out and running new trails, being outside, getting wet, enjoying the sunshine, whatever it brings, and I'm raring to go again!