Sometimes this stuff just writes itself.

People regularly called Sainsbury’s when I worked there asking us to fetch one of our trolleys from a hedgerow, their garden, on top of their car and, of course, ponds!

2017-04-07 06.57.43I wonder if Halfords had a call about this I saw on my run the other morning?

This week’s training will culminate in a long run with Nicky in the morning, we’re planning on doing 20ish with some sections at target marathon pace. I did something similar with my training run this morning. It was an eerie, misty, chilly and still morning and I set off just before 6 to a soundtrack of the gulls’ dawn chorus and the fog horn piercing the gloom.

2017-04-08 06.59.21
Spooky in the gloom on Brixham Breakwater this morning.

 

Its been hard to get really fired up for running this week, I’ve done a few short runs and kept my legs ticking over but not, what I would call, ‘training’. Until today.

But what is training? Is there an effort level which means you are training, with other days when you lace up the trainers merely running, or jogging, or dog running?

I’m quite lucky in that I ALWAYS enjoy my runs, so I don’t feel that one type of running counts any more than another. Challenging myself is part of my running and I have challenged myself to beat a time at the North Dorset Villages Marathon (NDVM). With this in mind, I aim to do at least two runs a week which in some way challenge my physiology, my limits, my psychology and I immensely enjoy this process.

2016-05-01 08.29.11
Nicky and Martin discussing tactics at last year’s NDVM

 

BUT, does that make these runs ‘training’? What about when I run the dog down the coast path for 4 miles, stopping to pick up poo, take pictures, and generally not caring about pace or time? Are these not training runs too?

Or when I go out with Nicky and we do her sessions or structured long runs, are these training? Nicky and I have different natural speeds so our relative intensities are different at any given pace. Does that mean that one of us is training and the other isn’t?

 

2017-04-04 06.21.06
Torbay faces East, so we get some incredible sunrise scenes on early morning (training) runs

 

Personally, I believe that every step I take is contributing  to my fitness, my endurance, my conditioning and I can honestly say I get pleasure from every single one.

Pre WIFUDIL (When I Fell Unbelievably Deeply In Love) I used to label all my runs, hard, extreme, tempo, easy, recovery and trained to a suffocating structure. I was chasing Good For Age for a Vet 45 (3h15m for the marathon) and kept just missing it.

 

2015-01-04 09.06.27
We did some dramatically bleak training days for Nicky’s SDW50 attempt

Post WIFUDIL, Nicky had entered the South Downs Way 50 Ultra and we put a plan together to build up Nicky’s time on her feet and mileage. This involved us spending many a weekend day over that winter putting rucksacks on, taking the dog and running for 4,5 even 6 or more hours over the coast path or countryside, farmland, not caring about pace, time or distance. Quite often we didn’t have a planned route and would take the OS map. Was all of that ‘training’?

2015-02-22 12.19.57
The fittest Border Terrier in Torbay loved the SDW50 training

 

Well whatever it was, it worked! Nicky completed the SDW50 in 11h30m, meaning the head torch was redundant!

Not only that, a couple of weeks later I ran 3h14m38s at Taunton Marathon. Now I was still doing sessions in my running week but plenty of my running miles came from these wonderful days out on the trails.

We tend to do those runs in actual events these days, well since Nicky challenged us to run 10 marathons a year in order to reach 100 before we’re ahem, a certain age.

I think this will become more crucial as I head towards my 12 hour challenge later in the year (The East Farm Frolic). I’d like to be fit enough to have a good go at that and have no doubt that I’m going to need plenty of fast miles, slow miles, walked miles, glorious sweaty miles of all types to be ready for that.

Better get training then……..

Follow me here, on Strava, on Fetch, Facebook and on the paths and roads of South Devon.

See progress towards the magic 100 here and times I’ve managed over other distances here

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