This week in running XXL #11

The bumper episode…

Well life has been hectic the last few weeks and i had to let the blog take a little back seat. Unfortunately for you im back!

I bought a new watch

So since my adventure overnight in the lakes i’ve bought a new toy, a lovely Garmin fenix 5 sapphire! it’s a mighty piece of kit and i’m still trying to get used to the multitude of functions!


Wiggle sent it in a giant box!

I ran 2 miles down and 2 miles up

As a club we compete in the central Lancs grand prix,a series of races put on by the member clubs.this week was the turn of Wigan Phoenix and there race the haigh hall 4 mile.

The race is a simple as it sounds,2 miles downhill through Haigh country park and then back uphill to the finish. I had heavy legs from my overnight adventure in the lakes still and although i was disappointed with my positioning ,i was still 40 seconds up from my time in 2017!


I raced a 5k

My wife has been competing in a midweek 5k series at Hollingworth lake and last week i decided to have a crack myself. Those who know me,know how much i dislike 5k.Give me a marathon anyday!

I had a few clubmates coming down for a shootout as well with three of us trying to break 18 minutes for the first time. My PB of 18.08 had stood for nearly 18 months!

The night was glorious,sunny but not too hot with a slight breeze. Before i knew it we lined up on the start line ,Chris,Rob and Myself ready to go like those wind up cars you had as a kid.

On the gun i went out like a bullet and within the first couple of minutes i realised i had gone out far too quick (remember i hate 5ks!) a quick glance at my watch at mile 1 gave me a finish time of mid 16 mins, well above my capabilities ! 32929388_10214765788192147_4669269508253286400_o

Look at the excitement on my face ūüėČ (photo courtesy of¬†Paul Taylor)

With the final mile aproaching i was hurting and i mean really hurting but i knew that if i stepped off the gas too much Both Chris and Rob who are both class runners would sail past and slap me on the arse for my troubles !

With the finish line almost in view it was clear i was going to PB and i crossed the line in 17.28! a full 40 seconds knocked off my previous best,i was and still am buzzing but i don’t think i will race another one too soon!

The lads both hit sub 18 as well with teammate John just outside 18 but still with a massive PB. My wife also hit a PB in the race clocking 27.23!

I worked at an ultramarathon

On the Saturday i had offered to volunteer at the first Chester 100. The guys behind the Chester 50 have extended the course to add another 100 to there catalogue . I really enjoyed the 50 ,so much so i’m already in again for next year! My main goal for 2019 is a 100 miler and what better way to give back to the community and experience first hand what they are all about than to volunteer at an event?

Now the guys at¬†GB ultras¬†know how to put on an event , Entries are open for next years 50 already so why don’t you join me?

My day started with a 4am drive to get to the start at Waverton for a briefing at 5.10AM. I met with the RDs Jonathan,Wayne And Haydn, super nice chaps and its clear to see they love this sport!

I knew a few runners taking part and after a quick catch up i had to let them get ready to go (I was a little gutted i wasn’t joining them,nervous energy on race day morning is very contagious!)

I was working a double shift ,helping at CP1 and then over to the halfway point at CP6.


Playing butler to my friend and event winner ,ultramarathon man Charlie Sharpe

It was great to be at the event and although i didn’t get back home till nearly midnight i would do it again in a heartbeat!


I also ran a marathon

Sunday brought the Windermere marathon,my Wife and i set of at 7am for the drive up to the lakes. Arriving home at midnight may not of been the best prep for a marathon but this was always going to be just a hard training session for my big race this year, the Lakeland 50 miles in July.

My teammate Neal was also running and we knew on the right day he could pull something special off here after he finished 4th on the 2017 edition. on the way to the start Neal and I had a last min coaching chat and we ironed out the game plan.

To say he nailed the plan would be an understatement , took the lead at mile ten and led the rest of the way,finishing 3 minutes up on second place!

All the way round the second half i got such an amazing boost as people told me that a Radcliffe vest was leading,i just had everything crossed that he could hold it. Updates stopped with a mile to go and it was a real nervous time to the finish! I clocked 3.08 and was pretty happy.Not half as happy as i was to see a smiling Neal at the finish line letting me know he had won!!


With the champion of Windermere!

While waiting for the presentation there was only one thing i wanted to do,grab a beer and get in the lake.My wife thought i was joking but………..FB_IMG_1526837162441

The perfect end to the race.

The weekend was busiest i have had for a long time, This bank holiday i hope will be a bit more relaxed!





This Week In Running #10

The one with the overnight adventure in the Lake district.

After last Saturdays three peaks i had decided to rest and let my legs recover from the gruelling descents of PYG, Whernside and Ingleborough, I did nothing more than some light jogging and a trip to the gym,

Well until Friday that is…..

I had planned on a recce of some parts of the Bob Graham round with my teammates Fiona and Scott (I have no intention of doing the round but its fun to be outdoors!)

After a day at work Friday i drove up to the lakes and met Fiona around 6pm (Scott was to meet us later on at the end of leg 1).

After sorting gear out,leaving my car at our finish point we drove to Keswick and was off for our first peak just before 7pm. Any running in the lakes should be taken with care and even though it was a glorious day i still had plenty of gear just incase the weather turned (The lake district has its own microclimate and never stay dry for long!!).


I also had a dry bag with spare top and bottoms plus first aid kit!

The night was fantastic ,lovely and clear if just a little too warm for my liking and we picked the peaks off one by one with ease,( Which seeing as i was on nav is no mean feat i tell you!)


Keswick below

The final climb of leg one is Blencathra, darkness had set in and we had on our head torches. My petzl Nao never missed a beat all night! On the way up we noticed a head torch in the distance so went to investigate in case it was a walker in trouble (Blencathra is fairly remote and its always best to check on people of in doubt).

It was in fact not a walker but a guy camping who told us we were only the 4th and 5th people he had seen all day!

After the summit of Blencathra the standard Bob Graham route gives you two options,straight down Halls fell ridge is common or double back to Doddick fell.

I don’t mind telling you Halls fell ridge,in the dark is no fun!!

Neither of us had attempted it before and didn’t really know the lines so after wasting maybe 45 minutes attempting it we doubled back on safety grounds and took on the easier runnable descent of Doddick. (which meant much to Scott’s enjoyment we was 90 minutes late for the meetup!!)

After our grovelling to Scott and a refill of water and Coca Cola he had so kindly brought us we set of for leg 2 the time is now 12.05am ,planned start of leg 2 was around 10.30pm

By now i was really tired , not from exercise as the pace had been easy but knackered. I had been at work from 7pm to 3pm and i was starting to flag,every step felt like a real effort.

We really worked well as a trio, Scott and Fiona are much more experienced in the hills than I and we all made sure that each other kept eating/drinking at regular intervals.

At the summit of Clough Head we all stopped to soak in the stars in the sky, with not a cloud to be seen it really was sight to behold (i just wish i had a proper camera with me as my mobile just couldn’t do it justice.)

About half an hour later we got treated to the most incredible moon rise i have ever seen! living in towns really does make me appreciate the beauty of true darkness.

Bagging the summit of Raise around 2.45 A.M

Climbing towards Helvellyn the weather changed and the clag had come in pretty hard,so much so we lost the path at one point and walked around in a big circle before we stopped to take compass bearings to sort ourselves out!

We then decided to cut leg 2 short as we were all tired and nursing little niggles we had acquired during the adventure so instead of heading towards Fairfield we cut off down towards civilisation and my car at Dunmail Raise.

After a quick game of drop the tired runners off to their own cars,we regrouped at Lancaster services for breakfast. I almost cried into my coffee and greggs bacon and sausage sandwich after eating nothing but gels since 4pm the day before,it tasted bloody delicious!!

I finally arrived back at my house and my lovely bed at 8.30 Am, 26.5 hours after i had last left it! I haven’t been awake that long since my teens!


I absolutely bloody loved the adventure and i thank Fiona and Scott for being part of it and making sure we all got round in one piece. I can’t wait for the next time!!



Delirious at 3 am




This Week In Running #9

The one with the Three Peaks!

This week meant that the time had come for my goal spring event, The Three Peaks race.

full report is on the way so i will just say it was …….Bumpy.

Training was easy this week with only 9 miles run before race day.

On Wed we were very lucky as a club at¬†Radcliffe AC¬†as we got selected for a training evening with Polar and GB Marathon Coach Nick Anderson. Nick owns¬†Runningwithus¬†and is widely regarded as one of britain’s best endurance coaches.

Coach Mike had arranged the session and although i was racing saturday i simply could not give up the opportunity to take part in this session.

After a presentation from Nick and Polar we went out to the track and did 6 x 3 mins rotating between zone 4 and 5 HR zones. I usually hide on the other side of the whistle and it was a bloody tough session but it was great to be hammering myself!

Sat brought the Three peaks and one of the toughest events i have ran,Whernside ascent nearly had me in tears!

Running highlight of the week

Has to be Weds session with Polar,it was a truly amazing opportunity to be coached by the same guy who has worked with Mo Farah,Tracey Barlow and countless other top flight Athletes.

Non Running Highlight of the Week

Friday will take some beating,my wife had bought me an indoor skydiving experience for my birthday back in Feb and i visited iFly in Manchester friday morning.It was simply fantastic i had three ‘jumps’ the last one with a VR headset on which saw me skydive off the coast of Hawaii !

That gift will take some beating Mrs W!



This Week In Running #8

The one where Yuki stole Boston!

What a week! Callum Hawkins detonated at the gold coast and Yuki kawauchi steals the show at Boston. It was a tale of two halves with the gold coast being a scorcher and Callum unfortunately suffering heat stroke and collapsing with 2k to go! If you haven’t seen the footage it was heartbreaking and i hope Callum comes back faster and stronger.

Fast forward 24 hours to Boston and winter had returned with heavy rains and freezing winds¬†Marathon Talk podcast favourite Yuki Kawauchi battled it out in typical vest and short shorts to take his first Boston win,i’ve been a massive fan of Marathon talk for years and it felt like a family member had won!

I’ve had a busy week training wise this week with 6 out of 7 days running.I hadn’t planned it but my coaching session on wednesday was using pairs and with an odd number i had to jump in and actually do some work for a change!

Saturday My wife and i travelled to Blackpool ,you can read all about that HERE.

Sunday was all about dot watching and being glued to the elite Field at London and what a day! Mo surprised me running third and taking the British men’s record and Kipchoge stormed to another victory,can that guy have a bad race??

I had a fair few friends and club mates down in the big smoke and it certainly looked a hot one! Stand out performance for me was my teammate Neal who ran the race of his life coming in sub 2.40 and taking our clubs record!

My running this week will be all about easy runs as its only six days to the three peaks!


Last weeks Training.

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This Week In Running #7

The one with the Tempo session!

This hasn’t been a bad week i have managed an easy run,a speed session and a long run,the building blocks of all good running plans.

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My plan was to get another run in today (Sunday) but i was helping out at my clubs 10k event and simply could not be bothered after a morning of,marshal duties and arguments with horse riders! My local council in there infinite wisdom decided to give a race permit to my club and a horse riding club to run events on almost identical courses at the same time! 300 runners and 40 horses became ‘interesting’ at best.

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Our course takes in some great local trails and if you are around next year come and give it a try!

I’m a firm believer in the next quote and many of my coached runners probably roll their eyes when they hear me say;

‘one bad run doesn’t¬†make you a bad runner no more than one good run makes you a great one’¬†

I’m not sure where i first heard it but it stuck and i say it ad Nauseum,but by god did i enjoy Tuesdays session!

I had a crap day at work and couldn’t be bothered training so i popped my hokas on with the intention of doing an easy run and just getting the miles in but once i was out something just clicked and i was ready to go! My first couple of miles started to tick off and each one faster than the previous,being the competitive git i am i decided to see how long i could carry it on……The answer 8 miles in 52.31 and my quickest 8 miles in training ever!

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I arrived back home absolutely exhausted but with that runners high we all chase but don’t always achieve! who would’ve thought hokas could be used for speed work,i may wear them in my next 10k!


The next two weeks i am going to hit a mini taper ready for the three peaks fell race on the 28th April.