Sunday, 31 December 2017

So long, 2017...

2017 has been a year of high contrast. I’ve had broken bones and angry tendons, but also more than a few top ten finishes. I’ve joined one club, and left another (on good terms!). I’ve run over 100km through the Lake District, and yesterday ran a parkrun for the first time. I’ve seen some incredible sunrises whilst on dawn raids, and been hit with depression and anxiety so hard that I’ve barely managed to make it out of bed and be a Daddy to my little boy. It’s not been an easy year and, to be honest, I’m pretty pleased to see the back of it.

Prudhoe Riverside parkrun.
📷: Janine Calkin 
Instead of ruminating on what’s been and gone, though, I’m going to look forward to what 2018 has in store. Since knuckling down to consistent training sessions with the Harriers, I’ve definitely noticed improvement (once I got that pesky anaemia sorted out!). The last two years of focus on trail marathons and ultras has left me with a pretty sizeable aerobic engine, but top-end speed has left a lot to be desired. Track intervals (which I’ve actually started to enjoy?!), strides at the end of easy runs, and time spent working on my form are all redressing that balance a bit, and I’m hopeful that time spent with weights a couple of nights a week will do some good in terms of resilience and injury prevention.

With the exception of the Pennine Barrier 50, everything I have planned so far is road based, and I think that probably accurately reflects a slight shift in focus. Training for long distances is fairly easy and uncomplicated; if all you want to do is complete rather than compete, you basically just up your mileage and, in the case of ultras, get really good at eating on the move. I’ve been caught up in something of a race to the bottom in terms of the ever-increasing distances of my races, and I’ve realistically maxed out this year with UT110k; training for a Hundred just doesn’t fit into my life at the moment. Training to be fast at shorter distances hurts, but when it pays off it’s a lot of fun. I still want to break 3 for a marathon, and I’d like to bring my half marathon PB down a bit. I’ve no idea what I’m capable of on a road 10km, so that will be fun to discover, and I may yet find my way into a track race... Plus, XC is my latest obsession, and I’m hoping to finish the season having been promoted to the medium pack at some point. I’ll still be doing some of the local fell races of course, but I’m definitely at my worst racing on that kind of terrain, even if I love running on it.

So, here’s to 2018 and, in the words of Sage Canaday, “any surface, any distance”. #backinblack

2017 in summary

No comments:

Post a Comment