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It’s been a while since I typed anything for here. Have actually had a couple of runs where I’ve just thought about what should or could I write. That’s enough for me to know not to write. It just happens, sometimes you want to empty your head. It’s a new year and lots of people are setting goals. Times, distances all that they hope to accomplish this year. Ive considered a few, but ultimately I just want to be better. Better than I was last year, better than I was last time. If I can continue to work hard, I must get fitter, faster, stronger and in turn that will make me perform better when I run. 

I’ve always felt that I lacked speed endurance and strength. So this is where I’m hoping hill work and off road will help. I’ve never been a high mile person and I’m a big fan of the rest day. This time of year there are alot if road races and plenty with a few hills. Enduring the pain of pushing up a hill in mud and not quitting will help build mental strength too. I’m a big fan of mud too. 

January sees me run 2 fell races, an off road mud fest before ending on a pan flat road race. With 2 ultras looming in April and May, I really should be considering some long stuff. But there’s always time isnt there? In 12 weeks time I will be celebrating having completed my first ultra. I ran my fest long run last week of just over 16 miles. I’ve done a few hilly 10/11 miles but this was properly long. Decent effort and made it to the end. That was officially my longest ever single run and only have to run twice that distance for my race. I’ll look to get to 20 soon and maybe try one of those long ones to parkrun and back. 

I’ve had a good start to the year, Cardiff parkrun on New Year’s Day saw me run a PB. 19:42 on watch and officially 19:46. I’d gone with no expectation and started I middle of pack. After a few holds up I was able to get into free running and felt quite relaxed. I just seemed to slowly pick off people and remember thinking the front seemed closer than normal. I finished in 48th, not bad from a field of 501. First K was 4:08 and last 3:36. Nice to finish feeling a lot more was to come too. I really hope to push closer to 19 this year, but what comes will come.

First step to getting better is changing training. A group is a big jump from where I am. But it’s where I want to end up. So after a quick chat with Steve and a few sensible folk and i aimed for in between. 8×900 off 4:45. It was interesting. I tried to be sensible starting each one and tell myself i was going to be tired as that was my 7th day of running in a row. It was hard and felt it. But I got it done. Consistent reps of around 3.18 and a 3.06 burning up everything I could God to finish. Certainly felt good to complete and felt like a huge achievement. Easy to do once, the hard part is to stick at it and push the next session in similar fashion. If you want different results, you’ve got to do things different. 

I’ve started using a parkrun pacing session as a chance to get extra miles without too much effort. It allows me to practice running at a prescribed pace and also not burn out for the next day. 25 minutes is my fav and the feeling off helping others get to a time they want far out weighs a PB for me every week. Both great feelings but in different ways. I’ve been lucky to have so much free help and advice as I’ve run. So providing someone else with a chance to do something they want is the least I can do. 

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