Sunday, 2 October 2011


I wouldn't normally blog about a single training session but yesterdays was different. I dare say seasoned vets will take nothing from this so it's more intended as a chapter in my book and maybe a bit of insight for other novices, such as myself.

I've said before that the LSD is one of my priority sessions. It's where I come to experience the pain, lethargy and confusion associated with trying to run for a prolonged period of time. Clearly the fitter and fresher you are, the longer you should be running before the dread starts to hit home. Dread is probably the wrong word, in fact lets turn it into something more positive - the party. Thats better. Because its this personal journey we're all looking for, right?

So what usually happens is I get to about the same distance as I completed the week before then start to 'party'. The point is that I increase the distance each week so that I gradually push the boundaries. I do this for three consecutive weeks then take a week off. Or should I say cross train on the fourth weekend and usually at quite a high tempo.

This is done on the back of quite a big week of training so I'm always fatigued, sometimes less so than others. But this week I've been particularly tired. I even binned my Friday afternoon tempo run as I was feeling rough. I rarely bin training but with this new ethos of prioritising things, I had Saturdays run to think of.

On saturday morning I was still tired and curiously still a bit sore from Wednesday nights Submax session. But I was looking forward to the LSD, I had a feeling I'd be partying for a longer spell than usual. And so it was - within the first hour I had three piss stops, taken 2 midges out of my eyes and could barely get into it. I often take this to be a good sign at the start of a run because it usually ends well.

On the hour, I started feeling my legs started getting quite heavy. That is my sign that the party is about to start. A clear indication that I am far from fresh or rested. Nevertheless, this is why I do these runs, I just never expected it to start just over a third into my run!

What followed is probably what we're all used too; my ipod was of no use. I tried taking it forward to the Rocky tunes but they were just a garble. I was getting through way more food than I would do normally on a run of this distance - thankfully I had an incline this was going to happen and took extra with me just in case. The pain was immense and the only way I got through it was by continually telling myself that this is where I belonged; in pain. What was even weirder was the fact that the longer I was on my feet the quicker I was getting and the more it felt right.

Here's what gets me. I can go for a fell run of 5 or 6 hours and its full on top end effort for pretty much the whole time but get me on a LSD for 3 or 4 hours and the party sweeps in much quicker than it does when I'm working harder in the hills. WTF? Really? Maybe I should bin the LSD and just go hard on all my long runs. Surely that will make me a quicker runner?

Paradoxically though I made some big gains in running recently. I think with the way I've trained lately I'll return a better fell runner in a couple of years time. Yeah, I can barely work out how I've come to that conclusion too!

Unchartered territory coming up for me. let the partying continue.............  


  1. the "party" references! Might start using that myself. Really interesting read. I think it probably illustrates the amazing connection the mind has with the body. Maybe the fact you have consciously set out to complete the LSD, triggers something in the mind and body to bring the party on sooner.
    I guess the added stimulation of a fell run automatically gives you a more positive mind and may explain why you can run 'harder' then.

    Paul ;)

  2. cheers for the comment Paul, makes sense.

    I've now read your brilliant blog and am now a 'follower'. I have to say it has provided me with a timely motivational boost.

    Congratulations on your fantastic year. I've a feeling you're the real deal and it is not very often the running community are treated to such honesty from someone so talented.

    Thanks again and good luck for the future, we'll maybe catch up sometime; either at the start or the finish of an ultra ;-)

  3. Wow - what a kind reply! It should be the other way round. I'm just thrilled to be communicating with a BGR'r!


    I'm sure I'll see you around at some point. And if you need any support for your winter WHW please don't hesitate to ask - I'd be delighted to help / run.

    Take it easy,


  4. Awesome, cheers Paul. I'll keep you in mind especially as it's close to your back door step.

    I have a few things to work out between now and then though. I'll have a clearer picture within a couple of weeks.

    laters buddy