Wednesday, 27 April 2011


Tablet is a Scottish confectionery pretty much made out of sugar and not much else. It has a similar calorific density to enriched uranium, and rumour has it is the stuff NASA used to put in the solid rocket boosters that were strapped on to the side of the space shuttle. I had always planned on taking a few bars with me on the Fling as there are few things as easy to eat as tablet that are better for a quick boost of several hundred calories. Best of all, you can get three bars for a little over 50p in Tesco - as I said, this is a Scottish confectionery.

So it was very encouraging tonight to read John Kynaston's detailed plans for the Fling and to see that within his nutritional arsenal are a few bars of tablet. I'm relying on a diet of tablet, chocolate soya milk, salt and vinegar crisps and coke to get me through the race on Saturday. Not disimlar to a teenager's lunch judging by what I see the local school kids buying in Asda at lunchtime. I like my coke full strength and fizzy - none of this watered down flat stuff that seems to be popular. The only other thing I'm planning on having is water, though I'm going to take a sachet or two of Diarolyte with me in case I need a bit more of a salt boost. I'm aiming to have a chocolate soya milk every hour for as long as I can stomach it, then I'll move on to my teenager lunch box.

Pace-wise, I'm gooing for the old "start slow and get slower". I finished the Fling in 2009 in a hair under 10 and a half hours, so it would be nice to beat that time - maybe 10.15 is possible if things go my way. It would be great to get under 10 hours some day, but there's a bigger prize to be had in June so I don't want to push myself too hard on the Fling this year. My dad is running this year, and he'll be starting 2 hours ahead of me at 6am. He'll definitely take less than twelve hours and I'll definitely take more than ten hours so unfortunately (and hopefully) I won't see him until we are both in Tyndrum.

I recorded my highest ever seven day mileage in the week ending last Sunday - 83 miles. I hadn't planned on doing so much but was up in Newtonmore at the weekend and went for a run up a local munro (Carn Dearg) with my sister on Sunday morning. She is a fell runner and is a bit obsessed with running in rough terrain so rather than follow paths we seemed to spend a lot of time running through knee deep heather, tussocks and peat bogs. Maybe not the best taper, but a nice run in the hills. The path along the ridge of Carn Dearg in the morning sun was a joy to run. We saw an eagle too.

I'm taking it easy this week so will hopefully feel full of beans on Saturday. The forecast looks good and I'm really looking forward to spending the day running and walking on an excellent route.

Best of luck to everyone else who is running - it'll be great.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Low mileage and place names

I haven't done much running over the last 4 weeks. After the trip to the Yorkshire Dales I had a bit of a cold and since then I seem to have lost the will and desire to get out running the long distances I should perhaps be doing. The longest run I did in March was 24 miles and I would have liked to have done something longer, but it just wasn't possible due to family and work commitments.

Last weekend I had a nice couple of runs on Greenham Common and along a bit of the Kennet-Avon canal, and I was cruising along at what felt like at an easy pace but was a bit quicker than usual. So hopefully a few weeks of low mileage hasn't done me any harm. I reckon a good five or six weeks of training from now and I should be okay for the big one in June.

We were on holiday in Dorset the week before last. It was great - very relaxing and lots of time to spend with the kids. The place we were staying had a roller disco rink - perfect since we got our daughter roller boots for her birthday recently, and treated ourselves to a pair too. I sneaked out for a couple of runs - one of them along a section of the South Coast Path on a perfect sunny morning.

Looking East towards Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove

Looking West towards the Portland and Weymouth

There were some top quality place names in the area - the pick (no pun intended) of which had to be "Scratchy Bottom" which we walked down on the way to Durdle Door one glorious evening. My wife was a bit dissapointed that "Studland Beach" didn't quite live up to its billing. The coastal scenery was spectacular and I'd like to do the whole section of the South Coast Path between Poole and Weymouth some day.