Lakeland 50 recce: Ambleside to Coniston
Saturday 19 January, 16:06
The official recce began with a talk on map reading skills, tips and what to expect. Very useful. Then everyone split to get ready, eat and make our way to Coniston to leave vehicles at the finish.
Coaches took us back to Ambleside where we were going to set off. I almost went without my headtorch as I’d left it in car boot. Made a mad dash just seconds before the coach left.
No gun or whistle, just report to checkpoint and set off on arrival in groups or individuals. There were around 260 doing the recce but this spread everyone out nicely.
As soon as I started climbing out of the park there was snow, compacted and slushy. This continued to the end. Deep on the hills.
I navigated using the road book at first, then the wiggly line on my watch. There always seemed to be someone nearby that knew the route if I was in doubt.
Apart from zig zagging up a hill to Blea Tarn, the main challenge was the climb after Tilberthwaite. Steep steps, steep hillside, then further and further uphill, never ending.
It was on this uphill I slipped and banged right knee on a rock underneath the snow. I walked and jogged it off. Then a long steep descent into Coniston.
I ran more than half of the recce with a chap called Tom from Manchester. He’s into triathlon and Ironman so might bump into my brother at Salford Quays perhaps.
Overall, the recce was easier than expected. I’d expected 16 miles of testing terrain but only the last 4 miles was particularly difficult; will feel very tough at the end of the 50!
Distance: 15.2 miles
Avg pace: 14:19 min/mile
Trainers: inov8 x-claw 275
Friday 7 July, 07:00
16C – 20C, fairly warm and some sunshine. A 17.4 mile run along the route of the Exterminator race, to check the route I’ve plotted and see how it feels.
Managed to navigate almost all of it without reference to phone or watch, it seemed familiar from the recce runs I’ve done this week. About 10.5 miles in a triple whammy; phone died as I tried to check a turning; turned left ankle but no damage; full sunshine started and it got very hot. Took a wrong turn between CP8 and CP9, wasted a few hundred yards/ 5 minutes wandering.
Drank 1 litre of water and 2 gels. Could have done with more water, will consider using a bladder for these longer summer runs instead of just relying on the Salomon collapsible bottles.
Right heel hurt a bit in the second half. Had a niggle in right knee, most notable when climbing after CP8 Grindleford. Both feet hurt a bit. Lower left back niggled a bit due to the descents I think. Might be easier to say what wasn’t aching or hurting!
Tired a lot, but got a surprising boost of energy when I realised I could finish in under 4 hours and decided to push on. In race conditions, with adrenaline and more urgency to push on I can knock time off. Overall, this felt like I’d run a marathon, it was that tough with the climbing and heat.
Need to check if there’s a better route just before CP3, going round Higger Tor instead of climbing over it. Did find a (new to me) steep ‘short-cut’ between CP1 and CP2 🙂
Distance: 17.38 miles
Avg pace: 13:12 min/mile
Elevation gain: 3454ft
Trainers: Brooks Cascadia
Wednesday 19 October 06:31
10C, cool, overcast. A 7 mile run with interval session; 2x 1600m with 400m recovery. Noticed a small left knee niggle but it felt OK enough to run today. Will monitor it. Light rain for the first lap. Drank 500ml water. A good run.
Avg HR: no data
Avg pace: 5:33 min/km
Brooks Ghost trainers #3
Wildlife: 1 rabbit
Tuesday 19 June, evening.
Left knee feels fine. Right knee feels 90-95% fine. Just feel a tiny niggle now and then, enough to know it’s not quite right. But much better than it was on Sunday. Think it was wise to not do a run before work today. Taking my kit to Ireland and if it keeps improving will try a few runs.