I am slowly ramping up the milage in preparation of the Great West Run. Its going ok, and considering I have only ever really run a max of 8-10 miles in one go, 13.1 still seems a lot.
At the weekend, I had a great run from Woodbury to Budleigh (6mils) followed by a quick dip in the sea and a morning on the beach with my lovely family. At one point during this run, as I crossed the common on a perfectly sunny day, it felt like I could have been the other side of the world in sunny California.
Last night I ran the furtherest I have ever ran. 12 miles. It was at an acceptable average pace of 9:20 miles. I am aiming to get this average pace below 9 minutes, so I still have work todo!
One of the exciting ventures this time running is a move to minimal or zero drop shoes. The 350 miles or so I have run this year have all been in shoes with a 9mm or less drop. I have recently moved down to 6mm drop. If you are a shoe geek, I have used Inov-8 255 for the bulk of those miles and have recently moved down to a pair 233s. Great shoes, but they are quite narrow, and I think the toe box is too small. That said, I love how my 233 seem to make me go faster!
One thing I have noticed though, is as the drop goes, so does the cushioning. hmm, I think I would really like a little more cushioning. While I like the idea of barefoot running, or barefoot shoes, I see people in them and they look uncomfortable, the people that is, not the shoes.
Even though I have a good mid foot strike, and am working hard on efficient bio-mechanics I am coming to the conclusion I really do need some more ‘stack’!
If any American readers want to buy and post me a pair of these, please do get in touch!
Meanwhile, that quiet ambition to run long distances is not going away! I have written about this before and having crossed the 12mile barrier, perhaps it is doable. The plan looks like it is to find some shoes with a bit more squish, train more, and in December enter the Dartmoor Discovery. I have found a good 20 wk training programme that should pick up after the GWR when I can hopefully maintain around 30miles a week.
I will keep you posted on the ups and downs of my progress, how I am figuring out my gluten free diet, and anything else that crops up.