Training Archives


DNSWhat’s the only thing worse than a DNF? Yep- that’s right… the good old DNS. At least if you DNF you have battled, you have struggled, you have pitted your body against some of the toughest, muddiest and wettest terrain out there, and, although it beat you this time it still leaves you head and shoulders above those who chose to stay in their warm, comfortable beds…

But, alas, I DNS the Millennium Way Ultra… I succumbed to a particularly nasty cold a couple of days before and was barely capable of running a bath let alone 41 miles.

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A Training Update

IMAG2764So- it’s February already!! Is it me or is 2016 zipping along like an express train already?!?

I am convinced the years are actually getting shorter… and while I am having a moan I just want to mention the weather (I am British after all). I mean, what’s with all this wet stuff falling from the sky? It feels like it’s rained nearly every day since last October and every where is just so wet and muddy.

If we don’t get a bit of dry weather soon those fields on the Millennium Way Ultra are going to be one wet morass… they are bad enough at the best of times- one poor soul apparently lost a shoe last year, never to be retrieved, and had to limp back to Stafford Railway Station to catch a train to the finish!

On the advice of race organisers Beyond Marathon I have bought my first ever pair of proper trail shoes- they haven’t actually arrived yet, but they are bright red and I an expecting great things!

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2015- A Rather Late Review

2016Woah… what’s this?!? My head still thinks we are only just into 2016 but in reality we are half way through January already! How did that happen January?… you sneaky month, you…

I haven’t even done my review of 2015 yet- but I guess there’s no time like the present so here we go;

At the start of 2015 I somewhat optimistically stated that 2015 was going to be the year of beating the urge to slob out and eat vast quantities of chocolate instead of getting out to train… so just how successful was this?

Hmmm. I’d say variable. Okay, variable to rubbish! I did do quite a fair bit of walking but not much in the way of consistent distance or running training. And there was still far, far too much sofa slobbing and chocolate eating.

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Follow The Tram to Clifton

Clifton Tram WalkSince my first walk to Hucknall following the route of the Nottingham Tram, a further two tram routes have been opened leading to the suburbs of Clifton and Beeston, so I decided that for the sake of continuity I had better go follow them…

I picked a reasonably sunny Autumn day for the second challenge, following the line from Nottingham Station to the terminus at Clifton. Feeling a bit of a fool I walked up the stairs to the tram stop before turning round and leaving the station to join the pavement next to the tram line.

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A Walk Along the Monsal Trail

Monsal TrailAs we piled in the car and set off for Bakewell it promised to be a perfect Autumn day- sunny with clear blue skies, showing the colours of the dying leaves to their best effect. My friend Helen and I had decided to undertake an 18 mile John Merrill walk, which takes in the Monsal Trail then returns over fields and through villages, in preparation for the 26 mile Spires and Steeples Challenge.

We took Helen’s dog Spud with us, and climbed out of the town to reach the trail. The Monsal trail runs for around 8 miles from Bakewell to Blackwell Mill, and as it follows the line of a former railway (and what a scenic one it must have been!) it is easy walking. The worst hazards along the path are large families out for a day on their bikes who like to take up the whole path and decide it’s a good opportunity to teach the kids how to ride- after several near misses one little girl managed to run into me. By the end of the trail I was ready to push people off!

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The Leaden Boot Revisited

leaden bootSo it was getting closer to our Hadrian’s Wall Trek and that meant we were due for another little training walk! This time my friend and I decided to go a little further and tougher and so the route description for the Leaden Boot was dug out and we made our way to Alstonefield, which handily has three free car parks and public loos.

I had initially suggested that we cut out the steep climb out of Milldale and the even steeper descent into Narrowdale by simply walking straight down the Dovedale path, but we decided that we needed the practice and so headed up into the cloud to pick up the ridge path.

We managed the steep descent okay, but walking through Narrowdale I suddenly realised why the Leaden Boot takes place in May and not July.

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A Long-ish Walk in Southern Sherwood Forest

Sherwood ForestIt promised to be a lovely day and I needed a nice long-ish walk to help me prepare for the Baslow Boot Bash the following weekend (it’s quite funny when it gets to the stage where you think of a 19 mile walk as long-ish!)

Funds dictated that travelling too far was not a great idea, so southern Sherwood Forest fit the bill quite nicely and I turned to my trusty copy of ‘Long Circular Walks in Nottinghamshire’ by John Merrill.

I chose a walk I’ve done a few times before- a 17 mile circular route starting from near Blidworth and passing through pockets of forest- it’s a pleasant and quite easy route.

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A walk around the Roaches

roachesI haven’t done as many challenge walks as I should have this year, so when a friend suggested we take on the 23 mile Hadrian’s Wall Trek in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society I jumped at the chance, particularly as we both see first hand the devastating impact this cruel disease has on sufferers and their families through work.

My friend hadn’t done any longer walks for a long while and as it happens neither have I, so we have been planning some training walks. This is actually great for me as I usually have to do these mad and crazy things by myself!

Our first walk was to be a 13 mile route out of John Merrill’s Long Circular Walks in the Peak District, which takes in the long rocky spine of the Roaches. It was dull but dry as we parked up at Tittesworth Reservoir and walked across fields to Upper Hulme before taking a lovely little path past an old mill.

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Follow the Tram!!

Saturday 18th April was absolutely gorgeous… clear blue skies and sunny- it seemed almost criminal not to go on a little adventure.

I had had an idea floating around for an unusual little challenge for some time, and as I have a dodgy knee at the moment I decided that walking would be much better for me than trying to run. So I fired up Google maps and scribbled out a route…

My little adventure was quite simple and possibly quite nuts. You may have heard of people challenging themselves by following the route of the London Tube lines through the capital’s streets… well I found this quite inspiring, but given that it is quite time consuming, not to mention costly, to get to London I decided to see if there was a similar challenge I could do right here in Nottingham instead. Sadly Nottingham lacks an Underground, but it does have one other interesting transport system.


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NottinghamWell, the Easter weekend was mostly typical Bank Holiday weather- thick cloud and rain- until Easter Monday. Waking up to bright sunshine and a clear blue sky I wanted to do something active, a little different… and cheap.

I have been wanting to explore more of my local area, and putting ‘Nottingham’ into Google Maps I noticed that there are quite a few parks and green areas within walking distance of the city centre. I decided to make it my mission to find and explore the ‘green lungs’ of the city and scribbled out a route that would take me to nine parks.

I walked into the city centre, planning on buying a sandwich to eat later in lovely surroundings and sunshine, but this little plan was soon scuppered when I realised I had left my purse at home, so I had to make do with a bottle of water and a granola bar.

Leaving the city by way of Goldsmiths Street, I reached my first green area, which actually turned out to be a cemetery. Ah well, the Arboretum was just over the road. This is a large park that was opened in 1852 following the Nottingham Inclosure Act of 1845. This Act was a visionary project to provide green spaces in the rapidly expanding city for recreation, exercise and clean air.

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