Stuart McClelland – January Update

Firstly I hope everyone enjoyed a good festive season and that training is going well. It’s not always an easy time of year to make running a priority and January can sometimes be a bit of an eye opener as to just how close that spring event is. 

When I first started running I was guilty of setting myself totally unrealistic goals for over the Christmas period. I was always definitely going to run on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and probably Boxing Day as well. The problem with that is if I didn’t do it there was a tendency to dwell on what I hadn’t run rather than what I had. Now I set myself far more modest goals and just try to keep ticking over and to work off the worst of the excesses.  This year I managed 4 miles on Christmas Eve, 4 miles on the 27th December and 10K on Sunday 29th. 

Since my last update I’ve run in a couple of races. A trail 10K in late November; this was a great route with lots of uphill sections and some tricky technical downhills. It was bitterly cold and a thick fog made running downhill at speed a mixture of thrilling and terrifying. I then had a few days off and managed to pick up a heavy cold which totally floored me. I had a mixed terrain half marathon planned for the 1st weekend in December and it was touch and go whether I would make it. In the end I took my place on the start line and a few days rest must have done me good as I finished my racing year with a hard earned half marathon PB (a 3 second PB but they all count). 

After my last race it was a steady pattern of running, trying to get out 3 times midweek and then a longer run on Sunday. I enjoyed Christmas and New Year and then took a deep breath to prepare myself for the next few months. In the 1st 4 months of the year I am entered in a half marathon, 2 ultra-marathons and my 1st attempt at Kilomathon. As of this week I’ll be running 5 days a week and that will increase to 6 days at the beginning of next month. I’ll add in one double session from early February and back to back long runs from mid-February. I’m very much gearing training towards getting my body used to running whilst fatigued and also getting serious miles into my legs. I’m still trying to retain one speed session a week so I am prepared for the balance of speed and stamina that Kilomathon presents and I’m also hoping my hill work will help with the pace aspect as well. I’ve also been heading off road and running a lot more trails and cross country, it’s a great time of year for trying this and works different muscle groups from just pounding pavements. I have a feeling myself and my foam roller are going to become even better acquainted in the coming weeks. 

It’s sometimes all too easy to be daunted by the workload preparing for a big race, or 5, presents. I try not to view it as something to be daunted by, it’s a challenge of course but one that should be fun. Yes there will be bad runs but it’s all about getting through them, learning from them and then enjoying the good runs. I’m not really one for New Year resolutions but a new year and new challenges ahead has definitely focussed my mind to ensure I give the most I can to these races. I’m starting the year in confident mood, my body is injury free, I’m rested after a hard 2019 and mentally I’m focussed on what needs done. 

Good luck in your training over the next few weeks, happy running.