It’s a long road (trail) back!

So Dear Reader, I have been on 2 runs in the last two weeks.  First run was 20 minutes.  Second run was 25.  I was planning on more than 2 runs in 2 weeks, but I hurt my back somehow so running was not an option.  C’est la vie as the French say 🙂

run 1
Run 1 – QE Park
run 2
Run 2 – Near Home


As you can see the pace is far from breakneck, but two runs is two runs.  It feels like a 100mile ultra is a very very long way away, but you have to start somewhere.

This couple of workouts has helped remind me that running is always tough.  Sure there are a few people who are just naturals and can run and run, but for the rest of us mortals it is usually a considerable effort.

No matter if you are running 1km, 10km or 100km a lot of effort goes in.  Some people can’t even run 10metres (I was one of these not so long ago), so if you run, you run, no matter how far, or fast it may be.


The scale of the problem

All that being said, I do still need to run 100 miles.  If you have a look at the image below, this is my “heatmap” for all my running in 2017 (the year I completed Race to the King)

heat map 2017

The long blue line from near Steyning, to Winchester is the Race to the King.  53 miles along the South Downs way.  I ran this, with what I discovered after the race were 3 broken ribs following a fall at only 6 miles into the race.  I completed it fast enough to qualify for the South Downs Way 100, which is the event I am taking on in 2020.  So I can run.  I can also run a long way.  I just need to get back, and then quite a long way past, that prevous level of fitness.

The plan

The plan is simple.  I have booked Beachy Head Marathon in October.  I will get fit enough to complete this in around the 5 hour mark.  Before any of you speed demons scoff at this, it is VERY hilly 😉

I am going to use a dedicated running plan from Strava to do this.  I have never tried this before, so will report back on how it goes.  The plan doesn’t start until August as it’s only a 12 week plan, so until then I will just run a bit, slowly upping my time on my feet and taking it slow.  I am good at taking it slow. 😉

Following Beachy Head it will be a short 7 month training plan to go from marathon fit, to 100 mile fit. All over the lovely British winter.  I must be mad. I am not entirely sure how I am going to get that fit yet, but that is a problem for future James to worry about.

So I’ve got a plan, some sort of running pedigree behind me, and a bucket load of willpower.  More on willpower later, because it is the difference between completing and failing at ultra distance.  But that will have to wait for another post.


Any of you reading this who are running the London Marathon at the weekend, hope your training and your taper have gone well and you are looking forward to the race.

For those of you not running the London Marathon, you could do worse than get yourself out onto the South Downs.  I have included a few bonus pictures from a recent dog walk up there.  Simply stunning.



This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.