Sunday, 7 May 2017
Training on the Clarendon Way
The Clarendon Way is 26.2 miles of Chalk trackway running between the ancient cathedral cities of Salisbury and Winchester. Every October, it plays host to the annual Clarendon Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay and (this year) 5 mile races. This October I'll be running the half, so to get used to it (and to train for my other half marathon in June), M plotted an eight mile section of the Clarendon for us to run with the dogs this morning.
We ran the first 4 miles of the Half route a couple of weeks ago, and I've walked bits of it before doing bird surveys, so knew it was hilly in places. Having run it this morning I'd revise that down to just hilly, pure and simple. You're either going up a hill, along the top of a hill, or down a hill pretty much the whole way. The Clarendon is billed as a tough race and I see why. But nothing worth doing ever came easy, right? (actually, I'm not sure I believe that, but I do believe that a challenge or goal that you have to work hard to reach is good for you).
I'd been reading about the 8:1 ratio for marathon running and training, where you run for eight minutes and walk for one, run 8, walk 1 and so on until you've completed the distance. I wanted to give it a go, but after the second walk section I found it so unsettling to my physical and mental rhythms that I gave up and went back to running and only walking up the steepest bits where I needed to.
M who is a deal faster than me, went ahead in the above photo. Poor old Teddy can't bear his people being strung out along a track and rushed between the two of us woofing anxiously. In the end we took pity on him and ran at the same pace which he was much happier about. Pop was completely unbothered either way. As long as she's running and everyone's vaguely in the right area she's happy :o)
The miles went by fast, considering the terrain, and by the time we reached the other car, almost eight miles later, I was feeling strong and positive. I've clocked up 25 miles of running this week and done two sets back to back, so all is going according to plan at present.
With such beautiful countryside to run through it's hard not to feel inspired and motivated. When I got tired I was imagining all the other feet who've run that path on the marathon in varying stages of exhaustion and the thought pushed me on. There is also something magical about travelling from one village to another without using a road to do it. It taps into ancient and wild ways of crossing the Land and that has an energy all of its own.