A great resource for guidance on how to prepare for the big day is on the http://westhighlandwayrace.org website, one of the videos links on the images page that I watched was John Kynaston interviewing Rosie Bell. Rosie won the women's race in 2013 and 2013 so is very accomplished ultra runner and is able to do this on just running twice a week, doing lots of cross training to build strength. Should I be looking at doing lots of cross training in the Gym too?
Since I'm taking it easy this month I am choosing just to go out when it's sunny and simply running for pure pleasure. My last three runs were just stunning, along familiar routes but with bright mid day sunshine and frost on the trails and trees gave these runs a magical feel. Pictures do far better at conveying this than words so here's a few from these three runs.
|First run, Bracklin Falls Bridge in new Autumn colours|
|First run, above the scout pool looking north, Ben Ledi to the east, Stuc A'Chroin and Ben Vortlich to the north.|
|Second run, Heading out through Callander and out to Ben Ledi, first snows of winter evident.|
|Second run, On the east flank of Ben Ledi looking north towards Loch Lubnaig|
|Third run, local 6.5 miles loop, including Cohalian wood in the frost, mid day sun barely above horizon|
|Attempt at close up of the frost.|
Contemplating the question of whether to train more in the Gym or not these runs cast no shadow of doubt : I can't fathom wanting to actually spend time inside when deep in my heart I'm a runner. I run because I love running out on the trails, enjoying the splendours that only nature can share with us.
I don't train to keep fit, I run because of the freedom of movement, the joy of motion, the awe of nature - getting fit is just a nice little side benefit. Training for the WHWR will provide an extra purpose to my runs - the better prepared I am the more I'll be able to enjoy the day. This training will require more mileage out on the trails, but with it more doing what I love.
I am still curious about strength training though... can I fit some in out on the trails?