Monday, 17 December 2012

Safer strides to the end of 2012

  I appreciate that for some runners part of the pleasure of running offroad,  on trails and fell,  is escaping from the dreaded tarmac,  prancing childlike along  puddle strewn pathways  or sinking knee deep into peat bogs and having great "fun" extricating themselves. Great fun indeed!?
 Combating mud is so often  part and parcel of the cross country racing experience of course and thousands more pay huge amounts to take part in "challenge" races,  combating not just mud but even fire, oil and deep water.   Great fun indeed!?

 All well and good; each to their own. But  this year we've witnessed several "authorities"  trying to improve pathways or trails under their control to make safe or enhance the leisure experience for users; the majority of whom  can be described as "seniors".   Improvements not universally welcomed.
                           A recipe for much conflict.

The laying of stone slabs on Ilkley Moor over long stretches really upset many local purists, resulting in a litany of letters to the local press.  A lot of angst!
  I reported on improvements to the Lake Windermere foreshore (the

National trust) and  now Yorkshire Water have completed a mile and a half refurbishment of the trail around Fewston reservoir.
  I was loathed to take sides in the moor debate but it was great to be up there last week in wonderful, bright winter sunshine, running towards the trip point along a path that would have been  near to impossible last December.   The Lakes trail was really just an enhancement and the reservoir improvement means no longer suffering soaked feet just 5 minutes into a 60 minute run.
 So for me, the improvements are welcome.  At my age the safer (and faster) the surface the better!  And judging by comments made by walkers last week  they too welcomed the change.

Last week's 6.5 circuit of the 2 res formed part of a  good steady week of training totalling 43 miles as I work towards achieving the 2012 target of a 40 mile weekly average. 2080 in total.
 The tape is in sight but it will require two better than average weeks to achieve the total.
 I know from recent blog posts that others have been keeping an eye on their 2012 total. Whilst others take a more relaxed view; just runnng when and where they feel like it and having no desire to record anything.

 To me setting a yearly mileage target is the way of committing to a year of consistency; whether that commitment be  20 miles, 40 miles, 60 miles or 80 miles per week.  Of course, I believe that  which of those figures is chosen dictates the races to aim for; but again many set race targets whether they have one the training or not. But that's another  whole  area of discussion!

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