So, to get used to running at a fastish pace on flat even ground over longish distances, I've decided to run from Shipley to Leeds on the canal towpath a few times between now and 13th April, the day of the Virgin London Marathon. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal handily meanders almost exactly 13 miles, half marathon distance, from Shipley to Leeds and, given that I work in Leeds, is also a useful way of training while getting to work at the same time. And yesterday at 6:56am I hopped off the train from Skipton at Shipley and cracked off with my inaugural VLM training session. I was cheerily looking forward to it too - I mean running on the flat compared to the hills and mountains should be a doddle, right?
That said I was surprised just how tough going the towpath was, especially for the first mile which was made up almost entirely of slick sloppy mud - I'd chosen to run in my super duper road running shoes which made that first mile all the more tricky as they are completely gripless. Even after the first mile it wasn't all plain sailing as it had rained heavily on Wednesday night leaving much of the towpath covered in huge puddles, which I had little choice other than to plough on through the middle of.
Anyway I made it to work with a running time of 1 hour, 39 minutes and 39 seconds. Average running speed of 7.8 miles per hour. Thats a nice marker to try and beat next time then.
And it sure made my 3 mile head torch run in the hills with Harry on Thursday evening 'fun' - my right hip and left knee both felt a bit battered by the canal path experience, giving me a semi Quasimodo running gait!
|My average speed - note the erratic first mile|
|The 'grip' on my super duper road running shoes|