Friday, May 1, 2020

What now? Open to suggestions...

Last weekend involved my first real venture into the hills - living in the shadow of Pendle certainly has its advantages! I was really pleased that, despite the fact that it was a tough run, I actually enjoyed myself and have spent the majority of evenings this week planning new routes (I use onthegomap.com) and looking at the elevations, the gradients to contextualise how hard the run is in parts.

Looking at last week's run again, the website tells me that one of the steepest parts of the run is the first 250 metres as this is uphill at a 9% grade - no wonder the first km is usually a slow one for me! Overall, the first 5 km is a steady climb averaging around 5% with one very short steep downhill section. Given that this was enjoyable, and I do like a challenge, would it be worth getting to Pendleton and turning right - instead of heading back towards Clitheroe, is there another route? In other words,  could I run further up Pendle and still find a way of navigating home? A quick look at the website tells me that, yes, a right turn towards Sabden is possible - and it is a route that I have had cars struggle to get up. The next 2.5 km has an elevation of nearly 200 metres - put into context - I have been running steadily uphill for 5.3 km and climbed to 125 metres. On average the gradient is over 10%, which is steeper than the killer start to the run and in parts is up as high as 18%. It sounds brutal to me - let's not forget that until 2 months ago, I had done  no running since the end of the cricket season, was still under the physio and hadn't even begun training. See the picture below:



As you can see from the graph - the last 8 km would be pretty much all downhill or flat. Can I take this on yet, or is this something to hold back from for a while? I am not sure...I think I could do this ok, and would relish that long downhill from Sabden to Whalley. What do people think? Please feel free to add comments - is a 10 miler with a climb like that any easier or harder than the half marathon? Do I need to get such steep hills into training for the Great North Run? Plans for this weekend depend on the weather...maybe a 10k to try and get my time down further, maybe repeat last Sunday's run. Maybe this is one for next Friday on my day off. VE Day could become VG day...

Watch this space...

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