DIARY: Hitting the First Wall

Finally, it happened....

After three months of subjecting my body to a level of training and stress unlike any before, it is starting to protest. Holidays have also broken up my rhythm, and I feel myself becoming slightly ill, and one of my old niggling injuries has made a return. I hit the wall....

Rule 1: Gradual Progress!
Any running manual will tell you that nothing is more important than the rule of gradual progress. In other words, if you build up in small increments, you can build forever. A solid foundation will leave a lasting achievement standing on it.

Now, I don't think I've made any critical errors in my increase. Should I estimate I've probably squeezed my own personal lemon just about 10% too much, but not so much that the "damage" is irreparable.

Toughest Race of the Season
Well not really, but on Saturday I'm running a race that is a definite candidate for the title above. As mentioned earlier I'm taking on Slieve Donard and in my current state and condition, survival is the only target.

I just want to get over those hills, and then my body will get a little bit of a rest.

The Horizon
What lies ahead is intimidating, I will kick-off the Spring League with IMRA, running Glencree, a very short (6.7k) race with only 275m of ascent.

The week after, though, holiday time is over, and the Wicklow Mountains will take the gloves off, as I will break my own record for longest distance so far, taking on the Wicklow Way Trail a 22km run on the old Wicklow Way with 740m of total ascent. This promises to be a real experience and I can't wait.

It is said that to calculate the strain on your body from Mountain Running as opposed to Road Running, you must add 50%, so I'm looking to take on the equivalent of a 33km challenge. If I succeed, and well, it will be a major stepping stone towards my ambition of running the big Ultras.

The day after, on the Sunday, I will join some friends and colleagues to run the BUPA race. I'm sure the strain of yesterday will destroy any chance of a decent finish, so I plan to stroll through, enjoy the weather (hopefully!), and just take in the atmosphere. As you may know, I loathe road running (for reasons I'll elaborate in my long-upcoming article: Trail vs. Road), but the race is in Phoenix Park, so hopefully I'll die of over-training and not boredom...