PREVIEW: Taking the brave approach to Lug

“Snowdon here I come” was my motto after a good ascent on the slopes of Lugnaciolle last year. This year, I want a real confidence booster ahead of this year’s Snowdon race to truly have me believe in the 85-minute target. Last year I ascended in 44:07 and in my maiden season 2007 it was 48:43 (so I took off over 4 minutes last year).

My goal will be ambitious this time and maybe even overly so, but I’m prepared to be disappointed with the occasional hard gamble: I want to break the hour for the course and arrive at the top in less than forty minutes. To do so will require reaching the Camarahill plateau in 11:08 (last year 12:33), the summit in 39:08 (last year 44:07) and be back at the Caramahill summit by 54:01 (01:00:54 last year). I don’t usually do this sort of calculations for domestic races, but it’s worth trialling the approach I used at Snowdon last year a few times before using it again.

I want to summit Snowdon in less than 55 minutes this year which is an improvement of 6.4% on last years’ time. To improve similarly at Lugnacoille I would need to summit in no slower than 41:17 so this time or faster would suggest I will be capable of achieving my 85-minute target.

Normally, I’m careful, but here I am going to attempt to overshoot it a bit both to be excited about the targets and to try and set the bar higher for Snowdon. If I do, I can revise my target. If I overshoot it I need to look at by how much and whether I still think the Snowdon target looks realistic.

One thing that could skew the figure is that I can employ practically my full speed on the descent of Snowdon as it doesn’t pose any real difficulty for me. Lugnacoille is trickier and I may not be sharp enough to generate full speed even if the fitness it there, but I should be able to clearly tell that once I’m done.

Roll the dice...