Sunday runs are great. For me they’re not so much about the pace, but more about the distance being the long run of the week and ultimately about the social. When you first start out running you often wonder how a run can be sociable and filled with chat – the simple answer is to SLOW DOWN!
Running slowly has great benefits in that your body learns to run more efficiently, allowing you to maximise the benefits in racing and harder training runs. There’s also the bonus of having longer to catch up on all the chat!
Too many runners do all their runs at the same pace and that does not help you to improve. I’m a great fan of Pfitzinger’s books if you’re interested in more in depth reading on the subject.
Today’s run was round a somewhat dreich and miserable forest at Scolty (Banchory). The mist was low and made no attempt to lift throughout the morning; if anything conditions worsened towards the end of the run with some rain starting to fall. Despite this, the benefit of forest running was evident in that it was only when we climbed higher and became exposed that we noticed the effects of the wind.
There were three of us running, none of us professing to have a sense of direction, so we decided on a relatively simple out and back route sticking on, orclose to, the Deeside Way. The trails are good, hard packed surfaces, and there are options to come off the main paths for bits of single-track, always a good way to lose some time and really immerse yourself in the moment as you have to focus on your footing.
A popular route for bikers and walkers, we met quite a few mountain bikes along the way. At our turning point we encouraged Marie to chase down and overtake the solo biker heading back up the long climb – bad planning on our part having to turn at the bottom of a downhill section! Ali and I decided not to pass, wishing to leave him with a little bit of faith in himself – that’s my excuse anyway and I stand by it. 🤔
The way back felt pretty tough at times, lack of fitness showing, but we finished up with 13 miles in the bank and a decent Strava ascent profile:
What more can you ask for?