It's simple....i progressively push myself harder and longer, up and down steeper hills, in worse conditions without breaking myself ( which i often do ) until I feel confident that I can complete the Lakeland 50 without killing myself or holding back my running mate too much. Easy eh ?
In the past, on average I ran 3 or 4 times a week for about 4 miles on the roads around Tavistock with one longer, mostly off-road blast on my day off, usually around 7 miles up on Whitchurch Down /Pew Tor/ Cox Tor and would generally up the mileage if I had an event coming up.
Prior to committing to the Lakeland 50 I have complete road races including the Taunton Marathon and 3 half-marathons and to be honest my training wasn't well planned at all. I would do my regular runs through town and then, as the race got close, I would do a few big runs ( probably too big ), develop a niggley injury and then have to take time off to recover. My panic run a month before the Taunton Marathon is a classic example.....18 lumpy miles with my arm in a plaster-cast...not a good idea considering that i had done nothing for weeks.
I am determined not to follow this pattern again !
What I want to do this time is,
1. Slowly build my overall fitness and build up my off-road mileage.
2. Work on technical skills. ie Climbing and descending, posture and running style.
3. Experience running on as many types of terrain as possible.
4. Get faster ! Sprints, hills, interval training
5. Work on my navigation
6. Night running.
7. Get used to running with plenty of kit in my backpack.
8. Complete some tough practice events.
So far I'm up to 8-10 miles off-road and trying to fit in extra runs on my way home from work. Done a few hill sessions and sprints and had a great night run on Westdown with my running mate Paul.
Still hitting the gym regularly and working on core stuff.....apparently that's good too ?
Had a great blast on the way home from Exeter on monday night. I stopped at Sourton and according to Paul I ran somewhere around Corn Ridge apparently ? All I know is that I did about an hour and a quarter, it was pretty steep, I worried a few sheep and it was a stunningly beautiful sunset from the top of whatever Tor I was on.