Monday 14 October 2013

Slowing down fast.....

   I reckon Mister Garmin must have been spying on my Blog posts. The day after I'd told the world about a recorded 58.3mph maximum speed, on foot around the base of Ingleborough, a message came on the screen advising me to attach my Forerunner 10 to the computer, go to Start, Programs, Garmin, and click on Webupdater to upgrade from Version 2:20 to 2:30.  Compliance with that instruction had the soul destroying effect of erasing 47.4mph from that original figure, thereby reducing my top speed to a mere 10.9mph - or 5½min/mile pace. I'm sure I can run faster than that.  I wonder if there's some way of reverting back to Version 2:20?
   With the onset of winter I'll be doing less running and slowing down even more. My north facing town
Exposed - my north facing town house....
house sits in an exposed position 645ft up in the Pennine hills. When it's cold and windy, pouring with rain, or snowing, and many of my preferred off-road routes are oozing water and mud, you'll most likely find me festering indoors where it's cosy and warm, my nose in a good book and the central heating thermostat turned up to Max. It's sad, I know, but nowadays I probably spend more time reading about running than actually getting out there and doing it. Since turning 80 my interest in racing has diminished, mainly because very few races have an MV80 category. With no goals to aim for, there's little incentive for serious training. In my dotage I run mainly for fun and pleasure, and neither of those are possible if I'm wet through and frozen to the marrow.
Looking down on things....
No longer do I read all available running literature in hopes of it making me faster, but rather that I'll discover some secret that will make running easier. Last week I read Joe Henderson's short booklet 'Long Slow Distance' (available free as a pdf file if you send an email to: in which he extols the advantages of running long distances at talking pace - and with little or no speedwork. Amongst six profiles, one of which is his own, he sites that of Amby Burfoot (a Boston winner with a best marathon time of 2:14:28) whose only speedwork consisted of 'a small amount of fartlek on grass'. That last bit is what I like to do, but think I might struggle with his long, slow 150 miles per week at 6.45 - 7.15 pace!
   Another guy who genuinely runs long and slow is Ed Whitlock, a contemporary of mine who has amassed
Unlike Ed, I like to view the views...
world records in his age group from 1500m to the marathon. He doesn't like hills so all his training is done in a local cemetery, a couple of minutes from home, where he runs gentle 5 minute loops for anything up to three hours. So far as I know he does no speedwork at all but, this coming weekend (October 20th), he's guessing he'll run around 3:25 in the Toronto waterfront marathon. At 82 years old!  When out training he has no interest in nature, or viewing the views, he runs only to race and will stop running, he says, when he can no longer race. Well, I can scrap Ed's idea too. I could no longer run 5 minute loops round my local cemetery for three hours than emulate Amby on his slow 6.45 minute miles.
   So it looks like it's back to the drawing board.


  1. As a long time coach I think the best way to train is injury free, so get out and enjoy the running... and the days when all falls into place, do your 200's on the stretch on road. Now don't think about how fast you are running, but think of your style and form, it's all about looking good!!!

  2. Love the photos and stories. What a beautiful town. I too love to view the views along the way. I wish I could run 7 min miles... sadly I couldn't keep that pace if zombies were chasing me!

  3. Wow, I can't believe a guy at 82 can keep that pace, that is incredible!!! My dreams are only to still be able to run marathons in my 80's but he can compete with those in their 20's so great!!!
    What a beautiful home and views!!! I've always wanted to visit that part of the world, one day I will just have too!!!