27 weeks, 63 miles and a mixed experience adapting to new mountain running shoes

I managed to do 47 of my 63 miles this week on trail which was around the
75% I was hoping for. This was all along the same loop of just over 2 miles. In 4 sessions from Thursday morning to Friday evening, I covered 6.3 miles in 3 loops each time. It was quite good fun lighting the way on Friday morning with my phone’s flashlight as I forgot my head torch!

My main run for the weekend was 10 loops yesterday. I had a bit of overconfidence about this having done 15 laps last summer in preparation for the Great Glen Ultra and had forgot how sodding steep the first hill feels after 5-6 laps! I also was far too preoccupied with messing around trying to skip songs on my Spotify playlist and kept taking my gloves off to be able to do this, then getting annoyed with myself because my hands would get cold!

I had a bit of a ‘storm in a teacup’ moment after leaving my gloves and hat in the car at the start of lap 7 then being unable to feel my fingers on the inward mile back to the car. I had a Pip and Nut peanut butter sachet and some sparkling water in the car after putting my gloves back on. It didn’t help matters that the heating in my car wasn’t coming through the vents as it was stationary for 3 hours! I told myself I had set a minimum of 2000m of elevation as a target for the week and if I did my last 3, I could finish the week running from home.

My week was bookended with 1 lap of 5.4 miles on Tuesday and 2 laps today. The elevation of Churwell Hill pales in comparison to the woods and it was great this morning not having to focus on foot placement to avoid tree roots and rocks!

My new footwear are taking some getting used to as well. I have always gone for support shoes for road and trail, this essentially means more padding is added to forgive horrible technique and allow for taking more impact on stupid angles, but these are obviously designed for speed and won’t be anywhere near as forgiving when my running form is shit. In terms of weight they feel about half that of my other pairs. Whilst this has positive aspects, every time the top of the shoe hit anything I felt it far more than when wearing the waterproof thicker ones.

I’m pleased I adapted to the new shoes for now and managed to hit my target elevation for this week. 3500m in a day still feels like a very high number but if I can build up gradually over the next few weeks it should feel a bit less daunting come race day.

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