A Kick Up The Asics

A Kick Up The Asics 

Continuing the Asics theme along with my race updates, this weekend has been slightly different to my normal running routine.  After all my racing recently, coupled with a quite high increase in training miles since December, I chose to rest on both Friday and today (Sunday), just to give myself a bit of a break.

Yesterday I raced the Winter Hill Fell Race, in Littleborough near Rochdale.  This was, to date, the furthest fell race I have ran (9 miles) and I was a bit dubious about getting lost on the tops, which turned out to be a worry about nothing in the end!  There were 215 in the race field and I finished 133rd.  This doesn't sound the best but fell running is on a whole different level to road running, where I am disappointed not to be in the top 125 in a field of 500 and if I walked at any point in a road race it would only be for injury reasons, where as fell races sometimes give you no option due to the nature of the climb, yesterday being a fine example.

captured half way up the major climb, tough one to even walk at a fell walk pace!

The descents are my favourite part, but, as most of you will know just from basic physics, you usually have to go up, to come down!  I did suffer my first racing fall too, I was gathering some speed down a gradual descent and trying to catch a small group not far in front, then without keeping my eye on the ground (a fatal error, in parts, on fell courses), I hit a patch of deep mud and rock, sending me flat on my side and leaving me with a nice gash to the knee (nowhere near as bad as I initially thought though, thankfully!!).  This didn't take me out of my stride, although it obviously added to my race time and I just got up and carried on running, being in no mood to let it stop me!

There was another descent down towards the finish where I was chasing a Calder Valley runner, who was being pushed on to a strong finish by the race winner and Yorkshire fell champion, Ben Mounsey, who also gratefully helped me over a stile as I lost grip when attempting to run, chase and climb at the same time (not advised!!!!).  I later congratulated him on his race win via Twitter, he ran a superb time and course record of 54 minutes 22 seconds, unbelievable!  And at the time, I didn't actually know it was him who had helped me over, so thanks, mate!

complimented on my finish by the Yorkshire fell champ, buzzing!

Next weekend is set to be a big one for me.  It all kicks off on Friday night with the Dashers own club fell race, The Dark Un...Those of you who aren't from the North are probably thinking, "where's Google translate", basically, it's the dark one!  Fell races are tough enough when you're scrambling up hills, along wet rock and through soaking bog but The Dark Un gives it an extra dimension, as you run what would normally be a scenic route, at night, with only a head torch and your fell kit!

This will be the first time I have ran a night race and with an entry limit of 75, it is no surprise that this one is sold out & I can't wait!  Saturday, just over 12 hours after I finish The Dark Un, I will be running the Cuerden Valley Parkrun as part of the clubs "tour".  I have only ran 5 Parkrun's to date as I prefer the more competitive and longer runs but when we're on tour, I feel a need to be involved!  

This will be a slow/easy for me as it is swiftly followed by Bleasdale Circle Fell Race, which is yet another new race for me and also a Darwen Dashers fell championship race.  A tough climb but lovely descent, so I'm told...I shall reserve my own judgement for that though as courses, in particular fell courses, are described very differently by every different runner and racer!  

Then to round off the weekend I'll be running in the Lostock 6 near Bolton.  I ran this one last year as an unattached runner, it's a 6 mile course and I ran it in 51:47.  I am expecting a massive improvement on this time as even my 10k time is now over 5 minutes faster than that, this is also on the clubs road championship, so the chase really is on!

the chase was on, making up for slow climbs with quick descents

As for my Asics testing, the clothing I have been using is getting plenty of wear already.  The top and track jacket are particular favourites of mine, coming in very handy on my hill sprint training, which is being upped to 15 reps tomorrow (making it 3/4's of a mile of uphill sprinting!!).

The track jacket is great, even on dark nights as it's reflective ability, despite being dark blue, makes it a useful tool for road running.  While also being good enough to keep you warm, it's not too thick, making it ideal for good distance runs to keep the heat in on cold nights.

Take a look at the new campaign from Asics while you're here?  -  http://www.intersport.co.uk/campaign/gb-asics-mix-up-your-run


kitted out ready for a long run

That's it for my weekend update.  Remember to keep up your mileage guys, keep safe on the roads (particularly at night) and try to mix up your training to avoid injury and plateauing!  Try and find a trail or hills that you've not ran on before and explore paths you've never been down before.  If you feel lost, keep running, all you need to do is head back the way you came, right?

Twitter - @CalFerguson
Instagram - @CalFerguson

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