Winter has arrived!

The past couple of weeks I've been selective with what runs I have been doing. I've been trying to keep the total miles for the week in the region of 70 but I've found myself calculating if I can afford to miss a day if the weather is looking particularly bad. 

Last week I had a couple of runs which I wish I had a spare day available. Last Thursday was an example. I ran in to work and although it was windy, it was dry. I don't mind the wind or the rain but when they are both attacking me on a run then I get a bit annoyed with it!

The prevailing wind in Edinburgh means I tend to get an easy run home with the wind on my back. Thursday was no different but the rain was bad. Possibly the worst weather I've ran in, in a long time. 

Here is a short instagram video that I took before I started. 

The first 100 metres I was dodging the puddles and then I gave up! It was actually an enjoyable run home, probably because the wind was on my back rather than pushing the rain in to my face but after 7.5 miles, I got home and I looked and was a bit wet!

Very wet after a run

This morning I ran my normal route into work and really noticed the change in temperature. There hasn't been any ice on the cycle paths yet but I don't think it's going to be far away. I've already been checking out alternative routes into the office via pavements and main roads. 

I'm still running most of my runs in shorts, but this morning I did pull on my running tights. I'm still wearing just a t-shirt under my jacket though. The other day I did pull on a vest, my hooded sweatshirt and then my jacket but within a mile I had to stop and take my sweatshirt off. I was roasting! 

Tuesday's track session (2x 7:30min HM pace followed by 10x 450m flat out) was my trusty t-shirt and gilet combo with shorts. I think this could become my ideal combination of my ashmei kit for winter training. 

Cross Country

This weekend I have Livingston cross country race. It's a good course, a bit of grass running, some forest trail running, a bit of up and a bit of down. I reckon it could be a mud bath as well, especially after all the other races have chewed up the course before the final race of the day, the men's race.

This year I've been trying to attack the cross country races. I'm not very good at cross country, people I can beat on the road leave me for dead on the cross country circuit. Not entirely sure why this is, maybe my build, weight, running style, all of the above? But I really enjoy running off-road. The muddier the better! 

I've tried to prepare for this year's season a bit better than previous years. I've been doing specific runs and trying to mentally prepare for the races.
I find cross country running has a large mental side to it. Of course it helps to be physically strong but I can attack a course as hard as anyone but if I give up mentally then I've just given others around me an advantage. An advantage that I tend to find isn't possible to make back on a cross country course. 

Since Glasgow half marathon this year I've been pushing much harder on my Tuesday track sessions, finding new limits and gently pushing at them. Finding the pain barrier and pushing a bit harder. I hope this will allow me to race harder as well. I'll find out on Saturday!  

It's looking like it could be another cold race but the rain seems to be staying away. Fingers crossed! 


Owain Williams

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