Building the Mileage Back Up Again and How Running Can Spring a Surprise

After two 50km+ runs in as many weeks, contrary to what my suspected masochistic mind was veering towards, I dialled it back for a couple of weeks. It was both a conscious decision as well as a well timed string of busy weekends.

In the same way that you don’t rave about the adverts you saw on tv last night, I’m not going to go into too much detail about my 20k then 40k weeks following my last 50km run. In fact, I’m not going to go into any more detail than I just have.

This last week I continued the theme and it ended with a real treat after a pretty hectic weekend. The weather for most of the week was classic, British drabness. This made finding that extra bit of willpower to get out into the rain a little bit more of an effort.

For three of my weekday runs I got rained on, which highlights the level of drabness. See, I may be smiling but little did I know that 30 seconds after this picture I’d get soaked.

Ultimately this isn’t a problem. You don’t train over the winter in the UK and worry about getting wet. You’d spend most of your winter runs worried if that were the case!

What it does do is help to emphasise the joy I had during my final run of the week. Sunday came around and I’d done 40k for the week and I really wanted 50k just to keep the distance increasing. It had been a busy, but great fun, day at the zoo with the kids, I was worn out and really wanted to catch up on the Spanish Grand Prix and catch up with my better half. Having put the kids to bed, I set out on one of those mindless runs just to get the final 10km in my weekly account.

Or so I thought. And this is one of the things I love about this sport. I thought I’d have a quick blast around Silverstone woods then at least the surroundings would be beautiful. And weren’t they just. The sky had cleared, it was still light and it had suddenly started smelling like a summer evening. Contrary to the effect of a busy weekend, my legs suddenly had loads of life in them and there seemed to be wildlife all over the woods.

As the sun set over the woods, it transformed the run from the robotic, mileage builder to one of the most enjoyable runs I’ve had in a long while. The pictures don’t really do it justice so you may need to squint a little and use your imagination:

I don’t really have a point to make here. This did, however, really serve to remind me of the surprise that running can spring on you when you least expect it.

When you’re tired, motivation is low and you’re not expecting anything in the least bit joyful from your run, that’s when it can totally catch you by surprise. Just like that, you can find energy from nowhere, the weather just falls perfectly and everything aligns to give you an hour of bliss to wrap up your week.

Not everything actually, I still didn’t manage to get a picture of the deer in the woods. The little buggers wouldn’t stand still long enough. You can’t have everything though but I nearly did.

Typical deer pic. I swear they flick two hoofy fingers up at me as they prance off out of shot


  1. It was a lovely run in the end on Thursday, down the canals and having a giggle, and yesterday’s final 8-miler was a pleasant one, too. Just two short ones this week to run my tshirt down to the printer’s to get my name put on it, then pick it up, then getting ready for the big day.

    THEN I have to work out how to bridge the gap to RTTS on 14 July. I have a 10 mile trail race booked for mid-June so will work some stuff in around that. I’m used to running fatigued due to my other hobby of endurance and track and field officiating which is often a heavy day the day before my long run, so I’m hoping that will help!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent, sounds like your tapering is going as well as you might hope. Hopefully the marathon is a really useful distance away from RTTS to allow a bit if rest and then build it back up again. Good call booking in the 10-miler. I’ll be interested to see how you get on.
      We’re doing RTTK in a month, only walking though, over the two days, with a group of friends. Although I’m not running it, I’m still a little daunted by the sheer time on my feet!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well there are 6 weekends between them so lower mileage for two of them, with some work off-road and strengthening and flexibility when I’m ready, then the 10 mile trail race one weekend, then a back-to-back hopefully the next, then two weekends, one of which will hopefully involve a recce to the course. Should be OK!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Tom, those kind of runs (whatever the distance) help make up for the ones when your legs don;t work. Thanks for stopping by my Edinburgh Half Marathon blog post and good luck with your training.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, thanks for the comment, you’re right – these are absolutely the runs you hold on to during the tougher ones. I enjoyed your Edinburgh half post, a great in depth run through. Plus you smashed it too, excellent stuff!


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