Doing a bit of strava stalking, you’ve been logging 80-100 miles a week recently. Is that a standard volume for you and what does a normal training week look like ?
I like to run fairly high mileage weeks, a lot of it is junk miles... I don't try and make excuses for this, it isn't very scientific but I live in a beautiful part of the country and get a lot of enjoyment from running in a different direction most days of the week.
I tend to keep plenty of ascent in my training to make up for a lack of speed work and always train with my running club (Ilfracombe Running Club) every week.
I do some core, weights and hiit training everyday and use the spin bike as a recovery tool aswell.
How do you handle running races so close together? Is that something you consciously schedule or did it just happen through enjoying racing and signing up to lots of them?
I like to race frequently for a few reasons:
The majority of my training is on my own so I really benefit from some regular faster race efforts,
I like to race a lot of different distances and terrain, from 2 mile inter club relay distance on tarmac to ultra distance along the coast path... I think they all complement each other to make me a stronger athlete.
And there are so many great races around that I love to run and can't resist.
You really seem to be finding amazing form at the moment, does it feel like that to you and is there anything you attribute it to? Did you go into the year with any specific goals?
I have been able to keep in good form for some time now, cross training has, in my opinion been a major factor towards this and also just keeping it cool... I go for a run, not sweat it out doing a particular item of training from a running schedule everyday.
Every year I have a particular goal in mind, last year was the 'putting it right year' where I revisited a couple of races that hadn't gone so well before and gave them another go.
And this year was the 'ultra year' where I would have a go at a grown up sized ultra race.
How did it feel being the overall winner ofRTTT?( I think there was some issue with missing directions - tells us about the race.)
Winning the Race To The Tower overall gave me a great deal of satisfaction, entering this race hadn't been taken lightly, it was carefully considered for a 'toe in the water' to perhaps more ultras in the future and I thoroughly enjoyed it, ultra running seems quite tactical where playing a long game is very important. What you do in the first 10 miles (nutritionally, mentally or physically) will be very important in the last ten miles.
The race couldn't have gone better, I kept in good spirits and felt strong throughout, taking the overall lead at mile 34 and gaining distance over the other runners from then on. That was until 5 miles from home where a marker arrow had been twisted round... and no others were in sight. I went from coasting toward the finish well in front, to running up and down a steep track in a panicky way desperately trying to find a marker for half an hour until the 2nd and 3rd placed runners both turned up on the wrong section aswell. I had already run an extra 2 miles by that stage, fortunately Greg (who came 2nd) had the gpx file on his watch so we could navigate back to the race route. As I was running up the final hill, 200m from the finish Greg re-caught up with me and assured me that the race was mine as he knew that if the course markers had been correct, we would not have come across one another. In a true act of sportsmanship he let me cross the line first.
What do you think are the challenges or advantages of being a competitive female runner?
I think there are some distinct advantages to being a competitive female runner in a mixed race, the men generally don't view me as their competition so I can benefit from their pacemaking without being a threat to their placing.