Returning to John O’Groats

What Am I Doing?

It seems so strange planning a return here after the relief of leaving last year. Last year I ran the approximately 1,000 mile route from Lands End to John O’Groats; this year, from Wednesday (27th May) I am now intending to head back down the other way; only this time on a bike.

Macclesfield - Thurso

Macclesfield – Thurso

I want to point out at this early stage, that I am NOT a cyclist. I don’t really know the first thing about cycling; I don’t look like one and I certainly don’t own all the gear.

How Do I Decide What I Need To Work On?

As a recently qualified Personal Trainer, it has really opened my eyes to a world of training that could potentially make a world of difference to my own running.

PART I – Analysis!

Using race photographs and video footage of certain exercises, I am able to ascertain any weaker areas, or technical aspects of running that could use a little work.

Race photographs are pretty good for this, because you are invariably TIRED when these are taken. Fatigue is obviously the main cause of loss of form, which you can see here in these examples:

The Great Manchester Marathon, 2015

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This is a brilliant event and an excellent alternative to the prestigious London Marathon. I have been in Manchester for this event for the last three years and have run it two out of those three times.

Like London, the Manchester Marathon is quite flat (probably a little bit flatter if push came to shove) and the atmosphere is amazing! People come out to line the streets all through Manchester, Sale, Altringham and everywhere else it passes through.

How Running Helped Me Get Life Back On Track

Have you ever found yourself in one of those really surreal situations that has you thinking: “How did my life take me to this point?”, “What did I do to get myself here?” – Well, I seem have these moments on a regular basis right now; sometimes good, often bad, always kind of funny to assess afterwards.

To give you an example, a few months back in sudden a moment of clarity, I noticed that I was sat eating a sandwidge in a shower cubicle on a campsite in Peterborough.

Winter Running in Cheshire

Although Cheshire does not have any mountains, the hilly terrain has a lot to offer to runners; and in winter this becomes particularly interesting..

This route covers the Middlewood Way; an old railway line now popular with walkers, horse riders and cyclists as well as runners, up as far as Lyme Park on the edge of Cheshire. Today this was deep in snow and finding the trail to run along was tricky enough, let alone the hills on route.

Frodo’s 2014 Year of Running

It has been a genuinely unbelievable year for me and my little hobby of running about. I have covered around 3,000 miles just using my feet, raised over £3,500 for various charities and discovered so many gems we have in the UK as places to visit and run through.

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North Cornwall coast

 

The year, like many others before it, started in January. I had about a week to try and lose what I could of the Christmas beer gut and get myself back to fitness before my first event. There were a lot of big races booked ahead of me, and the first one was a 45 mile ultra, second week in January.

Frodo goes to Wales – Part II-2

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PART II-2 – The Running Bit

Here is how I roughly saw the 4-day weekend panning out:

  • STEP 1: Travel to Tenby and head for the coast.
  • STEP 2: Camp out, ensuring that all equipment is still up to standard before venturing onward.
  • STEP 3: Wake up crack of dawn and run north.
  • STEP 4: 4 days later, have either:
    • Run a coast to coast
    • Tackled a few mountains
    • Covered the best part of 200 miles
  • STEP 5: Cease running. Go home.

Frodo goes to Wales – Part II-1

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My series of ‘Frodo goes to Wales’, now in its second installment is like an idiots guide to running around. I say that because I would certainly not call myself an expert on it; I just do it a lot and make loads of mistakes. So much so, my new mantra these days is that if an adventure goes completely according to plan, it is not a successful adventure.

Just to explain that, I think it’s always a good idea to have a plan, however loose. It’s just that when things go wrong it’s also nice to just be able to roll with the punches.

Frodo goes to Wales – Part I

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OBJECTIVE: Go to Wales – Let the public decide your route – See where you end up at the end of the weekend. Simple.

 

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One of the best things about running is that in theory, you only need a pair of half decent trainers to go out and do it, and with the rise of the concept of ‘barefoot’ running, it could be argued that we don’t even need that.

How come then, that as the years have gone on (I’m in my 4th year of running now), my running expenses seem to have gone up and up? Haven’t I got everything I need now?