As many people know (because I keep banging on about it endlessly) I am currently in the middle of a training cycle to try and get me ready for the Seven Sisters Skyline Mountain Ultra Marathon.
This, for the most part, involves me running up as many steep climbs as possible, and while not the steepest by any stretch, Carntogher Mountain is the hill I spend most time struggling up.
It’s perfect for me. I look at it every morning when I open my curtains, it’s constantly changing conditions beckoning me up. I’ve been up in every conceivable weather pattern. No trip to the Carn is ever the same. It’s both a struggle and pure exhilaration every time I run it.
In short it has become one of my favourite training partners.
The very first time I ‘ran’ it I thought I was going to die. The mountain very quickly taught me the lesson of the tortoise and the hare. The second time I ran it I allowed myself to walk much more.
The result? 4 minutes quicker.
Lots of people in the various running groups I work with tell me they’d love to to take part in the annual Ríth An Carn race in the 12th July, but feel that it’s a bit beyond them. Nothing could be further from the truth.
If you can run around the 5k mark, you can do this. Hell, even if you can’t do a full 5k running, you can still take part, running what you can, walking what you can’t.
You see the secret to running in the hills is to be okay with walking.
Yes, those speed freaks out front appear to be floating up the side of the hills on the vapours of their own ethereal emanations. But the rest of us?
For me, the only thing emanating from myself is sweat, snot and a chain of good Anglo-Saxon expletives.
So with this in mind I have decided to run a 5 week, lead up to the Carn race, course. We’ll meet up on a Thursday evening, then again on a Sunday morning.
During these sessions we will learn to conquer the Carn through utilising correct body mechanics, stride patterns, knowing when and how to walk, and tackling down hill sections. We will perform some hill repeats to strengthen our legs and cope with the extra work required for uphill jaunts. But above all we are going to have a lot of fun and lose any fear we have up running up hills.
This course starts on Thursday the 6th June at 6pm and Sunday the 9th at 10am.
Feel free to contact me if you require any more info.