I started writing run notes in September, as a way to keep track of my performance and progress. Here’s what I got up to in October 2021.

I ran

  • 143km in total (-1km on the previous month)
  • 18.1km for my longest run (-2.2km on the previous month)

Mountain running in Innsbruck, Austria

This was incredibly fun. Innsbruck is a beautiful city nestled in a valley between alpine ranges, and we were staying in Hungerburg, which is right on the doorstep of the Nordkette range. The tourist board have mapped and signposted lots of running and walking routes in Innsbruck, there’s even GPX files available. As a beginner, I found it really accessible.

Seegruben Trophy

The best part of the trip was running the Seegruben Trophy. It’s 7.2km long, 1,449m of elevation, past mountain huts and through woods to Seegrube at the top.

As I was running with my girlfriend, we took it really easy. We stopped more times than I would have if I was on my own, but I really wanted to enjoy it with her rather than run off on my own. It’s good that we did though, having lived at sea level for the last 2 years, my body was spun out by the altitude. We stopped at Höttinger Alm for a drink and a snack, which gave us a boost.

The final 200m is a scramble across a scree slope, which was tons of fun. Trying to run fast over large rocks and not twist your ankle definitely needs some brainpower! In my head, I was Ötzi the Iceman.

At the top, we went into the Seegrube restaurant for schnitzel and beer – a damn good way to end a run.

Marathon training

After getting back from Austria, I started training for marathon distance. I’ve never run a marathon before but it’s a hurdle I’ll need to get over in preparation for this ultramarathon!

The first week included the most distance I’d ever run in a week, over 52km, and by the second week I was exhausted. We were also moving house from Gwynedd to Wandsworth, so I took most of the third week off to recover.

Running in the dark

Some early morning runs around Pen Llŷn were really dark, so I took the opportunity to break out my head torch and try running in the dark. It was really disorienting at first, it feels like your legs are someone else’s! But after a while you get used to it. I was only running on roads, not across the fields, but I’m sure that’s another experience all together.

What I learned

  • Mountain running is fun fun fun
  • Stop and review the course, you will take wrong turns
  • Rest and recover if you’re feeling exhausted
  • Build time in to training schedules for rest and recovery

What’s coming up

More marathon training.