Sunday, 7 May 2017

Training on the Clarendon Way


The Clarendon Way is 26.2 miles of Chalk trackway running between the ancient cathedral cities of Salisbury and Winchester. Every October, it plays host to the annual Clarendon Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay and (this year) 5 mile races. This October I'll be running the half, so to get used to it (and to train for my other half marathon in June), M plotted an eight mile section of the Clarendon for us to run with the dogs this morning.



We ran the first 4 miles of the Half route a couple of weeks ago, and I've walked bits of it before doing bird surveys, so knew it was hilly in places. Having run it this morning I'd revise that down to just hilly, pure and simple. You're either going up a hill, along the top of a hill, or down a hill pretty much the whole way. The Clarendon is billed as a tough race and I see why. But nothing worth doing ever came easy, right? (actually, I'm not sure I believe that, but I do believe that a challenge or goal that you have to work hard to reach is good for you).


I'd been reading about the 8:1 ratio for marathon running and training, where you run for eight minutes and walk for one, run 8, walk 1 and so on until you've completed the distance. I wanted to give it a go, but after the second walk section I found it so unsettling to my physical and mental rhythms that I gave up and went back to running and only walking up the steepest bits where I needed to. 


M who is a deal faster than me, went ahead in the above photo. Poor old Teddy can't bear his people being strung out along a track and rushed between the two of us woofing anxiously. In the end we took pity on him and ran at the same pace which he was much happier about. Pop was completely unbothered either way. As long as she's running and everyone's vaguely in the right area she's happy :o)


The miles went by fast, considering the terrain, and by the time we reached the other car, almost eight miles later, I was feeling strong and positive. I've clocked up 25 miles of running this week and done two sets back to back, so all is going according to plan at present.


With such beautiful countryside to run through it's hard not to feel inspired and motivated. When I got tired I was imagining all the other feet who've run that path on the marathon in varying stages of exhaustion and the thought pushed me on. There is also something magical about travelling from one village to another without using a road to do it. It taps into ancient and wild ways of crossing the Land and that has an energy all of its own. 

26 comments:

  1. I love the thought of ancient trackways that were man's main highway in times past. Would like to walk some of them in the next few years. I admire your stamina on those hills. Must be great to have a partner to support your running :). Hopefully I will be back to running soon. B x

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    1. There is something special about ancient tracks I agree. I'm looking forward to reading more of your running exploits x

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  2. Sounds like a lovely time for you all:) I'm so impressed with all your running!

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    1. Many thanks Annie. It's lovely having the dogs with us too x

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  3. Oh it's beautiful up there isn't it. I love the idea of an ancient trackway between cities as well, all those journeys made before, just imagine. I remember standing above Salisbury looking down at Old Sarum, I wonder if that was near the trackway. Glad your running is going well, you've really got into a good routine with it now I think. We are all go on Operation Dog here, so maybe I'll be getting a little more exercise before too long. CJ xx

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    1. Yes indeed- operation dog? You've slipped that one in quietly! I'm dying too know..... xx

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  4. It looks like a beautiful route. Perfect for a morning run and good practise for October. X

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    1. It's a lovely place, up on my beloved Chalk x

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  5. The countryside looks beautiful, I hope the knees are doing well with all the hills.

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    1. They are so far. I think the trick is to take it steady and build up gradually. X

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  6. Love Ted being concerned for you both.
    I have visited this area and would love to go back some time.

    cheers, parsnip

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  7. It looks very beautiful, in fact very much like some sections of the Cheshire Sandstone Trail (there's also an annual race) which I sometimes use for training when I'm in England.

    By the way I was 16th M65 in Vienna yesterday - so that's my annual road race out of the way. I think I could have made the first 10 if I'd started nearer the front. Overall in the world I was 53,947th compared to 43,393rd last year. I got soaked to the bone but enjoyed it. Incredibly the winner was a wheelchair athlete in Dubai. He chose Dubai despite the heat because it's on a cycleway made of a special low resistance tarmac. A friend of mine was 3rd in the world - running in the Austrian wind and rain!

    Good luck with the training for the October half. I'm still pondering my programme. Nothing pencilled in yet. Time I got around to it.

    Cheers! G

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    1. Fantastic! Very well done indeed, that's a great result.

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  8. Hey CT,
    Perfect running terrain! Any run around St Ives contains killer hills. Me and my running partner, Karen actively seek them out now! My half marathon training is starting this week. I've a long way to go to be match fir for the Bristol half in September. But it's a flat road race, so hopefully doable.
    Leanne xx

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    1. Train hard, race easy :o). I'm so excited you're doing a half too. I'm sure it'll be a great challenge x

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  9. I would love to run along that But not using the 8:1 method. I'd just end of walking more and more if I lost the running rhythm

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    1. I agree, it didn't work for me either.

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  10. What a fantastic route - so beautiful, hills and all! Poor Ted, getting all anxious like that; such a sensitive little soul. Well done with all the training, I'm sure it will all be worth it and you'll do brilliantly. xx

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    1. He is a worrier, bless him. I'm enjoying the training, just taking it at my own pace makes all the difference xx

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  11. What a gorgeous track to run! Superb Hampshire/Wiltshire countryside- lucky you!
    Enjoy it! X

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  12. That looks a wonderful location to have a run despite having so many hills. I know from walking that the more you do the easier it becomes. Sarah x

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    1. It is a beautiful and scenic walk or run, even with the hills! You know you've earnt your lunch after doing it! Xx

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x