A few steady runs last week, and on Monday 7th July I decided to start some off road trail running and set off for Succouth where I ran on the forestry trails to the foot of Ben Vorlich returning by a footpath that was a lot shorter than the "out" run. The run starts at the car park at the top of Loch Long then turns back towards Ardgarten before turning north again. After an initial flat run through the village, the track starts to climb out of the village, and it isn't too long before the heart starts pumping hard. Spectacular views all round, until the forest closes in, but still a great place to run. Respect to the guys who ran the Arrochar Alps race the other week. I get vertigo looking at the course. I'm glad to merely be running around the base of the mountains. The descent to the Inveruglas road has me braking hard, with loose stones and boulders making it difficult to pick a footfall. Then about 1/4 mile along the road to the Glen Loin footpath which takes a lower, more direct route back to Arrochar, albeit undulating.
This initial phase of training is based mainly at getting used to running a) in trail shoes and b) I have a past history of serious knee injuries, that were basically overuse injuries. An MRI showed I only had osteo-arthritis "commensurate with my age" (whatever that is meant to mean!) and since being told that I have tried to be sensible in my training. Previously I would be coaching and training with juniors and trying to race them! Now I realise that over-training on this new surface and, with my stated hatred of running downhill, gravity versus being a fat git, I'll have to be careful not to overdo it. So it's run-walk, run slowly, and learn to run down the hills in a safe but economical way. About 2 hrs 10 minutes in total but a lot of walking in 10.3 miles.