Pen Y Fan Training 19th May

Well here we are again. Two weeks after the last blog with a target of beating 19m28 per mile, achieved last time. An absolutely gorgeous day 18’C sun shining and a great day for walking… and a bloody awful days for Tabbing or Speed marching. Compared to the previous few weeks that were around 12’C today was a real war of attrition. The heat just took the energy out of me so quickly. I took 2L of water in the camel back and another 1L in a bottle as back up knowing that I was only going to do 9 miles.

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Still up the same route to Corn Du from the Storey Arms, then Pen Y Fan,

Decended down immediatly to the left for a further 2 miles, turn around and head back. This was the last week of doing this route following the path to the centre of the picture and on for another mile before the turn around a climb back.

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In two weeks time I’ll do 11 miles going to the right off Pen Y Fan , heading down , keeping to the right of Fan Y Big  and left of the water.

My Ascent work is still coming on painfully slow. They say the only way to prepare for this is Hill work and its absolutely right. Three minutes quicker to Pen Y Fan this week, but I felt significantly more tired in the legs. The Sciatica was playing up so that will need to get fixed by the Physio and a few needles. It wasn’t easy to stomp up the hill when you have pins and needles in the left leg.

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The return journey was tough and the scramble back up to Pen Y Fan was no different, but the mental fitness is kicking in, in that I’m not giving up whereas before it was easy to take the break when the heart, lungs and legs were burning.

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A quick look at where the run will be heading off Pen Y Fan in two weeks time before heading down the Brecon path to the left of Corn Du. This was the usual run, with brakes on to avoid tuning over the ankles on the rocks. So very close to the feet blistering in three places, but thanks to some vaseline around all the toes and around the ball of the feet before putting on twin layer socks I avoided blisters for the first time.

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Out of the car park to turn right up to the Storey Arms car park and I was well and truly knackered but in at 19m 09s per mile ( 20 seconds per mile quicker than last time), but after a beautiful Mr Whippy Ice cream I felt better and ready to go again….In two weeks time that is 🙂

Only 5 training weeks before the Summer edition of the Fan dance hosted by Avalanche Endurance Events so It will be a 10 mile Load bearing forest run next week end then back here to try a different route.

By the Way, 18’C and arduous exercise meant I had fully depleted by 2L camel back. So the minimum 3L that the Directing Staff at Avalanche Endurance has specified would  certainly be a minimum for me.

One last thing, There is still time to sponsor me for the event. If you wish to see the charity and donate please feel free to check out my page at :

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/HaydnMann

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Pen Y Fan Training 5th May

Well its just over a week since my first 8 miles up  Pen Y Fan in the Brecon beacons. This week I decided to go up and over the “fan” to avoid the mind numbing decision after 4 miles to turn around and do the same route all over again.

I had company this week from Grant who’s training to get into the Para’s so had someone else to push this old man.

We started as usual from the Storey Arms, one of the hardest routes up the “fan” to test the legs. It didn’t take long before I realised they hadn’t fully recovered from last week. The Achilles tendon, Quads and lower back were soon screaming to stop. Pushing on over Corn Du onto Pen Y fan which we reached in just over 51 minutes. Clearly a lot of work to do to get fit on the climbs. A quick stretch of the back and Achilles and we headed down Jacobs Ladder to do a further two miles.

This one was fun, two miles of soft peat or hard shale was a good test of the balance and legs and soon felt the core muscle kicking in for a little help as we let our legs open up and were heading down at an uncharacteristic 8 miles an hour.

With a big smile on my face we got to the bottom averaging 21 minutes a mile. The target this week was under 20 minutes a mile for the 8 miles. We turned around and the realisation kicked in, bloody obvious really, what comes down has to go back up, so we slogged back up the two miles we had so enjoyed running. Cursing all the way up  until we reached the foot of Jacob ’s ladder, wishing we were good at steep climbs. As we continued I was certainly feeling as though I was running on empty. The Lungs burned, the legs nothing more than painful jelly and my heart felt as though it was coming out of my mouth. The final 100m was the killer on the legs. Scrambling up Jacobs ladder is hard but with a 50lb Bergen on my back this was tough. Three points of contact wasn’t easy with the Bergen pulling backwards, but we climbed on up and were welcomed by the top of Pen Y Fan for the second time in the knowledge that we only had to run around the left hand side of Corn Du, down the Beacon Way then on the road back to the Storey arms car park.

We arrived 2h38m after starting, 19m28s per mile average pace and bloody knackered.

Great day, made all the better for the determination of Grant, thank you.

7 weeks to go for the full 15 miles Fan Dance Endurance challenge and the distance will be double what we’ve done this week. Back again in two weeks time to do the same run but quicker then we’ll need to add a further 3-4 miles onto this two weeks later again.

In the Para’10 challenge I have seen the Moto “Pain is merely weakness leaving the body”. I must be bloody superman this week then 🙂 …

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Don’t forget, anyone reading this, I am doing this for the RMHB Children’s charity who provide free accommodation for families of Children critically ill in hospital. If you wish to donate please find the  page below.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/HaydnMann