We're in mid-February, the relative rest period is over and it's time to devise a more detailed training plan for the next 6 months.

Overlall, great care will be taken to follow my feelings in order to avoid over-training, injuries and to keep the pleasure going. I know that this UTMB will be much more a matter of staying injury-free than a brute force issue. A well-trained mind can always compensate a lack of strength, forget gentle pain, but can't fix a serious injury.

As mentioned earlier, there will be three main phases in this training plan: speed, endurance and hill training. However, these phases won't be disjoint and will overlap in a continuous manner. The aim is to combine a fair base speed with a good endurance factor.
  • Speed training - Feb, March, April
    Last year, as I couldn't train as much as I wished, I focused mostly on long runs, which decreased my base speed. This may also have affected the strength of my muscles and led to the tendinitis.
    I've now gently started speed training again and I'm already a bit faster than I used to be a year ago (10km in 43min lately). More work is necessary. Since the New Year, I've mostly ran distances between 10 and 13km. Sometimes gentle, sometimes fast, and sometimes with intervals. As for the latter, after 5km warming up, I push a 20 to 30 seconds sprint 5 times during the following 5km. When I feel good, I need to emphasize more on that sort of runs to increase my base speed.
    With this training, good feelings are back on short distance, so is the appetite (*), and unfortunately so is the kind of irritability while not running for 2 days in a row...
  • Endurance training - April, May, June, July
    My endurance factor has never been very good and I have to work on it. It's OK up to a half-marathon distance, but it decreases quickly beyond that distance. I can run the marathon (42km) at 12km/h, but London-Guildford (60km) at 10km/h and London-Brighton (90km) at 9km/h.
    One of the long distance will be run on the 3 Forts Marathon which is a 27 miles race (43.5km) in the hills with 1050m of ascent. This kind of race is sometimes referred to as a "marathon+". This race will also kick off my hill training.
  • Hill training - May, June, July
    As I mentionned earlier, I'll need at least 3 serious sessions in the hills, in Wales or in Lake District and maybe an overnight run (just for the fun). They could be between 40 and 60km. A long distance hike in serious mountains at the beginning of the summer would complete the training.
Ultra careful not to get injured.

(*) I'm eating lots of Nutella(c) sandwitches during the day, I didn't dare to take my first UK-bought Munster cheese ... too smelly.