How has training been with the uncertainty of the race going ahead?
For me, running is such a big part of who I am, that even without races in the calendar, training is just part of my life and something I do. I've seen this last year as an opportunity to train hard and when races return, run stronger. I'm very focussed and so I've actually trained more over the last 12 months and more consistently, mostly thanks to my coach, Marcus Scotney, but also because without as many races, there haven't been the ups and downs of tapering and recovery. That said, I am now desperate to get back on the start line!
How has it been training more solo, where in the past it may have been more group focused?
I've always trained largely by myself, so in that regard the pandemic hasn't really made a difference. If anything, it flipped the other way. With my kids being at home a lot more over the last year, I have been out running with them, which has been great. However, on the whole, I'm very much a solo runner!
How have you coped over the past year with very limited races?
Every single race I had planned for 2020 was postponed until 2021 and already of my first two races for 2021, one has been postponed again and the other is going ahead but I can't travel to get there. I was lucky last year in that I was able to run two local ultra races and I also got down to France to run Trail des Hauts Forts. This was actually a blessing in disguise as it reminded me that while I love mountain running, I have a lot of work to do on my technique. I was then able to do a training session with Shane Benzie to work on my descending, so hopefully when I run the big mountain races this year, I'll be a lot better prepared!
What event are you most looking forward to in 2021, and why?
I am so excited about all my races this year, this is a really hard question to answer! Val d'Aran will be my first 100 mile race. I'm excited to pick up the speed and head back to the road for the Gloucester 50K. I also love the mixture of challenges and the adventure of a multi-stage, so Everest Trail Race is up there. However, I think it would have to be CCC. The UTMB weekend, running in the Alps, for me, this is pure trail running.
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