Monday, 13 April 2015

Marathon Training and the Paris-Roubaix

Kit packed & ready
Yesterday was the classic Paris-Roubaix cycle race, and the Chinley Churners Cycling Club had organised a Spring Classic tribute Sportive plus a screening of the race afterwards in the Papermill pub, Chinley. Tim was riding the sportive, so I took the chance to get a long point-to-point run in from Glossop to Chinley. I needed about 3 hours or so in my legs, distance to be approx 25km. With my route planned, I managed to recruit fellow Glossopdale Harrier, Zoe, to join me.

Our route took us from Old Glossop, up past Shelf Benches, behind James Thorn, over to Higher Shelf Stone trig point, then along Crooked Clough and to Snake pass summit. The forecast of rain was doing what it should, and so far staying north of us. A stiff Southwesterly breeze was taking care of that, and already giving us a hint of what was to come.

Zoe running up onto the edge of Kinder
As we ran along the flags from Snake summit we spent time trying to find a faint trod off to one side that would, were we to be going that way, get us back down towards Glossop. We think we found the general area....the finer navigation on that one needs some work. The ebb and flow of the paving flags and a steady running pace soon got us to Mill Hill and Zoe's declaration that she was going to run all the way up Kinder corner...which she promptly did, hats off to her! I managed to get to the top without firstly stopping my steady walk pace, and secondly being blown off. The wind was clearly picking up.

I collected Zoe from her sheltered spot behind the cairn and we headed on towards the Downfall, more aptly
Looking back down to Mill Hill from Kinder corner
viewed yesterday as the Upfall. It was doing it's classic thing of being blown straight back up and over the path. Along from Sandy Heys we adopted a comedic style of 'running' which involved guessing where your foot was going to be blown as you attempted to stay on the path - or not as the case was several times! The wind was so strong that we seriously considered linking arms to prevent ourselves ending up in Yorkshire.

A vague lull in the wind enabled us to negotiate our way past the Upfall without getting completely drenched, and found ourselves in a slightly sheltered spot. I felt battered. My legs were going ok, and my lungs. But all over body weariness from fighting against the wind was certainly adding to the challenge of my longest training run to date. I'm pretty sure that each kilometre of our run should be worth 1.5km, from the effort point of view if not actual distance covered.

Picking our way through the rocky undulating path we passed Red Brook, and soon found ourselves at Kinder Low trig point. Next up was some peaty loveliness and heather bashing across to Edale Rocks, then picking up more flagstones down to the path towards Brown Knoll. Thankfully we weren't going the way that the bog-monster lives, but bearing off to the right and over to South Head. By now we'd been going for about 3hrs, therefore my target of a 3hr run had been achieved. So, the decision was made to make our way directly to Chinley and get ourselves a good seat for watching the Paris-Roubaix.

the approach to South Head
a tad windy on top of South Head - check out Zoe's fringe!!
With map in hand (I don't know the paths down off South Head) we fought against the wind some more, down to the fields on the approach to Chinley. At the bottom of the road, just before the Old Hall in Chinley we'd clocked about 25.5km in a wind-challenged 3:44 (moving time of 3:19....did we really faff that long, or were were going backwards in the wind!). Anyway, Job Done on the training front. Time to relax and await Tim's return from the sportive. Many thanks to Zoe, without her company I'm sure the run to Chinley would have been far more of a struggle, and definitely less entertaining.

Thanks to the Chinley Churners Cycling Club and the Old Hall/Paper Mill for a putting on a great event. The buzz in the pub after the sportive was brilliant, as was the very welcome log fire.
Tim's final climb on the sportive
and into the finish he goes, well done, 2:40 I think was his time!


  1. Great post. Duncan and I were the 2 Pennine runners who had a brief chat with you (or tried to over the howling wind), between Sandy Heys and the downfall.

    1. thanks Mark, definitely a wild one, especially where we saw you two!