Distance: 18km. Time: 1h45. Pace: 5.50/km.
Written by: Clinton


The training plan dictated a 17Km long run, but as we looked out of the window,  the puddles and rain drop splashes confirmed that it was pouring it down! Do we have to go? YES! of course the training plan dictates it! The mist was almost impenetrable.

This was actually our first long training run in the rain, and Jess swapped her Newton trainers for Inov8 trail shoes with a bit more grip, just in case there was mud or wet leaves. A wise choice as it happened!

We started on our usual route along the Dollis Valley Green Walk, 3Km or so, before starting on our diversion: This was my idea to add some interest to what had previously been simply an out and back route. I’d hoped to find similar secluded but well established paths in a loop round to Totteridge  where we could rejoin the green walk.


As you can see from the photo this was actually 1-2km of pure mud, and we slipped everywhere. Unsurprisingly our pace slowed considerably, to pretty much a walk and we bailed from the full diversion I’d planned and made a break for the nearest tarmac. We exited the mud bath by some really nice houses and a cricket ground.

Because we’d cut short the diversion we ‘had’ to add a further loop north from Totteridge. This was no problem, I really liked this part of the run – it has wide open space and it is usually the point where we start heading home.

As part of our marathon plan, we intended to start using energy gels to try and avoid hitting the wall or bonking. This had actually happened to me on the Lakeland Trails marathon years ago, an experience I was extremely keen to avoid. So we tried the SIS Isotonic energy gels: pink grapefruit and apple. Tasty and reasonably well tolerated. Will keep trying different brands for variety / race preference.

This was the end of a 38.5Km week for me and a spectacular 46.7km week for Jess.