jeff galloway · Race to the stones

Newport Marathon 2020

Well, today should have been my 3rd Newport Marathon  instead i’ve been practicing the  marathon to couch plan and I’ve not left the house for 27 days!

I will get my medal, not quite legit but they did a virtual option and said you can do it over more than one run, since lots were concerned about the effect of the immune system and long distance running, so my last two long runs  of 23 miles at the end of Feb and 22 miles two weeks later, have made my marathon!  I do aim to get back into training  as soon as I  can since i’ve I will still have Race to the Stones to complete next year.

So what am I doing, I’ve looked at my BMR and basically if I sit on the couch all day and do hardly any steps, I’m only allowed 1200 calories per day, so currently  taking part in Joe Wicks  morning PE, I then top this up with a walking workout so easy on the knees.  One day I did a 5 mile walk on the spot … my poor shins are starting to suffer.  I did sneak out to the cul de sac to do a 5k on  Saturday, however the GPS struggles in such as  small circle and told me that it took 16 mins for 1st mile, so I went a bit further into street to complete  miles 2 & 3 which I did at 13 min mile, not bad when I’ve not run for 5 weeks.   I have a spin bike on order to mix up my training, I can do some spin to take the strain off my shins some days and also once a week do a long slow circle so I keep my heart rate elevated for 2-3 hours, that will hopefully help when I get back to running .  My Vo2 max has dropped from 39.9 to 38.2!



Newport Marathon has offered a virtual race to complete by end of April and over a number of days, or in October.

We are now in lock down and as i’m in the social shielding group not even able to go out, the Virtual option is a no no, and as i’m not sure even when I will be able to get out it could be 6 months not sure if October is even feasible.  While regular short exercise improves immune system, long distance decreases it so don’t really want to  over do it.

So at the moment my exercise is Joe Wick school PE , lots thought since aimed at primary school children it would be easy.. nope I found muscles in my legs that I’ve not used for a long time! I’ve also done some other Utube videos, a Tai Chi, A yoga, A Zumba and a 30 min fast walk.  I found the wi step hiding so being doing some up down steps while watching TV, just got to remember to change my leading leg.  I tried fast walk around my postage stamp of a garden and after 30 mins I hit a mile, hopefully I did more and just not enough room to record the GPS.

jeff galloway

Only 1 more long run to go before the marathon!

22 miles today, my legs didn’t want to go any further.   I planned my route on strava, it’s a bit fiddly getting it onto my watch.  Plan the route, then export GPX, save file to my google drive, then go to phone app for Suunto, find file in drive and download and send to watch!

They were tempting danish pastries bought yesterday so I had one of those for breakfast, followed by orange juice with some added iron and a vitamin B tablet.  Planned to go 15:15 today with jeffing.


Mile 2 I nearly tripped over a rabbit it must have been ill being in the middle of the road. Then I got to to the spot where the road is sometimes flooded, yes it was flooded, normally it is just over ankle deep so off I go, it starts getting deeper and deeper and it’s over my knees.  Then as i’m wading through I notice a delivery van attempt to enter the lane, I’m glad he stopped otherwise I would have been drenched head to toe if he tried to go past. So it was quite squelchy  for the next few miles and my leggins had dried out by mile 13


Most of my route is rural so didn’t see many people out and about, and a bit hiller than I planned.

Tried some different food today, 4 scoops of tailwind as normal, banana baby food and some boiled potatoes with a sprinkling of salt, which went down a treat.

Cut the run short since my legs  and feet hurt but son and husband met me at mile 20 and I kept Jeffing all the way to mile 22, so no long walks.


Home and time to refuel, start with my tailwind rebuild, with almond milk.  Then topped up with some cheese on toast.

Bath time and weleda arnica bath milk and magnesium salts, then a relax in bed, though not so relaxing because Lexi though she would use me as a scratching post.






jeff galloway

Stormy weather is still here!!

Had enough of the wet weather now, there’s not any routes to escape running through puddles!

Low milage this week to recover from my long run last week.  Ran around the outside of the track while my son trained. Faster than normal since I had others to run with.  Friday was the Severn Bridge night run, a local group Rogeruns do some fab night runs, I’ve only done the bridge runs, since think I’m too slow for the others but can imagine as soon as my son is 15 I will be taking him to the trail ones.

While the weather was not as atrocious as 2018 when I did it, it was pretty bad, wind hit you on the side in both directions, and you got drenched whenever a lorry passed! My waterproofs – Ron Hill Jacket and Salomon bottoms kept me dry though, ever if I was a bit too warm.



jeff galloway · Race to the stones

Stormy Weather

So we’ve had storm Ciara followed by Storm Dennis,  but I’ve managed to get in a 20 mile and 23 mile long run in the last 3 weeks, unfortunately my shorter runs seem to be lacking.

My 20 mile run was planned to try and avoid any potential tree branches coming my way,  also a stop at the wetlands for a coffee top up that was much appreciated since by mile 8 I wanted to go home, but a coffee and cake stop had me going faster the 2nd half.

My 23 mile route was planned in the hope I would avoid the flooding (nope wet socks by mile 2.5) , also miles 3- 13 I had a head wind, overall there was very little tail wind.  I also managed to not be able to find my gymboss, so I ended up counting 15:15 not something I would recommend.   I was out for 5.5 hours , quite tough on my own  so mentally it was tough, with the added blisters from wet socks.

Lots more chatter on the facebook boards now as the event gets closer.  The ‘extras’  are now bookable, so I’ve decided to get the shuttle from the finish to the start.  I’ve booked the 6am shuttle, so I hope this will get me to the start on time, it’s hard to judge since I don’t know my start time yet, but I’m thinking I will be one of the later starters.  Though the 6am shuttle will mean I need to leave home just after 4.30am.. Yikes.

I’m reading lots of blogs that others have written to gain advice, most of the blogs are from the straight throughers, I’ve found one of the two day but she went home for the night so comfy bed, but did mention that the others mentioned how little sleep they got camping.. hmmm perhaps I should have just gone the straight through.






jeff galloway · Race to the stones

Training plans have been released !!


Yikes its getting real that I’ve signed up for this, the 16 week training plan has been released and the facebook forums  are full of chatter about which shoes, which hydration pack.

I caught back up to my marathon plan last week with my ’50th’ park run then I got dropped off 10 miles from home, so feeling happier now.  I’m sticking to my Jeff Galloway marathon plan until the marathon then swapping to the Race To The Stones training and back to back runs, the RTTS official plan goes up to 30k back to back two weeks before so I need to compare that to a JG plan to see what I prefer.

I’ve also been tracking my diet and it seems very low in iodine, which can cause issues especially since I eat a lot of broccoli , so going to take some kelp supplements for a month and see if I notice any difference.


jeff galloway

‘Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go’

Well its 2 weeks into the new year and  now I’m panicking, I’m behind schedule, I should be running 13 miles by now but still only up to 6.  I had the lovely virus that’s going around and stopped me running for 2 weeks.  I have managed fast dog walks and last night was my first run since the 29th December, I had already entered so not an easy choice the Bath Skyline 10k  a 10k trail night run.  It was a 2 lap course so I had said if I finished lap one before 50 minutes, I would do lap 2!  Lap 1 in just over 45 minutes so 2 laps it was.  It was a mixture of gravel tracks, open fields, pavement, rocky forest paths, narrow tracks and very muddy paths.  The first lap I didn’t Jeff, but used the rest at the bottleneck points to rest, second lap I did 120 second run and 20 second rest. I managed to keep my shoes on the first time when I hit the muddy trail, 2nd time I took a slight detour left of the track.  My main difficulty was my eye sight despite a head and chest torch since I was on my own in many places with no one to follow I couldn’t see the track easily.


Time is flying past

The last few weeks while I’ve managed dog walks, I don’t seem to have any time for running, so its week 11 of my training plan. I’ve only managed 10 runs in the first 10 weeks of my training, I should be up to 13 miles now, but not ran more than 10k.  Time for some serious me time to catch up, though not sure where I will fit that in!

Previous years I’ve also done a spin class per week but due to work, I’ve cancelled the Gym, so have to find an alternative cross training class do to Jeff says Aqua Running so may try that in our local pool.

I’m going to concentrate on the Marathon first of all, with some runs back to back to  practice running on tired legs and then some trail runs, I think I will leave the decision to which shoes trail or road for the Ultra until nearer the time, reviews of the race say if its been dry take road since you will need the cushioning, I see some people take both but they  either run in lightweight compact shoes/ or have a crew so can take both.


jeff galloway

Week 1

Typically week 1 was half term, so not much running!  We did a fast 6 mile trail hike on the Monday with the dog then a long slow run of 11 miles on the weekend.

Based on the magic mile my long run pace should be 15 mins 27 sec.   I’m not sure that I can slow down that far but today did a ratio or 20:20 and an average pace of  13 mins 40 seconds.

I had porridge  and a coffee for breakfast about an hour before I went out, then a sachet of baby food about 80 mins into my run.  I took two 500ml soft flasks of water with a scoop of tailwind in each, but only drank about 250ml.  But its good practice carrying the weight.

Heart rate was high for the majority of the run around 185 going up to 215 at some points, however I was never ‘ huffing or puffing’ I could still comfortablly chat!  My watch  has had a software upgrade and one new feature is VO2 max, not sure how accurate a wrist based devise will be but mine is 31 which for my age is good.