Tag Archives: Hoka

Training this week – Things are going much better

The last post I wrote on my training I was a little down on the lack of running and worried about the ultra in May, as of today I am feeling much better in myself.

This week I have done something (either cycling or running) every day and despite feeling a little sore as I sit here and type, am feeling in good shape. Monday through to Thursday it was the usual cycle commute to and from work, with me covering a total of 94.66 miles for the week. The wind throughout the week added to the challenge of this, in the mornings it was behind me on an essentially down hill route but in the afternoon it would be blowing in my face the whole, uphill return journey (by Thursday evening my legs were battered)

Friday saw me try out running in my lunch break. As time is limited I opted to do a 2 mile speed session, running this in 14:41 with an average pace of 7:16/mi which for me is quick and given my lack of any speed training so far something I was pleased with, this set me up well for the long run on Saturday.

My long run started early with me getting up around 06:30 to get my kit ready and head out as soon as possible. My plan for the day was to run around 20 miles with the minimum kit required for the NDW100 in August. My reasoning for this was in part to get used to the weight of the stuff needed, but also to test out the Ultimate Direction Scott Jurek Race Vest that I would be using for the event (and the NDW50)

This picture shows how much stuff the pack can carry
This picture shows how much stuff the pack can carry

I will go into more detail on the race vest in a separate review, but suffice to say after the unimpressive first run in it last week, I am sold on it now (why in my review)

Setting out at around 07:25 I headed out to join the North Downs Way following my usual route, picking up the NDW just before Gravelly Hill.

Me at Gravelly Hill wearing the SJ Vest
Me at Gravelly Hill wearing the SJ Vest

From Gravelly Hill I headed East along the North Downs Way, stopping as and when to grab some photos not worrying too much on the timing, just enjoying being outside in the sun.

Spring is most certainly here
Spring is most certainly here
Great views, this is why I trail run
Great views, this is why I trail run
Not a cloud in the sky, you could see for miles
Not a cloud in the sky, you could see for miles
Just a phot of some cows
Just a photo of some cows

I carried on east just past what would be Botley Hill checkpoint on the NDW50/100 until I reached just over 10 miles (around Tatsfield), turned around and reversed my route to bring me in a nice 20.


  • Pace wasn’t terrible
  • North Downs Way has dried out significantly
  • SJ pack with a full load in it is awesome
  • Hoka’s didn’t give me blisters on my insteps since taking out the insoles
  • I wasn’t completely shattered at the end


  • Hokas gave me blisters on my big toes instead
  • Could have done with more gels or some solid food
Sore toes from the HokaOneOne Mafate
Sore toes from the HokaOneOne Mafate
With stops excluded the pace was 12:02/mi and a time of 4:04:34
With stops excluded the pace was 12:02/mi and a time of 4:04:34

Wanting to finish the week on a high and get another run in, I went for an easy paced 7 mile run in the mid morning which although still a bit achy from the Saturday wasn’t too bad

Despite not doing a massive amount of running it seems that the cycling and shorter runs have allowed me to maintain the capacity to still do the longer runs, which is comforting. I am not going to rest on my laurels and realise that the 50 in 27 days is still going to be a challenge, but one I am going to give my all to.

The voice

I do have an update that I will post on the last few weeks “training” and a couple of gear reviews, but I have just come in from an 8 mile run (it was meant to be at least 18) and wanted to post my thoughts

I suppose the key reason for posting is that it wasn’t great fun runnin today and as the title suggests the negative voice was doing it’s best to bring me down, and it won. I didn’t have any energy to keep going and as you will see when I upload the data I was slow, with far too much walking.

With the NDW50 only a few weeks away and the longest run I have done so far 13 miles (albeit with another 10 earlier in the day) I am getting distinctly nervous, I do not feel anywhere near as prepared as I was last year.

Lessons Learnt
-Hoka Mafate cannot cope in mud
-Running in Hoka’s I lose the soul of running
-I am bored of the mud on the NDW
-The SJ pack needs more load in it to get a better fit
-Drymax socks are amazing
-GU gels are really thick

The key one here is the Hoka’s, I so want to love them but so far I am struggling, they just don’t feel right and a death traps in muddy conditions. I am doubting myself and whether I will use them on the 50 as despite the Drymax socks working a treat, I still get the feeling that my feet just don’t get on with them (I’ll go into more detail in a full review)

So all in all, a pretty crappy run. I need to get to get my motivation back and get it back sharpish!