Training begins – snow runs

In my last post Six Months In I mentioned that I had some big running plans for 2013. For a little while now I have been toying with the idea of running the Juan de Fuca coastal trail that I hiked with Karina and Richard for four days last summer.

Stunning views whilst hiking the JDF last summer

I ocassionaly run with a guy named Pat who I met through a mutal friend out here. Unfortunately we have had to keep it ocassional as we have both been recovering from injuries. For me it was first my calves and then almost immediately followed by a fall which hurt my back, for Pat it was shin and then foot pain. While we were both off training we were exchanging messages and realised that we are in similar situations running wise – both suffering from injuries but both wanting to overcome these teething problems and become serious runners.

A few weeks ago we tentatively went for out first run together in a while. It was great to be running again and having someone in the same boat to share experiences, injury woes and tips with. I mentioned to Pat my idea of running the JDF in the hope that he might be interested in running it with me. He was sold instantly! We penciled in a date of the 1st May.

The JDF trail is 47km long and one person who has run it described it as a “saw blade” of constant climbs and descents. It’s not going to be easy to run by any means, with an “O.K.” completion time of around 8 hours this is bigger than anything either of us has done before. It is a big undertaking for both of us with a lot of training and a lot of learning ahead, but one which we are really excited about.

I have created a rough training schedule (all distances are in kilometers) which increases distance each week and will take me up to a long run distance of 38km in a little under 3 months time. I am also going to work in interval training once a week and the schedule doesn’t yet have rest days, as I am going to play this by ear by listening to my body and resting when needed. If an injury crops up and either of us has to back off the training for a while then we will need to reassess things and possibly delay the run, but there’s nothing like a goal like this for motivation!

Upwards in the snow, I was still able to follow the trail at this point

This was my second week of following the training schedule and things are going well. At the weekend I went for my long run in the snow covered Cumberland hills, which turned out to be one hell of a workout! I had been up the week before and though the snow was deep it was hard enough to run on top of. This week it was softer which meant every step had to be carefully placed as my feet sank, sometimes the snow coming up to thigh level. The hill I had selected to run was more of a scramble in the snow and I eventually lost the trail in a sea of white, which meant turning around. It was good fun running down with the deep snow cushioning each step and I was able to get some good speed. As I broke below the snowline the terrain became sturdy and it was great to run hard through winding trails, splashing through puddles of snow melt… this is going to be fun.


Hi, call me Joe. I am a traveller, a runner, a beer drinker, a film lover, a web developer, a hiker and not a very good darts player. I am from the UK, have a BSc in Computer Science from Cardiff University and currently live in Canada.



about 8 years ago

Well I guess that this is one way to get your highs but you are welcome to it! I prefer a slower pace.



about 8 years ago

Nothing against a slower pace. I actually first tried trail running when I figured that I could combine two of my favourite this - hiking in the great outdoors and running. I have always loved hiking - especially in the mountains but I also realised that when by myself I like to go at a pretty good pace. That's not to say I don't like to stop and smell the roses but I always preferred the rush of seeing what my body was capable of. So trail running for me was a logical next step - while my body is still up for it that is!


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