Monday, 2 April 2012

Great running in the Brecon Beacons

We were staying with family for a week in the Brecon Beacons and I managed to get in two really good runs.

The Pan-y-Fan skyline was visible from the house and just called out to be run. I looked at the 1:50k map and guessed to to be about a 13 mile round trip.
The Pan y Fan skyline (ascent was out of shot on the left)

The run started off with a nice jog along the Mormouthshire & Brecon Canal before switching to nice country lanes through the idyllic village of Llanfrynach an up into the hills. The Ascent up Gist Wen was just the right angle to be able to run the majority of it.
Looking back down the ridge I had just climbed.
Brecon is in the distance, to the left of the shot

The view across the skyline with Pan y Fan in the distance

Once on the top it was a beautiful, undulating run over to Pan y Big and on to the main peak of Pan y Fan. It was a couple of hours before I saw another soul but once near the summit there were plenty of folks hanging around enjoying the views, eating lunch and supping coffee. The steep, technical descent was good fun and then it was back onto lanes to take me back into Brecon.

The run turned out to be 19 miles. I went out with no food at all and started to bonk around 13.5 miles. By the time I arrived back I was in a bad way, standing in the kitchen making a cuppa I was shaking and felt like I was about to pass out. Food and sugary tea had me feeling human again. Aside from the lack of fuel my body felt great though.
The beautiful Mormouthshire & Brecon Canal
The second run was and out and back along the canal on another stunning day. The plan was to take it easy but, as pretty as it was, running along a canal is pretty boring. I found myself running at a reasonable pace to the 5.5 mile point, where I thought I should probably turn around. As soon as I headed back I thought I would spice things up by trying to do the return leg faster than the outward leg. I pushed the pace harder and harder until I did the last mile (mile 11) in sub 7min/mile. It was one of those magical runs where everything just felt effortless.

What a confidence boost these runs where. I've been telling myself that I have lost my fitness. These runs told me that my everything is fine.

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