Looking at my running log from last year during January and February I ran a half marathon distance 4 or 5 times prior to running the Tunbridge Wells race at the end of February.
This year I have ran a couple of 12Kms and yesterdays run of 18.5Km will be my only long run approaching the half marathon distance.
Obviously running the required distance so many times contributed to a great race and my subsequent PB run. This year I know I am not in the shape to challenge my PB time and although I know I haven't run enough long runs I feel I am generally a better runner, stronger and fitter than last year.
So for my long run I tried out a new route to keep me on my toes, I wasn't sure what the exact distance would be but knew it would be at least 15Km
I headed out towards Pages Wood which provided a great wintery back drop, however the gravel paths proved to be more mud then stone and were then quite squelchy and mucky to run on.
Out of the park I headed through Harold Wood and started winding way back homeward. My route took me under the railway that connects London's Liverpool Street station with the Essex outback of Colchester, Chelmsford and beyond.
I soon came across the highlight of my route that I had purposely Incorporated into my run, I thought some stairs would be great to build some extra strength and be a test of my endurance especially after running at least 12Km by this point.