Running a Long Distance Footpath (not all of it :-) )

Running a Long Distance Footpath (not all of it :-) )

Since day one of starting this C25K programme all I've really wanted to do was go for a run. Never mind races, pacing, timing or distance (I admit I got distracted by all of that!); I just dreamed of putting on my shoes and running on the sort of path or trail that I would previously have walked.

So today I did just that; I took the opportunity to run along one of Scotland's LDPs (Long Distance Footpaths) as a one-way route.

I ran 16 km along the Speyside Way (in Moray) from Ballindalloch to Aberlour, passing several distilleries along the way. I'm not a whisky drinker, but I do like the smell of the stuff and you certainly get a whiff as you pass the distilleries close to the path. This straightforward section of the Speyside Way mostly follows the bed of the old railway line and therefore is pretty level, if very muddy in some sections. It also follows the River Spey, with great views of the river in places. The path passes several old stations, some of which are now residential properties and some are standing empty.

The track was particularly muddy from about 10km to 14km and I hadn't realised just how much this slowed me until I hit the harder, drier surface at about 14km and felt I was flying (by comparison) for the last 2 kilometres!

Last night I'd checked the 'net to find where there was a cafe in Aberlour to wait for my hubby, who was working near Ballindalloch and who would meet me at Aberlour when I'd finished. I'd found one and this cafe had shared a menu on their webpage, listing, among other things, All Day Breakfast with pancakes, crispy bacon and maple syrup. I must admit the thought of that kept me going when I was tiring somewhat about half an hour before I finished.

I arrived at the cafe with my running shoes completely caked in mud and mud splattered up to my knees. Thank goodness I was wearing cropped tights and could wash some of this off in the toilets! I was amazed to see my Garmin said I'd burned 1125 calories (I've never looked at the calories figure before). I remembered someone on this site speaking about calorie-deficit from running and I ordered and tucked into my pancakes and bacon with delight - and a clear conscience!

With arriving in Aberlour in the rain and going straight to the cafe I didn't do any post-run stretching at all and fear I'll really pay for this tomorrow. I'm feeling pretty stiff tonight.


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26 Replies

  • Awesome this is what its all about! ;)

  • Aye, I knew *you* agree. And I admit I was envious of your past two weekend long runs and spurred on to try this.

  • It sounds like a great route and I'm a little envious myself! I've got my eyes on the Hadrian's wall national trail now. However at 84 miles long I might have to break it down into little sections :)

  • I have a few other sections of the Speyside Way I'd like to try, especially those sections near Aviemore where the way goes through the Caledonian Pinewoods.

  • Wow that's amazing. Given that you graduated in September 2012 could you share what methods you have been using to increase your distance from 5K to 16K in such a short space of time? I'm in awe!

  • I was sort of following the Bupa 10K plan:

    but substituting one 30 min session each week for the 5K+ Speed and one for Stamina podcasts.

    The long, slow runs are supposed to increase by about 10% each week, but like another C25K graduate, who I'll not name, but who posted here ^^ ;-) I cheated. I was running 6K by the end of Week 9 (now *that* was not all my fault, as I joined a organised run to launch the 5x50 plan. It was supposed to be 5k, but was in fact 5.9!). Then I ran about 7, 8, 9 km and pushed it to 11 km last week. I knew today was a big jump, but I was prepared to walk for the last 3 km if necessary, But I'm not advocating anyone else does as I do!

    I was a fit hillwalker and mountain biker before starting this plan and since doing the 5x50 Challenge (walk, cycle or run 5km every day for 50 days), I've done a lot more cross training with 20 - 40 km bike rides some weeks.

  • Fantastic stuff, you seem to be thriving on the challenge.

  • Good morning Swanscot. You are one of my all time C25K and beyond heroes. Your run sounds amazing, the whiff from the distilleries, the very mames of the places you mention sound so, so...wonderfully Scottish, all mist and beauty. Lucky, lucky you. And mmmm, the food from the café sounds sooooo comforting. Good on you Swanscot xox delia

  • If I've continued another 3km I would have run "Ballindalloch to Craigellachie" which rolls off the tongue even better (especially when you roll your r's!) But I've have missed my breakfast, as Criagellachie is a tiny village and with no promise of a cafe!

  • I love your blog post, what an achievement. I'm a little jealous as I'm in Surrey, and don't have quite the scenery that you have (although we have some lovely places too).

    It sounds like a fabulous route and having someone meet you (and a good feed in the meantime) sounds like you planned it all just right. I hope you don't ache too much, hopefully you had a good soak, which will have helped.

    I'm in awe, I'm going to join the fan club Delia has started :-)

  • Wonderful read; it makes me want to get on the train now.

  • This is the stuff that dreams are made of (my dreams anyway!)

  • And mine !

  • I'm completely speechless... not mention homesick at the mention of all these lovely places...

    'Well done' sounds totally inadequate, I think I'd better just join the fan club Delia started too. :-)

  • Me too, Swanscot, amazing stuff!

  • Oh, I used to spend all my summers at Grantown-on-spey. My dad was a keen flyfisher, and when it was too sunny we used to go round the distilleries. What a wonderful blog, and well done for an amazing and inspiring run :)

  • Not all of the Speyside Way will be such a brilliant run - some sections have steep climbs and/or are along even muddier forest tracks - but the section from Aviemore to Grantown would be good. I'd love to run. I've cycled it and would love to run it some day,

  • What a fab post, that sounds like a great route and the prospect of that well deserved scrummy sounding post run meal must have been a great help.

    I must admit my usual favourite 6 or 8 mile loop has become a bit boring, I struggled this morning (tired legs after horse riding lesson yesterday didnt help!).

    I have been trying to find new interesting local routes (that accommodate my running buddy, "Boy" the Bedlington Terror too!), main problem is the lack of a "back up team" and suitable eateries!

  • That is a brilliant run, in every sense. Well done. We have similar trails here in the Peak District (Monsal & Tissington Trails) and South Yorkshire (Trans Pennine Trail) and I'm working towards them. I cycle them regulaly and need to up my game to running them!!

  • I've seen videos of the Monsal Trail. One of my hiking blogger contacts, Terry Abraham, has make several videos for Let's Stay Peak District including one of the Monsal Trail:

  • That was great! Really well put together and very watchable, a great advert for the Peak District!

  • That's a great video. The Monsal Trail is really good, especially now the tunnels have re-opened. I can personally vouch for the Hassop Station cafe too, especially their bacon rolls!!! Calories? Phooey!

  • I grew up in Derby and remember with fondness all these great places, my favourite being Deepdale, at the top the views across the valleys, the bottom the lovely walk by the river and the waterfall. Hmm :-)

  • Great blog swanscot! Sounds like a lovely run, no pressure, just running free and enjoying it! Heaven! Hope you're not aching too much!

  • Lovely read and smashing run Swanscot, I've walked and cycled Speyside Way many times and love it. Breakfast was well earned and I hope you enjoyed every mouth full.

  • Oooh, that sounds like the perfect day, Swanscot.

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