AS I was running across a blustery moor-top on Saturday afternoon, being pelted in the face with hail, it suddenly hit me: I’m sure this is usually much harder.

I’ve not done a lot of running this year, but the realisation that a half-marathon I’ve entered is now weeks away, rather than months, forced me into action.

Last time out three weeks ago was hard work, a fast five miles on the road. But on Saturday, eight miles up hill and down dale around Osmotherley on the North York Moors seemed much more manageable.

Granted, I wasn’t going anywhere near as fast, and I did have a couple of photo stops, and one enforced hold-up while I dodged some well-meaning walkers trying to “rescue” a seemingly-stranded lamb (it would have been fine).

But the terrain was tough and the conditions challenging.

Conclusion: The training with Team Paragon is taking effect.

I put this to Stephen in the gym and he explained that the work we’ve been doing will allow me to generate more force with my running, and this really was how it felt.

I often feel like a big heavy carthorse when I’m jogging (and sometimes when I’m not jogging) but on Saturday I certainly had more spring in my step.

The first of last week’s two training sessions was lower-body, and started with plenty of split squats, going from no weights to 5kg then 7.5kg dumbbells.

After this it was Nordic leg curls alternated with 100kg leg presses. These felt okay at the time, but over the next few days, as my quads got tighter and tighter, I could tell how much they had worked. Particularly when going down the stairs at work, or trying to get up off the sofa at home.

Then it was into cardio corner to the bikes for a short, sharp shock – four minutes of pedalling with the resistance up fairly high, fairly fast, followed by a two-minute rest, repeated three times.

Two days later, it was time for an upper body session, so we started with arm presses with 5kg then 7.5kg dumbbells, alternated with seated chest pulls.

Four times through, then onto more arm presses, this time from a more laid-back position, alternated with rowing chest pulls. We finished with some face pulls.

The next day was my run, and the pleasant surprise of feeling fit, strong and powerful – which definitely makes you feel like sticking to the training when the hard work starts paying off.