Eight Point Two

Going ULTRA…
February 19, 2015, 11:56 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Progress continues…

A good few months ago James and Tonya won our ‘0 to 30 in 10 months’ competition. The aim was to train an ultra novice (and in Tonya’s case a running novice) to complete the Dig Deep Peak District ‘Intro Ultra’ a 30 mile trail race with 1388 metres of ascent (that’s more than the height of Ben Nevis!!!) in August 2015.

James and Tonya’s aims were very different. James already had a good level of running fitness while Tonya really was starting from scratch. Dave Taylor (Fellrunning Guide) and Ian Loombe (race director for Dig Deep) got together and begun to piece together the year ahead. Never wanting to work too far ahead Dave Taylor set about writing a programme based on getting both of them to their 1st race in 2015. The Resolution Run, organised by 8.2 (www.eightpointtwo.co.uk ), at Rother Valley offers 2 distance trail races (6km and 12km) and was an ideal first target.

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Both James and Tonya were bang on target with James wanting to hold his own in the 12k race and Tonya wanting to run (and not walk) the majority of the 6k race.

Inevitably the training has been a bit broken in past weeks as the weather has played its part and the inevitable winter niggles crept in… Here’s what they had to say when we caught up with them recently:


What do you enjoy about training

Knowing that every time I’m out training I’m a step closer to my goal and achieving more than I thought I could.

What don’t you enjoy about training

When it’s so windy you feel like you can’t breathe!

The lows, so far…

That has to be now, being ill and having a dodgy ankle. It’s so frustrating as I want to be training but can’t, it feels like such a setback. At least it’s happened both together so hopefully I’ll get it over and done with in one go.

The high points, so far

Completing the 6km Resolution Run, with only a couple of walk breaks along the way. The furthest I’ve run so far, ever!

Does it help having a training plan?

Yes, definitely! I’m completely out of my comfort zone when it comes to running so I need guidance to make sure I’m doing the right amount of training at the right time. I’d be lost without a plan.

Does it help having a goal?

Yes! Having a goal keeps me motivated, it gives me something to aim for and keeps me dedicated.


Do you feel on track to complete the race?

To complete it yes, but I feel like I have a lot of work to do to complete it comfortably and be happy with it. That’s why it’s great to have Dave & Ian helping with the training and tips.

Cheers guys!


What you enjoy about training

I have enjoyed having structure to my running, which is something that I have never had before. In the past I have always run when I felt like it, rather than with a plan. So the instruction on what to do and where are great! Seeing a gradual improvement in my running is also exciting. Lots more training to come and I am sure its going to get harder! Dave has also so far given sensible amounts of training that I can fit in around family and work life!

What you don’t enjoy about training

When I miss a session or if I don’t perform as well as I had hoped or was supposed to during the session. Having my Suunto has helped me so I can be sure I am on track without having to grab my phone out of my bag. Balancing training with taking my dog out is a challenge – he always wants to come running with me, but some sessions just don’t work with him as he prefers to chase rabbits than run with me for the ‘fast’ sections of the training for example.

The lows, so far

Have had a couple of niggling injuries that have slowed me down a bit or stopped me training when I wanted to. Struggling to get my nutrition in order, which is frustrating me! Old habits are hard to change and selling cakes/sweet treats doesn’t help matters! lol. Longing for the lighter mornings as finding it impossible to get out early in the dark before work – lost my head torch as well so saving for a new one! No early morning or night runs for a while!

The high points, so far

Seeing and feeling the improvements in my endurance since starting the training plan and finishing 6th in the Resolution Run with what I thought was a good time for me!

Does it help having a training plan?

Definitely 100% – I have thought a couple of times what would of happened if I had entered without winning the competition. Not sure I would of even really started training yet so extremely pleased to have Dave and Ian as my coaching team! I am learning all of the time and just want to get a nutrition plan built alongside my training, then I will be really on track for where I want to be!

Does it help having a goal?

It helps with motivation having goals to work towards with obviously the main race being the ultimate goal, but also other targets and races in the build up to the main race day, including races and nav training/recee  days etc.


Do you feel on track to complete the race?

Much more so that we met up for the photo shoot in Hathersage late last year! It was a little overwhelming then, but now I feel that I have a plan for building up to the race and that the support you guys are giving me will get me there! I want to compete in the race and my target is to finish in a good position as well as making sure I complete the full course!



Photo: Summit Fever Media

As the last patches of snow start to disappear the trails are getting greener and Spring is most definitely on its way. Gloves and hats can be put back into the pack and time to dig out those sunglasses, well … almost! It’s hard not to enjoy Christmas and New Year and runners training programmes for their 2015 race schedule are kicking into action. Those first few long runs are always the tough ones but the rewards are just as great. 2015 looks to see some exciting new kit on the horizon, Mammuts trail running range is set to develop further and Ultimate Direction continue to push the boundaries of running pack design. As well as starting your training plan it’s a good time to get out all your running kit and have a proper sort out. Those well used shoes with your toes poking out probably justify a new pair, they’ll come in handy when you want to paint that room in the house that you promised you’d do. Lightweight waterproofs and wind proofs are ideal as the days get longer and the temperatures start to rise. An easy way to improve your times in races, whatever level you are is to reduce the weight of the kit that you’re carrying. Why not fill your pack as you would normally for a race, weigh it with some luggage scales or bathroom scales. Now flick through the pages on Outside, finding the lightest alternative for each piece of kit you’ve got in your pack (including the pack!). Add up this weight and see what the difference is, don’t forget, if you weighed your pack originally with water or nutrition to include this too (1L=1Kg). If you’re lucky there won’t be much difference, but you might find a big one – then you can work out what pieces of kit will give you the best weight saving. New kit, whether it’s a new pack or a pair of socks will help encourage you to get out and train. Don’t miss out on those bargains too, there are plenty to be had, check you the Outside bargain area and look for special offers. Happy New Year from all the Dig Deep team and welcome to 2015! Dig Deep Peak District: Ultra Tour of the Peak Distict Peak Trails Intro Ultra 12.12 Whirlow 10km Dig Deep Suffolk: Ultra Tour of Suffolk Suffolk Trails Intro Ultra Rendlesham 20km Rendlesham Dash