Eight Point Two


Ultra marathon nutrition

We have now finished filming the 2nd in our series of three films following the training plans of three athletes who are all competing in the Ultra tour of the Peak District this June 21st/22nd.  This month we have been talking about the effects of nutrition on the body when competing in something as physically and mentally challenging as an ultra marathon.  Nutrition seems to be a minefield and in every article you read on it, you will find something that contradicts everything you have been taught.

The overriding message from listening to Sally, Amy and Matty’s opinions seems to be – listen to your body, and just use common sense.  Stay away from processed food on the whole – stick to meals that you make yourself from scratch but make sure that you treat yourself from time to time.  Interestingly both Sally and Amy mentioned that when they are racing in ultras, food becomes something to look forward to – something that drives you on to the next checkpoint, a reward for your efforts.   I have definitely found that when you are going through a low point in a race and you still have a long long way to go, the thought of launching myself on the food at the next checkpoint always picks me up…vulture.

Amy talked about how she likes making her own energy food and views gels as a last resort, Sally switches between both making her own and snacking on food such as Running Food’s Chia Charge and Matty is a huge fan of Torq gels as a source of immediate energy but also as it can bring the weight of his pack down.  I think it is very easy to get bogged down in reading various articles and following new superfood trends, and it is easy to forget that everybody is different.  What works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for everybody.  Some people crave sugar when running and others need savoury.   It’s also important to take into account what you find easy to digest – the last thing you want to worry about when you are 30 miles into a 60 mile race is your digestion playing up – there isn’t much to hide behind on Stanage Edge!

A tip I was given before my first ultra was to make sure to hydrate well before the race – and to actively go out of my way to drink way more water from about three days before hand.  With hindsight it seems quite obvious but then it didn’t even cross my mind to start hydrating before I was was even thirsty.   According to a few articles I’ve read we should be looking at drinking around 3 litres of water a day  (it seems to vary from researcher to researcher), just during a normal working day, how many of us can say we drink that much?!  It takes quite a lot of effort and a lot of bathroom trips to drink 5 pints!

Sally mentioned one thing that stuck in my mind, and that is that she makes sure she eats a colourful diet – that is one lesson that I had been taught years ago but i’d forgotten whilst being preoccupied trying to cram as many superfoods onto my plate as possible!

Possibly one of the driving forces for me was something Matty mentioned:  the great thing about running in ultras is that you are able to pig out at the end of them – 60 miles for as much macaroni cheese as I can eat – ok then!

Hope you enjoy the film and good look with the training…

 

It’s only 40 days until the Dig Deep Peak District

– still time to book yourself onto a race!  We have everything from a 60 mile to a 10k to choose from!

 

 

 

Trail races and ultra marathons in Suffolk

Check out our latest addition to the Dig Deep Race Series: Dig Deep Suffolk, 6th&7th September 2014.

Featuring 4 fantastic trail races through Suffolk:

5.5 mile Rendlesham Dash Suffolk Trail Race starts at 10:30am on Sunday 7th September £13.00

20KM Rendlesham Suffolk Trail race starts at 10:15am on Sunday 7th September £17.00

28 mile Suffolk Trail ‘Intro Ultra’ starts at 10am on Saturday 6th September £40.00

50 mile: ULTRA Tour of Suffolk (Suffolk trail ultra marathon) starts at 8am on Saturday 6th September £55.00

 

 

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James Adams to Speak at the Dig Deep series

We would like to introduce another elite ultra runner who will be speaking at both the Dig Deep Peak District and the Dig Deep Suffolk event.  James Adams is a popular figure in the ultra running world and you may have come across him in one of the many ultra running forums or heard about his epic run across America.  He has just released his first book to brilliant reviews, which, incidentally you can find on amazon here 😉 So without further ado I will let James introduce himself…

James Adams Running and Stuff

James Adams Running and Stuff

 

Hi. My name is James and I am a fairly normal person with a regular body and regular mind. I have however completed some endurance challenges that some might find extraordinary. I have run 150 miles in one go several times, run 200 marathons and ultra marathons and a couple of years ago ran across the USA, from Los Angeles to new York.  3200 miles in 70 days, that’s 45 miles a day in what was the worst heatwave in living memory. People say “you must be mentally tough to get through that kind of thing” and I agree, you must be. However I certainly don’t believe I am any more mentally resilient that the next guy. I get upset and angry and paranoid and jealous just like we all do. However I do believe I have some valuable insight into what goes on in the human mind when trying to complete endurance challenges. I have been running ultra marathons for seven years and studying psychology for three and I have made it my mission to try and join the two together. I will be presenting a story of what I have learned about the human brain while running. When I started ultra running I didn’t appreciate that I will be participating in an intense and long term psychological study of on. I think anyone studying psychology should spend a summer running across the States as I reckon you learn more about the human brain while puking your guts up on the side of a road in New Mexico than you would in a lecture theatre.  The talk is going to be a combination of the stuff I have run and what I learned about my brain in the process, including;

  • What motivates it in general and throughout a race
  • How to deal with stress and paranoia that will attack you in a race
  • What to do when the task feels overwhelming, or boring, or pointless?
  • How to use your mental training to deal with novel event that might pop up in races
  • Some general tricks on making yourself feel awesome

Ultimately I hope to answer the question “Why I bother?”

I have also written a book about my adventures over the last few years. Running and Stuff is available on amazon.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Running-Stuff-James-Adams-ebook/dp/B00J2E4OO8/ref=as_li_tf_mfw?&linkCode=wey&tag=runningandstu-21

My blog is here www.runningandstuff.com



Ultra Running Training – keep it interesting!

Keep things interesting.

Sticking to a structured ultra marathon training plan, running the same routes at the same times of day can get really monotonous and hard to keep up. You see the same views, jump over the same puddles and if you’re not careful it can become more like a chore and less like fun. With a long lead up to a race, like the Ultra Tour of the Peak District (90Days) or The Ultra Tour of Suffolk (5 months) that original training plan can seem like a curse.. or worse still… boring.

 

Before you tear up that carefully crafted training plan and slam dunk it into the nearest bin just take a moment to think. Try taking your runs to different places, somewhere you’ve not been before. This new experience will boost your enthusiasm, your confidence and it’s always great to continue the search for “the perfect trail”. You never know what you might find, perhaps a view you never knew about or a hill that’s much better for hill reps than the ‘bump’ that you were believing was a hill. Trail running is meant to be fun, it’s meant to test you and let you forget the everyday stuff.

Parkin Clough

Root hopping on Parkin Clough

It’s not just excitement that new routes can bring you, venturing into the unknown will help hone your navigation skills, forcing you to use that map & compass instead of taking it as a token on your regular trail run. Perhaps it will bring into perspective where your nav skills are, allowing you to top them up where needed. Don’t forget, you can save minutes on race day easily by sharpening that nav – it’s not just fitness that will affect your time!

 

 

If you’re limited to where you can train and going somewhere new is more tricky, there are other ways to freshen things up. Why not run your route in the other direction, try it in the dark and at other times of day. Find a running partner, run with your dog, your neighbours dog (ask them first) – listen to an audio book, learn a language … you get the picture.

ultra marathon training

Running at Night can change your perspective of a route

 

So next time you’re feeling the boredom monster knocking at your door, think of something new for your next run, it’ll put a smile on your face and a spring in your step!

 

 

 

 

Trail races and ultra marathons in Suffolk

Check out our latest addition to the Dig Deep Race Series: Dig Deep Suffolk, 6th&7th September 2014.

Featuring 4 fantastic trail races through Suffolk:

5.5 mile Rendlesham Dash Suffolk Trail Race starts at 10:30am on Sunday 7th September £13.00

20KM Rendlesham Suffolk Trail race starts at 10:15am on Sunday 7th September £17.00

28 mile Suffolk Trail ‘Intro Ultra’ starts at 10am on Saturday 6th September £40.00

50 mile: ULTRA Tour of Suffolk (Suffolk trail ultra marathon) starts at 8am on Saturday 6th September £55.00

 



92 Days To go…#DigDeepPeakDistrict !!

There is now 92 days to go until the UTPD trail ultra marathon and Amy has sent us her latest training installment.  You’ll be seeing a bit more of Amy in our next film where the emphasis will be on nutrition, which I’m sure many of you will agree is a bit of a minefield! There is so much information out there it’s hard to know where to start and what is right for one person isn’t always the best thing for another.  So hopefully our next film might be able to give you an idea on where to start and also an insight into how other athletes eat.  Happy training this weekend and now over to Amy…

trail running races in the peak district

“I’ve just finished the 12th week of my 25 week training plan for the UTPD, which has been a 60 mile week.  The whole plan looked really daunting when I stuck it on the wall at the end of last year, so it’s really satisfying to see I’ve now nearly reached the halfway point!

I’ve been really enjoying my long runs over the past few weekends. I think this is in part due to improving weather (a little bit of sun does a lot for morale!) and also part due to the fact that I have been noticing improvement in my performance – I feel like I’m hurting less and recovering faster than before and it’s good to think that my hard work is taking effect!

Amy Freeman, training for UTPD, in Mammut

Amy Freeman, training for UTPD, in Mammut

I ran my first long race of the year this weekend, the 32 mile Haworth Hobble, and I really enjoyed it. My first ultra was the Dig Deep Intro last July, which took me 7 hours to complete. The Hobble has similar elevation and is 2 miles longer, but I finished in 6 hours which I am super happy with. It was also nice to meet fellow UTPD first timer Drew, who recognised me from the training blog video, and chat about our training over post-race stew!

The UTPD is almost double the distance of my current long run, so I still have a lot of work to do and miles to clock in preparation.  But as I’m starting to see the effects of my training, I’m feeling confident I can get there. Fingers crossed!”

 

Check out our latest addition to the Dig Deep Race Series: Dig Deep Suffolk, 6th&7th September 2014.

Featuring 4 fantastic trail races through Suffolk:

5.5 mile Rendlesham Dash Suffolk Trail Race starts at 10:30am on Sunday 7th September £13.00

20KM Rendlesham Suffolk Trail race starts at 10:15am on Sunday 7th September £17.00

28 mile Suffolk Trail ‘Intro Ultra’ starts at 10am on Saturday 6th September £40.00

50 mile: ULTRA Tour of Suffolk  (Suffolk trail ultra marathon) starts at 8am on Saturday 6th September £55.00



Mammut Athlete – Helen Bonsor at the Dig Deep Races Peak District 2014

Helen Bonsor, Mammut sponsored endurance running  and ultra marathon running athlete, will be joining us on the Dig Deep Peak District weekend to give a talk on her experiences.  She will be also taking part in the 12.12 mile on Sunday 22nd before she heads to the British Championships the weekend after the Dig Deep Races.

Mammut Athlete Helen Bonsor, photo: Robert Boesch

Mammut Athlete Helen Bonsor, photo: Robert Boesch

Helen has run in ultra marathons  all over the world  and below she talks about why she runs and I am sure that many of you will run for the same reasons.  I think that no matter what stage you are at in your running career – whether elite or beginner – the feeling of freedom that running in the mountains and fells can give, can be appreciated by all.  We are really looking forward to having Helen with us for the weekend and can’t wait to hear more!

Mammut Athlete Helen Bonsor, photo: Robert Boesch

Mammut Athlete Helen Bonsor, photo: Robert Boesch

“Having grown up in the Lake District UK, and now living in Scotland, I have always been passionate about the outdoors and spending time in the hills. For me, hill running is a way of life, and is what continually pushes me forward – and it enriches my life in adventure and rich friendships.  Some of my favourite races are technical 1 day races in the Alps, and Alpine stage races, where I enjoy racing day after day in big mountain scenery.  I still work full time, and it sometimes a challenge to fit both work and running in!

Running for me is the ultimate freedom in the mountains.  Few things beat the feeling of being totally focused on the movement of running in the mountains and feeling of moving quickly through the terrain and scenery as you run.   

Mammut enables me to push the boundaries of my running, providing the best equipment, and invaluable support.”

As a Mammut athlete, Helen has picked out her favourite items of Mammut trail running  gear:

  •  Micro Jacket  – extremely light, well fitted outershell, adapted to running
  • Backpack – excellent fitted lightweight backpack, accessible pockets, perfect for long runs
  • T-shirt – excellent fit and extremely breathable running top, good in all conditions.
Mammut Athlete Helen Bonsor, photo: Robert Boesch

Mammut Athlete Helen Bonsor, photo: Robert Boesch

Helen’s Successes:

  • 1st place Mixed Team, Gore-Tex Transalpine Race (2013), 24th overall
  • 1st place and new female record, Tri Refugio Race, Val Pellice, Italy (2013)
  • 1st place  Mammut Swiss Irontrail (2013) (50km) 3rd overall,
  • 7th place World Long Distance Moutain Championships, Poland (2013)
  • 2nd place, Salomon 4 Trails (2012)
  • 1st Mixed Pair, 4th overall Elite Class, Original Mountain Marathon (2012)
  • 1st place overall A Class, Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon (2012)

The Dig Deep Races 2014 are sponsored by Mammut and the official Race Shop is Outside in Hathersage (who stock lots of Mammut!)

To enter Head to the Dig Deep Homepage Here

Check out our latest addition to the Dig Deep Race Series: Dig Deep Suffolk, 6th&7th September 2014.
Featuring 4 fantastic trail races through Suffolk:
5.5 mile Rendlesham Dash Suffolk Trail Race starts at 10:30am on Sunday 7th September £13.00
20KM Rendlesham Suffolk Trail race starts at 10:15am on Sunday 7th September £17.00
28 mile Suffolk Trail ‘Intro Ultra’ starts at 10am on Saturday 6th September £40.00
50 mile: ULTRA Tour of Suffolk (Suffolk trail ultra marathon) starts at 8am on Saturday 6th September £55.00



Matty Brennan – UTPD training Diary

Thanks to Matty Brennan for his first ultra marathon training diary installment.  We hope you enjoy reading what he is getting up to, whilst preparing for the Dig Deep Races UTPD!

Matty Brennan, training diary for UTPD

Matty Brennan, training diary for UTPD

I am currently in the 6th week of my 16 week UTPD training plan, and it’s starting to go well.  I think I’m pretty well recovered from my month of madness (just over 1 race per week from 1st December to the 18th of January – not recommended!) and feeling good.  Most of my training is either done on roads or canal path as I live about an hours drive away from any decent hills and have 2 small children and a wife who plays netball to share training time with.
 
My training plan comes from The Endurance Coach, which is based around a VO2 max test, with a 16 week training plan on the back of it with specific sessions and heart rate/pace to stick to.  I’m currently hanging around 40 miles per week, which will increase nearer to the race but not a great deal more – I put in a load of base training in the lead up to the Lakeland 100 last year, so it’s just speed I’m missing now!
 
Mostly this year my racing has consisted of cross country, and the Hardmoors 30 on New years day (where the photo is from – courtesy of Summit Fever Media).  Coming up is the Grizedale Trail Marathon next week, The Hardmoors 55 in March, the Highland Fling in April, the Old County Tops fell race (37 miles, 10,000ft of climb) in May, all in preparation for the UTPD in June.  Can’t wait!

Don’t forget that if you haven’t been on any parts of the courses for the Intro Ultra or UTPD then book yourself onto a Dig Deep Peak District RECCE day – coming up on March 16th – tickets £5 – Book Here!



Winter Training

The following article is written by Dave Taylor at Fell Running Guide: www.fellrunningguide.co.ukImage

Winter Training

Ok, you’ve signed up for a race next year and you know you should be out there training but the long hot summer is a distant memory and running doesn’t seem as enjoyable somehow!  So here’s a few tips to keep you training through these dark, wet winter months.

They say there’s no such thing as bad weather, I disagree, there’s some horrible weather!  Cold, wet, windy, foggy, hailstones, ice and snow.  You name it the British winter can throw it at us so we need to be well kitted out.

Shoes: off road running in winter means mud so you need something with a good grip.  Inov-8 Mudclaws and Salomon Fellcross are 2 examples of shoes that give excellent grip in the worst underfoot conditions.

Outer Layers: staying dry can mean the difference between enjoying your run and suffering.  Invest in a decent quality waterproofs (jacket and trousers).  Most races insist on carrying waterproofs so buying good quality lightweight kit is a good investment.  OMM Kamleika and Inov-8 Stormshell are worth looking at.

On cold dry days a windproof top such as the Inov-8 Race Elite is an ideal alternative to a full waterproof.

Mid / Base Layers: you need a material that will wick away perspiration.  There’s a wide choice from man-made to merino wool or a mix of both.  Your base layer needn’t be expensive but make sure it’s comfortable and doesn’t rub.  Personally I prefer something with merino wool for a bit of comfort.

I find that a long sleeved base layer under a wind or waterproof is sufficient on all but the coldest days but the danger comes if you need to stop or slow down for any reason, particularly if you are on the remote fells.  This is when an extra layer is needed.  I use a Primaloft jacket which offers excellent warmth to weight and packs down very small and is easily carried in a rucksack or larger bumbag.  An example is the OMM Rotor Smock.

For your legs a good pair of running leggings is needed.  Choose a pair with ankle zips that make them easier to get off when they’re wet and muddy, for example Inov-8 Race Elite tights.

Socks, Hat & Gloves:  Unfortunately at some point you’re going to get wet feet but a good woollen sock will help your feet stay wet and warm.  I use SealSkinz socks, which are sold as waterproof but in my experience aren’t!  However they do keep your feet damp and warm.

A hat is essential and can be anything that keeps your head warm but I wouldn’t get anything too bulky so that you can stow it easily in a pocket if you get too warm and have to take it off.  Something that covers your ears is best to keep out those icy winds.  I often use a buff as a hat with a second one around my neck.  This allows me to pull the bottom one up to make a balaclava to cover my mouth and nose if it’s really cold.

There is a huge selection of gloves to choose from.  A good windproof pair is worth a try.  Get a slightly bigger size to allow them to go on over a base pair for colder days.  For really cold days I recommend a pair of mitts such as Extremities Hot Bags but beware that your hands can get too warm sometimes!

Microspikes:  Don’t be put off by snow and ice.  Lots of people are reluctant to run off road in snow but it can be a really good workout and a bit of an adventure!  I’ve done lots of running wearing Kahtoola Microspikes which give excellent grip, particularly on ice and compacted snow.  Buy a pair of these and you actually look forward to it snowing – just like when you were a kid!

Headtorch:  Running off road at night can be good fun so don’t be afraid to get out to the countryside in the evenings just like you would do in summer.  Get together with a few friends and persuade them to come along for moral support, you’ll enjoy it!

Obviously you need a decent head torch and there’s a good choice of bright ones to be had nowadays.  It is possible to pay over £100 for a head torch but think about what you need it for; do you want it to light up the countryside like a lighthouse or will a lesser beam suffice.  Check the claimed battery life too especially if you plan on being out for a while.  USB rechargeable models such as the Petzl Tikka XP2 Core are a great idea.  I recommend using rechargeable batteries making sure that they’re fully charged before you venture out.  Runners doing the Ultra Tour of the Peak District may well be finishing in the dark so a torch that is reliable is important as is practising running off road in the dark.

Rucksacks & Bumbags:  With a bit more kit needed than in summer it might be that you prefer to use a running rucksack rather than a bumbag.  You shouldn’t need anything too big; the OMM Ultra 12 for example.  Remember that it won’t be waterproof so you need to bag anything inside that needs to stay dry.

Stay Safe:  Running in remote areas can be hazardous at any time of year but particularly so in winter when you’re more likely to get wet, cold, hungry and run out of daylight.  It’s a good idea to take more kit and food than you need.  Take an old phone (switched off) for emergencies, put a torch into your pack even if you aren’t planning on staying out too long, take a map & compass in case the visibility drops (and make sure you know how to use them!) don’t rely on your smartphone to get you out of trouble – the battery never ran out in a compass!

So get kitted out and enjoy your winter running.  See you out there!

Fell Running Guide www.fellrunningguide.co.uk

Most of the products mentioned can be found at Outside, Hathersage. http://www.outside.co.uk/collection/Dig+Deep+Race+Shop+Collection

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