Strava Update

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jurassic Coast Challenge 2012


What a race! 3 months of intense hill training, long runs and early nights culminated last weekend in me lining up at the start of the Jurassic coast challenge in Dorset. Billed as "The Mother of all hilly runs" it certainly lived up that rep. Within the first 3 miles of the first day we had climbed the highest peak in Dorset, and it didnt let up over the next 3 days..
I went out well on day one, and got a 4 hour 40 finish for my efforts.. I was surprised to see I had finished in 15th place which immediately put a bit of weight on my shoulders for the next day...
I found that the next day I hadnt replaced the calories burnt from the previous days efforts which meant I had little in the tank when the going got tough in the latter stages, the first 20 miles being a nice jaunt around the island of Portland, then some road running through Weymouth and then boom! 3 devastating hills at the end over Durdle Door and finishing at Lulworth Cove. The picture below sums up how I was feeling about the hills!
I managed to get a 5 hour 37 finish at the end of this day and came in 39th place overall. 
Day 3 was all about "getting through it" this was by far the hardest day with some brutal climbs and equally brutal descents which played havoc with my poor quads! I got to half way and started to flag really badly, I wandered like a lost soul for a few miles until I bumped into a generous lady who gave me some mega amazing Ibuprofen which cure all my ills! It was then onto the last checkpoint and the last climb of the day:
After this we thought it was going to be plain sailing however the organisers had a nice little surprise for us.. There was a nice stretch of beach for us to negotiate before the finish and it involved negotiating a nudist colony and just being able to see the finish in the distance. I made it to the finish line in 7 hours and clocked a distance of 28.3 miles for the day. Overall the total distance run over the 3 days was 82 miles and we climbed approx 10,000 ft of elevation gain according to my Garmin. I hated and loved this race in equal measure... It was well organised by VOTWO and everything went smoothly.
Lots of lesson learnt for a multi day stage race: More strength conditioning needed, more comfortable trail shoes for longer distance needed, better equipment needed! and more endurance runs to be able to sustain the multi day effort.. I came in 31st place overall which I was so pleased with in the end, although it did become about just enjoying it on the last day. I met some great people, some inspirational people and hopefully made some good friends from the race..
One weeks rest now and then straight back into training for the St Malo marathon on May 13th! :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Knees, Gels and Bellyaches!

I am now on taper for next Fridays race, the Jurassic coast challenge in Dorset. I have been lucky enough to fall prey to the tummy bug that seems to have been going round and was unable to do a last long run before taper, however I feel mostly confident I have done enough work to prepare. We will see when I get to the start line on Friday. It is going to be the biggest challenge of my life ( not thought of it like that before I am now very nervous!) 3 marathons of road in 3 days is massive..

 I know doing this will give me a good feel for what a multi day endurance race is like, and will no doubt provide valuable lessons for MDS next year. I am looking forward however to getting back to running more normal distances after this, I am running the Mont St Michel marathon in France in May which should be a nice opportunity to get a marathon PB hopefully! I will post results here of the Jurassic coast race once I am back. Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Jurassic Coast Challenge 2012 Training

So I have just over two weeks til the Jurassic Coast Challenge 2012, which is in Dorset GB. It's a 3 day ultra race along the Jurassic Coast taking in 26 miles per day point to point over trail and track. Since January I have been training intensively for this race, having done a trail marathon in the same area back in December I know the terrain and what to expect and dont want to go into this unprepared! It been a tough few months and my mileage has increased alot, for example last week I ran 60 miles of which 45 were back to back over 3 days to try and replicate the 3 days of running with fatigue. We are fortunate here in Jersey to have some beautiful cliff path trails which are great to run on and have plenty of elevation gain, so I have spent alot of early mornings on these!

 I recently joined a website called which has been a great aid in motivation to get out there and do the hard yards. Its a great community of runners/athletes from all around the world and it also provides useful stats on the workouts you upload. You can choose to sync with your Garmin Connect account or Nike Plus Account and it pulls all the workout data from it. Like I said I have found it really useful, plus I have been able to see how other people are training and getting feedback from other runners on my workouts.. The other runners are really friendly and inclusive and I have made a few buddies quite quickly. So training... Below is an example of the training I have done over the last few months:

I have been trying out various fueling options whilst training, Hammer Gels which are carbohydrate based ( have been useful as they are not so heavy on the stomach as the sugary gels I was using before. For some ready energy I have been using the Powerbar Shots which I have used over a long period of time and I really like. I have also started to use the Clif Shot Blocks as well, these are tasty and provide a quick hit. For recovery particularly after the back to back sessions I have been using the SIS Rego Recovery Shake, which aids recovery in my opinion so well, it really set me up each day to get up running again.

Equipment wise I have been using my Inov-8 Roclite 295's on the trails which have served me well, I have been utilising an OMM I-Drate 12L rucksack, its a useful sack which I have tailored with a Raidlight bottle holder on the front strap, it has useful side pockets and is good for ultra races and days out on the trails. When training on the Road I have been trying out a variety of different road shoes: The Asics Gel Hyperspeed 5, The Saucony Fastwitch 5 and The Puma Concinnity 4 trainer. I wont go into much detail on each, The Saucony being my favourite overall as it has mild stability and is very light. I have used this to log most of my miles over the last 6 months or so and it has aided my transition to a more minimalist shoe, and hopefully encouraging a more mid foot strike. The Puma Concinnity 4 is a realtively new trainer which I have used on some longer (15 miles +) road runs and have benefitted from the increased cushioning I believe. The Hyperspeed 5 are very light and feel fast, I really like them and have used them on my shorter tempo runs and a couple of mid distance runs, I am not sure about there durability however as after only a few miles the soles are wearing down!

I have one more big week of training which I am half way through, I will then begin to taper and let my body recover from the battering it has had over the last few months... And then in 2 weeks I face my biggest challenge so far. Watch this space for a race report in a couple of weeks.