Running Adventures

So….. my plan of updating this thing every week properly backfired! about once every 3 months currently!

Anyway, lets say I started the Hardmoors 55, seems better than saying i did it, as ‘did it’ would imply a finish! Which i didn’t do. It was my first DNF, thought i would feel a lot worse for having a DNF. It bugged the shit out of me at the time, felt like a failure and that maybe i had overreached  “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.” Arthur C. Clarke

So i beat myself up a little bit (the exact same way i do when i start a sentence with ‘so’), realised that i just need to slap myself, have another go and train smarter! I think the training is the area i need to improve. I dropped out at around mile 30, just before the 3 sisters. My hip started hurting around mile 15, which didn’t bother me too much until about mile 25. I must have been compensating for my left hip on my right side, as my right hamstring and glute started hurting. I just thought dropping out was the most sensible option, to not get too drastically injured and still be able to do the other events i’ve entered. I also pretty much decided the moment i’d quit that i was going back next year. To fucking smash it 😉

Now the weather was bad, with snow, sideways sleet and wind. But i had the right gear and never felt cold or wet, i can’t even blame the weather for sucking!

So the positives and lessons learnt are that, i did 30miles, no small feat in itself. The course is worth running more than once, and i’ll get to! The weather makes the adventure. Fucking stay over, getting up at 3 in morning to run 55 miles is fucking dumb. My flexibility and mobility is zero, i need to work on this. Just because on a training run you can comfortable do 20miles, does not mean you can do 55miles, and doing 40-50 miles per week is not enough. One long run a month of a marathon or more is on the cards when in training for an Ultra.

 

The above stories are a huge over reaction and absolute bollocks. Whoever Bethany Lodge and Graeme Hetherignton are maybe they should have asked the runners, or got off their lazy arses and run it themselves to find out. Useless twats, being good at you job and having some integrity would help.

Last weekend i did the Great Lakeland 3Day event, this is a Mountain Marathon event 3 different classes (as with most mountain marathons). The event is 3 days in the Lake District, Run/Hike camp everyday. You get given a map and have to navigate to the check in points, these are just electronic markers, no people. There is no aid stations so you have to be self sufficient on the Hills/Mountains.  The event was brilliant, on day 1 i did the the Elite class, 30 miles with 3,000 metres of elevation. Day 2 and 3 i dropped down to the lowest class, covering 20 miles on day 2 and 10 miles on day 3. I’ve been to the Lake District before, but not like this weekend. This was up in the Western Lakes, a place i’ve  never been before. It’s part of the Lakes that isn’t really busy compared to Windermere or Keswick way out. There is basically no one on the hills. We started from Ennerdale, went up Hen Comb, down to Crummock Water, up on to Dodd and then up again onto Whiteside running the ridge past Hopegill Head onto Grisdale Pike, back down and then up to Barrow, from their along the ridge onto Scar Crags and Sail, then a steep down and up to Knott Rigg. Down from there all the way over to Dale Head, over to Hindscarth and onto Robinson. Finishing at Buttermere, the new camp site. Second day was backup to Hindscarth along to Dale Head, and down into Little Town, where i had Soup and a roll 😉 From there up back onto Knott Rigg and back down to Buttermere. The 3rd day i just walked it back from Buttermere to Ennerdale. I would defiantly recommend the Great Lakeland 3Day, the adventure and exploring is amazing.

 

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Now it’s onto some triathlons…………

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1 week to go Hardmoors 55 – Kit List

Well thats it, if i haven’t done the training i’ll soon find out, and a week isn’t going to improve anything! This week is pretty much relax week, eat well, drink plenty of water, stretching and Yoga, with maybe one run thrown in to keep the legs mobile.

The last longish run was yesterday, 10mile around the Upper Derwent & Howden reservoir. This is a amazing place to run around, the views alone are amazing, but the roads and trails around the reservoir’s are easy going and undulating making it a good, quick run on trails.

I spent the rest of Saturday checking the kit, i ordered a new top for race day, and i’m hoping it gets to me before Saturday 😬

There is a mandatory kit list, as expected. Its the usually stuff, waterproofs, map, water, bivvy bag etc.

He’s my kit list and some of the gear i will be wearing.

I have the Petzl ACTIK head-torch, the race starts at 9:00 in morning, so we could potentially be running in the dark, the sun is setting around 18:00 here in England. Map, spare hat and a buff, plus a few gel’s and some Made Good chocolate chip Granola bars. These are good, and contain all natural ingredients, they even have one portion of veg in them! sounds rank but you can’t taste the vag shit!

 

For the waterproof jacket i have the Salomon Bonatti Pro, best waterproof for the trails i’ve had. Awesome coat, highly recommend. Its windproof with taped seams. A pair of Compressport calf sleeves, i find these really work and help on long distance runs, i also tend to keep them on after runs for quite a while too. I have a Salomon Advance 12 Skin Set race vest, i have tried a few race vests and this one, so far, seems to be the stand out vest. It is really comfortable to run, the front pockets and rear pockets are really easily accessible, which is good for food and waterproofs. There is a few zip pockets too which i like, the pouch at the rear is plenty big enough for any race needs, and the hydration flasks are easy to get to. I am also taking a pair of Black Diamond Distance Z poles, i’m not sure if i will use these or not, but i’m going to pack them. They’re light enough to not care about.

 

I’m taking 2 pairs of trainers, i’m lucky enough that a few people are following us around the race (in their cars) and will carry spare kit for us. I’m starting the race in my Inov8 Terra-Claw 250, they are really roomy and comfortable, but i’m not sure how they will feel after 55 miles, the soles are pretty thin with not much cushioning, so i’m pretty apprehensive to do 55miles int them, i’ve done 32 miles in these, but my feet aching for a few days after. I’m going to take my Inov8 Park-Claw 275 GTX shoes, just incase things get a little too rough for the feet! I’ll be taking spare socks too, i love the injinji socks, so will be wearing these and taking a few spare pairs too.

So all i have now is 6 days of waiting! really looking forward it, i’m confident i/we can do it in around the 12 hour mark.

Hardmoors 55 – nearly there!

So its 11 days until Hardmoors 55. Really looking forward to this, it’ll be the furthest i have run, and its going to hurt, but, still looking forward to it. We did a recce run of the last 10mile or so, this was from Kildale to Guisborough (we ran back, as we’d parked in Kildale).

This was a good part to recce as this could be the bit done in the dark!! Its a bit of a climb from Kildale up to Captain Cooks Monument, theres a few flats thrown in though. Its then a nice downhill from there, then back up a little hill to the start of Roseberry Topping, this kind of reminds me of WinHill, but its easier to run than WinHill. Its then back down, and a nice run into Guisborough from there, around 5 mile of undulating trail. I’m still hoping for around 12 hours, and i’m hoping the snow has gone, as nice and cool as it is to run in and have fun in, running 50miles in snow would be wank!

As well as this recce run theres been training runs every week, well quite a few runs every week to be honest! A few snippets are below.

 

Few runs on the Trans Pennine Trail, its pretty flat, so normally a faster run. A few runs in the Peak District for the hills and undulating trails. Through the week just thrown in some hill repeats, recovery runs etc. Along with this i’m trying to keep up the strength training with Squats, lunges, plank, press-ups etc. Added in Yoga and stretching. Plus swim drills once a week on a Sunday, and up until a week ago i was on the turbo trainer once a week!

I have all the kit ready, i have a slight foot issue though. The top of my foot is sore, i think this is from my trainers being too tight! its now a decision on what trainers i wear on the day. The ones that hurt me are the specific ones i bought to run this race, ahh!!! I’ll try them this weekend again and see how they go, if not i’ll have to revert back to the Inov8 Terraclaw 250.

Anyway, few easy runs this week, one last proper run this Saturday, a hike on Sunday then chill for a week!

Norway Adventure & a Marathon

So…. in September (after the Amalfi Coast) i went to Norway Kayaking down the Fjords, camping and some hiking. I went with my friend Mr. Robert Swift, he has a pub in Piccadilly called The Queens Head, check it out, they also do awesome pies and have created a new company called Piccadilly pies, go have a beer and a pie!

Anyway, we flew from Gatwick, in Bergen. Which must have the most photographed sign of any airport.

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From there we went to Voss for a night, this is a beautiful place, kind of like Windermere in the Lake District, but with bigger mountains and lakes! Plus they have Voss Water, apparently this is somewhat famous. Each pint in Voss is about £10, luckily there are only about 6 pubs, we still went to them all though!

From Voss we got a bus to the start of the kayaking. We kayaked for maybe 2 hours, got out explored a waterfall and had some food, started back up for a few hours then pitched tent. A few things to note, there is nothing there, take food and beer! Once you hit the Fjords and get on the water there is no shops, pubs, restaurants or toilets! You are in the middle of nowhere! BUT the fucking 4G works everywhere, and i mean everywhere! It is pretty awesome that it does, but pretty sad that although you are in the middle of nowhere your wife can still call you, or work can email you! Just leave your phone at home!

The below is our tent, and for a few days what we saw every time we left it……..

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We hiked up to the top of a Fjord, which there and back was around 22km, there was one steep bit towards the end to scramble up to the top, around 2km or so. I have yet to make this into a Strava segment! The walk up was amazing, we got to see some amazing views and the countryside around us was spectacular, Norway is a must go to place.

I got back, spent a few days in London, had a few too many beers, then back home!

When i got back i had the Sheffield 10km to run, i did this with my sister as a warm up to the Marathon, and to get her back into feeling how good it is to race and be running with everyone. My time was 46:47 which i was pretty happy with, and still felt good at the end.

After that we had the Yorkshire Marathon, this was a pretty cool day all in all, a well organised event, and a nice flat course. Worth a run if you like marathons. I had promised my sister i would run round with her and try and get a good time. I think she was a bit apprehensive, especially about the last 6 miles or so, so i said i would stick with her and make sure she finished it. I tried to average the time out to 6 minutes per km, which would give us about 4:15 finish time. She started to slow down a bit around 30km mark, so i just kept pushing her, we ended up doing it in 4:26. I was pleased with this time, even though i think i could have shaved 30mins off on my own, that wasn’t really the point. It made me even prouder of my Trail running marathon time of 4:36!

One thing i highly recommend after doing this run in them is some calve sleeves, wow, awesome bit of kit. I got the Compressport ones, i also told my sister to get them before the race and she was super impressed by them. My niece and nephew also bought me a medal hanger for my birthday. Pic below with the medals from this year on it, minus the new Marathon one.

 

6 races left until the end of 2017

I haven’t scheduled any races/events in until September, i kind of wanted a little time to just enjoy the training, and plan some other stuff, and i had a couple of exams to do, and the wife wanted to go on holiday in August (Amalfi Coast). Also i’m not a huge fan of running in heat, not that England is hot, but i prefer colder temps!

I haven’t blogged for a while so i’m not sure where i’m up to!

The last event i did was the Ripon Triathlon, my first Olympic Distance. My aim was to do my first one in under 3 hours. I dd the swim in 30 mins, bike in 1 hour 23, and the run in 24 mins. The overall time was 2:53:33. I learned a few things from doing this, which is good. I need to practice my biking a lot!! but i was happy with the bike time. I should have eased off the bike for the last 5 mins to give my legs a little rest for the run. Also because i tracked the times on my Garmin i knew how long i had for the run, which kind of had its advantages and disadvantages. As soon as i started the run i knew i had 1 hour, which i knew i could easily do, i kind of eased off the run, with my main priority being to just finish, and get the first one under the belt. After i felt like i should have pushed the run a lot more, but i suppose next time i know i can beat my time.

The field average was like 15 mins faster than me, but i know my biking is bad, and i barely practice, which i’m going to sort out for next year. I’m faster than the average in the swim, and i can beat the average in the run (when i decide to push myself). So no more triathlons this year. All running events, then around Christmas time i’ll start upping my bike training for 2018.

The races for the rest of the year are.

  • Half marathon 03/09/2017
  • 10km race 24/09/2017
  • Marathon 06/10/2017
  • 50km trail race x2 over 2 days  18/11/2017 & 19/11/2017
  • Trail Marathon 02/12/2017
  • 10mile trail race 09/12/2017

So the rest of the year is mainly run training. Which is no different to any  other time, hence being shot on a bike!!

Currently my training is

Monday – PT session, work on mobility, flexibility and core

Tuesday – Club run, either hills or speed work

Wednesday – Open water Swim

Thursday – Middle distance run from 8km to 12km

Friday – Open water swim

Saturday – Long run (20km – 40km)

Sunday – Rest or recovery run

Thrown in between, is sometimes i cycle to work, this is like 8km on a long straight road, so when i do this i try to use it as a kind of time trail. I also go to the gym every now and again do some weights and swim at the pool.

I’m going to stick with this for rest of year, then change this to incorporate more bike work. The open water swims will end in a month or so, so i will have to up my pool swimming.

Training & Comps

Everything’s been going good, had a little unmotivated few days last week, but apart from that on track.

Benn running about 3 times a wee, and swimming around times, my biking hasn’t been really going anywhere. Started commuting to work (when the weather is good), but that is more of a 9km sprint to see if can do it faster than the car!

I did the Maltby Sprint Triathlon a month or so back, this was a new event put on by Huub, the wetsuit/triathlon brand, was really well orgainsed. Really enjoyed it, but it made me realise how shit my bike is/was, so i bought a new one.

This is my ride home from the shop buying the bike, i know its only 4km, but the point is i got to the top of a Strava leaderboard 😉

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After that i did another Dark & White event, this was a 26km run. This was the most annoying event to date, I smashed the first 21km (half marathon) in less than 2 hours (this is all off road on trials, so i was really happy with this time), then my knee proper fucked up, i had to hobble the last 5km, which ended up taking me 45mins. I was so disappointed with is, i could have finished in around 2:20 which would have put me in the top 30! I got over it though, and just focused on the fact i was doing so well for the first 21km.

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We then had a Triathlon orgainsed by the Tri Club i go to, Manvers. This was an 800m outdoor swim, 15km bike ride and a 5km run. I enjoyed this, was a good day, and really nice that other clubs turned up and took part. The bike was off-road, which meant i had to use my mountain bike, which is slow as fuck when compared to road. You just feel like you’re peddling like mad to get nowhere! The swim and run went well though.

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And yesterday i did another Trail Marathon, this was the Peakrunners Ladybower Marathon. I love running in the Peak District, the views are incredible and the terrain is ever changing, and some of it gets really technical on the downhill trails. I did this in 4hours 36mins, which i was over the moon with for a trail marathon. The run was really good, as normal the last 6 miles were hard going, and they decided to throw in a huge hill at mile 15! always nice.

So all in all a god few months. And last week i also book this 🙂

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So this will be in September, i’m going with a mate who owns a pub in London, which he also lives in (the flat above the pub, not just randomly in a pub), which worked out brill, as we’re flying from Gatwick. The holiday is Friday to Monday, i’m going to London on the Thursday, and coming back from London on the Wednesday. I have never been more excited about a trip!

And finally here are some snaps of a few runs, swims etc and other shit. Oh and the Vibram 5 Fingers are awesome, but fuck me start of steady, i did the 4km run and honestly i could not train for about 4 days, my calves were in bits. The picture below with the blue skies and 28 degree heat (Celsius) was a run to my sisters, about 15km the heat was pretty unbearable (not used to it in the UK), the other pic of me having run 15.67km, in a Salomon waterproof coat, with constant heavy rain and wind was exactly a week before the other one!The 50km one is a bike ride, the other is the Lake and a few open water laps. Next week is the Ripon Triathlon, Olympic Distance.

 

Training going well, over due update.

Ok, so, its been a while. Still be running, swimming little bit of biking. Quite a bit in fact since the last update. My instagram is updated a lot more if anyone cares to follow achambers81

So i did the Bradfield, in the Peak District, it’s a lovely little village in a valley! 17km, awesome event held by Dark & White. I did the Langsett half marathon, which was a tough event. The hills are not too bad, and all runnable, but the terrain you go over makes it hard. Its on trail tracks for around the first 5 mile, than into the Peaks, then the track literally turns into a stream and bogs! hard going, then up to Margery Hill, which is basically, no path, just heather and bogs! Would recommend this if you like trail running. I then entered the Sheffield Half Marathon, so this is a road race, which i haven’t really done before. Everyone i talked to mentioned the hills in the first half, basically the race is 7 miles up hill then 6 miles down. Everyone was saying take it easy on the hills then speed up for the last. Now my bad here, i didn’t really distinguish between the trails runs and road running, and the people i talked to are road runners. On trail runs when someone says its hilly, its generally a bitch. The Bradfield 17km had a 120m rise over 400m, it was pretty much vertical climb, Winhill is 463m high, and around 1.5km, and i run that. So when the road runners were saying hilly, i was expecting a hill. I held back expecting hills, and it was just a steady incline for 7 miles, not really a hill! I was slightly gutted i held back on the first half.

I have bought a wetsuit ready for the open water swimming starting next week. I bought an Orca S6, after a lot of research on the net and speaking to people. It is supposably a good entry level wetsuit, with good buoyancy in the legs and chest. All to get ready for the Olympic Tri at the end of May.

I’ve felt a bot sketchy the last few weeks, but i think that was due to the bank holiday and going to Cambridge for a few days. It all threw my training off a bit, but i’m back on it now. And i’m starting to commute on the bike to work!

And here’s some photos

Langsett half marathon

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Dark & White Bradfield 15km

Sheffield Half Marathon

Training in the Peak District, up Winhill, to Loose Hill onto Back Tor, up to Mount Tor and back.

The wetsuit and the Lake

Few Random Snaps

Knee problems over

So, the runners knee took around 6 – 8 weeks to finally disappear. This was in my left knee, and pretty much stopped me from doing anything in the end. I learnt quite a lot about being injured and why it happened. I basically quite the gym around October time, i still went for the swimming etc. but i no longer really did any workouts, thinking the running, biking and swimming would be enough. Turns out not really! who knew! So basically for 6 – 8 weeks i worked on strengthening the muscles in my legs, ass, back and even shoulders. I went to Yoga and still go! bought a foam roller, which i still use and some training bands. All this has helped a lot. And i know know that quitting the workouts was a major part, when i did my leg workouts i did squats, lunges straight leg deadlifts, leg curls etc. all this was helping my running. Back days were deadlifts too which also helped, so now all this is back in!

I did the Dunkeries 10 mile, like a week after my knee stopped hurting, which was about 10 weeks out from my last bit of running. Completed it without any bother from the knee, this was a cross country/trail run, the weather was shit, rain and snow on occasions, the mud was mega! my time was 1 hour 40 mins. My aim when i entered was 1 hour 10ish, but that was before my knee. I was happy to finish, run all the way and be pain free, screw the time.

This is the list of races i’ve signed up to so far,

11th March – Langsett Trail Run half marathon

2nd April – Dark & White Trail Run 17km

6th May – Lakeland Tails 17km

29th May – Wetherby Triathlon (olympic distance 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run)

11th June – Manvers Triathlon (i think this is more of a sprint)

8th October Yorkshire Marathon

Basically i have only looked at events up to June so far, the Marathon was booked in as my sister wanted to do it, so i signed up with her. I am wanting to an Ultra before the year is out if possible.

I’m looking forward to Saturday with the Langsett Trail, i originally entered the 10km due to the knee, but its been brill, so switched to the half marathon. Its where i go quite a lot in training so it should be good, and it leads up to a place called Margery Hill, which i have always wanted to go to, but its pretty remote and hard to find. It will be marked out on Saturday though!

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Few snap shots of training, and the medal :-).

I’m also now, two week caffeine free!!!!

 

End of the year, nearly!

Yesterday i ran the Hobopace Wheatley 10.1 trail race. This is the last event until the New Year, I enjoyed this run, although i had a few problems with my shin at the beginning of the race and my knee at the end. I’m convinced this is down to my running technique, or lack of, i might get a coach to have a look for me, i convinced of this as today my body is perfectly fine, and surely if it was something injury wise it would hurt when i don’t run too? I go to Tenerife over Christmas, so will be chilling out doing no more than a few 5k’s and a spot of swimming, maybe in the sea 😉

Next year i plan to hit the road running and smash up the events, i’m going to look at when the last half Ironman of the year is and plan my year around doing that. I’m doing the Yorkshire Marathon in October with my sister, but that shouldn’t really get in the way, i don’t have to specifically train for this, as i will already be ready fitness and running wise. I have a 17km trial race at the end of Jan, and i intend to hit as many Sprint Tri’s and Olympic distance Tri’s as possible. While also still going touring on my bike, i could incorporate the two for some trail runs.

This is some of the training over the last few weeks, not all of it but some of it.

 

This is a few snaps of scenery from the runs and bike rides.

And a new bit of training kit, to sooth those aches and pains, by submitting yourself to more pain in the process of recovery.

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These are the achievements of this year, The Sprint Triathlon, the Fan Dance Race, The North Yorkshire Coastal Marathon and the Wheatley 10.1.

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What next!

Firstly i’m i bored of the titles, and have no idea what to call these!

Last week was pretty good, my knees are still playing up, but my stubbornness just tells me to run through the pain and carry on, i shouldn’t be responsible for my own advice! I have however done Yoga a few times in the last weeks to help my joints and flexibility, i’ve got some joint supplements from MyProtein.com and some Protein to try and help with recovery.

I started out on Monday with a 30 min cardio session in the gym, just usual stuff, press ups, pull ups, squats, bench press etc. all high reps and done quick. Then i did 500m of swimming. Wednesday i have an hour of PT which is high intensity training mainly. Thursday i did some interval training on the rower, then back in the pool for, i think about 750m swim. Saturday was a 10 mile run, this was mainly on the trans pennine trail. This isn’t road or trail i normally do, its a path designed for walkers, horse riders etc, its a path! but i didn’t want to ruin my knees. The 10miles is to my sisters, and i felt awesome, no fatigue, aches or pains, i should have really carried on, but i have a small 10km trail run this weekend, and i’m trying to let my knees recover. Plus i then spent all morning building train tracks with the nephew.

Sunday i went on a bike ride, first one in ages and first off road one in years. Only went about 25km. I went with a mate, and borrowed his spare bike, i got on my road bike to get to his which is about 10km away so i had planned to do 45km, my fucking tyre was flat when i got on it though, i was not happy, but nothing i can do at 9:30 on a Sunday morning, so i just swore and threw my toys out of the pram. The plan was the bike ride, plus the biking to my mates, then jump off when i was home and do about 5km straight off the bike. My day was ruined!! its always the small things!!

I just went with my mate, then drove to gym and swam half a mile instead, i was still mad at my bike though.

The plan is hit as many sprint tri’s and tri’s throughout the year, with some trail runs thrown in. I’m going to see where i’m at in August/Sept then maybe see if there is a half ironman at the end of the year. I still have the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon and the North Yorkshire Coastal Marathon booked in too. Tomorrow i’m going to a Triathlon club, i’ll not mention my knees, unless i collapse!