Things That Will Be Missed Part 1 – #RunE1Trail #GetOutside

 

I once had someone to spend my time with.  Someone who I thought would be beside me for the rest of my life, but that wasn’t meant to be.  The gap that should be there however, is filled with a love for the Lake District fells.  Their unpredictable temperament, their harsh terrain and the beautiful simplicity of moving around them.

To all the fells of the Lake District…

I will miss you!

What I Learnt About Tailwind & The Fellsman 

The Fellsman is labelled as one of the toughest (if not the toughest) UK Off-Road ultra marathons.  It’s a horseshoe, 61 Mike route, with 11,000 feet of vertical ascent on an unmarked course that is mostly off track.  I completed it late last night, having been given special permission to run it barefoot or in Luna sandals.

Now, I really don’t think they expected me to stick with the barefoot thing, and at mile 40, I was grouped with 3 great runners, but was told shoes on or no more running in the race. Rules are rules, so on went the shoes and sad thing is they have caused a fair sized lump on the top my left foot, where the shoe was obviously pressing on one of my tendons.  Still, I have no one to blame but myself.

During the race I was planning on making some videos but the conditions where harsh, and navigation takes too much concentration to allow random videos, but I did make a note of how I felt every 10 or so miles, so here’s what Tailwind Nutrition is like.

5 miles with 4000′ of constant climb, and I felt fine.  In fact I felt rather good, with plenty of juice in the legs to push up the field.  I managed the nutrition in take (only tailwind) fairly well, with gradual sips along the way.

At mile thirteen after a ridiculous 2 mile climb up Gargarath, at a 3m to 4m in 1m gradient, I felt great!  Tailwind was going down a treat, nothing was really tired, and I felt like I had plenty of energy despite the really harsh, wet and windy conditions.

Then I made a mistake with my intake.  It’s actually hard to know how long you’ve been moving (distance or time) when you haven’t got a watch on.  I didn’t really refuel with anything for the next 10 miles.  The most input in was about a third of a bottle of Tailwind mix, so the inevitable slow down happened.

Now….

Here’s the bit I learnt.

With other nutrition, when I’ve not managed it well, I’ve never really managed to regain the same composure and energy level.  It’s pointless battle that inevitably leads to the desperation shuffle.  I mixed up some tailwind and started to drink it in small amounts but far more often.  In a 3 mile stretch I made sure I drank at least 1/2 a bottle.

Everything carried on working, but my energy levels started to return.  No gut issues meant I upped the intake again.  Energy levels felt awesome, which I really needed to try and push through serious foot pain cause by the shoes I was made to put on due to ‘safety’ and ‘insurance’. This is what amazed me!  I’d caught up again!?  I didn’t really feel like I’d reached a low point from not eating enough, and even at mile 59, after 18 hours of trudging through swap like, endless bogs, I could still manage to run!  And, because of the  electrolytes in the drink I didn’t cramp up or suffer from dehydration.  In fact I finished and (sorry about the typically trail runner thing to say!) my pee wasn’t dark?!

It seems the American hype is less hype, and more fact 👍🏻

Now here’s the best bits of the race.  The few hours when the weather dramatically improved 🙂

   
   

What’s Your Nutrition Plan in Ultras?

I’ve just had a great little conversation with Mike from Tailwind UK!

I know what two things you are likely to think…

1.  Tailwind?

2.  Tailwind in the UK?

Well, it’s not quite here yet but it’s so close that I can smell that miracle powder in the air.  Tailwind so far in a 2 weeks of training, seems to be some sort of miracle powder, and it’s hard to believe it was invented in someone’s kitchen!!

Normally, I’d have a plethora of foods from caramel waffles, brioche buns, flapjack, crispy bacon, salt tabs and some cliff shot jellies.  This year, I’m gonna carry Tailwind and use the few food stations on the 61 mile ultra I’m running on Saturday for anything solid I might fancy.  

So far, the support from Tailwind has been awesome whether from the UK contingency or from the U.S., giving me tips on how, when to use Tailwind during a run and after to help with recovery.  In fact, how often does a company contact you when they think that maybe you need a little bit of help with the product they sell?  In my experience, never!

Saturday, will be the true test and I’m going to try something I’ve not really done before during my 61miles of off-road Yorkshire fells.  I’m going to make a video blog of the race, whilst racing, so you’ll see Tailwind in action, and see what an incredible race the Fellsman actually is.  

Fingers crossed for good running weather, but I’m not sure the Trail Gods are giving without some sort of sacrifice.