Hydration for Runners : Dr Dan

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From right to left this photo shows Dr Dan, myself and Neil Jarrett along with a number of Gosport Road runners. The reason/excuse for us meeting in a pub was a talk by Dr Dan on hydration, hosted by Alton Sports, the 5.45 running club and the Four Ale Tap Room.

The 5.45 club is a Gosport running community initiative set up by Nick Carter. All are welcome to the Wednesday “quarter to six” run, whether you’re a club runner or not its an all inclusive invite. Additional to these runs are occasional visits to drinking establishments and talks that are arranged.

Gosport Road Runners (GRR) naturally form the majority of the group but I’ve always felt welcome as a visiting Fareham Crusader runner. Doctor Daniel Roiz De Sa is the Senior Medical Officer at the Institute of Naval Medicine in Gosport as well as a GRR runner. Hayley Sparshott (another GRR runner I know) was also there.

Unfortunately travel commitments ( I caught the bus) meant I couldn’t arrive early enough for the run but a good number of runners had set off from the Alton Sports shop (just up the road). So, a run, talk, real ales/cider and sandwiches …. “yes”, that’s my kind of night ūüôā !!

Our venue for the evening was the Four Ale Tap Room which had numerous beverages on offer considering its relatively small size. The atmosphere is friendly and the chap in charge was as knowledgeable and passionate about his ale as we are about our running. I had two pints of berry cider¬†which went down very well ūüôā

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Now that I’ve set the scene I’ll try to summarise some of the points Dan made. Naturally Dr Dan is an expert in his field and has years of analysis to call on, I’m simply going on what I remember so please¬†bear this in mind¬†while reading !!

Summer running is a curious and ever changing sport. One week the temperatures can sore into the thirties and then another week the humidity can be just as sapping even if the temperatures are ten degrees less.

So, what’s the best way of coping ?? This depends on your age, height, sex, weight and conditions so bear this in mind too and just remember even the best athletes don’t always get it right … we’ll never forget Jonny Brownlee staggering towards the finish line in Mexico¬†due to¬†his heat exhaustion.

Running¬†when the¬†air temperature his hot will increase your core body temperature. The body sends more blood to circulate through your skin, this leaves less blood for your muscles which then increases your heart rate. If humidity is added to this, then sweat doesn’t easily evaporate and you’ll need to take action against dehydrating.

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This photo from Race to the King shows the kind of hot Summers day that’s beautiful to look at but needs quite a lot of planning and thought¬†hydration wise.

Water not only makes up 60% of body weight in men and 50-55% in women but also regulates temperature. Water is lost in urine and sweat, so, to avoid dehydration you need to replace it regularly with both fluid and food. Water, sports drinks, soft drinks, tea and coffee are your obvious starting points and as a measure six to eight glasses of fluid are needed each day.

What I hadn’t considered was that you take in water from the food you eat. Some 20% of your total daily water intake comes from food with¬†fruit and vegetables being 80% water,¬†so eating “real food” on longer runs becomes important¬†as well as on a daily basis.

Becoming dehydrated usually includes a dry mouth, the start of a headache and worsening concentration. One other clear sign is when the colour of your urine becomes darker !!

So, keep well hydrated in the¬†build up to your race, stop drinking alcohol 48 hours before and don’t forget to have a drink as soon as you wake up on race day as well as an hour beforehand. Sipping on a regular basis while running is much more effective than drinking a large amount in one go and you are far less likely to need to go to the toilet !!

At this point I’d also like to mention reducing your single use plastic when drinking. I now take my cup and soft flasks whenever I run. I carry two 500ml flasks and refill them. Help save the planet too !!

 

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Another factor to consider is where will you source your fluids from ? Races have feed stations but while out training include garages and shops for your top ups.

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I’ve considered my fluids : Water – No calories, Low Fat Milk – nutrients & protein, Hot drinks – drink to suit and¬†Sports drinks – for activity beyond an hour, I¬†personally use SIS hydro tablets that you dissolve in 500ml¬†of water and these include electrolyte.

Other¬†practicalities that were also discussed were, avoid the mid day sun if possible, always wear suntan lotion, it’s personal choice but a visor or a cap can help and finally wear loose fitting wicked material¬†shorts and top¬†to prevent heat building up under your clothes.

Dan mentioned a number of athletes and personalities he’s help and to bring his experiences right up to date he told us he’d be working with celebrity SAS winner Wayne Bridge as he¬†prepares for the 2020 Marathon Des Sables. Wayne will be able to acclimatise in Dan’s heat chambers and be monitored but we can also acclimatise to the heat by running progressively longer each time during the build up to our chosen race.

The last time I listen to Dan was after his own personal 2017 MDS race and a talk that he gave on it. Dan raised sponsorship for Walking With the Wounded in 2017, Wayne will be in 2020 and I did for my Race to the King 2017 focus event so in a small way we have something in common.

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So, it’s a huge thank you to Dan for the talk and the various¬†people that¬†helped to make it happen. Typically August seems to have settled into a cloudy 19 degrees but that’s still no excuse not to stay hydrated for your best efforts when running !!

Thanks for reading …. Roger

Winchester to Wickham 19 miles & 1 video

Saturdays run started by catching the 7.30am train to Winchester so this was the exact reverse of last week. After covering 25 miles a week ago I decided to cut my run short to 19 today and save my strength for Race to the King in three weeks time.

Videos are a new addition to my irunoffroad social media and I’ve had great fun experimenting with the two I’ve made so far. I’ve created a YouTube channel so feel free to subscribe for future running adventures, cheers.

After bumping into Jamie, Paul, Zoe and Tracey from Fareham Crusaders who were on route to Eastleigh for their own “train-ing” run I left Winchester in bright sunshine and good spirits.

The video above shows you Winchester Cathedral where Race to the King finishes, I then followed the South Downs Way up towards Cheeseford Head with fields of glorious poppies to the right and left of me.

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Once I’d passed the tank experience (also video’d) it was noticeable the trail was becoming busier with mountain bikers but to be fair they were all considerate by announcing their presence.

I chatted with Lidya from Winchester who’d caught me up. This is the beauty of trail running when you can chat with someone you’ve never met before but the conversation flows about why and where you are running.

Not long after I bumped into my good friend Paul Coates who was running in the opposite direction. We stopped for some banter which again is on the video.

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I pressed on towards Exton and then Meonstock Post Office for liquid refills. The temperature had increased during the morning and must have been around 20 degrees so I bought Lucozade as well as water.

Joining the Meon Valley trail I had seven miles to Wickham were I’d decided to cut my run shorter to 19 miles and my wife picked me up. Something she rarely needs to do. ¬†I think its really important to listen to your body when you know you’ve pushed yourself but are still within your limits. I also had a quick chat with Karen Jenkins from the Crusaders along the old railway line.

My double marathon isn’t far away now so it’s taper time and flexibility work. Arriving at the start line uninjured and having flushed out the stiffness of long runs means you start with a degree of confidence even if I haven’t done the volume of training I’d liked to of due to issues earlier in the year.

Thanks for reading and watching ūüôā

Roger

Fareham to Winchester 25 miles : RTTK video too

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I ran with my friend Jamie from Fareham to Wickham (5 miles), then along the Meon Valley Trail (7 more miles) to arrive at what will be the 40 mile point of Race to the Kings 53 miles.

I recorded a video to show the last 13 miles of RTTK i.e. the last quarter.

Please take a watch and maybe even subscribe to my YouTube channel. Thanks very much

Videos are fairly new to me so all comments are welcome ūüôā Thanks Roger

SKINS DNAmic Compression shorts Review

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How many sponsored reviews have you read¬†that claim the product¬†was “pants” ?? Not many, I’m sure.¬†Thanks¬†very much to SKINS for sending me these to try. I have nothing but praise, they offer support, wick away sweat and are so comfortable you almost forget you have them on !! I wear them on all of my long runs now.

Yes, we are talking “pants”, and more specifically SKINS DNAmic Core compression shorts. I’ve used other compression shorts and a combination of underwear, with them,¬†so this was to be new territory with just¬†wearing one pair.

The reason I’ve put off writing about them is because I wanted to give them quite a few outings and make sure I’d run for two hours plus.

Your running under garments may not be an issue during a 5 or 10K but once you start running longer distances then comfort and support becomes a topic that needs to be addressed.

I’ve previously blogged about SKINS compression socks and¬†as a company I believe¬†they live up to their marketing claims,¬†….. i.e.

“We create bloody good sportswear that makes everyone the best they can be”…. TICK

“We believe that how you play sport defines how you live life” ….. TICK.

I¬†completely agree with both of these statements and especially the second because as an endurance runner I believe that willpower, staying power and an ability to cope with whatever’s thrown at you, over long periods, all transfer into your self belief when tackling, non running everyday tasks.

Previously I’ve worn compression shorts that were a similar length to cycling shorts but these feel far less restrictive, don’t show from under my actual running shorts and still provide great support.

You’ll be pleased to know I resisted the temptation to include a photo of me wearing my tight shorts. I’m aware¬†that such images could have long lasting effects !!! Ha Ha ūüôā

I chose¬†extra large, not because of any physical attributes, but because from experience I’ve found one size up helps me.

Trail running puts a different kind of demand on your body compared with road running. The extra demands that running up a hill put on your thighs and bottom are then matched with the pounding on the way downhill. SKINS compression shorts suit the demands of these activities.

The support that SKINS compression shorts offer can be measured in both physical and mental terms.

My shorts reassure me that¬†I’ll have no chaffing or friction issues and no riding up of underwear because I’m wearing one garment that fits me very well, including my sensitive area. As the hours of running effort pass by SKINS help to make the process bearable.

I’m reassured because I know the support will minimise any strains or injuries and¬†wearing them will make a huge difference to the muscle soreness that I might otherwise be suffering, both during and after my run.

Sore hips are a frequent source of trail running pain, what with the changing elevation and terrain. SKINS compression shorts won’t magic this away but they certainly make a noticeable difference.¬†Equally, walking up and down¬†stairs¬†the following day can be a painful experience¬†so wearing them¬†on¬†your training/race day will¬†continue to¬†help¬†your recovery.

I’ve had IT band issues in the past which can appear all the way up the side of your thigh and into your buttock. No longer !!

Armed with all of these benefits¬†I set off with confidence on my long runs knowing that I’m giving myself the best possible foundation with compression shorts.

Thanks for reading

Roger

Breakfast Club – #running #community

gos2When you hear the phrase “community spirit” a number of¬†traits come to mind …..¬†energy, willingness, pride¬†and¬†teamwork.¬†All of these attributes can be seen when you¬†visit¬†a GosVegas running session whether it be Wednesday at 5.45pm or as I did this week, an 8am Sunday Breakfast Club.

The GosVegas running community¬†has a far wider reach than just its base in Gosport because it draws in¬†like minded¬†people from¬†both local running clubs and parkruns. So, whether you belong to an affiliated club or whether you’ve been swept up with the phenomenon that parkrun has become, these two friendly and¬†free¬†opportunities are well¬†worth a visit.

The catalyst¬†behind this all inclusive offering of positivity¬†is Nick Carter,¬†who’s had quite an impact on our running community. The principle reason for me writing this post is quite simply to spread the word and encourage more people to tap into their spirit.

The Sunday Breakfast Club offers an hours worth of running followed by a chance to unwind in the Bayside café. Located in Stokes Bay this means free parking until 10am, the café as an HQ and plenty of scope to run.

On arrival¬†a bracing wind¬†was blowing in off the¬†Solent and¬†as¬†thirty of us gathered in the car park there was a sense of amusement as to the speed we’d be running with the wind behind us. Conversely, Stokes Bay and Gosport may be flat but when you’re running against winds like¬†this it almost feels like hill work !! So, we were in for a¬†good work out.

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As well as Nick, I’d met Kim, Emma and Nicky from Gosport Road runners before we set off.¬†Nicky gave me a rough idea of the route that we’d follow¬†just before Nick asked us to gather for a group photo.

Having¬†our photo taken at the beginning of the run was another “inclusive” touch. Naturally the group would split up during the run and some people would¬†jump into their cars as soon as they’d finished¬†but, regardless of your pace, we all felt part of the session by being included¬†in the group photo.

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As we followed the coast down to the golf course I chatted and introduced myself to Paul, Nickie and Faye. We all commented on the glorious view, what with the Isle of Wight as the backdrop and the white crested waves that were being blown up by the wind.

As we rounded the Gillkicker Fort I chatted with Fareham Crusaders Sarah and Nick. From half way on I ran with Faye and we soon found out that we had a mutual running friend she works with, we’d both served on the committees of our running clubs and we’d both run similar races.

The route wound its way along the sea wall and then back through more residential roads. Nick appeared at the bottom of Jellico Avenue to point us in the right direction and before you knew it we were battling against the wind and heading back towards the café.

I clearly wasn’t expecting a photo on arrival because even though I smiled and gave a thumbs up I managed to have my eyes closed …. ha ha !!

gos3¬†I was a little pressed for time so my visit to the caf√© was fairly short but I was there long enough to chat with two more runners and marvel at the breakfasts that were being served. The nautical theme of the traditional breakfasts amused me, what with it starting with a dingy, increasing in size to an IOW Ferry and then the largest offering was … you guessed it, a “Titanic” full English.

So, in summary I chatted to more people that I didn’t know than I¬†did know which, in its self, sums up their running community¬†spirit. In this day and age of mobile phones it’s great to actually chat with like minded people and experience a sense of togetherness.

Thank you Nick and your welcoming GosVegas runners. I’d definitely recommend popping by and as a famous¬†action film start once said …… “I’ll be back”.

Enjoy your running and thanks for reading.

Roger

The last 4 miles of Race to the King #revisited

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I’ve entered the 2019 Race to the King which is a 53 mile and 5,000 feet elevation race from Slindon in Sussex to Winchester in Hampshire.

I wanted to start my preparation by revisiting the section of the race that gave me the most satisfaction and curiously most dissatisfaction too, in 2017 Рthe last four miles.

I suffered with stomach issues in the last hour of 2017 so, without going into too much detail, I wanted to retrace this final stretch and replace the previous memories with a positive mental images to draw on, come June 22nd this year.

So, in 2017, while running through the¬†forested section¬†of Cheesefoot Head, carefully avoiding the tree roots, two significant thoughts occurred to me. I’ve run 49 miles and, yes, I’ve run 49 miles. Ok, so I’ve repeated myself but its in a New York, New York kind of way.

Up until running RTTK my garmin had never shown me 40 miles covered and now it was on the verge of showing me 50. I knew my first sight of Winchester would be over the next hill and to be honest I got quite emotional.

When I say emotional I mean, pride, self fulfilment and the kind of raw excitement you simply don’t get unless you’ve really challenged yourself and come out on top.

However, this tidal wave of positivity was soon to be dampened by curious churnings in my stomach and¬†lets not mince words here, farting. Yes folks, the kind of farting that has an unnerving¬†“Indian Jones temple of doom” kind of vibe.

Moving on, I crossed the busy main road which was quite a revelation after hours running along peaceful solitary trails, across a pound field, along the¬†edge of a tree line, through a short forested area and up a slight incline to then be rewarded with both my 50 mile alarm ringing and the sight of Winchester’s buildings in the distance.

90I’m not ashamed to say I shed a¬†small tear and shouted out loud “come on Winchester lets have it” in my best Oasis/ Liam Gallagher ascent and I set about trying to minimise¬†any unwanted stoppages with a run walk strategy.

Now, walking downhill in running terms is like drinking coke at a free bar, like fish and chips without salt and vinegar, all are quite simply unthinkable.

However,¬†I had no choice and that’s why I wanted to return on my first day of specific training since entering RTTK so as to dispel those thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, expecting the unexpected is very much part of ultra running and I was 15 miles further into a race than I’ve ever been¬†before¬†but¬†as Mr Sinatra says “That’s Life”.

The refreshing sight of sub eight minute miles this Sunday just gone won’t be repeated on June 22nd but I felt I’d laid the downhill walking to rest. The drop from the crest of the hill in this photo down to the road is probably 300 feet.

The short tarmac stretch of road then gives way to a South Downs signpost and a cunningly narrow entry to the next trail section. After eleven and a half hours you could be forgiven for running straight past this but having recced the route I knew exactly where I was going and it was covered in neon markers by RTTK.

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Decision making is quite a feat after¬†hours of endeavour, estimating the resources you’ll need is one thing, running out of brain power is something that just needs practicing I guess !! That said my wife might say I run out of brain power every Friday evening once I’ve finished work … ha¬†ha !!

Hugging the hedge line with the roar of the motorway crossing growing ever louder meant I could dream of the Cathedral finish line and attempting to catch the train home.

Now, I must have passed a hundred signs in 52 miles but this was defiantly the most exciting. If the sign had been a person I’d have kissed it ūüôā

100¬†Knowing there’s a downhill road into the city centre buoyed me¬†both then and now, I can remember feeling the aches and pains disappearing and thinking maybe sub twelve hours was still on the cards¬†but as soon as I got onto the flat it was if two bystanders had strapped weights to my thighs.

The aforementioned run/ walk policy took over again but I was so close I could hear the cheers from the other side of the huge flint wall that surrounds the Cathedral. In many ways we were pilgrims on a quest, a quest to gain some sort of inner strength that will stay with us forever.

Even now, a year and a half later I still draw on the experience and the willpower that was required.

As I rounded the final bend¬†I was¬†treated to this magnificent sight, the last one hundred metres¬†(only with lots of flags, banners and people) today it was ‚Äúrace finish‚ÄĚ free !!

pop The trees almost frame the cathedral as if it was in an art work and on a chilly January morning a shudder ran down my spine, was it the temperature or was it me revisiting the setting of easily my greatest running achievement to date.

I¬†say “to date” because I’m determined to improve on my 12.06 time and enjoy my experience in twenty one weeks time.

I’ll be taking nutrition advice from Mark at APT Nutrition and I’ll be out on the trails knowing that my passion, focus, inner strength and belief are 100% aligned.

You learn a lot about yourself when you take on an ultra run but this blog isn’t about showing off its a celebration of finding out what you are made of physically and mentally.

I run off road and I bloody love it.

Sunday’s January run was straightforward and yet inspiring at the same time.

Thanks for reading, enjoy your running

P.S. On that June race day I walked to Winchester train station from the finish and missed the Portsmouth train by five minutes, I simply couldn’t conger up even a light jog. I remember thinking, “to hell with it” there’ll be another one in an hours time !!

Roger

Could you run an Ultra in 2019 ? Some confidence building tips

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In simple terms an ultra is a distance run that’s longer than a marathon. That said, I personally wouldn’t class the 27.2 miles I ran for the 3 Forts challenge or the 27.5 for the Purbeck marathon as these are trail running marathons which do contain some flexibility in their race titles. “Generally speaking” 50K i.e. 31 miles would be considered an ultra race (in my humble opinion).

My background isn’t extensive but two 50K’s, one 33 mile, one 35 mile and Race to the King (RTTK) 53 mile double marathon means I feel I’ve had enough experience to offer some thoughts on the topic.

The reason I entitled this blog as a confidence building read was so that once you’ve considered the various aspects of running beyond a marathon then I guarantee you’ll have a broader understanding of what you’re getting yourself into.

Whether you choose to continue or not is another matter but I’d definitely recommend it.

So, here are 5 trains of thought for you to consider…..

Are you committed ?

This may sound an obvious question but there’s a lot to consider before you take on your first ultra and commitment is probably the key.

It’s time consuming – the extra running miles, the planning and the extra kit washes !!

Are you ready to push your body beyond your comfort zone – both mentally and physically, and finally it can be anti-social with early long run starts and early nights to maximise your sleep recovery time.

When I say committed I’d say more specifically committed to “your” race plan. Don’t be swayed by other runners because they will have a separate agenda. My first ultra was the New Forest 50K which was three laps of just over ten miles and Steve Way lapped me on my second and his third lap. Yes he was ten miles ahead of me !! (England International).

Steve then proceeded to add another lap by running in the opposite direction and offering words of encouragement to the rest of the field. Ultra runners are very community based.

Absorb yourself in the challenge that you’ve set yourself but at the same time don’t become an “ultra bore” with no other conversation !! I may have been guilty of that in the past ha ha ūüôā

Conversely a sense of humour is absolutely essential, after all you are attempting something pretty crazy !!

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Are you prepared to rethink your training ?

I took a good look at how I trained for marathons and then partly through trial and error and partly through advice I incorporated a number of new strategies.

Getting used to running slower, walking uphill, eating on the go, foam rolling, double day running and increasing flexibility all played a part in my preparation. However, one aspect that I hadn’t originally considered was cross training.

I used to commute to work on my bike with the sole intention of getting there as quickly as possible. If I’m ultra training I use the twenty minutes cycle time there and back to loosen up my legs, flush out the stiffness and maximise the fact that my bike is supporting my weight rather than my stiff joints. Walking and swimming are equally useful for cross training benefits.

Most ultras are through the countryside so if you are moving up from road marathons then there’s a whole new skill set to embrace. Trails, hills, gates, streams, cows, sheep etc etc.

The map below shows the 31 miles I ran December 2017, what it doesn’t show is the shingle. In many ways the shingle was just as energy sapping as hills. The route was flat but if you hadn’t been aware of the beach sections you’d have been cursing the race organiser !!

Train for the terrain.

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Research your Race

Study the profile of your race and, if at all possible, train on the course or at least train on similar local profile, this will mean that on race day there are no surprises. Trust me after a number of hours you switch to automatic pilot and that’s when you need to trust in your preparation.

I’d run probably 46 of the 53 RTTK miles previously so I was psychologically and physically ready for what awaited me around very corner. Conversely with The Ox ultra being 35 miles in Wiltshire, I’d never stepped foot on the course, but I’d trained for both the number of hills and 90% of the elevation by analysing the profile.

Training with other runners who are also entered in your ultra is a great way to swop accumulated knowledge. They may well have spotted something you haven’t.

The distance between feed stations and what they offer is equally important. In short do your homework, it’s an investment in the day that will really pay off.

Even if the race website doesn’t state what will be on offer it’s important to consider what you’ll carry and what you can pick up. The reality can also bite you, in that the further down the field you are, the greater the potential for limited feed stations increases.

If in doubt email the race organiser.

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Practicalities

How will you get there and how will you get back, you “will” be tired. I arrived at Winchester train station five minutes too late for the hourly train back to Fareham after 12 hours of running the RTTK. This meant I sat on the platform for 55 minutes waiting for the next one !!

There are numerous articles on training mileage and food, both of which can vary depending on you as a person so I’d just say try out a few before deciding on what suits you. Other bloggers are a great source for this as well as running magazines/ the internet.

Double day training suited me i.e. a long Sunday run 18/19 miles and then 5/6 on a Sunday. Doing this on alternative weeks meant a steady run in-between too.

Then, most importantly, once you’ve decided on your kit, food and drink, train with them as if it was the race, thus eliminating any issues ahead of the big day.

The very fact that you will be on the go for longer also means sun tan lotion and light weight jackets need to be considered. This all cumulated in me buying a proper pack so that I could easily carry whatever I wanted including soft flasks for my liquids (eco friendly and less bulky).

After all if a jobs worth doing its worth doing well. I got last years colours and the cost was considerably less so they don’t have to cost a fortune !!

One more thought, take your fully charged mobile with you. You might not even take it out of its case but if you go off course, injure yourself or just need some motivation then help is only a swipe away.

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On the day

Be the best you can be at the start line. What I mean by this is hopefully you won’t be carrying any niggles. Pre physio and pre race massage may cost you financially but they’re worth their weight in gold when you hear people talking about their “issues” before you’ve even started running.

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Set a realistic time that compliments your training and not a time you are dreaming of. For your first ultra I’d simply concentrate on finishing. This may sound negative but seeing as you are entering uncharted territory it’s always best starting conservatively.

Use any uphill walking as an opportunity to take on fluids, go over your race plan in your head, eat and why not text your loved ones just to let them know you are surviving, (It can be a long day for them too !!)

I found counting down aid stations broke the race into a number of smaller races. Landmarks and distance markers can be points to concentrate on too. For example the first time I reached 30 miles it gave me a huge rush of adrenaline. Conversely, when I reached 40 in RTTK that was a signal there was a half marathon left to run.

Finally, prepare yourself for a range of emotions. You’ll have spent a lot of time training but life can throw up any number of twists and turns. Expect the unexpected !! Self doubt can be managed but be prepared to “have a word with yourself” when everything doesn’t go quite to plan.

I walked for over a mile on flat terrain in the middle of the Imber Ultra on Salisbury Plain and I even stopped for a cut of tea. I stopped and drank it while I gathered my thoughts.

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Another runner stopped and walked with me for a while so that he could offer some motivational word which I thought was fantastic !! He didn’t need to stop, he just took it upon himself. The irony of this was that about ten miles later I caught him up which meant I could repeat the favour !!

Equally, I’m not ashamed to say I’ve shed a few tears of joy when 30 miles appeared in my first 50K and 50 miles appeared on my garmin in RTTK. A little embarrassing but totally understandable.

So, listen to any advice given, be a sponge and soak it up because distance running isn’t an exact science its a learning experience and a bloody great experience at that.

In summary, if you run slower, eat more and prepare there’s no knowing how far you can go !!

I’ve got my eye on Race to the King again this June, happy ultra running.

Roger

 

 

 

 

 

Naming your Blog

This post follows the process I went through when naming my blog. It took a lot longer than I anticipated but after three and a half years it still represents who and what I’m all about. Hopefully it will help other potential bloggers.

So, you’ve decided to go public with your passion, to tell the world how much you love your chosen subject.

How can you attract people to read your great content ? You’ll need a great name.

I considered both practical and emotional reasons but ultimately a simple solution emerged from an unexpected source.

Practicalities

  • Will your name work in terms of an email or a url address ? irunoffroad@hotmail.com¬†¬† etc etc
  • If you branch out into branding what will it look like on a t-shirt ? Too short ? Too long ? Just right ūüôā

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  • Has your newly thought up name already been thought up by someone else ? Consult namecheck , mine hadn’t and that was a great relief !!
  • Will your name have longevity ?¬†From my point of view my next name will be¬† iwalkoffroad¬†but that’s a few years off yet !!
  • Don’t limit your audience – the “i” can be read as me, Roger, or the person who embraces the whole concept and lifestyle that I’m writing about #irunoffroad
  • Look at other bloggers who write about your subject and see if any of their names spark a thought with you¬†?

Emotional

  • Will you still like this name in five years time ? It’s 3 1/2 years and I still love mine.
  • Don’t think small !! Shoot for the stars ūüôā¬†Choose a name that you could see above a shop door or on the side of a delivery van.
  • Don’t fall into the trap of being too current or too trendy, I considered a few options along these lines and did use the “i” to make it feel contemporary i.e. ipad, ipod even if that might not be apparent immediately.
  • Slightly off topic but take some time to choose the photo that complements your blog home page. Mine has a classic South Downs Way photo with a trail that wets your appetite (see the photo at the top of this post).
  • A memorable name is often a simple name, irunoffroad does what it says on the tin !! I run off road …. its as simple as that ūüôā¬†Having said that I did bump into a friend recently and he said what’s you blog called again ?? “I hate running” ho ho ho !!

So, after weeks of thought and with three blog posts written I had a chat with my teenage daughter.

She said, Dad, are you overthinking this ? , give me one phrase that sums up what you do ? ,¬†my reply …..

“i run off road”¬†, it fitted all of the criteria already mentioned. Genius.

Good luck with finding your perfect Blog name.

If¬† you’ve enjoyed reading this post I’ve been nominated in the UK Blog Awards Sports and Fitness category. The voting closes just before Christmas and the link is here, VOTE

Thanks for reading and maybe voting !!

Roger

National Get Outside Day Sept 30th

day

To quote those enthusiastic people from Ordnance Survey (OS) Leisure ……¬†On 30 September 2018,¬†they want you to get active outdoors. Join in with a National or Regional event near you, or create your own adventure outside with family and friends.

For more information, just follow this LINK

I’ve long been a convert to the Great British countryside, it’s¬†out there just waiting for you …. take in the fresh air, the scenery, the sights and sounds and you’ll be hooked, just like me ūüôā