Tag Archive: Training


Nav? I’ll just follow the person in front…

… that was my strategy for the MdS, and it worked. I didnt die, or even get mildly lost, despite my ‘drip under the tree’ incident. However, I had a thought that the Spine Challenger would be a different story, particularly as there’s no mention of support from helicopters, or gimassive green lasers to guide the way, or indeed another 1000 runners on the course to follow.

Nav refresher it is then…

Thankfully we’ve recently got to know Charlie Sproson from Mountain Run really well (he’s also doing the full Spine coincidentally), and he agreed to help us out with the skills we’d need to prevent deathbybadnav in Yorkshire come January

So that’s how we ended up at Mountain Run’s nerve centre in Watermillock, drinking brews and eating over-priced chocolate hob-nobs (they saw Glyn coming, again). We had a great couple of hours chatting about kitting choices, and nutrition and hydration, getting some good tips in the process, and also reinforcing some of the decision we’d made. Glyn’s face made me chuckle a number of times as he went from glee to ‘oh crap i’m going to die’.

We then got our kit together, and piled into Chadderseses van for the trip to Dufton near Appleby in Cumbria, and the Pennine Way. Took us a bit longer to get there than expected, but I’ll not go into that, and we were out of the van and sorting ourselves out. It was like a Montane catalogue shoot with all the kit that we’ve got, and Charlie is another who’s getting support from them – not sure any of us will ever get a modelling contract though. Then we were off up the road chuntering away to each other.  We rounded a corner and Charlie kicked in to gear – right where are we, how long do we expect to be on this path for, when will we be turning a corner.  Glyn and Chads confidently answered the questions, I disagreed with them. Show me where you are Wayne…. Ah, that’s the problem, I’m going down the wrong path, starting in the wrong place.  I was off to a bad start as I’d got lost within half a mile of the van!

We got some experience in recognising our surroundings as we made our way slowly uphill, checking out where we were in the daylight to a pretty accurate degree.  And then hit the snowline!  And boy, was there a lot of it, which surprised me. This was pretty exciting, it was soon going to be dark, and finding landmarks was becoming more difficult in the snow, and then we looked around and saw the clouds moving in too. AWESOME!!

We hit a cairn on Green Fell and the wind hit us.  Flipping heck it was cold!  We were fairly well kitted out between us, and had been gradually pulling on buffs, gloves and hats on as we ascended the fellside, but the wind went through me.  The other guys started putting waterproof trousers on to get some wind protection to their legs, but I thought I’d be ok as I had Skins and walking trousers on – Lesson Number 1!!

Charlie asked me to verify where we were by finding a sheep fold that should have been around 50 metres or so away.  I put my head torch on and trotted over.  Nope, no sheep pen. Some massive boulders, but they’re too big.  Charlie used this as an excercise for us.  Use the compass, measure the distance, pace it out.  Nope, no sheep pen still.  Phew, it’s not just me then (I’ll be back when the snow’s gone to find that bloody sheep pen).

Darkness was now well and truly upon us, and we were into the bubbles of light on our headtorches and not much else.  Talking through buffs muffling our voices.  My finger tips were getting proper cold despite my gloves, so Charlie had us doing actions to get circulation going. Brilliant, they were warm again and Lesson 2.  Now it was my toes, and snow was up inside my trousers and down into my goretex boots – wet cold feet – need gaiters – Lesson 3!  These lessons were coming thick and fast now.

Back to the cairn.  Measure the distance to the next cairn. Take a bearing – bloody hell I got it right!  Then it’s ‘two hundred metres, two hundred paces, off we go…. how’s everyone feeling’ says Charlie, ‘Bricking myself’said I.  Good was the response, and off we went, off the edge of the earth (or so it felt).  Two hundred and two paces later, and a cairn emerged from the darkness and I was bloody delighted.  I couldnt get over the fact that I’d managed not to lose myself on the fell, although the other three had taken the same bearing and were walking alongside me counting too.  At the cairn, we did the same again, with a longer count, but did the same again! Awesome!  I was feeling comfortable and confident now as we took another bearing from cairn to cairn.  On the downside, I could feel the cold leaching warmth from my legs and arms now, and I was getting really cold.  I had a spare down jacket in my pack, which I was contemplating putting on, but then we made it to the final cairn and then agreed to get off the fell down a road and back home.  We took a bearing to the road end, where it met the path, and off we trogged through the snow.

We had a great wander back to Dufton by the road, which had some incredibly drifting snow across, which seems a bit surreal now.  Chadders and I were chuntering away for most of the trip, with Glyn and Charlie chatting away further back as we wandered through Knock, then Dufton back to the van and the rest of the chocolate hob nobs

As always, we had a great day on the fells, and it was good to introduce Charlie to some of our ‘banter’, which was at least 50% down due to the absence of Andy.  All in all the day was fantastic, and I feel much happier about being in the darkness somewhere on the Pennine Way come Yorkshire.  However, I’ll feel less confident in Chadwick, after the needle on his compass decided to reverse direction with North facing South, but that’s another story.

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Forced to Cross Train

For those of you that follow the blog you’ll know I’m not running at the moment after having surgery on my shoulder, for those of you that are new to the blog I dislocated my shoulder whilst out running in the Lake District back in January.
The fall resulted in surgery 17 days ago for a repair to my Rotator Cuff and re-attachment of my Suraspinatus tendon.

I’m pleased to report that an ultra sound scan at out patients today showed everything is still in the right place and starting to repair, I’ve been told I’ve still to keep my arm in the sling I left hospital in until my next appointment in 3-4 weeks and to be careful as it’s usually weeks 3and4 that people start think its feeling good and begin to do more which often results in a poor out come or damage to the repairs made.
Having been off work for almost 3 weeks I certainly can’t afford any steps in the wrong direction so need to listen to the advise given!!!

I’ve had my first physio appointment and have some very specific exercise to do which are making a big difference already to my ever stiffening elbow and easing the annoying shoulder pain.

I’m pleased to report my ever suffering family are bearing up well to my constant moaning and boredom, whilst I’m getting good at one handed hovering and dusting I’m still not able to wash up much to Karen’s annoyance 😉

I’ve joined a gym this week, I’m not able to do much just yet but I’m keeping up with a bit of cardio on the exercise bikes and stair climber, I’m not sure what the gym staff think when I’m using the equipment one handed but there always asking if I’m ok or need any help.
I’m also enjoying the pool, it’s all one depth of 1.4m and with not been able to swim at the moment I’m able to walk lengths, again I guess I’m quite a sight walking up and down performing high knees with each stride but hey it feels like I’m doing something, gym sessions are usually finished off in the Sauna, Steamroom, Jacuzzi and a relaxing visit to the coffee lounge before walking home, between walking there and back I’m averaging 5 miles a day plus my workout, probably most important it’s getting me out the house for the morning which is great for the mind.

There’s only so much Jeremy Kyle and Loose Women a man can take !!!!!

And THE Biggest Loser is…………..

Well, I can now reveal that the weight is finally over.

The winner of the Ultramadness Wahey-In is ……………………. ME, Andy, with a loss of 8.85% of total starting body weight since our journey began in January.

You, the public, have spoken and 63% of you said the Lakeland 50 weigh in scales should be used for the final weigh in.

So with the poll closed the final standings look like this:

  1. Andy = 8.85%
  2. Chris = 8.33%
  3. Wayne = 3.31%
  4. Glyn = 1.79%

At one point Chris had what looked like an unassailable lead of over 4% but like Ultra Running weight loss is a pacing game. Wayne managed to sneak in with a leap over Glyn at the end who takes the wooden spoon!

So now, we need a new challenge as we’ve a lot of races lined up. Glyn and I are competing in the Grand Tour of Skiddaw  the 44 mile circular on August Bank Holiday weekend. Chris has the enormous challenge that is The Ring O Fire, the 131 mile Ultra to compete in which is being held at the end of August. This is then followed by the team competing at the 100km Ultimate Trails Ultra Marathon only a few weeks later mid September.

Its then only 3 months until the Spine Challenge so we’ve a lot of work to do, especially following the rest of our performances last weekend!

So if you’ve any ideas for a suitable challenge for the team to keep us motivated and pit ourselves against one another please let us know!

Thanks for your interest so far and be sure to stay tuned for news, views and the odd muse over the next few weeks!

Well, the Ultramadness weigh in has reached its finale, or has it???

The rules stated that we were to use the Lakeland 50 official weigh in as THE last weigh in of the competition and not the home scales we’d been using since the beginning of our challenge.

Now this gave us a bit of a situation as our home scales are calibrated differently, on carpet, less clothes than at the 50 weigh in etc etc so may not replicate the ‘home’ weight we’ve been recording against.

Home Scales Weigh In:

????? 10.53%
????? 9.13%
Glyn 2.00%
Wayne 1.86%

Lakeland 50 Weigh-In

????? 8.85%
????? 8.33%
Glyn 2.00%
Wayne 1.86%

So what to do, well you decide!!!

Well as luck would have it we have our first Ultramadness Family Funday (UMFFD) on the 1st August where we’re paying back some of the sacrifices our families make  to allow us to not only take part in these amazing events but also the training, kit, the kit, the other kit, that other kit and of course THE essential kit that’s just been released etc etc. Its a small token of our appreciation to them all.

So myself, Sarah and Isabelle along with Chris, Karen, Dan and Lauren plus Glyn, Kerry, Will and Ben and of course Wayne, Liz, Ally, Archie, Reece and Eleanor will meet on the shores of Consiton at an undisclosed location (for security) for a good family day out where no mention of running is allowed, well by the boys anyway.

Oh yeah, plus Dibble, Molly, Jake and Joss the dogs!!!

So how do you decide? Well here is a very simple poll, you choose which weigh in we use as to who wins the competition. We’ll take the votes at 10pm on Wednesday 31st July and reveal the winner then!

You’ll see that it was a 2 horse race at the sharp end but we’ve omitted the names of who was in which position. All you have to do is simply choose if we continue to use our home weigh in or the Lakeland 50 weigh in as per the rules.

Use the poll below:

(please excuse the unprofessional poll but its a free one)

It’ll only take a second and if you can share amongst as many of your friends as possible to give a tru representation of the nation that would be much appreciated.

Remember, its your voice, your votes count!

If your looking for somewhere to maximise your summer training and at altitude, then look no further than Pyrenean Trails

Jenny and Mike Rhodes will offer you a superb warm welcome. Its a family owned business which operates in the French Ski resort of Les Angles, catering for both Winter & Summer activities plus a whole range of extra leisure activities available for families, couples or groups of friends.​

Mike, who was part of the successful team who conquered Everest’s South West face in 1975 led by Chris Bonington, used his 50 years walking and climbing experience and gained qualifications as an International Mountain Leader and rock climbing instructor to be able to take out clients into the mountains.

Mikes the one in the fetching yellow t-shirt!

Pyrenean Trails is so well located its often frequented by international Triathlon Teams as their training base.

With the numerous trails based from the property this is an excellent base to get conditioned for the Lakeland events, The Spine, UTMB and others. In fact Mike regularly take tours on the Ultra Trail of Mont Blanc so can provide a valuable insight into the course.

photo 1Visit their website or email mike.rhodes@free.fr and be sure to mention www.ultramadness.co.uk for a warm welcome!

Going social…..

Well to keep up with all things digital we’ve set up our own Facebook page sharing some of our musings, recce updates, the all important and now extended weigh in competition and other news & views.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/ultramadness and like the page to be kept even further upto date.

Twitter, sure, follow @theultramadness for even more news although they’ll be restricted to just 140 characters!!

Wwaahheeyy, he’s done it again!!!!!

Well Chris has posted yet another tremendous loss and is simply leaving us trailing in his wake!!

Chris is sitting on an amazing loss of nearly 12% since we began at the end of January.

The standings currently are:

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With only three weigh ins left is it all over????

Stay tuned for the latest next week and we’ve a recce on the Spine Challenger course this weekend and they usually throw up a tale or two…………

How’s it gonna go in the Howgills????

1st proper long run out in the Howgills tomorrow since my disaster in the dales!!

Looking at the map route and profile pic it’s gonna be a great test.

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Stay tuned to see how Chris and I get on.

Solo but not too slow

Making the most of an opportunity to skive a day off work on Friday (I work for myself) and with all the other guys busy I decided on a solo out and back run from Edale.
An early start meant I’d be there for around 9am, straight forward enough to get to but with some very narrow and steep roads taking down to the bottom of the vallley my first thoughts were it could even be an issue to make the start line in January if the weather is bad, salt bins by the sides of all roads leading in says a lot!!
Pulling into the car park at 9.10 with the sun trying hard to break through the thinning clouds made conditions great for running all was good, well all was good apart from a little lack in self confidence on my part with the map, I’m ok reading and understanding maps but this was the first time I’d been out somewhere completely unknown and alone, knowing the pennine way route should be reasonably clear on the ground helped to ease my concerns, my confidence issue should be put right with my upcoming Mountain Skills nav course with the guys at http://www.nav4.co.uk !
Leaving the car park and heading out to the start location with my map in hand it wasn’t long before my first challange…… Yep there I am walking along when a couple appear from over a fence and ask if I can set them on the right path as they think they’ve lost there way…… Trying hard not to look as lost as they do we consult my map and there route description booklet and realise they are indeed on the wrong path and need to continue on the road with me a little further, a quick chat about my outing and upcoming Spine Challange and were soon parting ways as they head off on the right path…… Good deed done and almost appeared to know what I was doing Phewwwww.
Head out on the Pennine Way and its a nice incline heading up and out of the valley

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All good on the route / map front and I’m soon at the foot of Jacobs Ladder, a short but fairly steep climb sees me at the top with a magnificent Cain marking a great view back down the valley

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Another short climb and I’ve got an amazing view looking across another valley with Kinder Reservoir out to my left, a quick check on the map and I can see Cluther Rocks ahead which is the next point to head towards, a rough flagstone path easily shows the way and I’m making good time and plodding along nicely, reaching the rocks and suddenly my route has disappeared and I’m faced with a boulder field !!!
Time not to panic check the map and move forward slight traces of footsteps here and there and the sight of another Cain in the distance confirms im right and continue on through the rocks

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It’s was shortly after that I made my one and only navigation mistake, I’d come to Kinder Downfall and was expecting a good crossing point or bridge to show the crossing of the stream at top of the falls but there was nothing, with the now clear again path continue in along the stream edge I followed the path for what must have been another half a mile, checking the map it showed the crossing as right at the head of the falls and I was now clearly a long way from there so I turned round and went back, checking I’d not missed the crossing I was soon back to the falls and still not seen anything, picking a safe route across keeping dry feet was easy and after a small climb over some rocks I found the path on the other side, lesson learnt don’t always look for a bridge ect but trust the map.

The route from here was well trodden and easy to follow, more ups and down before hitting a crazily steep decent before climbing back up Mill Hill

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Top of mill hill a quick bite to eat and I’m off running yes running !!!!! Down a flagstone path with Peat Bog either side heading towards the A57, nothing strenuous so far as accent or decent and open moorland on all side is making it a bit of a boring section…. Sometimes we’re spoilt with the views we get when out.
This soon changed when running toward a section of path that was covered by a large black mucky puddle, thinking I’d run to one side to avoid the deep middle bit I’m soon knee deep in the bog and laid face first in the puddle !!!! Yes I’d obviously stepped of the path edge and straight into the thick of it, several loud choice words later and I’m upright dripping wet and covered head to toe !!!

Lesson number two learnt….. Do not step off the path !!!!!!!

This section could be really tough if its thick snow up there in January, with the path been level with the side bogs its gonna be very hard to stay on the path, I had spare layers with me so a five min stop and I was clean and dry again and soon arrived at the A57 with a little over 12 miles under my belt, time to be sensible, turn round and start heading back before i get to far, a better crossing of the puddle of doom and making good time on the flagstones again i was soon back enjoying some great views back towards Cluther Rock this time from the opposite side of the water fall, funny how you don’t seem to be going for long but things look along way off when your heading back towards them, a perfect crossing of the stream at the correct point, a slightly better crossing of the boulder field and I was we’ll on my way back to Edale

Coming back down Jacob’s ladder I was starting to feel very thirsty and the on set of muscle cramps were starting to come fast and strong, after the surgery I’ve had on my legs circulation isn’t great and cramping in both quads is often a big problem for me, I’ve learnt that lots of electrolyte helps massively and started drinking as much as possible when i suddenly realised I’d drank the 1 1/2 litres of fluid I’d taken with me, a quick stop to take my emergency half litre from inside my pack and I was back on my way thinking how poor my hydration could have been with out the emergency bottle….. I’d passed no where that I could have re-filled with water and the one and only stream at the falls was a very yellow/orange colour that I wouldn’t have fancied drinking.

Considering I was now around 20 miles I was wondering how were going to make the one and only checkpoint at 50 miles during the event, certainly shouldn’t be sweating as much in January but I think this could still be an issue ???

Final pic of the run back into edale

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It was a very enjoyable if not a touch lonely day out on my own that totalled a little over 23miles.

So to sum the day up
1. My map reading and confidence in my ability to do so was improved, there really is no substitute for just getting out there and having a go, although knowing it should be an easy to follow route/path double checking and noticing feature on the map and landscape certainly helped.
2. Do NOT to step of the path around very boggy areas.
3. How very valuable emergency supply can be.

Onward and upward as they say, http://www.ultratrail26.com/ultratrail26/howgills.html is my next long trot out and looking forward to my next outing with the full http://www.ultramadness.co.uk chaps

Weighing it all up…….

Well a bit of a Topsy Turvey week this week with one down, 2 up and 1 staying the same!

Chris has posted a loss making up on what he gained last week so maintains a pretty good lead into the last few weeks.

So the current standings are:

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Stay tuned folks, I feel a step up in training coming on to try and close the gaps…..

Well after what was one of THE worst runs out I’ve ever had on Sunday I frankly didn’t care what the results were for this week’s weigh in. (You can See Wayne’s account of the Spine recce from Gargrave – Horton-In-Ribblesdale here)

However we’ve each done our Tuesday morning weigh in and its business as usual, well almost.

Chadders continues to defy science and loses yet more!! With only 8 weigh-ins between now and the end of our competition it’s looking far less likely well catch him.

Despite my disaster on Sunday I posted another good loss proving that running club and regularly powering round Park Run and smashing PB’s is having a great effect.

Glyn, he’s also posted another steady loss this week, small but perfectly formed. Wayne had a tinsy-winsy loss this week too but sadly not enough to effect the figures!

So overall the results stand like this…..

Weigh In 30042013

It’s a pretty amazing overall loss so far from Chris and very respectable from everyone else.

Be sure to stay tuned to see how we progress as the end of the challenge nears…

A recce of two halves…..

Sunday 14th April saw a very early start to meet the rest of the crew at Hawes which we only just made. After a near head on collision with a VW Golf coming toward us  very much on the wrong side of the road was maybe just a sign of things to come……well read on.

We met the boys and ditched the motor at Hawes and made our way to Horton-In-Ribblesdale. The Cumbrian collective at this point were amazed at the value for money car parking charges being only £3.50 for the day.  Half the price than in the Lakes!!! #yorkshire #yorkshire #yorkshire

Upon our arrival at Horton the weather was overcast with a breeze and all was looking good. More astonishment at the car park charges, this time £4.00, but more still more than agreeable for a good day out and a bit like a buy one get one free but across the border.

So which way, amazingly the 1st place we went was to the pub, well the car park of the Crown to where we picked up the Pennine Way. These were to be out first tentative footsteps of what will be our 108 mile epic in January 2014.

We made or way along the Pennine Way and the route which is well signposted and good underfoot all the way to Birkwith Moor and the edge of the forests. We crossed a stream or two and despite having waterproof socks on I was ridiculed for leaping these to ensure I kept my feet dry.

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We’d been doing some good map reading tests along the way following our navigation session with Charlie Sproson, Director of The Outdoor Warehouse, to ensure we knew where we were and paying much needed attention of our surroundings, height and picking up locations across the valley to make sure we worked our timing out from point to point.

We could see the snow capped iconic Yorkshire 3 Peaks, Ingleborough, Pen-y-Ghent and Whernside. We were also able to see the weather that was chasing us along our route, it didn’t look good.

Our pace was good and Crossing Sike Moor to join with the Dales Way we made great progress up Oughtershaw Side and on toward Dodd Fell. It was here the Cumbrians made good decisions and donned full waterproofs.

THE SECOND HALF

I was sporting a couple of base layers and my new Montane Minimus Smock (review to follow), full length A400 Skins, waterproof socks with Injini liners and my Inov8 295’s. Despite the fact that the wind had whipped up to what felt like gale force and the rain had started I was still toasty warm and didn’t feel I needed my waterproof trousers which were in my pack.

As we followed the track under the summit of Dodd Fell we had to negotiate to snow drifts that were covering the track. In places we were knee deep and underneath was either ice trying to bring us down or deep freezing puddles.

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I had my Kahtoola spikes in my pack but these wouldn’t have been much use as they would have clogged up with the snow being very wet as now the rain which was near horizontal was turning to hail and was making things pretty miserable.

A couple of slips on the ice jarred a few muscles trying to stay upright, much to the amusement of the rest of the boys, and battling our way through the drifts was using all our muscles. This went on for around 2/3 miles!

Working our way along the track towards Ten End seemed to take and age only to be made much much worse by my lace loops snapping causing my shoe to start working loose. I had spare laces in my 1st aid kit and also as a lanyard for my compass (just in case) but on this occasion this wasn’t the issue and the only thing that would have worked was duct taping my shoe to my foot had it got any worse. Note to self wrap some around my bottle just in case!!!

So the rain, which had now got even harder and colder had run down my jacket sleeves and soaked my gloves, it was also so loud on my hood despite my hat that we were unable to hear one another over the noise.

As we topped out at Ten End and crossed Sleddale Pasture I stopped to put on my Berghaus Vapour Storm jacket. For once id acted before I needed to, more as prevention on this occasion, as I was still quite warm but there was zero let up in the rain and I wanted to make sure I didn’t start to get cold. Wayne reminded me to eat here and I popped another chunk of Chris’s amazing Granola! 

What id noticed was that despite my waterproof socks my feet felt very wet. What I hadn’t noticed is that the fierce rain/hail had saturated my skins and was running down my legs, into my socks and in turn was filling them up! Even worse tho was I had bloody cankles!

Now this is an ongoing discussion amongst the Ultramadness team and I was happy to be proved wrong in saying that the waterproof socks/shoes are great, until you get water in them! Water can get in from crossing a river and going over the top of the socks and it being unable to escape, this can cause all sorts of issues if this is for a period of time.

So now I was running in a loose shoe and  waterproof socks with a pint of water in each that had run down my saturated skins! BRILLIANT!!!

Now had I put my waterproof trousers on there would have been no issue at all but as I wasn’t anywhere near cold I simply didn’t feel the need. Even when I stopped to put my GORE-TEX jacket on putting on my over trousers hadn’t even crossed my mind!

Never would I have thought my socks were going to fill with water in such a fashion so less an error more something to think on for next time!

So on we went descending into Hawes. The pasture was very wet and extremely slippery. Normally a fun trot down but my loose shoe was causing my foot to move in my wet sock and cause an issue. I knew we had maybe 3km to go at this point so we cracked on but any longer would be an issue for sure.

Chris had hit the deck 3 times coming down the descent. Fortunately he was able to control these and not aggravate his dislocated shoulder from a trot in the Lakes earlier in the year where he’d slipped on the ice coming down Red Pike above Buttermere in January!

We hit the road and the slipping in the shoe was starting to takes its toll and I felt some blisters forming. Having run down the hill with less coordination than usual had also started to worsen a lower back issue, thankfully only a dull ache was to be the issue! A trip to my Chiropractor to line me back up before our training starts proper is likely required to make sure this doesn’t get any worse, especially as we’ll be carrying so much more weight on the Spine!

We made it back to the car and changed into some warm clothes. My socks were emptied and a ridiculous amount of water was in them. Jury’s still out on this one boys but ill be giving them another go but im really not sure!

This recce had been really valuable for a number of reasons. My base layers, a Rab AEON  ls t-shirt, Montane Bionic t-shirt and Montane Minimus Smock had worked brilliantly with gloves and hat. I’ve been happy with my Skins and shorts for a while now but I’ve still to sort my socks out yet!

I made a sensible decision in putting on my GORE-TEX jacket before I’d needed too and the rain running into my socks was something id never ad even thought about so this had been a valuable lesson! Would anyone else have expected this?

I also had a spare thermal base layer in my pack had I needed it and my RAB Generator insulated smock so things are looking good as to finalising my kit for the Spine Challenge proper! Spare gloves, waterproof, and a spare hat and im pretty good to go in the clothes department.

We’ve a recce from Edale – Wessenden Head planned for the end of April so more fine tuning im sure but all in all a very eventful but invaluable first recce.

Next time we’re on this leg we hope to be finishing the Spine Challenge. It will be very dark, likely we’ll be ridiculously tired, and I suspect very emotional and willing our bodies the last 14 miles to Hawes!

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/297840807

 

Be sure to subscribe for future instalments and updates on our goings on……

 

 

Hey, weight up……………..and down!!!!

Well for this weeks eagerly anticipated weigh in it appears that lbs amongst the Ultramadness team are like corporate shares, they can go up as well as down!

After what was an awesome recce at the weekend covering the Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Hawes section (more to follow) we were all keen to see the effects at today’s weigh in. Especially after Chris’s Ultra Fueling granola experiment!

Well Chadders, hes a getting bit boring now, continues to steam ahead with an amazing 10% loss since we began the challenge and posts yet another loss this week.

I too have managed a small loss which bucks my trend having only gained once in the last 12 weeks. I’m currently posting a total loss of just under 4%

Wayne has maintained equilibrium this week and sits at an overall loss of 1.4% which has Glyn close behind, following a small gain, with an overall loss at a rounded 1%!!!!

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…….. so on we go to next week.

Stay tuned to see if we can catch Chris or if he starts to slip back a little bit.

Better still be sure to follow the blog by entering your email for all the updates as they are posted as we’ve some more recce’s, wild camps and a few races coming up.

Till next time……

Ultra Fueling

Having now had the experience of a few ultras and heading into some longer event its about time I got my act together so far as eating on the hoof.
With all the effort been put into health eating and weight loss, (which I appear to be doing rather well in !!!!) I need to make sure that I’m getting enough to eat on route but without killing all the hard work.
With the upcoming Spine route recci it was the perfect time to see what worked.

Im not a fan of really sweet sugary jelly sweets that give you a quick boost but for me just don’t sustain any prolonger energy, savoury foods work well for me but can be a burden to carry and keep in a good condition, so I decided on having a go at making my own Granola.
A trip to the supermarket and an hour in the kitchen resulted in a tray of Low Fat Granola been removed from the oven.
After cooling It was tested by the whole family with lots of Hmmmm’s all round even from the kids.

Armed with four bags each containing two pieces it was an early morning start to meet the Ultramadness gang out at Hawes, another short drive allowing for car logistics and we were at Horton-in-Ribblesdale with a vehicle back in Hawes for our return journey.

Granola handed out and off we set, a couple miles in and consciously trying to remember to eat a little but often it wasn’t long before we were trudging up hill and the perfect opportunity for tucking into my first piece, WOW sweet enough for that instant hit, chewy but easy to swallow even when breathing a little harder from the uphill effort, tasty and filling enough to feel like I’d eaten something of substance without that overly full feeling.

The noises been made all round seemed to indicate I wasn’t the only one happy with the Granola !!

Todays test was very positive for me, I wasn’t flagging or energy sapped by the end and most importantly my stomach agreed with the contents consumed .

Next I need to have a think and see if there’s health savoury option to be made and tested!!

Low Fat Granola Ingrediants
1 Cup Bran Flakes
1 Cup Multigrain Cherrio’s
1 Cup Rice Crispies
1 Cup Oats
1/2 Cup Sugar Free Maple Syrup
1/4 Cup Low Fat Peanut Butter

Additional ingredient optional, add to your own taste, I included
Peacan Nuts
Sunflower Seeds
Cranberrys

Place cereals and oats into a large zip lock freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin
Remove from bag and place in a large mixing bowel
Add additional ingrediant and mix thoroughly
Soften peanut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds and add to to the bowel along with maple syrup, again mix thoroughly

Pre heat oven to 200 C

Spread mixture evenly in a shallow tin and place in centre of oven for 20 min

After 20min remove from oven and cut into bite size or bar size pieces as you require, return to oven for a further 15 min.

If you like your Granola slightly soft and chewy remove it from the oven after 15min and allow to cool naturally, if you like it harder / crunchy switch the oven off after 15min and allow the granola to cool inside the oven.

Tune in for next weeks weigh -in to see the effects of Low Fat Granola !!!!!!!

Worth weighting for………

Well apologies to those sitting on the edge of your seats yearning for the latest results of our weekly weigh-in. What with the Easter holidays and people being away etc it meant that we weren’t able to all weigh in at the same time.

Anyway now were all back and the results are terrible!!!!

Wayne and Glyn, despite valiant training’ish efforts, have gained a lb or two. Chadders, he’s maintained the equilibrium and posted a zero loss/gain. I on the other hand after two thirsty back to back weddings and a week indulging in Cream teas etc courtesy of Devon have posted a loss!

So the standings are as below:

11042013

Chadders is still (quality) streets ahead and hopes to maintain this thru to the finish. I’ve managed to open up a touch of daylight from Glyn and Wayne who are currently battling it out for the chocolate spoon!

Keep watching as we’ve a few recces and events lined up over the coming weeks so things could start to close up!

Weigh out in front………

Well Chris has done it again posting another loss this week to put him way out in front.

I’ve stayed static which is amazing given I had a large weekend socialising in London whereas both Glyn & Wayne both posting gains this week.

Weigh out front

Are we going to be able to catch Chadders before the end of June, be sure to follow us and the waheyin over the coming months……..

The famous 5………

Well it’s a little later than planned but finally here is the update following what turned out to be a hard slog of a recce from Coniston to Buttermere……

8:30am (ish) we actually started from the Walna Scar Car Park to miss out the Coppermines section we know quite well and also hope not to get lost on when we don’t he event proper. If were out of touch of the group by then in the event then we should quite simply turn round and go home!!!

So of we headed up and over the Walna Scar Rd to Seathwaite. We’d already deposited a car at Buttermere the night before (cheers Glyn) so this gave us little option but good incentive to make it all the way along the now 24ish miles via Seathwaite, Boot, Wasdale, Black Sail to Check Point 4 of the Lakeland 100 course in Buttermere! This was the 1st outing of us all together this year and it was to be a test in terms of where we were in fitness and to address the required training etc for the Lakeland 50 in July, the Spine Challenge in Jan and then onto the Lakeland 100 in July 14′

It was a reasonable pull to the top of Walna Scar and we were pleased to see the descent down toward Seathwaite. It was nice to get some proper running in and stretch the legs too. We all made pretty good progress following Long House Gill down to where the track met the road which we then followed to Seathwaite Church. Chris had a touch of the old jelly legs coming down and having refuelled was ready for the next leg to Boot.

photo 1 (2)

It was interesting as at this point we’d done less than 7 miles and taken it steady up to the top of the Road and id also purposefully taken it steady down the other side too. Reason being is my quadriceps tend to get smashed pretty quickly and today sadly wasn’t to be an exception despite my cautious descent. This is a big issue for me as on my 2nd attempt at The Lakeland 50 I’d been able to get round in a reasonable time (15:40) even with this issue but for bigger, longer races ill really struggle and not really stand a chance! THIS NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED……..

So back to the recce and of we went toward Boot. There are some great recce videos from a chap Call John Knayston,  these videos have proved very useful in giving a few pointers and when he referenced the tight squeeze through the stile he wasn’t joking.

Thankfully all our hard work on the weigh-ins had so far proved to be very valuable!!!

We made our way up and over toward Boot, taking in the boggy section after the very noisy dogs and up through the plantation and down toward Penny Hill farm via the steep descent between the rocky knowles. This section would certainly be interesting and advantageous to be thru well before it got dark!  A couple of tumbles had been had by Wayne and Glyn but nothing too serious.

The weather was glorious and the views around us only further reminded us why we love to be out in the mountains and all day we had barely seen a soul!

photo 3 (2)

We made it to Boot and decided to stop and refuel in the local pub. The landlady looked oddly at me when she asked where we’d come from and were headed for and more to the fact we weren’t on bikes but running!!! Still she was happy to take a ridiculous £15 for 5 cokes and a packet of crisps!!!

So after our ‘refuel’ it was over to Sam for the navving as he’d done this section earlier this year in the snow. No pressure then!!!

We headed up and out of Boot onto the moor taking in Burnmoor Tarn before headed onward and down into the Wadsale valley via the Brackenclose Climbing Hut. We had planned to stop at Wasdale and grab a quick beer en route but our progress hadn’t been super quick so we decided to crack straight on. This was purely a celebratory drink you understand in light of my new daughter Isabelle, Glyn’s new Son Will and Waynes new daughter Eleanor who arrived within just 4 months of one another!

So on we went headed up and over Black Sail Pass, slowly. Well I was for sure and Chris was on my heels. Glyn and Sam went off like trains with Wayne in ‘warm’ pursuit. Its a long climb and makes Gatesgarth out of Mardale Head look like a speed bump. That said once at the top we knew it was down to Black Sail YH, Scarth Gap then we were home, simple eh! WRONG!!!

photo (2)

The descent to Black Sail YH was awful, granted the snow that remained didn’t help but all I could think of was we’d be doing this in the dark for sure doesn’t fill me with joy only made worse as my quads were now shot to pieces!

We took 5 at the Youth Hostel before what seemed a very tame ascent up over and down Scarth Gap Pass, along Buttermere Lake through Burtness Wood to the finish at Buttermere.

It was here we finally had our celebratory pint and raised a well earned glass to our wonderful newborns!

Fair to say it was another great day out and gave us a good idea of where we are moreover what needs to be done between now and July for the Lakeland 50.

All that was left was for Glyn (aka Statham) to drive us back to Coniston and then home…cheers boys, till next time!

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/280527546 (watched stopped)

A weekend of mixed fortunes…..

Well last weekend was one of mixed fortunes which started Saturday morning at Parkrun Harrogate, only my 4th in total.

Id set my PB back in September last year and was struggling to beat it. Normally we have pacers to latch onto and push for a a better time but this weekend none were available.

So of i set off and pushed on hoping to make good time. Conditions were good, cold and clear with a light breeze so i shouldn’t have been too surprised when i knocked almost a minute off my PB setting the bar at 25:38. Well i was very surprised and also VERY pleased, Sunday however was to be a different matter.

So id agreed to meet Deborah at Osmotherley to take part in the Osmotherley Trail Series entering the half marathon event. It came in around 15 miles and id dropped down from the Marathon event as Chris wasn’t available.

Good job he wasn’t able to attend as my car wouldn’t start at 7am on Sunday morning and despite many attempts to get it going it was to no avail.

So an apologetic call to Deborah only to find out that although already at Osmotherley Deborah needed to about turn and return her fellas car keys from the passenger door pocket as he needed to drive to Glasgow! All in all a bit of a shambles.

So instead i managed a lovely but cold 6 mile trot round Harrogate exploring a couple of trails id not ran before, so all was not lost!

What with this Wayne & Glyn having to abort their run, Sundays non event for me and Chris on Football duty we’re really going to have to step up our training regime!

Lets see what this weekend brings!

Training – sometimes it’s about the lesson

Wayne – how far have we done?

Glyn – three and a half miles mate, why, what you thinking?
Wayne – I’m thinking I can’t manage another mile of this before we get to Gatescarth Pass. Can we go back?
Glyn – yes mate, lets do it
This was the conversation that we had stood looking down into Mosedale last Saturday.  We’d started off from Wet Sleddale near Shap, with the intention of running to the car we’d dumped on Friday night near Dubbs Reservoir, above Troutbeck which would be around 16 miles.  It’s name gives away what the ground is like in Wet Sleddale, and it never fails to disappoint. It’s pretty high up and there was still plenty of snow around, particularly as we climbed up onto the tops.  The wind was howling down and we were pretty wrapped up in Buff, hat, gloves and jackets on top, but that wasn’t to be where the trouble lay.
As we got higher, the amount of snow increased which proved difficult underfoot.  At times for about three footfalls, we were flying along on fairly solid snow, then it gave way and we were shin deep.  It was to be one of these instances that led to us turning round.  I was shifting along when suddenly my foot went through the snow, cracked a layer of ice and plunged mid-shin in water that was so cold it made be gasp.  I was frustrated that I’d done it as well as being instantly freezing.  My foot was numb and I tried to move along a bit quicker to warm up.  The problem was that there were two alternatives – carry on running on snow with the same problem of going through it, or move on marshy ground with freezing water coming into my shoes with every footstep.  I think I managed to grit my teeth for about half a mile of this before the conversation above with Glyn.
As with all training runs, the outing is never worthless despite us not doing the mileage we’d hoped.  As you’ll see from Glyn’s post, we had a major discussion about footwear and sock choice for the Spine.  I couldnt manage another mile in my Inov-8 295’s and Injinji socks – and the temperature wasnt too bad and it was daylight.  If I’d been using the same footwear in the night on the Spine I would have been in all sorts of trouble pretty quickly.  I’ve already got a pair of Inov8 Roclite boots so think they might be my first choice come race day, maybe matched up with some SealSkinz waterproof socks
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