Trail Running Oct Nov issue

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TRAIL RUNNING GET FITTER, FASTER AND DIRTIER trailrunningmag.co.uk ISSUE 34 OCT/NOV 16

EXTRA MAG!

TRAIN FOR ANY DISTANCE FROM 1 MILE TO ULTRA

No.1 for off-road running

Run your first

or fastest 10k

easy tricks

to master

muddy hills

6

Secret

stamina

Pros reveal 5 easy ways to up your

distance before the clocks go back

REAL

LIFE

How not to run

an ultra race

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ISSUE 34 £4.99 OCT/NOV 16

SCIENCE BEHIND

Does it really

work for runners?

The secret to

juggling work,

family & running

Juicing

for fitness

Short on time

for training?

10

BEST TRAILS

TO RUN THIS

AUTUMN

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START LINE WELCOME

W HAT’S YOUR NEXT...

...CHALLENGE? IT SEEMS

to have been a summer

packed full of people

running further than

they’ve ever run before!

We’ve got Ben Smith and

his 401 marathons, Elise

Downing and Wayne Russell

running around the UK, and

Lucja Leonard and her #500kin5days challenge.

What would be your ultimate trail-running

challenge? I’d love to run the Cape Wrath Ultra,

which we covered last issue (want to buy that

mag? 01858 438884 or www.magsdirect.co.uk)

as the idea of a week jogging gently through the

wilderness, surrounded by remote mountains,

sounds fan-bloomin’-tastic to me. If you feel

the same way, turn to p38 for Montane athlete

CAUTION

Subscribing to Trail Running mag

will change your personality:

1 Unprecedented bi-monthly lust for

running on beautiful trails.

2 Unrivalled potential to hoover up

all our trail experts’ training tips.

3 Uncontrollable delirium every two

months as the postman arrives.

Don’t miss out, see p36 for

our latest subscription

deal.

Debbie Martin-Consani’s

advice on building your stamina, and

p50 to avoid making the most common ultra

mistakes. For those with shorter or speedier

ambitions, or for a useful injection of fast

work into any longer-distance training, you’ll

enjoy Nik Cook’s 10k training plans, p64.

I hope this expert advice helps you towards

your next off-road challenge, whatever it may

be. Email in now or contact us on Facebook,

Twitter and Instagram to tell us yours! Or, if you

haven’t a clue, check out the routes and races

at the back of every mag. We’ve got the most

inspirational races covered, so pick one, train

up, take pics, then tell us how you got on for

your chance to be famous

in a future issue of Trail

Running magazine.

M EET THE TEAM

RUTH JONES

Ruth reveals the best

way to keep your

training on track as

autumn falls, p13

NIK COOK

Nik’s expertise will

get you trained up

right for your first or

fastest 10k race, p64

DEBBIE MARTIN-

CONSANI

The Montane athlete

reveals how to boost

your stamina, p38

DAMIAN HALL

Damian interviews

Ricky Lightfoot on

how to juggle work,

kids & training, p56

KELLY LUCAS

Kelly reveals how not

to run an ultra, with

the top 10 mistakes

not to make, p50

ROB KEMP

Is necking a litre of

bright green liquid as

good as you think?

Rob finds out, p46

/trailrunningmag @trailrunningmag tr@bauermedia.co.uk

TRAIL RUNNING 3


HOW TO SURVIVE

AN ULTRA RACE

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TRAIL RUNNING GET FITTER, FASTER AND DIRTIER trailrunningmag.co.uk

week marathon

12training plan

5k

Easy

trail

4-week plan

‘Black toenails

are a badge

of honour!’

Would you eat this

weird new recovery bar?

10 best summer

trail runs + maps

unning

Quick

Summer

Fitness

ISSUE 33 AUG/SEP 16


Get confident off-road

✓Brain-train for stamina

✓Plan the perfect trail run

GOLDEN RULES

4 FOR INJURY-FREE

RUNNING

5 Secret

tricks for

fast downhills

Trail champion

Kilian Jornet’s

masterclass

10

Best shoes

for long

runs

Ultimate

strength

boost

In three

essential

meals

SPECIAL

SUBSCRIPTION

OFFER PAGE 36

WARM-UP

6 TOP TRAILS

Global off-road running inspiration

13 SCIENCE NEWS

5 ways to keep autumn training on track

16 TRAIL NEWS

What’s got us trail runners talking

20 TAKE TO THE SKIES

Our Skyrunning World Series update

22 DOUBLE THE GLORY

NIcky Spinks on her Bob Graham record

24 PICTURE THIS!

Andy Symonds illustrates his Lavaredo

Ultra Trail race win

28 MOUNTAIN MAN

US ultra-marathon runner Hal Koerner

32 YOU SAID, YOU DID

Tales from your time on the trails

ADVENTURES

30 HAVE A MINI TRAIL-

RUNNING ADVENTURE

Take a break from the mundane

38 SECRET STAMINA

Easy ways to up your distance

46 JUICING FOR FITNESS

Is it as healthy as you think?

50 HOW NOT TO RUN

AN ULTRA RACE

Avoid the 10 most common mistakes

56 SHORT ON TIME FOR

TRAINING?

Ricky Lightfoot on the secret to juggling

work, family and running

91 10 BEST AUTUMN TRAILS

Mapped routes for you to explore

103 RACES

The best events across the country

4 WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


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Take on a charity

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TRAINING

61 TRAINING Q+A

Cure heel pain, prevent injury, and

get a natural energy boost

64 RUN YOUR FIRST

OR FASTEST 10K

Two easy eight-week training plans

68 FUEL RIGHT FOR

LONG RACES

What to eat to go the distance

p30

70 LEARN TO NAVIGATE

Map-reading basics from the

Original Mountain Marathon experts

72 6 EASY TRICKS TO

MASTER MUDDY HILLS

Unlock the key to high-altitude races

Be inspired! Join

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78 COMPRESSION TIGHTS

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82 SHOES TO LAST

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86 IT’S ALL ABOUT

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TRAIL RUNNING 5


RUNNING

INSPIRATION

BE HERE, RUN THIS, FEEL FANTASTIC


TIME TO PLAY

“Make all trails your playground, like our

athletes in this photo!” says outdoor brand

Salomon. Its athletes always seem to be

having fun, including the world’s best trail

runners Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg,

and UK talent Ricky Lightfoot (see p56).

Salomon’s new campaign ‘Time to Play’

reflects this; it’s all about wearing serious

technical kit and performing to your max,

but not taking yourself too seriously.

Watch its behind-the-scenes gear videos

from 21 September here: www.salomon.com

SALOMON CHRISTOPHER SJOSTROM


RUNNING

INSPIRATION

BE HERE, RUN THIS, FEEL FANTASTIC


IANCORLESS

MOROCCAN

TOIL

With relentless sand, heat and

challenging terrain, plus daily

distances continually hovering

around the marathon mark,

the 2016 and 31st edition of

the Marathon des Sables was

considered by many to be one

of the toughest in the race’s

long history. At 257km, it was

also the longest, and as these

pictures show, arguably the

most beautiful edition, too.


RUNNING

INSPIRATION

BE HERE, RUN THIS, FEEL FANTASTIC

PATAGONIA LLOYD BELCHER VISUALS

YOUR FIRST ULTRA?

Wouldn’t you just jump at the chance to

run the Great Wall of China like Patagonia

ambassador Krissy Moehl here? She

ran along this historic monument last

November, then launched her first book,

Running Your First Ultra: Customizable

Training Plans for your First 50k to 100-

mile Race. As women’s race winner at the

Ultra Tour du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), France

2009, and the Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji, Japan

2013, we’d definitely recommend Krissy’s

advice. www.patagonia.com


WARM-UP

The latest health & fitness research to boost speed & stamina

Keep your training

on track this autumn

Embrace the change in seasons and give your training a

fresh new focus, with some clever tweaks from our experts...

Words Ruth Jones

2 DARE TO GO BARE

AND REDUCE INJURIES

Swapping your running shoes

for some barefoot training can

encourage the transition from heel

striking to landing on your forefoot,

reducing the risk of injury, Granada

and Jaén university researchers

have found. Speed, endurance

and strength are all improved,

supporting the bigger training miles.

1 RUN LONGER FOR

STRONGER FEET

Increasing mileage in autumn to

improve strength and endurance for

year-round fitness is de rigueur for

most runners. But, now, Camilo José

Cela University scientists in Madrid

have discovered that upping your

miles also helps improve the heel

bone’s mineral density, reducing the

negative effects of ageing to boot.

3

BREATHE

MORE EASILY

Don’t let bad weather stop you

from building your base mileage, as

improving fitness levels can help you

breathe easy for decades to come.

Northwestern University researchers

monitored runners over 20 years, and

found those who had lost fitness

had poorer pulmonary function than

those who had kept running.

4 EMBRACE TRACKING

TECHNOLOGY

Fitness trackers are no longer the

preserve of the sedentary wishing

to up their steps, with runners

increasingly using them to aid their

training. Researchers at Hankyong

National University have reviewed

the Fitbit Flex, Jawbone Up24, Misfit

Shine and Withings Pulse, with the

latter the most highly rated.

5

STAY LEAN

FOR LIFE

To elongate your lifespan, keep slim

for as long as possible. Runners

tend to be a naturally leaner breed,

but Harvard professors have found

that maintaining a lower body-mass

index leads to a longer life, after

analysing over 100,000 Americans’

changing body shapes from the age

of five right up until old age.

TRAIL RUNNING 13


WARM-UP | HEALTH NEWS

FEET FIRST

Running is best

for your bones

Running improves long-term bone health more

efficiently than non-weight-bearing activities like

cycling, scientists have revealed, after comparing

the hormones of ultra-marathon mountain

runners and endurance cyclists. Researchers

at the Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi in Milan

recommend those at risk of weaker bones run

rather than cycle, because running exerts a

higher physical load on bones, stimulating

bone tissue repair –

bones work with

other organs

to drive

the body’s

energy

needs.

Under the

microscope:

Negative

strength training

What? Focusing all your energy on the

downward motion of weightlifting.

When using bigger weights, reverse

the movement of each exercise, slowly

lowering a weight towards you, rather

than pushing it away quickly.

Why? Reversing each weight-bearing

exercise lengthens the muscle you’re

working on, tearing more

‘High

levels of

aerobic fitness can

compensate for the

health risks associated

with prolonged

sedentary time’

Paul Hough, St Mary’s

University sport and

exercise scientist

@the_hough

muscle fibres, and thus

making you stronger,

more quickly.

Where? Negative

strength training

can be done

in any wellequipped

gym,

but always do

your research

before you start

hitting the heavier

weights.

STRENGTH

FOR SPEED

Incorporate a strength programme for

your ankle and calf muscles now to help

maintain speed and prevent injuries

as you age, say experts. East Carolina

University researchers studied the

biomechanics of 110 runners aged 23

to 59, and found the older runners’

speed reduced by 20% with each

decade, due to lower activation of the

ankles and calves, leading to weaker

muscles. Start a recommended strength

routine today, including ankle presses,

squats and extension exercises, to help

your future – and present – self.

MONTGOMERY MARTIN/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

Fitness blog dangers

Be smart when using social media and

mobile apps to keep tabs on your running

and overall fitness levels, as research has

revealed how easy it is to fall foul of their

negative obsessive elements. Experts at

Georgia College & State University and

Chapman University found those at risk of

succumbing to the dangers of compulsive

exercise and eating disorders had

exacerbated symptoms when accessing

‘fitspiration’ websites

and apps on a

regular basis.

Used wisely,

however, online

fitness media

can provide

valuable

support.

FOOD FIGHT!

Sarah Danaher BSc/MSc, registered dietician and lecturer at St Mary’s

University, London, casts her expert eye over these meaty snacks

NAKED

APE BARS

These bars are a

high-protein paleo

snack, made from

biltong, dried

fruits, nuts and

seeds. With 52.7g

of protein per

100g, and wheat

and gluten free,

they’re ideal as a pre- and post-run snack.

It contains a good blend of protein from

the beef and nuts, and quickly absorbed

carbohydrates from the dried fruit, as

well as healthy fats and antioxidants.

V

BRITISH

BEEF JERKY

Jerky (dried beef)

is often eaten as a

snack by endurance

athletes because

of its high protein

content. Each 50g

pack provides 36g

protein. This biltong

is dry and chewy, so great if you’re

not in a hurry to eat and want to give

your jaws a workout! These are mostly

protein, so for pre-run fuelling or a

post-run recovery snack, be sure to add

some carbohydrate, such as a banana.

VERDICT Both of these bars pack a protein punch. Biltong can be tough to eat,

however, the dried fruits in the Naked Ape Bar added moistness. The flavour

combination of biltong, dried fruits and nuts worked surprisingly well, too.

14

WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


STEFAN DAHL LANGSTRUP/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

Muscles

need rest

When you’re pumping iron to increase

strength and help injury prevention,

take your time recovering

between weightlifting

sets to maximise muscle

growth, say University of

Birmingham experts. In

their study they found

shorter rest intervals

may actually impair

improvements in

muscle development,

but longer periods

between sets saw

a 152% increase

in growth. Good

news for runners

who struggle with

strength work

– more rest is

actually good

for you.

AGE IS NO BARRIER

Runners collecting their pensions can enjoy similar energy

levels while active as those a third of their age, researchers

at the University of Colorado have discovered. Their recent

study compared the running efficiency and economy of

20-year-olds with those well into their seventh decade, and

found if a regular running habit was maintained, the older

athletes burned oxygen at nearly the same rate as their

younger counterparts. So keep on running to stay young.

Give young

’uns a run for

their money

EAT ‘N’ RUN

Medium baked potato

(173g) with 1tbsp of

butter 263 kcal

+

Mug of hot

toddy tea

(whiskey,

honey, water

& tea) 114 kcal

=

36

minutes

trail

running

based on a

126lb female

averaging

a 9-minute

mile pace

HEALTH NEWS | WARM-UP

SERGII TELESH/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

5 WAYS TO...

Boost your

willpower in the

darker months

As the light fades, stay bright

and positive to maximise your

training potential…

◆ DRINK UP Peppermint tea

can provide a pre-training boost. In

a Northumbria University study, the

minty herbal drink came out on top

above plain hot water and chamomile

tea for its alertness-enhancing

qualities. Researchers confirmed that

drinking the easily accessible leaves

also improved the mood and cognitive

levels of the study’s participants.

◆ BEAT

THE BLUES

Exercise should

be prescribed as

personalised

medicine

for those

suffering with

depression,

say University

of Florida Health

researchers. The study focused on

those with genetic markers that put

them at risk of feeling low, allowing

them to predict who might benefit

from exercise. We always knew the

runner’s high was a real phenomenon.

◆ TREAT YOURSELF If dull

weather means you’re struggling to

get out for that run, promise yourself

a reward once you’ve completed

your session. That’s the advice

from University of Pennsylvania

researchers, who studied the effect

incentives had on encouraging people

to get active. Participants were more

engaged when they were offered

rewards in return for exercise.

◆ JUMP HIGHER Back squats

triumph over their front equivalent,

say sport scientists at Goethe

University in Frankfurt. Incorporate

the back squat, with or without

a barbell, into your strength and

conditioning programme to work the

gluteals and lumbar spine, improving

your ability to leap, jump and stride

out on your runs. It may even help you

bounce out of bed in the morning.

◆ GET HELP If you’re unlucky

enough to get injured, embrace the

vast amount of sports rehabilitation

support services available, advise sport

and exercise scientists from Leeds

Beckett and York St John universities.

Acknowledging the huge impact injury

can have on anxiety and confidence

levels, their study emphasised the

importance of recognising injury rehab

as an opportunity for development

and growth in producing more

positive outcomes.

TRAIL RUNNING 15


WARM-UP | TRAIL NEWS

EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

ROB JEBB’S

RUNNER-UP

BG ROUND

No one told Rob Jebb

that two extraordinary

Bob Graham Rounds

was enough for one year.

Following Jasmin Paris’ and Nicky

Spinks’ fastest women’s and fastest

Double BGs, Rob ran the second

fastest ever time in July. The multi-

British Fell Running Champion

ran the famous 42-peak Lakeland

challenge in 14hr 30min, just 37min

short of Billy Bland’s record time of

13:53, which has stood since 1982.

Rob set off with a 14:54 schedule,

Mark Hartell’s second fastest BG time,

from 1999. “I had no idea if I could do

it. I ran legs one and two a fortnight

before and ran out of steam on that.

I didn’t even know where the Bob

Graham went. But sometimes it helps

if you don’t know what’s coming.”

RACHAEL PLATT

Former British fell-running champ

37min short of Billy Bland’s

“During the

run I felt good,

and I enjoyed it.

I never had a bad

patch, really. After three

hours I felt a bit tired. So I

just went faster. The road at the

end was the hardest. I had sore

feet and a toenail hanging off. I felt

emotional at the finish. I don’t really

get emotional. But when you think

where you’ve been…”

Could the 41-year-old go 37min

faster? “I don’t know. Maybe if I

actually trained for it? But it’s a lot of

time to find. I think someone will break

it now. If I were 10 years younger…”

■ Rob is sponsored by Scott

Sports and Pete Bland Sports;

www.scott-sports.com,

www.peteblandsports.co.uk

60

SECONDS

WITH...

ANNIE CONWAY

GB runner Annie become

Long Distance Mountain

Running World Champion

in June, after victory at

Podbrdo, Slovenia.

When did you get into

running? When I moved

to the Lake District and

discovered the fells and the

stunning views that go with

it. I love the variety of terrain

where I live, the unpredictable

weather, the social aspect,

and the achievement of

being able to run further

and faster over time.

I could barely walk

up when I first tried.

How did you

make the leap

to international

athlete?

By having

some consistent

performances in

races and realising I

might be fast enough

to make the GB team.

How did the World

Long Distance

Mountain Running

Championships go? I was

pacing myself and confident

I would have strength at the

end of the race.

How did it feel to win? Like a

dream come true. An amazing

high that I wanted to share

with all my family and friends

who have helped support me.

What do you attribute your

amazing performance to?

Having fun, and trying to keep

up with my dogs, which has

built my physical strength.

How has husband Terry (the

Lakeland 100 course-record

holder) helped? We’ve had

a good time competing

against each other when

out training! He’s been my

biggest supporter too.

Who inspires you? My

two collies, Billy and

Memphis, and my

training partners!

What’s next for

you? Running

for the GB team

in the Mountain

Running World

Championships in

Bulgaria in September.

Annie is sponsored by

Pete Bland Sports, www.

peteblandsports.co.uk

‘Yesterday @TomOwens100 asked

me if I have done 2 MontBlanc in a

day. Not until today #houchesMont

BlancValVeniMontblancHouches.’

Top trail runner Kilian Jornet responds to Brit Tom Owens’ cheeky

challenge by running up Mont Blanc twice in a day. This during

his taper week for Hardrock 100, where he placed joint first.

Don’t Beth

against it

In winning the Montane Lakeland

100 in July, RaidLight-sponsored

ultra-runner Beth Pascall broke

Lizzie Wraith’s women’s course

record (CR) by 2hr 46min. “I

never dreamt I’d break it by such

a big margin,” she told TR.

Beth’s record-breaking 2016

started with a women’s CR at

the Spine Challenger in January,

another at the Hoka Highland

Fling in April and a win at the

V3K Skyrace in June. “I haven’t

made any major changes to

my training,” she said. “I guess

I just have more miles in my

legs – and kilometres of ascent.

I’m more confident in my ability,

too, which is really important.” It

bodes well for Beth and the GB

Team for the Trail Running World

Championships in October.

16

TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK

UVU RACING



OMG

AWARD!

Bone idol

THE MOST COAST

I would run 5000 miles

Wayne Russell completes his British coastal run

Wayne Russell has

completed his 5000-

mile run around the

British mainland

coast. The infectiously enthusiastic

runner started out clockwise from

London in September, raising

nearly £30,000 for the Superhero

Foundation in his sister’s memory.

“I’ve run through winter storms,

weeks of non-stop rain and even

blizzards,” Wayne told TR.

Wayne battled great fatigue,

serious injuries and many

nights sleeping rough, before

the Fire Service stepped in

and put him up at stations

around England. “I did the

5000

MILES

Sixty-four-year-old

Norma Bone has

become the oldest woman to complete the

95-mile West Highland Way in one go. The

grandmum-of-four finished the race in 33hr 28min.

“I knew my brain could get me there,” she

told BBC Scotland, “but I didn’t know if my body

could. You have to want to do it. I wanted the

goblet they give you at the end for completing.”

The nurse added that she wanted to race again

next year as she has two children and wanted a

goblet for each.

Rob Reid, 70,

also made the

record books

this year by

becoming the

oldest man to

complete the

race, in 29hr

58min.

■ The next West

Highland Way

race is on 24

June 2017. www.

westhighland

wayrace.org

run unsupported, but weirdly it felt like I had the

best support in the world: the British public.

I’ve had people run with me, been bought food

and drink, and had constant encouragement.

It’s been the hardest and best thing I’ve ever

done. By putting one foot in front

of the other, I got to see and

meet so many people. And

the British coastline really is

spectacular.” What a guy.

■ See his Facebook page

for some heartwarming

video diaries. You can

donate to Wayne’s

cause at www.

uk.virginmoneygiving.

com/fund/waynerussell

4 MONTHS

PAIRS OF

4SHOES

MALAWI FKT

Brendan Rendall has run a Fastest Known

Time (FKT) the length of Malawi, averaging

a marathon a day for 27 days. The British

runner covered the 708 miles and is believed

to be the first person to run the length of

the country. He was accompanied by one

supporter on a bike and they camped in

local school grounds, raising funds for a

Malawi school via the charity Friends of

Mulanje Orphans. “It was an enormously

tough challenge, with wild animals, extreme

temperatures and illness,” said Brendan. But

the fundraising kept him focused. “Everyday

I was joined by children running beside me,

often barefoot and with huge smiles on their

faces.” ■ More at www.brendanrendall.com

Local support

spurred

Brendan on

HURRAH!

British mountain runners

dominated the Tromsø

Skyrace in August, with

wins for Tom Owens and

Jasmin Paris. Fellow Brits

Jonathan Albon and Finlay

Wild come second and

third respectively, for an

all-British men’s podium.

An Australian runner is

attempting to adopt the

dog who followed him

across the dessert in

China’s Gobi March multistage

race. The dog, Gobi,

ran half the 250km race

with Edinburgh-based Dion

Leonard. He hopes they’ll

be reunited by Christmas.

Lucja Leonard and Marina

Ranger ran the length of

The Netherlands wearing

only pink underwear from

brand Runderwear in their

#500kin5days challenge,

fundraising for the Pink

Ribbon Foundation.

Trail running’s first failed

drug test was made

public in July. Ecuadorian

runner Gonzalo Calisto is

on the IAAF’s new list of

suspended athletes. Calisto

placed fifth at UTMB in

2015 and tested positive for

synthetic EPO. He has since

been disqualified.

13-time Marathon des Sables

finisher Rory Coleman is

suffering from Subacute

Inflammatory Demyelinating

Polyneuropathy (SIDP), a rare

condition that means he’s

unable to walk. His friends

have set up a fundraising

page at www.justgiving.com/

crowdfunding/TheColemans

Fell runner Adam Perry was

forced to give up his third

attempt to break the Lake

District 24 Hour Fell Record,

in June. Adam was on target,

but a navigation error on leg

five cost him 15 minutes.

TOP 5

THINGS TO DO NOW

Go to it!

The inaugural

South West Outdoor

Festival takes place

on 23-25 September,

at Heddon Valley,

Exmoor. Find out

more at www.national

trust.org.uk/SWOF

Read it!

Ryan Sandes’

autobiography, Trail Blazer:

My Life as an Ultra-

Distance Trail Runner, is

out now. Learn about how

the South African rose to

prominence, in this honest

and gripping read.

£

Donate to it!

Phil Martin will run

the Pennine Way in a week,

to fund a defibrillator for

Hinchingbrooke Country

Park in honour of cancer

sufferer Bex Griffiths.

www.justgiving.com/

crowdfunding/teambex

Watch an

FKT film

Summit Fever Media

have made a film about

Damian Hall’s FKT (fastest

known time) on the 630-

mile South West Coast

Path in May. Visit www.

summitfevermedia.com

ARGH!

And then

another!

Karl Meltzer is attempting

to beat his friend Scott

Jurek’s Appalachian

Trail FKT. See how he’s

getting on at www.atrun.

redbull.com/karl-meltzerappalachian-trail/p/1

TRAIL RUNNING 17


WARM-UP | SKYRUNNING NEWS

Powered by

WRITING AND PHOTOS ©IANCORLESS.COM

Skyrunning World Series

The latest news and rankings from these high-octane mountain races

60

SECONDS

WITH...

JO MEEK

Jo Meek rocketed to fame after

making the podium at the iconic

Marathon des Sables. Victory at Costa

Rica’s The Coastal Challenge and

a top-10 at the testing Comrades in

South Africa has tempted Jo to try

out her skills at Skyrunning.

Transvulcania. How was it? It

wasn’t that I’d underestimated how

mountainous it was, but that I’d not

anticipated how much walking and

hiking would be involved. In my head

the trails were runnable, and so the

race did not really suit me. But I took

on the challenge and did my best,

finishing 11th in 9hr 40min.

Trail v Skyrunning? I love trail

running, as I like running and

running fast. But running above

the cloud line at altitude is an

unforgettable moment to experience.

Does road running transition to

Skyrunning? Leg speed is always

useful, but in road races you don’t have

Tough at the top:

Jo Meek gives

Skyrunning a go

to look where you put your feet and

in Skyrunning you definitely do. Eyeto-foot

coordination needs practice,

and a lot of it!

Three attributes that make a successful

Skyrunner? One, good technical ability,

which comes from practising in the

environment. Two, strong hiking skills.

Three, ankle strength and balance.

The downhill or the uphill, or both?

You can just about hang on in the

ups with strength, determination and

fitness, but it’s the descents that really

expose any weaknesses.

Top tip to try Skyrunning? Don’t

always go in with a racing mindset

as it can cause too much tension

and pressure, which leads to

frustration when the trails

challenge your weaknesses.

Racing should be

enjoyable – Skyrunning

allows you to run in an

exceptional part of

the world and that

is a real privilege,

so embrace the

challenges with

a smile.

Madeira:

Clemente Mora

& Arenas winners

The second leg of the Skyrunner Ultra Series

was staged in Madeira, Portugal, with a 55km

course. Anna Frost (pictured) was first to the

summit and heading for the win. However,

Spaniard Gemma Arenas accelerated past

on the downhill to secure victory in 6:58:51.

Hillary Allen closed second and Frost an

excellent third. André Jonsson, from Sweden,

set out strong, followed by Dimitrios

Theodorakakos from Greece. Jonsson

struggled up a river 6km from the finish and

Spaniard Cristofer Clemente Mora took the

lead, closing in 6:00:28. Theodorakakos was

2nd at 6:09:06, Luis Fernandes 3rd at 6:11:34,

and Jonsson an agonising 4th.

Livigno: Between

a rock and a

hard place

Swiss Pascal Egli led the first sections at

the inaugural Livigno SkyMarathon, third

race in the Series, 19-year-old Spaniard Jan

Margarit Solé overtaking him on the downhill.

However, SWS 2015 champion Tadei Pivk

(pictured) used his experience and moved

up to cruise to the finish in 3:55:27. Margarit

finished second in 3:58:00 and Egli third in

4:06:52. “It was by all standards a tough,

technical race. I’m absolutely thrilled,”

said Pivk. Reigning World Champion Elisa

Desco took the win in the ladies race after

attacking the early sections, while Aitziber

Ibarbia and American Megan Kimmel placed

second and third in 5:04:57 and 5:05:39.

High Trail

Vanoise: Ice

ice baby

Anne-Lise Rousset (pictured) lead the

women’s race and placed 6th overall. Rousset

closed in 10:13; 2nd and 3rd positions were a

close fight between Maud Gobert at 11:04:21

and Anna Comet at 11:09:30. Russian Dmitry

Mityaev held the lead in the men’s race

keeping a steady 2 to 3-minute gap over

Nicolas Martin from France and Italy’s

Fulvio Dapit. Over the final third of the

race, however, Martin and Poland’s Marcin

Swierc moved to 2nd and 3rd. Martin bided

his time and, when the moment came,

produced a convincing victory in 9:28:34,

Swierc placed 2nd in 9:31:59 and Mityaev

held on for 3rd in 9:36:31.

PARTNER SPONSOR POOL SUPPLIERS

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TRAINING

FITNESS

Your first 10k

Nik Cook reveals his

simple, fun, 8-week

training plan for

new trail runners

Race over the

finish line in just

eight weeks

MEET THE

EXPERT

Nikalas Cook has a

background in sports

science, coaching and PT.

He’s also completed the

Marathon des Sables, 6633 Arctic Ultra

and won a world title in Long Course

Duathlon. Get your copy of his book

Marathon Training: Get to the Start Line

Strong and Injury-free at www.amazon.

co.uk and his guide to Peak District Trail

Running at www.v-publishing.co.uk

Although there’s nothing

wrong with heading out

onto the trails and running

for the pure joy of it (in fact,

we’d actively encourage it),

having a goal – such as an event to train

for – can definitely give you a motivation

boost. If you’re just getting into trail

running, a 10k is an ideal race. It’s a

popular distance, with loads of events

to choose from, so you should be able to

find one near you that fits in with your

training plan. Even with fairly minimal

starting fitness and initially using a walk/

run approach to training, it should be

achievable in eight weeks. It’ll be enough

of a challenge to give you that buzz of

achievement when you cross the finish

line, but is nowhere near as daunting as

a full or half marathon. By giving yourself

eight weeks to prepare for a 10k, you’ll

allow your body enough time to adapt

to the new demands you’re putting on it

and, by not rushing towards an overly

ambitious goal, will minimise your risk of

injury. You’ll start noticing improvements

right from the second week of the

plan, as you begin to increase the

amount of time you’re running and

learn to pace yourself. From the

fourth week, you’ll really start

to feel like a runner, and be

able to hold a steady pace for a

sustained period of time, and

your 10k goal will really feel

attainable. I guarantee you’ll

enjoy the training, especially if

you rope in like-minded friends,

and will look forward to each

session. By the time you conquer

your first 10k, you’ll have been

bitten by the trail-running bug.

I DID IT!

“10k seemed like a

manageable distance but still a

good challenge. I have a long-term

goal of running a half marathon and this

was a natural stepping stone. I had to

balance my running with cycling, my first

love, and did three runs each week.

Pacing was the hardest thing – don’t

just follow the runner in front! I nailed

it, though, and came in under an

hour for my first event.”

Alison Johnson,

New Mills

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WARM-UP | COLUMN

NICKY SPINKS

The new Double Bob Graham Round record holder talks

about her attempt and her capacity for endurance

Interview Mark Roberts

E

ver since I read Roger Baumeister’s account

of his Double Bob Graham Round, I’ve always

wondered whether I could do the distance,

the climb and cope with the lack of sleep.

Last year I was looking for something to do

in 2016 to celebrate surviving ten years of cancer, and also

to challenge myself in a way I hadn’t before, to raise

money for Odyssey, the cancer charity that

I support. This was perfect. After my second

attempt on the Bob Graham record,

when I only reduced it to 18.06hr,

I had decided that enough was enough

and to try going for longer and slower,

instead. I didn’t know how I would

cope with it, but seemingly this is

where my strength now lies.

I was very apprehensive before

the attempt as, with the weather and

WHO

IS NICKY?

Farmer and Inov-8

ambassador Nicky Spinks was,

until recently, the Bob Graham and

‘If there’s something that

I want to do, I try and

find a way of doing it’

farming, my winter training had not gone to plan. The

distance and the time didn’t worry me, but I didn’t think I

had done enough ascent in my training. I would say

I used every trick in the book to keep me

?

Ramsay Round Women’s record holder,

and still holds the Paddy Buckley Round

record, plus the fastest time for all

three. She now holds the Double Bob

Graham Record, at 45hr 30min.

Visit www.runbg.co.uk for tickets

to hear Nicky talk, on 22

October 2016.

Celebrating ten

years of surviving

cancer, beating the

Double Bob Graham

Round record

DAVE LUND

going. Thoughts of how lucky I was to be

in the mountains in perfect weather with

all my close friends, with my dog, with

my legs feeling good, without being sick.

Then, keeping everything to do-able

splits: “Let’s just get to 12 hours, then

to Wasdale, then to Dunmail, then 24

hours, then Keswick, then Yewbarrow.”

At Yewbarrow I knew I could do it and

finally began to relax.

The second night (Saturday into Sunday),

though, was never really enjoyable. On Leg 5

across Helvellyn my appetite had gone and

I found it hard to eat in the dark and with cold

hands. On Leg 6 this got even worse, but I was made

to eat by Adam Perry, which probably saved me. Passing the

Moot Hall at 9am on Sunday morning I just wanted to stop. I

ran into the camper van but burst into tears when inside.

The battle with cancer definitely changed my life. I no

longer assume I will be here in one year or five years.

Therefore, I appreciate my life more and if there is

something I want to do, I try and find a way of doing it.

“Where there is a will, there is a way” is one of my sayings.

Where do I get my capacity for endurance? I think it’s a

combination of mental and physical strength, along with a

good ability for looking after myself.

Can anyone push themselves further with the right

mindset? I think so. I remember when I entered Dewsbury

10k in 2002. I had never run six miles before and I didn’t

think I could. My brother said “Let’s go and measure the

distance and then run it.” I don’t know what I imagined

would happen when my legs got past five miles; but

nothing did. They just kept on running. I was so happy

that I could run six miles. Ever since then I think if you

slow down enough, fuel yourself properly, and believe you

can do it then you will.

I am working hard to make the UTMB go better than it did

for me in 2014, when I was tired and suffered from sickness

for the last 30 miles. Jasmin [Paris, women’s Bob Graham

and overall Ramsay Round record-holder] and I are both in

the Elite start pen, but that is the last time I will see her until

the finish, as she is not in my league but the Elite Men’s.

I very much doubt a Double Ramsay Round is on the cards

– however, I am looking for things to fill 2017 with…!

■ www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Nicola-SPINKS1

TR

22

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WARM-UP | PICTURE THIS

ANDY SYMONDS

Britain’s most on-form ultra runner on his Lavaredo

race win, travel dramas and fell-running DNA

Interview Damian Hall Photos LUT Illustrations Andy Symonds

F

1.

or me, much of the drama of the Lavaredo

Ultra Trail happened before the race. My

original travel plan was simple: drive 45

minutes to Marseille, jump on a plane

to Venice, and pick up a hire car for a

two-hour drive to the Dolomites. But French air-traffic

controllers had different ideas. They went on strike and

my flight was cancelled. Great!

So I had a dilemma: find another way of getting there,

risking more strike disaster, or stay at home. I took the

plunge and purchased a second, much more expensive,

less direct flight. Plan B involved a short flight connection

in Lyon, but a last-minute gate change and confusing

signposting meant I missed the flight. My bag made it on

board. But I didn’t. Now I was annoyed!

I had two options: one, go home, or two, take a lateevening

flight to Bologna. I was pretty wiped out anyway,

with sleep deprivation from organising RunLagnes the

weekend before. I was ready to go home, chill with the

kids and get some sleep. But my wife Carole thought I

should go for the Bologna option. So Plan C kicked in.

Half a day later I found myself in a hotel, half an hour

from Bologna, and there I slept for 10 hours. By early

Friday afternoon I finally made it to the beautiful town

of Cortina in the heart of the Dolomites. After pre-race

admin, I tried to get some more Zs. But there was no way

my brain was switching down. Oh, the joys of 11pm starts!

Up and over the first climb, the front end was together

in a group of about 30 runners. My concerns of general

fatigue were confirmed – I had heavy legs and was

convinced I would struggle to run 120km. But the thing

about ultra-running is that it’s so damn long that these

feelings can change over the course of the race.

At 30km I started to feel a bit better. We hit some

downhills, then some mud, and I found myself off the

front of the field. “I like downhills and I like mud”,

I thought. I may live in France, but I still have my

British fell-running DNA.

Mud is good fun, right? The best thing to do is to relax,

enjoy and cruise through it. The worst thing you can do

is get tense and stressed out by it. Practice helps, which

I used to do quite a lot – until five years ago when I moved

to the mudless sunshine of the south of France.

Coming out of the muddy section there was no one

behind me. That wasn’t the plan! The idea had been to

go with the flow for at least half of the race, then reassess

and attack if feeling good. Oh well, travel plans can

change, and so can race plans it seems!

I got into a really good groove, with Pink Floyd playing

in my headphones. The terrain was really runnable and

the views were incredible. A big moon lit up the gigantic

mountain cliffs the Dolomites are famous for.

Several hours later I was still feeling good. With

30-40km left my legs started to tire. “I’m at least threequarters

of the way through – nearly there!” I told myself.

3.

3.

2.

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4.

7.

8.

5.

9.

6.

This kind of logic works in shorter races, but does it

transfer to ultras, when a quarter of the race is still as

long as a ‘normal’ race distance?

With 20km or so to go I was told I had about a

15-minute lead. So I focused on just getting to the

finish with no major bonks, cramps or falls. The last

downhill felt long, with my legs starting to seize up a

little. But I rolled down the Cortina high street to break

the finish-line tape first.

I roughly knew the time 2015 winner Didrik

Hermansen had run and had based my race on finishing

in a similar time. Towards the latter stages I could see

I was going to finish a good bit faster, 19 minutes in the

end. But I didn’t know Didrik’s time was the record,

so that was a nice surprise. All the pre-race dramas

of changing travel plans, missing a night’s sleep and so

on had been worthwhile. TR

TRAIL RUNNING 25


WARM-UP | DO IT THIS MONTH

Escape the routine

Take a break from the mundane with a trail-running microadventure

ALASTAIR HUMPHREYS

ost weeknights follow the

M

same old pattern: food

shopping, cooking, washing,

watching increasingly

disaster-laden TV news…

Sound familiar? But what if, instead

of sitting on the sofa dreaming of the

weekend, you were running out into the

unknown with your kit on your back,

settling down somewhere with a good

view and a mug of tea to watch the sun set,

drifting off with the autumn constellations

printed on your eyelids.

The term ‘microadventure’ was first

coined by adventurer and author Alastair

Humphreys and the concept is simple:

adventure can be found anywhere. You

don’t have to go to deepest, darkest Peru

for a new experience; you can get out

of your comfort zone on your own back

doorstep. Being short on time is no excuse

where microadventures are concerned.

There’s no better vehicle for getting

deep into the wild spaces of your local area

quickly than your own two legs – you can

go almost anywhere with a pair of trail

shoes. All you need is some basic camping

kit, a toothbrush and the willingness to

look dishevelled at work the next day! Here

are some tips to get you started…

FINDING

INSPIRATION

Get a map out and have a look

for interesting places nearby (hills,

rivers and woods). Or don’t, if it’s

more exciting just to explore. Hop

on a bike, bus or train if your

area isn’t adventurous

enough for you.

BE

A GOOD

CITIZEN

England and Wales don’t have

quite so open land access rights

as Scotland, where wild camping

is legal. Make sure you’re not

trespassing, ask permission to

camp, or arrive late and

leave early, leaving

no trace.

DON’T

BREAK

YOUR BACK

Only pack the necessities or the

home comforts you can’t be without.

Lightweight gear is usually more

expensive, so take as little as you

can get away with. Remember,

you’ve got to carry it

to your chosen

location.

30

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MAKE IT A

SOCIAL EVENT

If you’ve never bivvied out in the

open before it can be a little bit

unnerving: strange noises amplified

by the silence, spooky shapes in

the dark... If you’ve got a mate,

you’re more likely to laugh

about it than run home

scared!

CONSULT

THE EXPERT

Alastair Humprey’s blog –

www.alastairhumphreys.com – is

full of tips and inspiration. If you

like the sound of the five-to-nine

lifestyle check out his book

too, Microadventures: Local

Discoveries for Great

Escapes.

Pack it up

Bivvying basics

BAG If you’re going to be running

with your kit on your back, it’s

important you wear a comfy

bag. Rucksacks designed

for adventure racing are

ideal, with lots of storage

and straps to avoid

excessive bouncing.

The bigger your bag, the

more likely you’ll fill it.

Try: OMM Classic 25

SLEEPING BAG Here is not the place to get

into the synthetic/down debate. Needless

to say: down is lighter but, unlike synthetic

fill, loses its insulation properties when wet.

That decision is up to you, but if you’re

planning to bivvy, and taking a down bag,

you might want to make sure it’s a dry

night. Take the

lightest bag you

can get away with

– you can always sleep

in your clothes.

Try: Rab Neutrino 400

SLEEP MAT Closed-cell foam mats (the

ones no Duke of Edinburgh group would

be without) are cheap, lightweight and

durable. But to avoid having a mat banging

against the backs of your thighs, go for

something you can pack inside your bag.

Inflatable mattresses will give you a comfier

night’s sleep,

but watch out

for sharp bits!

Try: Exped Synmat

BIVVY BAG/TENT Serious microadventurers

go roofless. But if the idea of having a snail

sliding down your nose will keep you awake

at night, you could take a tent – although

they’re heavy, and you’ll lose the magic

of sleeping out in the open.

Bivvy bags vary in price

massively, so if you’re

still unsure, go for a

cheaper option.

Try: Alpkit Hunka

HEADTORCH The days are drawing in now,

and if you’ve been a bit overambitious you

might find yourself tripping over twilit tree

routes and startling confused badgers. If

you’ve not already got one lying about, you

don’t need to spend a fortune

to get a decentstrength

headtorch.

Try: Black Diamond

Spot

STOVE Admittedly, this is a luxury, but if

the idea of waking up without a morning

cup of tea or coffee sends

shivers down your spine that

no sleeping bag could cure, it’s

a necessary one! Lightweight,

folding, screw-on stoves

are a good option, but a

cooking system which packs

into its own mug or pot

is more compact.

Try: Jetboil MicroMo

TRAIL RUNNING 31


YOU SAID

/trailrunningmag @trailrunningmag tr@bauermedia.co.uk

Sarah wins a Lakeland Trails

off-road race of her choice.

www.lakelandtrails.org


Back in January this year I was on

a long trail run and thinking how I would

like to celebrate my 40th. I came up

with the idea of running 40km a day for

40 days before I turn 40. When I told

my husband (one of the event directors

for the Brutal race series) he didn’t think

the idea was completely ridiculous.

So I set about getting work to agree

(I work for the MOD as a doctor, looking

after injured service personnel, and

they were hugely supportive). I have

run 1240km over the last month solely

on trails around where I live, and have

raised £5000 thus far for Walking with

the Wounded, the World Wildlife Fund

and my son’s school (Waverley Abbey

School in Tilford). There have been

some dark times and some times where

STAR LETTER

my bottom lip has

definitely wobbled,

but throughout

it all I have been

supported by the

most amazing

friends, who have

shared the miles

with me out on the trails. Sometimes I

have run alone, but low times have been

countered by breathtaking views. It has

been an amazing life experience. On the

last day, I am running with a gradually

increasing number of friends and family,

and the last 1km is then going to be

run with the whole of Waverley Abbey

School, where I will finish surrounded by

a mad bunch of fantastic kids.

Sarah Rollins, Farnham

Medical feedback

There is no research evidence to support

the notion that the body’s own thirst

mechanism is inferior to any other

method. However, there are clear

concerns relating to overhydration with

using other methods such as drinking

to a pre-determined schedule, or the

maximum amount tolerated. These

concerns include potentially lifethreatening

hyponatremia (low body salt).

Interestingly, there is also no evidence

that taking salt supplements prevents

this condition (Twerenbold et al, 2003),

has any effect on post-race sodium levels

(Hew-Butler et al, 2006), or any significant

effect on body weight (Cosgrove and

Black, 2013). Bottom line, listen to your

body, eat real food in endurance races,

drink to thirst and understand that it is

normal to lose 2-4% of bodyweight in

endurance events without any significant

impact on an individual’s performance.

Dr Stuart Allan, Cumbria

Winner!

I was thrilled to win this year's V3K

Skyrunning Ultra, 55km, 4200m. A

wonderful low-key event, ran over a

classic point-to-point route, with allyou-can-eat

vegan goodness at the

end. What’s not to like? Last year’s

winner Gareth Hughes set out fast on

the first ascent up Snowdon, but I was

able to hang on long enough to start

pushing the pace along the Glyders later

on, managing to open a lead which

I built to the finish. I was super happy

to cross the line first, having finished

second and third in this race before.

Challenging conditions during the early

hours saw a lot of DNFs, but once out

of the cloud and in the sun at the finish,

a great post-race party atmosphere

was enjoyed by all.

Michael Jones, email

Beating bulimia

On 11th June I completed my tenmarathon

challenge in aid of Beat, the

UK’s leading eating disorder charity,

running my tenth marathon of the

year at Man Versus Horse in Wales.

I finished in 3rd place out of more

than 600 runners, and was also able

to beat 50 out of 55 horses! I suffered

with bulimia for two years (2013-

2014) after being encouraged to lose

weight to improve my performances

whilst at a high-altitude training camp.

After overcoming the physical and

mental effects of my two-year battle, I

ended 2015 ranked inside the top 200

marathon runners in the UK, running

2:34 in the Berlin Marathon. My

fundraising is now over £2100 and this

experience has hopefully helped raise

the subject of eating disorders among

men and runners. In total I ran seven of

the nine road marathons in under 2:52,

I won four of them, was 2nd in another,

and was 1st placed fancy dress runner

in the Edinburgh Marathon, whilst

wearing a kilt – obviously!

Tom Fairbrother, Woodbridge

32

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YOU SAID | WARM-UP

What’s

the best

time of day

to run?

Lucja Leonard

@Runningdutchie

The best time of

day to run is any

time, because life

is too short

to worry.

Valleyvisuals

@ValleyViz

Best time to run

4:30am.

Omnipitone

@omnipitone

Early in the

morning when

the sun's just up.

Ross Docherty

@itchydocster

The best time

to run is now,

because later may

be too late

Richard Black

@gingersteps As

soon as you wake

up, it's a great

start to the day.

TWEETS FROM

THE TRAIL...

Colin papworth

@colpod Best

time is early

morning for the

peace and quiet

and fantastic

sunrises.

Tone Y B

Killengreen

@Perfectlyshabby

In the morning.

Then you run the

day instead of it

running you.

Mark M-H

@GBSticks11

Dawn. Nothing

beats seeing the

world

wake

up.

GET OUR

DIGITAL MAG

Get your digital copy of

Trail Running magazine easily

and instantly, on your Apple

or Android device. See

p102 for details or go

online at www.great

magazines.co.uk/tr

We started running as a mum and

daughter team together last year, shortly

after her 13th birthday. It began as a

pocket-money incentive, with Heather

earning 10p per mile. She enjoyed

it so much that when I saw the My

Marathon campaign for the British Heart

Foundation, I thought "What better way

to give her something to aim for?" It

was a challenge of 26 miles, with three

choices on how to run the distance – in

four hours, four days or four weeks.

Being only 13, four weeks was the

ideal time in which she could do it. I

run a running club myself, so she often

comes along with my beginner ladies to

trot along with them. She took on the

challenge in May this year and finished

her 26 miles well within the four weeks.

She has had so much to deal with

with her health over the

years, so I am immensely

proud of her. She is

now looking for her

next challenge.

Jan Phillips,

email

EDITORIAL

Editor Claire Maxted

Art editor Laura Harvey

Staff writer Mark Roberts

Production editor Karen Warren

Editorial assistant Hannah James

Gear testers Kelly Lucas, Dave Taylor

Sim Benson, Jen Benson

Photographer Jacques Portal

Maps & Illustrations Steven Hall

Contributors Jenny Gillies, Damian Hall,

Nik Cook, Rob Kemp, Kelly Lucas

Work experience Email the editorial team for

both remote and office-based opportunities

SUBSCRIPTIONS & BACK ISSUES

For subscriptions, queries and back issues

(up to three issues ago)

Online www.greatmagazines.co.uk/tr

UK and overseas phone 01858 438884

Email bauer@subscription.co.uk

EDITORIAL

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Race on!

I recently undertook the biggest challenge

of my life – taking part in the Mont Blanc

Marathon on Sunday, 26th June. It

involved 2730m of climbing and 1700m

of descents. It was an unbelievable

experience and so different to the

Jungfrau Marathon that I completed

last September. I finished 149th out of

343 women, and 16th out of 47 in my

age category. And all on a strictly vegan

diet (for the past 25 years). I’ve now

completed five marathons – all tough

ones, starting in 2013 with the Trail

Marathon Wales, then in 2014 with

the North Devon AONB Marathon. In

2015 I did the Jungfrau Marathon in

Switzerland in September, followed

by the Snowdonia Marathon Eryri in

October. Then Mont Blanc this year.

Call me a glutton for punishment, but

I am drawn to the Matterhorn Ultraks

for next year!

Judith Oakley, email

Well done, Heather!

I started running 12 years ago when my

daughter was tiny, as she was born with

a metabolic disease called galactosaemia,

which causes learning delay. She was

also diagnosed with autism, so finds it

hard to socialise.

A marathon

effort from

Heather

PRIZE WINNER!

Heather wins £50 to spend on Ultimate

Performance products. This UK brand

focuses its product development on, in

and around fells, trails and mountains.

PRODUCTION

Print production controller Colin Robinson

Advertising production Zoe Bellamy

Printed by William Gibbons

Distributed by Frontline

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To re-publish any part of Trail Running mag

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BAUER CONSUMER MEDIA

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TRAIL RUNNING 33


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YOU DID

/trailrunningmag @trailrunningmag tr@bauermedia.co.uk

Thirsty work

Your entries 'flooded' in for our Face of Thirst

competition, in association with CamelBak

FACE

OF

THIRST!

We asked you to post selfies of you looking

thirsty on a trail run or race, on Twitter,

Facebook or Instagram, using the

hashtag #BeUnstoppable, for a chance

to win £1000 worth of CamelBak

prizes. Here's our lucky winner

and 10 runners-up…

Need @CamelBak

as water is too

dirty – but not for

my dog! Reg

WINNER!

Survived the park

run and round

village chasing boy

number 2 on his

bike! Ailsa

Top of Snowdon.

Who needs the

sun to be thirsty?

Gareth

Almost there and

feeling thirsty

#BeUnstoppable

#BeUnstoppable

Keep hydrated!

Thirst makes

you super ugly

Emily

Help TRM. Even the

stream has dried

up @CamelBak is

needed! Laura

34

WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


YOU DID | WARM-UP

Our nine-year-old

just did her 1st

10k Tristan

SHOE SELFIES

LET'S PLAY FOOTSIE

Send in your fancy footwork

During the North

Devon AONB Marathon,

The Grampus Inn was

offering refreshing homebrewed

beer! Sophina

Broadway Marathon,

a very thirsty Jones

Steve

STEPPING OUT

I wanted to share a shoe selfie that I took whilst

hitting up some trails in my home county of Suffolk.

This was taken at Kirton Creek along the River

Deben as part of a 19-mile trail run. I love taking in

the beautiful countryside that’s on my doorstep.

Tom Wake, Suffolk

TOASTY

TOES

Here's my

shoe selfie

from the top

of the Sidlaws

in Dundee this

morning with

the haar riding

in the sun.

Bruce White,

Dundee

#BeUnstoppable

Matt

BOGGED DOWN

At the top of Beinn an Oir, the tallest of the three

Paps of Jura, the highest point of a nine-mile round

with my husband Paul. I put one foot into a bog on

the way! Elizabeth Moore, email

TRAIL RUNNING 35


GO THE DISTANCE

38

WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


XXXXXXXXXXX

RUN

STRONG

Get some grit,

and boost your

endurance!

Pros reveal easy

ways to up your

distance before

the clocks go back

Words Debbie Martin-Consani

Gone are the days when a

road marathon was the

pinnacle of an athlete’s

racing repertoire. Now

the trend is further, faster

and off road. More and more runners

are escaping to the hills and countryside

for some dirt, vert and hurt. But, who

knew that the pain was an optional

extra? With some simple tweaks and

commitment to your training, there are

seven very easy ways to improve your

stamina, so you can run further and for

longer. Whether you want to increase

from 5k to 10k, from half to marathon,

or to dip your toes in the murky waters

of ultra-running, upping your distance

may seem like a daunting task. But

everybody has the ability to unlock their

secret stamina stores; you just need to

be smart and patient.

Ever overheard race joshing about

the competition not starting until half

way? In longer trail races never a truer

word is spoken. For example, this year’s

53-mile Hoka Highland Fling in April

was one of the hottest races on the ultra

calendar. Incorporating the UK and

Scottish Ultra Trail Running


TRAIL RUNNING

39


GO THE DISTANCE

‘Keep your speed in

check. The bulk of your

weekly mileage – at

least 80% – should

be at an easy or

conversational pace.’

Walk tall:

There’s no

shame in taking

it slowly to avoid

over-training

PHOTO: HTTP://WWW.HIGHLANDFLINGRACE.ORG

MEET THE

MONTANE EXPERTS

Debbie Martin-

Consani, who has

written this feature

exclusively for Trail

Running magazine,

has represented

Scotland and Great

Britain at ultra-distance running

for the past five years. She has

previously won GUCR, Montane

Lakeland 100, Thames Path 100

and South Downs Way 100.

Sally Fawcett

started running

10 years ago to

improve fitness, and

gradually increased

distances. She has

won the Montane

Lakeland 50, High Peak 40 and

has been selected to represent

GB at the Trail World Champs.

Jayson Cavill is a

running coach and

the newest member

of Team Montane.

He won last year’s

Montane 50 and

was 3rd at the

Salomon Glen Coe Skyline.

www.montane.co.uk

Championships, the depth of talent in

the 700-strong field was unlike anything

the UK had ever seen. This seven-to

eight-hour race along the West Highland

Way was short enough to unearth some

speedy raw ultra talent, but in the end

it was the experienced ultra-distance

runners who shone through. Why?

Stamina. Here’s how to get it for yourself

before the clocks go back…

Pace yourself right

Pacing is pivotal and basic, yet it’s

something runners get so wrong,

so often. Montane athlete Sally

Fawcett, who was 2nd female

at the Highland Hoka Fling

commented: “In the

early

days

I would

try to run

too much and too fast.

I soon learned that to succeed

and really progress in the

sport, I had to slow it down

and hike the hills instead of

attacking them.”

Keep your pace in check.

Anything at effort could leave

Try something new, run

somewhere different… firmly

outside your comfort zone

you over-trained, fatigued or injured.

The bulk of your weekly mileage – at

least 80% – should be at an easy or

conversational pace. There’s no shame

in walking. Even the speedsters do it. But

walk with conviction and speed hike the

hills. Learn to mix it up. Sally says: “It’s

great that you can be running flat out for

one mile and then walking the next due

to the variety of the terrain on trails.”

Increase mileage slowly

There’s no two ways about it. If you

want to run further, you have to,

well, run further. The overarching

principle of endurance building

is gradual adaptation and

consistency. Also, have

a low mileage week once

a month.

Even

seasoned

ultra runners have to build up

miles depending where they are

in their race season, but always

build up gradually – 10%

additional distance each week

is the best rule to follow.

Have a goal

Breaking a running plateau

requires a lot of effort and the

best way to commit to building


40

WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


PICK A RACE!

Pace yourself

and adapt your

speed to suit

the terrain

Having a goal focuses your training

and gives you the oomph you need

to do Montane athlete Jayson Cavill’s

stamina-boosting sessions p45. So...

you know what comes next! Turn to

p103 to choose a race twice your

previous max distance and use

the training plans in this

issue’s extra magazine

to get you there.


GO THE DISTANCE

QUICK TRICKS

UNLOCK YOUR

SECRET STAMINA

Small changes can earn big gains.

Montane athlete Debbie Martin-

Consani’s training tips will make an

instant impact on your stamina levels:

1

TAKE THE SLOW ROUTE

It’s daunting, but you are

capable of more than you think.

Be sensible and increase your mileage

gradually. Jayson says: “As a general

rule of thumb, increase weekly

mileage by no more that 10%, as

this allows your body to adapt

without being overloaded”

2 FAST TRACK YOUR STAMINA

If you want to run faster, you

need to incorporate intervals and

race-paced sessions into your training.

For inspiration and expert guidance,

turn the page to choose from one of

our stamina-boosting workouts.

3 FUEL YOUR RUNS

On the run, Sally suggests

eating small amounts regularly:

“Acknowledge that you need to eat

and drink more while you’re out, and

take more with you. Nutrition is a very

personal thing, but use your training

runs to test different food and drinks.”

Sally also adds: “Have your recovery

nutrition sorted, too. Once you’ve

stopped you need to

think about recovery

foods, as well

as fuelling

your next run.”

4 MANAGE

YOUR TIME

As a full-time working

mum, I can’t

always fit in

long runs,

especially

during the

week, so

I often

run to

and from

work. This

increases

endurance,

builds up

weekly

mileage, and

sure beats sitting

in traffic. I’d only

recommend this for

runners with a good

mileage base and

that aren’t prone to

injury, however. General

time-on-feet shouldn’t

be underestimated,

either. It’s not all about

running. A long hike or walk

can be just as beneficial,

without the impact and long

recovery time. Plus, you can

drag the family along too.

GET STRONG

FOR STAMINA

When upping your endurance, don’t

forget to work on your core and whole

-body strength too. The simplest are

the best – planks, squats, lunges and

ab crunches with twists. Turn to

p24 in the extra magazine that

comes with this issue for

a great strength

workout.


‘The best way to commit

to building stamina is

to have a goal in mind.

Challenge yourself

to do something

different. Something

that scares you.’

stamina is to have a goal in mind.

And always have incremental goals

in the build-up to the grand finale.

Challenge yourself to do something

different. Something that scares you.

As wise man Henry Ford once said:

“If you always do what you’ve always

done, you will always get what

you’ve always got”. Stay positive

and believe in yourself.

Fix your form

Remember when your grandma told you

to stop slouching and to sit up or stand

straight? Well, she was right. Jayson

Cavill, endurance coach and Team

Montane athlete, advises: “Pay particular

attention to your form and technique.

Any weakness will be highlighted as

you add mileage, which could lead

to injury.” Poor posture can cause

laboured breathing and lead to injury.

Learning good form will allow you

preserve energy and allow you to

run smoother and faster, and thus

go further and for longer.

Remember that fatigue and muscle

soreness could also affect your form,

especially when increasing miles.

Sally says: “To reduce the risk of injury

when fatigue begins to affect my form,

rather than plough through running

miles I often do back-to-back days

where one day is a long run and the

next is a hilly hike.”

Run quality sessions

It’s not all about junk miles or quantity

over quality. Plodding out 100 miles a

week isn’t going to make you a better

endurance runner. It’s important to

mix easy running and long runs with

intervals to boost your endurance,

stamina and speed, and improve your

cardiovascular system.

Think quality not

quantity; mix

long runs with

interval training

to boost stamina

Get strong

As a physio, Sally says: “It’s important

to do regular strength and conditioning.

I particularly find the glutes, hamstrings

and quads need to be strengthened

in most runners. It doesn’t need to be

daily, just one to two sessions a week


TRAIL RUNNING 43


GO THE DISTANCE

In any training

plan, rest is as

important as

running. Listen

to your body

‘With dedication and

sensibility everybody

can improve their

endurance and stamina,

even in a few months.’

will make a huge difference.” Jayson

adds: “A strong core and the ability to

recruit correct muscle groups becomes

even more important as we increase

distance and encounter the fatigue

that comes with it. Done correctly,

strength and conditioning will help

with muscle strength, build stamina,

reduce injury potential and increase

running efficiency.”

With regards to cross-training there

are advantages of activities outside

the sport, especially if you’re injury

prone. Cycling and swimming are

the most obvious ones, and reduce

the impact on your legs, helping to

shake off hard sessions. But to improve

your running stamina, you need to run.

As they say, you can’t plant potatoes

and harvest carrots!

Be selective

There are so many races now, and

it’s very tempting to race too much,

signing up for every challenge that gets

thrown in your path. But it’s a regular

occurrence to see someone burst onto

the scene, enjoy a year of great racing,

and then disappear from sight and

result listings. Instead, target key races

and focus on them. Don’t be a one-year

wonder or burn out on your quest to

improve stamina.

Rest is just as important as training.

Listen to your body and take some time

out, or a few easy days if required. Run

hard on hard days, and take it easy

on easy days. And never run hard on

two consecutive days, regardless of

how good you feel.

In addition, avoid Strava leaderboards

like a stress fracture! Concentrate on

eating well, sleeping well, rehydrating,

stretching and foam rolling. And, most of

all, have patience. There’s no quick fix –

it takes time, but with the right amount

of dedication and sensibility everybody

can improve their endurance and

stamina, even in a few months.

Step-by-step success

There will always be setbacks, but listen

to your body and believe in yourself.

Back in the day, I would wait until it was

dark before I ventured out, because I

was so ashamed of my athletic inability.

44

WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


Build muscle,

and in turn

stamina, with

strength and

conditioning

But with nothing but hard work and

commitment, I’ve gone on to achieve

things that I didn’t think anyone could

accomplish, let alone me.

Remember that everybody starts

somewhere. It takes time, patience and

dedication. I couldn’t run for a minute

when I went out for my debut jog, but

10 years after my first fateful attempt

I represented Great Britain at the IAU

24H World Championships. Ok, so mine

is an extreme example, but it reiterates

that everybody has the ability to build

up stamina, no matter what point you’re

starting at, or where you want to end

up. Mine was a long journey, but I pride

myself on consistency and (touch wood)

very few injuries. Take our advice on board

and you’ll reap the same rewards. TR

Above: Shake off

a hard session

and swap your

trainers for tyres

AFLO CO., LTD./ALAMY STOCK PHOTO, TETRA IMAGES/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

5 sessions

to boost

your stamina

Whether you currently run 5k or 50k,

here’s how to give your stamina a turbo

boost before dark nights set in

You may have the endurance to run a half, marathon

or ultra. But do you have the stamina to run it at your

fastest potential pace? Whatever your level, include one

or two of these sessions from Team Montane’s endurance

athlete Jayson Cavill in your weekly training to tap into

stamina stores you never knew you had, and run faster, for

longer, this summer. www.jaysoncavillrunning.com

LONG SLOW RUN

1 This is fundamental for endurance running. They are

not meant to be fast, but usually 1-2 minutes per mile

slower than marathon pace. It’s suitable for all levels, but

distance will depend on your base fitness and what you are

training for. Build up your long run gradually by not more

than 10% per week.

2 INTERVALS

Jayson suggests a Moneghetti session – 2 x 90sec

(90sec rest between each), 4 x 60sec (60sec rest between

each), 4 x 30sec (30sec rest between each) and 4 x

15sec (15sec rest between each). For beginners, walk the

recoveries. As fitness improves, jog. Advanced runners

can do this session twice to improve speed, stamina and

the ability to change pace.

PYRAMID INTERVALS

3 Running efforts based on time, 1 x 30sec, 1 x 60sec, 1 x

90sec, 1 x 120sec and 1 x 150sec – then back down 1 x 120sec,

1 x 90sec, 1 x 60sec, 1 x 30sec. All with 30sec recovery

between each. Around 3-5k pace, focusing on good form and

technique on the way up, with all-out effort on each rep on

the way back down. Improves speed, form and VO2 max.

DIRTY DOZEN HILLS

4 For all levels. 12 hill reps broken down into two parts.

6 of 2-4min at 80-90% effort, focusing on good form and

finishing each rep strong. Recover by jogging back down

the hill. Last 6 of 2-3 at hard effort. Builds strength and

improves form and recovery times.

FOR MARATHON AND BEYOND

5 Jayson recommends a long run with race-pace sections

– 2hr run: 20min warm up easy pace, 30min at race pace,

10min easy pace, 20min at race pace, 10min easy pace,

15min race pace, 5min easy, 5min race pace and 5min easy.

This will get you used to your target race pace, and also

build muscular endurance and aerobic threshold.

TRAIL RUNNING 45


REAL SCIENCE

juicing

The truth about

for runners

Is necking a litre of bright green

liquid as healthy as you think?

Words Rob Kemp


MEET THE

EXPERTS

Renee

McGregor BSc,

performance

and clinical

dietician,

author and

keen runner. Renee has

completed numerous

events, from 10K up to

ultra-marathon distance.

www.eatwellfeelfab.co.uk

Frida Harju,

nutritionist

at health

app Lifesum

(www.life

sum.com),

devising recipes and

monitoring the quality of

the lifestyle plans.

As every runner will

know, fruits and

vegetables are an

essential element of

your diet – together

they contain plenty

of antioxidants, which help boost

immunity, prevent chronic diseases

from developing, and reduce

inflammation caused by training.

So juicing is seen as a shot in the arm

for those addicted to a healthy diet. It’s

the silver bullet that defeats the dietary

deficiencies. “While most scientists agree

that it is best to eat vegetables and fruits

whole, most runners won’t consume as

much as they should, which is why juicing

is a great way to get all of your required

fruit and veg in one quick hit,” insists

nutritionist Frida Harju.

But not all of the experts are in

agreement that juicing is the ideal way to

speed up the delivery of these nutrients.

“There’s no doubt that this current craze

for pulping fruit and vegetables into a

fast-delivery format has captured the

imagination of athletes,” explains dietician

Renee McGregor. “I’ve been working

with top-level competitors whose own

physicians have recommended they take

to juicing for recovery from injury, among

other reasons.”

But Renee has her concerns when it

comes to the great juice debate. “I can

appreciate their convenience – and with

clients who are especially pressed for

time I’ve even suggested opting for

smoothies,” she says. “But that’s with

a caveat that you add protein to the

mix via milk or yoghurt, unlike solely

juicing fruit and vegetables, which in

my mind has its pitfalls.”

Good food fast?

For Frida, the benefits for runners of

a juicing diet go beyond simply ➜


REAL SCIENCE

WHAT DOES A JUICE DO

TO A RUNNER’S BODY?

How does drinking a ‘healthy’

juice affect us from head to

toe? Frida Harju explains...

BLOOD FLOW

Beetroot juice is

a good source of

nitrate, which the

body converts

to nitric oxide,

which in turn has a

positive effect on

blood flow, muscle

contraction and

neurotransmission.

LUNGS

Research and tests have

found that those drinking

beetroot juice before

training performed better

in time-to-exhaustion

tests than those who

drank placebo drinks.

STOMACH

Juicing eases digestion due

to the lack of fibre which can

sometimes cause stomach

upset. This enables nutrients

to reach the muscles quicker

than if the fruits and vegetables

were eaten in whole form.

HEART

Juicing can

improve

the body’s

pH balance,

which in turn

can prevent

conditions like

diabetes or

heart disease.

LEG

MUSCLES

Magnesium

regulates

calcium access

to our cells, the

antispasmodic

effect of which

on both the

inner and outer

muscles can

increase risk

of cramps.

EXPERT ADVICE

Top 3

juices for

runners

Boost your performance

with a glass of goodness

Jo Morrison, health

impact coach, says,

“Juicing floods the body

with essential vitamins,

minerals and proteins that

can be absorbed within

15-20 minutes of consumption and

without overloading digestion. Always

have a supply of beetroot, celery

and cucumber; University of Exeter

research found that nitrate contained

in beetroot makes exercise less tiring.

Celery and cucumber aid hydration,

and coconut water has an isotonic

effect – replacing fluids and minerals

lost when the body exercises.” Try Jo’s

top three juices for runners – for more,

visit www.juicyjos.co.uk.

POST-WORKOUT

SMOOTHIE

Blend ½ avocado,

a banana, a slice

of pineapple,

a passion fruit,

ginger, a cup of

almond milk or

coconut water, 1tsp

of hemp or whey protein, 1 cup of

blueberries, 1tsp maca powder and

1tsp manuka honey. Contains musclereplenishing

protein, antioxidants and

anti-inflammatory elements.

condensing all the foods you do like into

a convenient, fast-digesting form. “Some

runners may not enjoy the taste of certain

foods and therefore eliminate them

from their diets entirely, thus missing

out on essential nutrition,” she suggests.

“Juicing is a great way to amend this –

for example, if you don’t like spinach (a

great source of lutein, which can help to

prevent muscle degeneration), the taste

can be balanced out in a juice if you also

throw in a banana.”

Frida insists that educating runners

as to which ingredients to juice (as well

as which ones to avoid) is crucial to the

success of the process. “Cherries are great

in any juice as they contain large amounts

of anthocyanin antioxidants, which are

essential for healthy blood vessels and

can even prevent the development of

cancerous growths.”

“Similarly, some studies have found

that athletes who consumed cherry juice

experienced significantly less muscle

soreness than those who didn’t. You

can also try adding ingredients like

leafy green kale, which has great antiinflammatory

qualities, especially useful

for runners.”

But whilst the ingredients proffered by

Frida have well-established strengths,

it’s the process of juicing rather than the

contents of the drinks it produces that

Renee and other like-minded experts

take issue with. “Why not just eat the

fruit and the vegetables in their natural

form, through the day, as part of a regular

balanced diet?” she argues. “That way,

you get to savour the flavour, eat the

highly nutritious skins, and spread that

intake of fruit sugars too.”

“I’m not convinced that mashing

up the cell walls of the fruit in the

process and consuming it all in one

hit is the best for everyone either,”

Renee continues. “The nutritional

benefits start to evaporate from the

moment the fruit is peeled or the

vegetables are chopped. If you leave

them standing in a juice for half the

day whilst you take swigs intermittently,

as many do, you’re reducing the amount

THE WORKOUT

WARRIOR

For an energy

boost, juice mint,

pineapple, apple,

celery, cucumber,

beetroot (fresh,

uncooked) and

a slice of lime (skin

removed). Add to a blender with

avocado, a banana (for taste and

mineral content) and 1tsp of protein

powder, such as hemp, pea or whey.

JUICING G&T

An apple, a chunk

of ginger, a slice of

lemon and a small

piece of turmeric

combine in these

‘G&T’ shots. Make

up a batch, pour

into ice trays and put in

the freezer – then take one out daily,

melt in a glass, and enjoy. Ginger and

turmeric are anti-viral, anti-fungal and

anti-inflammatory, amongst other

things, so may assist with any aches

and pains sustained after training.

48

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“If you’re recovering

from injury or looking to

add bulk, juicing can be

useful as a conditioning

tool, due to the high

fruit-sugar content”

Renee McGregor BSc, performance and

clinical dietician

of actual antioxidants you’re taking in

when compared to just eating the fruit

or vegetable whole.”

Favouring forbidden fruit

For Renee, another reason to question

the boost from a juice lies in its influence

on eating habits and tastes. “I was talking

to a new client recently who, every

morning without fail, would mix kale,

coconut water, banana and apple into

a juice for breakfast. She told me this

and then confided in me that she

‘absolutely hates it’.”

“I despair when I hear that. Surely

healthy nutrition is as much about your

relationship with the food; the enjoyment

of healthy eating that creates a desire to

continue. I love avocado – but drink it?

No thank you.”

Renee feels runners are

confused by mixed

messages too. “They’re

throwing kale, socalled

supergreens

and stuff like

spirulina into

an expensive

mix with

questionable

benefits and a

foul taste, solely

because the

marketers of the

device they’ve bought

are telling them to do so.”

As an advocate of avocado

in juices, among other ingredients,

Frida concedes that taste needs to be

factored into each athlete’s personal

preference. “If kale isn’t to your liking,

you can try spinach, as it contains

plenty of minerals including magnesium,

which is responsible for over 325

enzyme reactions in the body, most

of which transport, store and control

energy,” she says. “Bananas are also

a good choice to add to your juice, as

they contain carbohydrates to fuel

your run, and potassium, which gets

lost when you sweat, as well as adding

a sweet taste to the juice.”

CHRIS ROUT/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

DON’T

MAKE THIS

MISTAKE!

“Don’t drink the same juice with

the same ingredients over and over

again,” warns Frida. “In addition

to the nutrients and vitamins, we

also consume toxins that fruits and

vegetables release to avoid being

eaten. In small quantities this

doesn’t matter, but if done over

and over again, the toxins

can cause kidney

stones.”

Time to bite the bullet?

For those who have found that the ’just

juice and go’ approach appeals to them,

there’s the question as to when should

runners be using juicing around their

training – and when should they opt for

fruits and vegetables in their natural form?

Renee agrees that juicing may

have its place in improving

physique as opposed to

performance. “If you’re

recovering from

injury or looking

to add some bulk,

I think they can

be quite useful

as a conditioning

tool, due to the

high fruit-sugar

content – but if

you’re looking to

drop a few pounds,

I’d steer well clear.”

Frida maintains that

the best time for juicing is

before your run. “Firstly, having

a juice before your run will hydrate

you and, secondly, juice is a great

source of nutrients but doesn’t contain

fibre, which can often cause stomach

upset in runners.”

However, Frida adds a cautionary

note around the high fruit-sugar intake

that comes with having your five-a-day

pulped and gulped in one go: “You should

still drink the juice an hour or two before

your run, as the fructose can cause

stomach irritation in some runners, so

it’s always best to leave yourself a bit

of time for digestion.”

TR

TOP 3 JUICERS

“Centrifugal juicers produce

heat when juicing, meaning

that some of the nutrients

contained in the fruit and

vegetables can get lost in the

process,” says Jo. “But coldpress

juicers will produce

significantly more pulp and are

pricier – ultimately, the choice is

completely individual.”

PHILIPS HR1875/21

AVANCE COLLECTION

QUICK CLEAN

JUICER £120

www.amazon.co.uk

Effortless cleaning

in just 1 minute.

Makes 2.5L of

juice in one go,

thanks to its

1000 watt

motor.

OMEGA VSJ843

SLOW JUICER £379

www.ukjuicers.com

Rated as the best

performing Low Speed

Masticating Juicer –

less pulp, more juice,

from the toughest

wheatgrass through

to the softest

berries.

NUTRIBULLET RX £199

www.buynutribullet.co.uk

Features a 1700 watt

motor to open

seeds, crack

through stems

and shred skins,

for almost instant

nutritious cool

drinks.

TRAIL RUNNING

49


How not

to run an

ultra race

Avoid the top 10 most common mistakes

with our expert advice

Words Kelly Lucas Photos Sport Sunday

50

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GO THE DISTANCE

Ultra running is any

run over the 26.2-mile

marathon distance. Ultras

have grown massively in

the last few years, with

races selling out in record time. That’s

partly due to the rising profile of

runners like Kilian Jornet – who has

made a career of running rather than

hiking up mountains – and homegrown

talents Jasmin Paris and Nicky

Spinks, who have made completing

FKTs (Fastest Known Times) around

British fells their speciality. To

celebrate our love of all things ultra,

we teamed up with Montane to offer

seven readers a place on one of

the UK’s best ultras – the Montane

Lakeland 100- or 50-mile race.

It’s a brilliant route with a festival

atmosphere, but don’t be deceived –

it’s also incredibly tough; nearly 40%

drop out. We’ve gathered the worst

DNF stories, expert advice and tips

from our competition winners to

help you run your first or next ultra.

2016 race completer Sarah Fuller

summed it up nicely: “The course is

brutal and unbelievably beautiful, but

it’s the people that make this special –

I finished the 100-mile event twenty

minutes ahead of cut-off, but the

reception I got at the finish made

me feel like I’d won the race.”


TRAIL RUNNING

51


GO THE DISTANCE

Not getting

1 enough ZZZs

We all have plenty of reasons why

it’s hard to get enough sleep – work,

children, stress, an addiction to midnight

Facebook checking… but, the fact is,

getting adequate sleep in the lead up

to an ultra event can be the difference

between glory and defeat. Studies from

the Journal of Strength & Conditioning

Research* show that sleep deprivation

negatively effects both physical and

cognitive functioning, and extreme

tiredness is one of the most common

reasons that ultra runners DNF.

DO IT Prioritise good quality sleep in

the run up to race day.

*HTTP://JOURNALS.LWW.COM/NSCA-JSCR/ABSTRACT/2013/09000/EFFECTS_OF_TIME_OF_DAY_AND_PARTIAL_SLEEP.15.ASPXPHOTO: DORLING KINDERSLEY LTD/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

2 Suddenly

changing

your diet

Abruptly adopting

a raw-paleococonut-free

diet, or any diet

you’re not used

to just before the

race is a big mistake.

As anyone who’s experienced

it will tell you, stomach issues are not

only horrible to endure, they’re also

race enders. Sometimes it’s unavoidable,

but you can help yourself by sticking

to the diet your body is familiar with

and eating foods you have run with

during training. Our ML50 competition

winner Jamie McIlvenny struggled to

take on food from Kentmere onwards.

He finished, but recommends eating

little and often to make it easier on your

digestive system.

DO IT Plan and test out your food

intake before the race, and stick to

familiar foods.

Setting off too fast

3 It’s a really common mistake, but

on a 100-mile race the importance of

pacing yourself is incredibly heightened.

Blogger Kris Duffy crashed out of last

year’s race at 29 miles and says it was

down to him setting off too fast: “I was

in a race position higher than normal for

me and thought, ‘That’s ok, I’m going to

pull a freakishly unusual performance

out of the bag.’ In reality, it’s very

unlikely this would ever happen! Unless

you are 100% confident with your

training, your position a third of the way

through the race is nearly meaningless.”

DO IT Be realistic with your ability from

the outset and pace accordingly.

Keep communicating

4 If you run in a team, you’ll have the

benefit of company, mental support and

someone to help navigate. However, it

Pace is paramount –

don’t be tempted

to set off too fast

Turn a blind

eye to injury

at your peril

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‘Listen to your body and

consider how much an

illness has taken out of

you before you stand

on the start line’

Recce the route

in the months

preceding the race

BRADSHAW TAYLOR

can sometimes go wrong, so make sure

you’re happy with each other’s pace

and you’ve discussed DNF scenarios

beforehand. Gareth Swain dropped out

during the ML100 and had to tell his

running buddy Matt to go on without him;

“We had the discussion early on in the

race that if for any reason one of us was

struggling, the other was to crack on”.

DO IT Consider running with a partner,

but be sure you’re both okay to go alone.

Ignoring any

5 pre-race illnesses

Montane runner and race favourite Sally

Fawcett dropped out of the ML50 this

year after suffering with a head cold in

the lead up to the race; “My breathing

was laboured right from the start. As I

was only five minutes from the course

record last year, I went out hard with the

intention of running quicker than last

time.” Sally struggled to eat and suffered

with a headache for nearly thirty miles

before calling it quits at the Montane

checkpoint. With only twelve weeks to go

until the World Trail Running champs,

she said it was the “sensible choice”.

DO IT Listen to your body and consider

how much an illness has taken out

of you before you decide to stand on

the start line.

Ignoring signs of injury

6 Ingaret Howells set off on this year’s

ML50 having suffered serious abdominal

pain for the previous five days. As a

seasoned Lakeland runner (this was

her fourth event) she knew the route

and was determined to get to the start;

“By the time I reached the summit of

Garbon pass I was really suffering from

lack of energy and dizziness, and the

pain in my hip was making me feel sick.

I struggled to stay focused and even

walk in a straight line.” A post-race GP

appointment confirmed colitis.

DO IT If you’re carrying an injury, seek

medical advice before the event and

be prepared to defer your place to the

following year.

Refusing to rest

7 Dennis Cartwright completed the

ML50 with his girlfriend Suze this year –

but was ready to give up after a killer

climb and descent from Fusedale;


BRADSHAW TAYLOR

ELITE ADVICE

TRAIN RIGHT FOR ML100

The best way to avoid

a DNF is to prepare

well and to train right.

Previous winner and

Montane pro Debbie

Martin-Consani has

these top tips:

1

1 YEAR PRIOR

Commit to the race – it’s not

something that should be taken lightly.

The course isn’t marked, so you’ll need

to recce it. Start planning these but

take into account that winter months

aren’t an ideal time to learn the route,

as it’s highly unlikely they will be

deep in snow in July.

2

6 MONTHS PRIOR

Hills, hills, hills and lots of fast

hiking. Long days hiking in the hills

are better than a faster road run.

If you plan on using poles, start

practising with them.

3

3 MONTHS PRIOR

Get in some recce runs, as the

route should now be snow free. Focus

on the downhills to strengthen your

quads. Start testing your kit – run with

your kit/pack on long distances, train

with the food you plan to eat during

the race, and test your shoes. There’s a

lot of mixed terrain. Have some shoechange

options, as what is best for

dry conditions won’t work if it’s been

raining all week before race day.

4

1 MONTH PRIOR

Sort out what you need for the

mandatory kit list. Carry only essentials

and what you will use. Check out what

food will be at the aid stations, so you

can plan your race nutrition.

5

1 WEEK PRIOR

Pack your kit and make sure your

bag still feels comfortable when it is

full. Try a jog to make sure nothing

moves or rubs. Visualise the race,

going over the course in your head.

You should iron out any possibility

for navigational error and focus on

finishing strongly.

TRAIL RUNNING

53


GO THE DISTANCE

CENTURION RUNNING SW100 RUN WALK CRAWL

YOU CAN RUN

100 MILES!

Can’t get into the hugely popular

2017 Montane Lakeland 100 race?

Try these five other fantastic British

100-milers:

SW100

23 JUNE 2017

A super-tough route, with 6400

metres of ascent that crosses the

South Wales Valley and the Brecon

Beacons. www.runwalkcrawl.co.uk

CENTURION NORTH

DOWNS WAY 100

FIRST WEEKEND OF AUG

A fantastically supported point-topoint

race with around 3000

metres of climb. The Centurion

team are renowned for their

brilliant organisation.

www.centurionrunning.com

ST OSWALD’S ULTRA

SECOND WEEKEND IN SEPT

A breathtaking route through

Northumberland, starting on Holy

Island and following the start of the

St Oswald’s long-distance walking

route. www.stoswaldsultra.com

ROBIN HOOD 100

THIRD WEEKEND IN SEPT

A fairly flat but very scenic course

through the heart of the infamous

Sherwood Forest. The partly

out-and-back route makes it

easier for supporters to cheer

you on. www.hobopace.co.uk/

robin-hood-100/

WHITE ROSE ULTRA

FIRST WEEKEND IN NOV

A lovely, low-key event that features

three picturesque laps of the Colne

Valley and a well-marked route.

www.whiteroseultra.co.uk

“I spent about half an hour at Mardale

eating a peanut butter sandwich and

drinking coffee. Allowing my body to

recover when I was certain I could drop

there was significant. It was half an

hour well spent as, as soon as we had

climbed Gategarth, we ran all the way

to Kentmere, and I felt like we had

started the race again”.

DO IT Take time to recover if you need

to – it could be the difference between

a finish and a DNF.

Lack of planning

8 Ultra running requires well-planned

training – nobody can ‘wing’ a 100-

mile race. We often put months if not

years of work in, but it’s important to

carefully plan your race day too. We’ve

been asked not to name names, but

at least one person’s race was almost

scuppered when a crew carrying some

much-needed supplies didn’t make it to

a planned checkpoint.

DO IT Get organised – pack your

drop-bag well in advance and make

sure your crew are organised

and prepared.

9 Last-minute

new shoes

Don’t wear new shoes in a

race. You may have trained

in mainly dry conditions,

only to find that the race

forecast is for a full British

rain storm. At this point

it’s tempting to trawl the

stores or internet for a pair

of deep-lugged fell shoes, but

if you’re not used to wearing

them, it’s more likely to be

blisters or even a rolled ankle

that will pull you out than a slip on a

muddy descent.

DO IT Train in a few pairs of trail shoes

that will suit differing weather and

conditions, so you’ll have a ‘worn-in’

selection to choose from.

Quitting during a

10 ‘bad patch’

Despite all of the above, sometimes the

right decision is to keep going. Ultra

races take time – hours and sometimes

days. Nearly everyone will suffer at least

one bad patch, but you need to judge

whether you have a serious physical

issue or if it’s just in your head. Chris

Knight finished the ML100 and has this

sage advice; “You will have a bad patch.

Just keep going and you’ll get over it. I

had a bad patch half asleep as I plodded

around Glenderaterra at the back of

Skiddaw… it passed”.

DO IT Be prepared for tough times and

remember not to give up immediately –

you can come out of the other side. TR

TOO FAR

TO RUN?

Try volunteering instead! Louise Karen

Isaacson ran the last three events

but decided to marshal this year, and

loved seeing the event from the other

side; “Sometimes all runners need to

keep going is a smiley face. If you’re

thinking about running the race but

not sure, marshalling is a great way

to gain insight and become

part of the Lakeland

family.”

54

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Train in a selection

of shoes, suited to a

variety of conditions

TRAIL RUNNING'S ML50 & ML100 WINNERS

MICHAEL

HOGAN

42, FROM

GERMANY,

ML100

How did it go? I DNF’d (Did

Not Finish), which is rubbish,

but I had to be sensible and

pull out. I was going dizzy

and being violently sick from

around mile 10, and when I got

to CP2 (Checkpoint 2) it got

so much worst. I wasn’t ready

to be a liability on the hill

during the night.

Best part? The whole

experience of the Montane

Lakeland 100 is amazing, and

a free nutrition consultation

from Montane athlete Debbie

Martin-Consani at CP2 was

really beneficial.

Biggest mistake made?

The DNF.

What would you do

differently if you could run

this race again?

I would finish it.

Best advice to others? Always

accept that you can only be as

good as you’ll be on the day.

STE

LORD

37, FROM

MANSFIELD,

ML100

How did it go? It went pretty

well, I finished 5th place in 8hr

20min 18sec.

Best part? I love the

section from Chapel Stile to

Tilberthwaite by Bleamoss

Beck – stunning! Plus, running

through the cheering crowds

makes you feel great.

Biggest mistake made? I

ate some things I wouldn’t

normally the night before.

I arrived in Coniston late at

night and was hungry, then

suffered with some stomach

issues early in the race.

What would you do

differently if you could run

this race again? I would run

the descents early on a lot

quicker, but my legs felt a bit

sluggish and I was worried

about burning out.

Best advice to others?

Practise fast hiking up long

climbs, the steeper the better.

EMIKO

KAWAKAMI

45, FROM

JAPAN,

ML50

How did it go?

I decided not to race and just

enjoy the run, and I did! I love

being surrounded by beautiful

scenery – I really adore the

Lake District.

Best part?

My running buddy finished his

first ML50 and is really happy.

Biggest mistake made?

I didn’t tape properly, and I

had a big blister on my toe.

What would you do

differently if you could run

this race again?

I would plan well and execute

it better.

Best advice to others?

Just enjoy the scenery,

running and meeting friends.

Think about checkpoint to

checkpoint rather than to the

finish. Also, it’s good to eat

real food such as onigiri (rice

balls) like [US ultra-running

champion] Scott Jurek.

Ride the storm of a

bad patch, and come

out the other side

MIKE

WILLOUGHBY

47, FROM

MANCHESTER,

ML50

How did it go?

The race went really well,

better than I thought it would.

Best part?

The best part for me was

maybe seeing Windermere

and the finish at Coniston.

Biggest mistake made?

This was probably not doing

a recce run from Ambleside

to Coniston.

What would you do

differently if you could run

this race again?

I would do a lot more downhill

running training.

Best advice to others?

Just get out on the trails as

much as possible and, on the

race itself, try as hard as you

can to pace yourself and keep

going. And make sure you eat

anything agreeable and easy

to get down.

KEVIN

POWDERLY

58, FROM

CHELTENHAM,

ML50

How did it go? It started well

with the first 8 miles in two

hours, but a fall cost me a

lot of time.

Best part? The great

atmosphere.

Biggest mistake made? I lost

my concentration and tripped

on a rock 8 miles in. I suffered

a nasty fall, cutting my elbow

and shin, and took a heavy

knock to my knee. I tried

running but it was too painful,

so I had to get my poles out

and walk the remaining 43

miles to the finish!

What would you do

differently if you could run

this race again? Look out

for rocks.

Best advice to others? It’s

all about completing the

challenge, so whatever it

chucks at you just keep going.

JAMIE

MCILVENNY

36, FROM

COLNE,

ML50

How did it go? I loved it! As

my maiden race of anything

over 22 miles, I was amazed to

complete it in 13hr 20min!

Best part? The support

from fellow runners, the

care at every checkpoint,

and the cheers from people

supporting. I cannot imagine

any race matching it.

Biggest mistake made?

I struggled to take on food

after Kentmere.

What would you do

differently if you could run

this race again? My plan

allowed for a rest at Ambleside

after Fusedale, Mardale and

Kentmere. In hindsight, it

would’ve been better to have

a brief break at Kentmere.

Best advice to others?

Sign up! You’ll love it. I’ll be

entering next year’s race.

BRADSHAW TAYLOR

SAM DOWNEY,

38, FROM SKIPTON, ML100

Sadly, Sam was not able to start the Montane Lakeland 100 race after his son fell ill. We

hear Aryan is on the mend and wish him and the Downey family the best for a speedy

recovery. Fingers crossed for Sam on the start line of next year’s race.

TRAIL RUNNING

55


56 WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


2013 World Trail Running Champion

Ricky Lightfoot reveals how he juggles

work, family and his world-class running

QUICK FACTS

Name Ricky Lightfoot Age 31

Based Dearham, Cumbria

Job Firefighter

Family Wife Sophie,

daughter Isobelle (2½)

Weekly average distance 95 miles

Key achievements 1st World Trail

Running Championships 2013, 6th

World Long Distance Mountain

Running Championships 2016, 1st

Yorkshire Three Peaks Race 2014, 2015

Relaxes by Spending time with the

family, ideally playing outdoors

Quirky fact Rick likes baking cakes

and his current favourite is

an orange polenta cake

TURN THE PAGE

➜ FOR RICKY’S TOP

5 PRO-RUNNING TIPS

TRAIL RUNNING 57


MODERN-DAY LEGEND

Words Damian Hall

With the surname

Lightfoot, it feels almost

inevitable that Ricky

would end up a fell

runner. But it wasn’t

until his school caretaker asked if anyone

was interested in trying a fell race that the

14-year-old first ran in the mountains. It

was the start of a journey that would take

the Cumbrian firefighter to the summit

of the trail-running world. But, despite

his success, just like the rest of us, the

father-of-one sometimes struggles to juggle

family, work and his passion for the fells...

Hello Rick. What does running mean

to you?

It’s more than just a hobby. It’s a release,

to get away from work, have some time on

my own, and be in the mountains. I can’t

describe the feeling. It’s just something

I’ve done for a while, and something I’ll

do for the rest of my life.

What do you remember now about your

first fell race?

It was January and it was wet and windy.

I remember being nervous and the trails

being muddy. A group of us went wrong,

but we just kept on running. We came out

on a road, nowhere near the start, and

ended up getting a lift back. Since then I’ve

been hooked! Something appealed about

being outdoors in the elements.

Do you remember your first race win?

My club, Cumberland Fell Runners, used to

put a handicap series on. Brian Taylor, the

school caretaker, took me along to a fivemile

race when I was 16 and said, “Rick,

you could win this.” He ran with me, we

were in a forest, and he said, “If you push

on here, you could get ahead of the front

runner.” I came out of the forest ahead by

about 15 seconds. And held on till the end.

What was the next stage of your career?

I remember training hard, putting hours

and hours in, on the bike, swimming,

training with Brian a lot. A group of us

would get out together training, different

races, different fells, each weekend. It was

a social thing too – we’re all really good

friends, and we still run together. I was 17

when I heard you could represent England

at fell running. I never fancied my chances

because I knew the competition would

be good. There was a trail race down at

Rivington Pike near Bolton. I remember

it like it was yesterday. My mate had

just passed his driving test and bought

a black Ford Fiesta that shook when it

went over 60mph – it was his first time

on the motorway. At the race there were

all sorts of people jumping around in their

tracksuits. I was really nervous. I thought

‘My mental

toughness comes

from being from

West Cumbria’

I’d finish near the back. But I found myself

in the middle, progressed, and managed to

finish fourth – the last spot for the England

team. That was the start of another level. It

opened doors, in terms of travel. When you

get stuff like that it makes you want more.

I started training more, started competing

in the English Fell Running Championships,

and things spiralled from there.

Was winning the World Trail Running

Championships in 2013 the best

moment of your running career?

It was amazing to win something as big

as that. But I do feel I’ve had times

during my career that have been pretty

amazing and there’s been nobody around.

Sometimes you feel you’re moving so well

you’re going to knee yourself in the chin.

One of those times was at Blencathra Fell

Race in 2009, where I broke a record that

had stood for 20 years. Moments like that

are just as important to me as winning the

World Trail Running Championships.

What do you think are your strengths

and weakness as a runner?

I’m a terrible planner. I’m always turning

up to races without enough time to warm

up, forgetting bits of kit – even trainers

and shorts! I turned up to a race a couple

of months ago four minutes before the

start. For strengths, I would say I’m

mentally very strong. It does get extremely

hard at times, but there haven’t been

many points where I’ve thought I’m

going to pack it in. When I’ve had a

DNF it’s been through injury. I think

my mental toughness comes from being

from West Cumbria.

58

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You seem like a laid-back person

(though it might also contribute to

you being a bad planner!). Does being

relaxed help you during races?

I think that’s exactly it. It’s not very often

I get nervous. Maybe I’m a bit too laidback?

Even during the race as well? It’s

weird, you can be on the start line really

relaxed… It’s like when I’m at work, we

have a laugh at the station with the lads,

but as soon as the bell goes you’re in a

different place. You snap into it, just like

that. It’s like putting a different head on.

In the job I do, nerves aren’t a good thing.

Maybe that’s got similarities to racing?

I’m pretty relaxed up till the start, but as

soon as we begin, I’m focused. I know

what I’m going to do.

How do you manage to juggle family,

work and your running?

It’s hard to juggle everything. It’s difficult

and stressful sometimes. Going away is

tough. I love spending time with my family

and that’s what’s most important. Running

is something I’m passionate about, but

it’s a selfish sport – everything you do is

for you, to make you better. Sometimes

you’ve got to sacrifice some things, whether

it’s a session or a race – you can’t have it

all your own way. But I manage it as best

I can and Sophie helps out a lot. I’m lucky

in that I work two days, two nights, then

have four days off, so it’s quite flexible for

training. Sophie works part time and my

parents live two miles down the road and

help out a lot. It can be difficult to find

time to train. But it depends how much

you want to improve. Sometimes I don’t

get enough sleep. And sometimes it does

cause conflict with my partner. But she’s

very understanding. We work it out.

What does your average training

week look like?

I run anything from 70 to 120 miles

a week, depending on what I’m training

Breaking records at

The Otter in 2013, with

runners-up AJ Calitz (left),

and Iain Don-Wauchope

Ricky is inspired

by fell-running

great Billy Bland

for. I run in the morning, I run at night,

I use the gym at work. My key sessions

are usually on Tuesdays, Thursdays and

Saturdays, with a long run on a Sunday.

But that’s always open to change because

Isobelle dictates things to be honest. If

I need to be home one morning, I might

go running later in the day, or instead

of two runs I do one long run. I think

becoming a dad has helped my training.

It stops me doing too much. Before,

I probably left more in training than in

races. Now I concentrate on quality a

lot more. As long as I have those key

sessions in, everything else should fall

into place around it.

What plans do you have for this year?

I’m heading out to Colorado to do

something with Rickey Gates and Scott

Jurek. We’re running from hut to hut

across the Rockies. In August I might do

the Tromsø Skyrace in Norway and maybe

the San Francisco 50 in December.

Since Jasmin Paris’s Bob Graham

Round record, do you feel any pressure

to have a go at it yourself?

No. Like you say, I’m pretty laid-back

and I don’t feel any obligation at all, to be

honest. It is something I’d like to do, but

Billy Bland’s time of 13:53 is obscene and

Jasmin’s time is amazing. We just did the

Bob Graham Relay and we did it in 13:14

as a team – two people on

each leg. To run Billy’s

time is an amazing feat.

I don’t feel as though

there’s any pressure on

me, but I’ll probably do

it in the next 12

months. It won’t

be something

I’ll plan for, but

I know I have

a good team

of lads who’ll

help out. TR

5

tips to

juggle

life like a

champion

Ricky’s top tricks for

fitting in trail running

around work and family

BE AN EARLY BIRD

1 How much do you want it? While

Sophie and Isobelle are still in bed, I’ll

be out at half past five, on the fells,

getting my run in.

BE A NIGHT OWL

2Even in winter, I’ve gone out as

late as half past ten, done two hours

and got to bed at 1am. Then been out

again at 7am.

Mental strength

has helped

Ricky take on

the toughest

terrains

BE PREPARED

3In winter, early morning runs can

be hard. I get my kit ready so it’s next

to the door, so I’m outside within five

minutes. Otherwise, you wake everyone

up hunting around for your gloves.

BE INVENTIVE

4 I try and incorporate my runs into

family activities sometimes. We live

about a 20-minute drive from Keswick,

so if we’re going in, I’ll run in and

meet the family there, and my run’s

done for the day.

GET THE FAMILY

5INVOLVED

I try to take Isobelle to races as much

as possible. She loves coming to watch

me run.

TRAIL RUNNING 59


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MONTH 2016 TRAIL 60


TRAINING

Answers to your questions and training tips from the top running experts

Powered by Montane

ASK THE EXPERTS

Email tr@

bauermedia.co.uk,

post on our wall

at facebook.com/

trailrunningmag

or tweet your

question to

@trailrunningmag

GERALD REGAN

Dentist Gerry is a keen

outdoor adventurer.

www.devonshire

dentalcare.co.uk

COLIN PAPWORTH

Podiatrist Colin helps

people get back to

running fitness. www.

holywellhealth.co.uk

SALLY FAWCETT

Physio Sally was 3rd at

the Annecy Mountain

Marathon. www.

montane.co.uk

DEBBIE MARTIN-

CONSANI 1st lady

and 6th overall in 2016’s

South Downs Way 100

www.montane.co.uk

JAYSON CAVILL

Montane athlete and the

decisive winner of July’s

Lakeland 50 Ultra. www.

montane.co.uk

Q How do I cure a sharp

pain in my heels that's

worse in the mornings?

DECADE3D/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

David Old, Stamford

A

“This sounds exactly like

plantar fasciitis, despite

a lack of arch pain”

says Colin Papworth,

“and you might need to look at a

prolonged period of recovery.”

■ REDUCE It's essential that

you decrease your running time

drastically or even stop running

altogether to give your body time

to heal the damage you are doing

– this really is the key to recovery.

■ ICE If you do have to run, ice for

5-8min at a time and repeat 3-4

times after running.

■ SUPPORT Increasing the amount

of support you give your feet –

either through orthoses or shoes

– can help, as long as you make sure

it’s the right support for you.

■ MASSAGE Stretch and massage

on the calf muscles and plantar

structures should reduce the

tension on the tissues.

PATIENCE,

PATIENCE

If you've been trying to run

through the pain of plantar

fasciitis for several months

then you might have to consider

a longer period of reduced

running. Frustrating

now, but safer

long term.

TRAIL RUNNING 61


TRAINING

Q&A

Q What are the

top 3 strength

& conditioning

exercises to

prevent injury?

Mikk Murray via Facebook

A

Physio and ultra-runner Sally knows the importance of

strength and conditioning. Although it often comes way

down our list of priorities, spending time on a couple of key

exercises can help you to stay an injury-free, more efficient runner.

1 Clam

Lie on one side with

knees bent to 90 degrees,

heels level with bottom.

Lift the top leg to 45

degrees, then lower for 20

reps. Stand immediately

on worked leg and do

a running action with

the opposite leg. Repeat

for the other leg.

HOW DO I TACKLE...

Q

A

RUNNING THROUGH

THE MENOPAUSE?

Hilary Cox, Stamford

England Athletics running coach Ellie Brown

specialises in helping women thrive through

the menopause – her next Thrive Alive

workshop is planned for January 2017.

www.greenwichpilates.co.uk

■ CHANGE FOCUS You

may slow in shorter races

during this time, but it has

been shown that there is

room for improvement

in longer races. Bring on

the marathons!

■ STAY STRONG Your

pelvic floor weakens, so

make time to work on

strengthening these key

muscles. Also, counteract

the loss of bone

mass women over 40

experience by strength

training – free weights or

machines in the gym once

a week will really help.

■ CONQUER BMR

Your decreasing Basal

Metabolic Rate (BMR)

can lead to more

fat being laid down,

especially around

your middle. Resist the

temptation just to run

more, and add core

training to your routine

– think Pilates or yoga.

■ GET SOCIAL Get out

running with friends or

as part of a group – the

company and joint

achievement will help

with any feelings of

isolation you may feel.

Thrive in the

menopause –

and beyond

2 Single-leg

dead lift

Stand on one straight

leg, tighten core muscles

and bend forward as far

as possible from the hips,

keeping the other leg

straight as you lift it out

behind. Repeat on the

other side.

3 Multi-directional

lunges

With one foot planted, step forward

with the other into a lunge. Next,

step out to the side into a wide

squat. Finally, step backwards and

lunge again. Repeat for the other leg.

EASY

AS 1, 2, 3…

Create a good circuit

from Sally’s exercises by

doing three sets of each.

Do the clam on both sides,

then about ten reps of the

next two exercises, then

return to the clam

again.

Q

How do you maintain

willpower to train?

Mick Murray, via Facebook

A

Sally finds variety is essential in her training.

“No two runs should be the same,” she says.

“Explore new routes, and try different types

of races, such as a parkrun or a fell race, to make sure

you’re not always just looking to go further.”

Debbie takes a similar approach: “The only time

I ever feel unmotivated is if I’m feeling over-trained.

I do most of my miles at an easy pace, so I don’t

burn out physically and mentally. Don’t get overly

concerned about pace – sometimes it’s just nice

to enjoy a jog, a chat with friends, and take in some

nice scenic trails. For anything that requires a bit

more effort, I follow a training plan or run with others

for a bit of competitive motivation.”

62

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Powered by Montane

How do you find time for long-distance

Q training? Justin Bufton, via Facebook

A

Running long distances takes

up a lot of time – we asked the

busy team Montane athletes

how they fit it all in…

PRIORITISE “Don’t find time, make it.”

says Debbie “I don’t have nights out, lieins

or the luxury of waiting for dry days.

But running is more important to me. If

you want something, you’ll find a way.”

WHAT’S YOUR MOTIVATION? Jayson

says you really need to understand why

you are training: “If your will is strong

enough, you’ll make time for running.”

COMMUTING SESSIONS Jayson and

Debbie both suggest using all or part

of your commute to work as training.

Even if you drive part of the way and

run the rest, it all helps.

Q

Do energy

sweets affect

my teeth?

Alice Havers, Stafford

A

“We all know sugar,

particularly refined sugar,

has a detrimental effect on

teeth, as it feeds the decay-causing

bacteria,” says dentist Gerald Regan.

“Energy products are designed to

give runners carbohydrate, mainly

in the form of sugar. Sugar also creates

an acidic environment in your mouth,

which can lead to loss of enamel

over time – so there’s obviously a

problem for teeth.”

We asked Gerald for his top tips for

reducing the damage to your teeth

without needing to give up those

sometimes-vital energy sweets…

TWITTER

QUESTION

What’s the longest run

you should do when ultra

training and how many of

them should you do?

Louise Virgo

EXPERT ANSWER

Whatever you can build to,

says Team Montane athlete

@Jpcav59. Learning to run with

tired legs is really important

– do back-to-back hard days

every two to three weeks.

BRUSH Always try to brush your teeth

using a fluoride toothpaste, or use

a fluoride mouthwash before you

go out for a run.

CHOOSE CAREFULLY Chewy energy

products are often almost 50% sugar

and sticky – these would appear to

be worse than gels, which contain

less sugar and spend a shorter time in

your mouth.

REDUCE If possible, try to reduce

the number of times you use an

energy product while out running.

Q I’m tired of

energy bars.

What’s a good

training snack?

Jeanette Hall, Inverness

A

Sally Fawcett says, “Try these

waffles – I made them while trialling

food for the Montane Lakeland 50

this July. I just blend the ingredients with

Mountain Fuel Morning Fuel energy powder,

then fry in the waffle pan. I haven’t quite

got the quantities right for the chocolate

and beetroot ones, but it's worth lots of

experimenting – this is excellent hill food!”

Top with

bananas and

berries, for

extra energy

■ CHOCOLATE & BEETROOT WAFFLES

1 beetroot, 40g dark chocolate melted, 1 egg

and 1 scoop Morning Fuel, whizzed together.

■ BANANA & BACON WAFFLES

1 egg, 1 scoop Morning Fuel, 1 banana, 2

rashers pre-grilled bacon, blitzed in blender.

■ SWEET POTATO & GINGER

1 medium-sized baked sweet potato (cooked

and skin removed), 1 scoop Morning Fuel, 1

egg, a pinch of ginger and tumeric, blended.

TRAIL RUNNING 63


TRAINING

FITNESS

Your first 10k

Nik Cook reveals his

simple, fun, 8-week

training plan for

new trail runners

Race over the

finish line in just

eight weeks

MEET THE

EXPERT

Nikalas Cook has a

background in sports

science, coaching and PT.

He’s also completed the

Marathon des Sables, 6633 Arctic Ultra

and won a world title in Long Course

Duathlon. Get your copy of his book

Marathon Training: Get to the Start Line

Strong and Injury-free at www.amazon.

co.uk and his guide to Peak District Trail

Running at www.v-publishing.co.uk

Although there’s nothing

wrong with heading out

onto the trails and running

for the pure joy of it (in fact,

we’d actively encourage it),

having a goal – such as an event to train

for – can definitely give you a motivation

boost. If you’re just getting into trail

running, a 10k is an ideal race. It’s a

popular distance, with loads of events

to choose from, so you should be able to

find one near you that fits in with your

training plan. Even with fairly minimal

starting fitness and initially using a walk/

run approach to training, it should be

achievable in eight weeks. It’ll be enough

of a challenge to give you that buzz of

achievement when you cross the finish

line, but is nowhere near as daunting as

a full or half marathon. By giving yourself

eight weeks to prepare for a 10k, you’ll

allow your body enough time to adapt

to the new demands you’re putting on it

and, by not rushing towards an overly

ambitious goal, will minimise your risk of

injury. You’ll start noticing improvements

right from the second week of the

plan, as you begin to increase the

amount of time you’re running and

learn to pace yourself. From the

fourth week, you’ll really start

to feel like a runner, and be

able to hold a steady pace for a

sustained period of time, and

your 10k goal will really feel

attainable. I guarantee you’ll

enjoy the training, especially if

you rope in like-minded friends,

and will look forward to each

session. By the time you conquer

your first 10k, you’ll have been

bitten by the trail-running bug.

I DID IT!

“10k seemed like a

manageable distance but still a

good challenge. I have a long-term

goal of running a half marathon and this

was a natural stepping stone. I had to

balance my running with cycling, my first

love, and did three runs each week.

Pacing was the hardest thing – don’t

just follow the runner in front! I nailed

it, though, and came in under an

hour for my first event.”

Alison Johnson,

New Mills

64

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KIT BAG

LAYER UP

Zip-up baselayers

Kelly Lucas tests the top 12 long-sleeved, zipped baselayers

BEST

FOR

ETHICS

RAIDLIGHT PERFORMANCE

LADY 175g Women’s M

www.raidlight.com

£50

SHERPA DIKILA MIDLAYER

TOP 220g Women’s M

www.sherpaadventuregear.co.uk

£35

OMM GRID TEE

165g Women’s M

www.theomm.com

£48

This bright top is packed full of features. It’s

super practical, with two side pockets, one

zip sleeve pocket and plenty of reflective

detailing. It also has silicone-print reinforced

shoulders to help packs stay in place, and a

built-in safety whistle and hydration clip on

the zip. The fabric is a recycled polyester,

which is lightweight, quick drying and good

for the environment.

VERDICT

Technical and safe (read

luminescent!) for autumn races.

8

10

A very comfortable, soft top which feels like

merino but is actually made of a Dryzone

synthetic ‘intelligent fabric’ – keeping you

warm in colder temperatures and cool in

summer. It’s also fast wicking and drying,

lined with anti-bacterial silver ions, and offers

SPF 50+. There’s a small zip pocket on the

sleeve for carrying essentials, and a soft

finish on the cuffs and neck.

VERDICT

Fits well, with nice long sleeves

for fresh mornings or evenings.

9

10

Designed for racing, this stretchy top

is made from a lightweight polyester

bamboo-mix fabric. It’s great at wicking

sweat away from the body and has flat

seams, with none on the shoulder, to reduce

the risk of chaffing. There are also mesh

panels under the arms and on the back to

help keep you cool. The zip is a little short,

but works fine.

VERDICT

A bright, lightweight top for

end-of-season races.

8

10

ICEBREAKER COMET

LONG-SLEEVE HALF ZIP 190g

Women’s M uk.icebreaker.com

£90

RONHILL WOMEN'S

THERMAL 200 HALF ZIP 184g

Women’s M www.ronhill.com

£40

THE NORTH FACE WOMEN'S

HYBRID BASELAYER 162g

Women’s M www.thenorthface.co.uk

£60

This top is part of Icebreaker’s GT collection,

a technical range which is geared towards

running. The result is 150 ultralight merino,

blended with nylon and Lycra to provide

stretch and extra durability. You also get

the usual merino benefits of breathability,

warmth and odour resistance. In addition,

there are mesh areas under the arms to help

with ventilation.

VERDICT

A good compromise between

merino and synthetic.

9

10

This affordable baselayer top is made

of Regulite fabric, which is designed

to provide you with the perfect body

temperature during your run. It is quick

drying and wicks sweat quickly and

efficiently, to keep you warm and dry.

The fit is good and it’s nice to have the

option of a lighter colour top to brighten

up autumn runs.

VERDICT

A solid, good-value, no frills

baselayer option.

8

10

This is a lightweight but warm baselayer

made from mainly HyActive fabric, which

is highly breathable and great at wicking

sweat. It also has mesh zones under the

arms and down the back for ventilation,

and ‘warm zones’ to give more insulation in

targeted places. The seamless construction

means its comfortable against skin, but it is

quite a fitted style.

VERDICT

A comfy top that will suit a

range of weather conditions.

8

10

86

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YOUR EASY 8-WEEK 10K PLAN

Get fit fast with Nik Cook’s best beginner trail-running workouts

One of the biggest mistakes that new

runners make is that they try to run too

hard. The key to successful distance

running is finding and developing your

sustainable pace. The running intensity

you’re aiming for is only slightly above what

you feel when you’re walking briskly, and

this, rather than giving you a break, is the

reason behind using a run/walk strategy in

your training. Start off at a walk, settle into

a rhythm and, when you start to run, do so

with the smallest increase in intensity you

can manage. It might feel as though you’re

barely running but, as you work through the

eight weeks, your pace will improve. It’s even

better if you’re training with friends as the

intensity you’re aiming for is one that allows

you to maintain a conversation.

You should aim to complete Sessions 1

and 2 during the week and to have at least

one day off between them. On your days

off you can cross-train; try yoga and Pilates,

swimming or strength training, but ensure

whatever you do doesn’t leave your legs

tired or heavy for your runs.

The goal of Session 3, which you’ll

Powered by Montane

probably want to do on the weekend, is to

cover a set distance. Try to run as much as

possible but, if you find yourself starting to

struggle and the intensity rising, take a walk

break, recover and reset. Once you’re back

in control, start running again.

The furthest you’ll run in training is 8k,

but don’t worry. The final week of training is

light, which will allow your body to recover

and deliver you to the start line in the best

shape possible. Also, the buzz, excitement

and adrenaline of the day will easily carry

you though that final couple of kilometres.

SESSION 1

SESSION 2 SESSION 3

BEGINNER’S TIP

WEEK

ONE

Walk 2min/run 5min

and repeat for

6 repetitions

Walk 2min/run 5min

and repeat for

6 repetitions

Cover 3km, running

as much as you

can manage

Buy some dedicated trail shoes –

they’ll improve grip, stability

and confidence.

WEEK

TWO

Walk 2min/run 7min

and repeat for

5 repetitions

Walk 2min/run 7min

and repeat for

5 repetitions

Cover 4km, running

as much as you

can manage

Keep your cadence (foot-strike rate)

high, at 85-95 strikes per minute. Check

your cadence by counting the number

of times one foot strikes in 30sec and

multiply the number by two.

WEEK

THREE

Walk 1min/run 8min

and repeat for

5 repetitions

Walk 1min/run 8min

and repeat for

5 repetitions

Cover 5km, running

as much as you

can manage

Don’t over-stride, and avoid jamming

your heel into the ground ahead of you.

If you can see your foot striking ahead

of you, you’re doing it wrong.

WEEK

FOUR

Walk 1min/run 10min

and repeat for

4 repetitions

Walk 1min/run 10min

and repeat for

4 repetitions

Cover 6km, running

as much as you

can manage

Think light. Imagine yourself floating

over the ground and your feet

lightly caressing the trail.

WEEK

FIVE

Walk 1min/run 15min

and repeat for

3 repetitions

Walk 1min/run 15min

and repeat for

3 repetitions

Cover 7km, running

as much as you

can manage

Stand tall and keep looking ahead.

Don’t hunch your shoulders, and

keep your head up.

WEEK

SIX

Walk 1min/run 20min

and repeat for

2 repetitions

Walk 1min/run 20min

and repeat for

2 repetitions

Cover 8km, running

as much as you

can manage

Keep relaxed, especially in the neck,

shoulders and arms. Imagine holding a

potato crisp between your thumb and

forefinger and taking care not to break it.

WEEK

SEVEN

Walk 5min/

run 40min/

walk 5min

Walk 5min/

run 40min/

walk 5min

Run 5km

Enjoy the trail – this is meant to be fun

after all. If you feel like picking up the

pace, give it a go. Jump in puddles, leap

over logs and go off-piste. It’ll challenge

your body and put a smile on your face.

WEEK

EIGHT

Run 20min

Run 20min

10km trail run

Just because you’re pinning a number

on, it’s no different to any other run.

Stay relaxed, have fun and remember

all the training you’ve done.

TRAIL RUNNING 65


TRAINING

FITNESS

Your fastest 10k

Already tackled 10k?

Nik Cook shows you

how to set a new PB

at the distance

What’s your next

running goal? I can

almost guarantee

that, for the majority

of runners, it involves

a longer and more arduous race than

you’ve tackled before. This is fine but,

by thinking that the only progression is

stepping up distance and ascent, you’re

missing out on a fantastic challenge

and probably consigning yourself to

becoming an ultra-plodder.

Setting yourself the goal of running

a fast 10k is a brilliant way to add

some real quality to your training,

develop some speed and give yourself

a motivating break from grinding out

long miles. An eight-week training

block dedicated to a fast 10k is an

ideal amount of time to focus on such a

performance goal. It’s not so long as to

become monotonous, overwhelming or

to dominate your running year, but will

allow enough time for the physiological

changes that will propel you to a PB.

Even if you do have marathon or ultra

ambitions, a block of speedwork can be

beneficial. By raising your higher-end

capabilities, when you are running long

you’ll be running at a lower percentage

of your maximum capacity. This means

you’ll be more efficient and have the

capability to run faster. Also, if you,

like me, are past your fortieth birthday,

speedwork should be a priority. Unless

you work on your top-end fitness, you’ll

just find yourself getting slower and

slower over all distances. It really is a

case of use it or lose it.

Finally, although the sessions

are tough – real leg and

lung burners – it’s fun

I DID IT!

to run fast. Watch

kids playing; they

“I’d been running 10k regularly,

don’t plod slowly

after gradually building endurance,

for hours on end.

and felt confident that I could run it

competitively. I averaged three runs a

They sprint flat

week; two hilly distance runs of 10-15k and

out, recover and

a shorter session of hill sprints or intervals.

go again. Don’t

I’d also do (high intensity) interval training

think of intervals

of bodyweight exercises for all over

as speedwork,

strength. It worked as I came 5th in

think of it as

the White Peak Trail Run and set a

speed-play. In fact,

PB.” John Kerry-Williams,

Ashbourne

fartlek training, which

are unstructured intervals,

means exactly that in Swedish.

WARM UP!

Make sure you prepare well so

you can hit race pace from the

gun. Do 5min jogging, followed

by 5min of 10sec strides and

50sec recoveries, then 5min of

lunges, heel flicks and knee

raises with jog recoveries

and, finally, 5 more min

of jogging.

66

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YOUR FASTEST 10K PLAN IN 8 WEEKS

Get a 10k personal best with Nik Cook’s speediest workouts

The first thing to focus on is training at the

correct intensity. To do this you should use

a heart-rate monitor, and it’s vital to set

accurate and personalised training zones.

This doesn’t mean using spurious and wildly

inaccurate formulae such as 220-age or

auto calculate functions on your device.

Instead, perform a field test to determine

your Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR)

and base your zones from that. LTHR is key

to 10k running as you’ll need to hover just

below it. I recommend Joe Friel’s testing

protocol and training zones at http://home.

trainingpeaks.com/blog/article/joe-friel-squick-guide-to-setting-zones.

Secondly, get

used to the concept of quality rather than

quantity. Many runners are of the mindset

that more is always best but, to run a fast

10k, your workouts have to be hard and then

you have to let your body recover. Don’t try

and squeeze in extra runs, no matter how

easy. They’ll just be junk miles which will

compromise your next real session and end

up slowing you down.

The plan consists of three runs. The first

session is made up of longer intervals to

hone your pacing, raise your threshold and

get you used to the ‘sustainable discomfort’

that a fast 10k involves. The second session

is the real top-end work. We start off with

some hill sprints to get you used to running

flat out, and then switch to some high

intensity interval training (HIIT) in the form

of Tabata sets. Despite their short duration,

these are proven to raise both aerobic and

anaerobic capacity. Finally, is a longer and

steadier run. You still need good endurance

to run a fast 10k but some strides and faster

efforts ensure this session isn’t just a plod.

SESSION 1

SESSION 2 SESSION 3

GO FASTER TIP

WEEK

ONE

TEMPO 10min

warm-up in Z1/2,

40min solid Z3,

10min jog

cool down

HILL SPRINTS 10 x 10sec

after warm-up (above

left). Use a steep hill, at

100% effort. Recover for

2-3min between sprints.

10min jog cool down

LONG SLOW RUN 90min

predominately Z2 but Z3

on climbs. Include

5 x 20sec strides in

final 20min.

Make sure your sprints really are sprints.

Channel your inner Usain Bolt. Start low,

drive hard and use an exaggerated arm

drive for added impetus.

WEEK

TWO

TEMPO

(as Week 1)

HILL SPRINTS

(as Week 1)

LONG SLOW RUN

(as Week 1 but 100min)

Don’t over-stride to increase your pace.

Keep your foot strike below your centre

of gravity and up your cadence.

WEEK

THREE

OUT AND BACK

Run out for 30min in

Z1/2, turn around and

run back, first half Z3

and then Z4, 10min jog

cool down

TABATA

Warm-up as above left.

On flat trail, 4 x 20sec

maximal with 10sec walk/

jog recoveries. 10min

jog cool down

LONG SLOW RUN

(as Week 1 but 110min)

On technical sections of trail, look ahead

and plan your line. Focus on where

you want to go and not on the

obstacles you want to avoid.

WEEK

FOUR

OUT AND BACK

(as Week 3)

TABATA

(as Week 3 but

6 x 20sec)

LONG SLOW RUN

(as Week 1 but 120min)

Try using a playing field or beach for

the Tabata session and run barefoot.

Do you run differently? If you feel faster

and lighter, try and replicate that feeling

when you go back to shoes.

WEEK

FIVE

CRUISE INTERVALS

10min jog warm-up to

bottom of moderate

(5-10%) hill. Run 4 x

5min Z4/5 with 5min jog

down recoveries. Aim for

consistency throughout.

10min jog cool down

TABATA

(as Week 3 but

8 x 20sec)

LONG SLOW RUN

(as Week 4 but do the

strides at the hour mark

and then, on a flat trail,

go straight into 20min

Z3. Finish run in Z2)

Don’t try and raise your heart rate too

fast on your intervals as it always lags

behind effort. Spend the first minute

building through Z3 and Z4.

WEEK

SIX

CRUISE INTERVALS

(as Week 5 but

add a rep)

TABATA

(as Week 5)

TABATA

(as Week 5)

You shouldn’t need food or water on a

fast 10k but try swilling a carbohydrate

sports drink in your mouth just before

the start to boost performance.

WEEK

SEVEN

FARTLEK 60min trail.

Run fast when you feel

like it. Try to include

a real mix of paces,

duration and intensity

TABATA

(as Week 5)

LONG SLOW RUN

60min Z2 with 5 x 20sec

strides near end.

Don’t include any static stretching

in your warm-up. It’s been shown to

reduce performance, especially if you’re

looking to run fast. Stick to running

and ballistic movements.

WEEK

EIGHT

FARTLEK (as Week 7

but just 30min)

TABATA

(as Week 3)

Your 10km PB

Pacing is key. You should be at the point

of ‘sustainable discomfort’ throughout.

Hold mid-high Z3 to low Z4 and then, if

you can, empty the tank in the final km.

TRAIL RUNNING 67


TRAINING

NUTRITION

Eat right for long races

Double Bob Graham Round completer Nicky Spinks reveals how to fuel

MEET THE

EXPERT

After getting an all-clear from

breast cancer four years ago,

this April Team Inov-8’s Nicky

Spinks became the first

woman to complete a Double Bob Graham

Round – 132-miles over 84 summits. As we

go to press she will run her second UTMB.

Her next Ultra & 24hr Round training

course is on 22 October. www.runbg.co.uk

Nicky says, “I know that if

I’m running for more than

an hour I need to fuel. If

I eat well I get stronger

throughout the race and can

fly past people in the second half, which

is a great feeling. Over the years I’ve

honed my nutrition and use the same

format every time now. The only factor I

can’t totally control is how my stomach is

going to feel on the day. But to counteract

any difficulties I have eating or keeping

food down, I pack a variety; some I never

eat unless I’m running! When doing an

ultra race such as the Ultra Trail du Mont

-Blanc (UTMB) I have to adapt to the food

that is on offer at the checkpoints. Here

it becomes important to be strict with

yourself. Last year I did the L’Echappee

Belle as practice for this year’s race. I

approached nutrition differently and it

worked. I finished in 35.34hr without

pain, 19th overall and 2nd lady.

Here’s my advice for your

next long-distance

race…”

Nicky kickstarts

her digestion by

always eating

within the first

hour of a race

68

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NICKY’S RACE NUTRITION TIMELINE

THE WEEK BEFORE

1 If it’s an ultra race of more than 30 miles,

starting on Saturday morning, begin ‘grazing’

on Thursday, eating smaller meals and

snacking in between. If the race is going

through the night, eat a little late at night

and then again early in the morning.

THE DAY BEFORE

2 Continue the grazing approach but eat

slightly bigger meals and eat every 4 hours. I

never allow myself to get hungry or over-full.

I will include more carbohydrates in my meals

and I will also drink little and often, including

one drink made with electrolyte.

THE EVENING BEFORE

3 If you have a Saturday race, pack your

clothes and food either on Thursday or

Friday morning so that Friday evening is

dedicated to relaxation. Have your last big

meal at about 7pm – I usually have pasta

served with a bolognese sauce, followed

by a fruit crumble, and then have another

small snack before bedtime.

4 BREAKFAST

It is usual that I don’t sleep well before

a big race, so if I’m awake I will eat a little

and read a book. I would normally sit down

to eat breakfast at least 2hr before the start

of a long race; usually porridge. I would

then take a teacake, topped with honey

and banana, to registration, to eat about

an hour before the start.

30-MIN BEFORE THE RACE

5 Half-an-hour before the race begins,

I would keep trying to eat a little (like a

banana) right up until the start of the race.

DURING THE RACE

6 It is important to eat within the first hour

of racing. This is hard to do as the pace is fast

and you are unlikely to be hungry, but I think

it keeps my digestion working. I make sure

I have something close at hand like apricots

or a muesli bar – already opened so that I can

eat it easily. For a 4hr race I will eat twice

an hour, probably only a gel or some sweets

each time. For a longer race I will also eat

twice an hour, but one gel and one ‘proper’

food item, such as a muesli bar, banana, fruit

salad, rice pudding or something that is on

offer at the checkpoints.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER

7 Here, I’m not so strict! There is often a

post-race meal provided and as I’m usually

starving when I finish, any food is agreeable.

I think eating straight away is key to recovery,

so I always take my own food (sandwiches,

soup or pizza) in case there is no post-race

meal on offer.

8 DINNER

I really like to have spicy food – so

sometimes I take a homemade salami pizza

to eat afterwards. Or I’ll have fish and chips

with curry sauce. Or I’ll order a chicken

madras curry to eat when I get home!

EAT LIKE A CHAMP

Food for

thought

Here’s Nicky’s 132-

mile menu

Could you stomach what

Team Inov-8’s Nicky Spinks

ate on her 132-mile, 84-summit

Double Bob Graham Round

record in May? Here’s what she

chowed down on to help her

sail through the miles…

■ Cadbury Brunch Bars 8

■ Tunnock Caramel Wafers 11

■ Bananas 15

■ KP Hula Hoops 6

■ Jacob’s Mini Cheddars 2

■ Yoghurts 12

■ Jelly babies 10

■ Liquorice allsorts 3

■ High5 Summer Fruits gels 18

■ Fruit salad, small pots 12

■ Rice pudding, small pots 8

■ Ham and cheese

sandwiches 1

■ Heinz Baked Beans

3 large cans

■ Homemade spicy sausage

pasta 2 portions

■ Cheese and onion pie, beans

and potatoes 1 portions

■ Fish, chips and curry sauce

1 portion

■ Two fried eggs on toast with

baked beans 2 portions

■ Joss Naylor’s ‘Rock cake’ 1

■ Water 10 500ml bottles

■ Cola 1 300ml bottle

■ Tea 8 cups

■ Coffee 5 cups, plus a flask of

‘proper coffee’

■ Yazoo Strawberry Milk Drink

4 bottles

QUICK FIX

Nicky says, “After running it’s a

close call between fish, chips and

curry sauce or chicken madras with

boiled rice. I really enjoy spicy food

and after a race there is nothing

better for sorting the stomach out

and getting rid of that awful sugary

taste. Washed down with a pint

of real blonde beer, it’s

the ultimate!”

TRAIL RUNNING 69


TRAINING

NAVIGATION

Try basic map

reading on trails

The experts behind OMM Lite races reveal just how

simple it is to map-read your way to trail-running fitness

QUICK TIP

The best way to get good at

navigation is to be bold and

practise it. Get an Ordnance

Survey map of your local area

and get used to seeing the

features in the right-hand

panel, both on the map

and in real life as

you run.

MEET THE

EXPERT

Dave Chapman is course

planner for many OMM

navigation events. He has

planned the upcoming

OMM LITE in North Yorkshire and

competed in OMM events for 30 years,

finishing all but two due to injury. He

regularly competes in UK orienteering

leagues and is usually found on the trails

of the South Downs. www.theomm.com

When we go out

running we tend to

stick to the same

routes and paths

that we know, which

can get a bit monotonous after a while.

However, brilliantly, the UK has a huge

network of amazing paths, trails and

bridleways all over the country, and

once you start exploring you’ll find some

real gems to run that you probably

never knew existed. There are trails

everywhere that cut through fields,

woods and towns and, once you start

discovering them, they’ll open up miles of

new routes and exciting places to see. The

good news is that a lot of these trails are

signposted and are really easy to follow

– all you have to do is find where they

connect. At the OMM LITE events we call

this ‘trail nav’; finding your own route

around a trail network to visit a series

of checkpoints and explore somewhere

new. Fancy a go? The next events are in

North Yorkshire 17-18 September 2016

and Brecon Beacons 29-30 April 2017.

6 STEPS TO EASY HILL NAVIGATION

1km

HIGHLIGHT THE TRAILS

1 There are a lot of details on OS or

Harvey maps that you don’t need for trail

running. Before you head out, use a marker

pen to highlight trail junctions on the map,

with a 1cm-diameter circle so you don’t

hide the junction detail. This will help you

pick them out quickly when you’re running.

MAKE A ROUGH PLAN

2 Before you set out it’s important to

work out a rough plan for your route.

Each square on a map is one kilometre,

whatever the scale, so if you count how

many squares you will run across you can

work out a rough distance of how long

your route will be.

CREATE AN ESCAPE

3 Choose a place with connected trails

that allow you to shorten or lengthen the

route depending on how you feel, or on

the weather. A shorter or lower level route

(like taking the path to the east rather than

running over Laughenghie Hill, pictured) is

an escape route, vital for trail-run safety.

✔Building

✔Lake

edge

✔River

✔Steep

hillside

✔Crag

✔Forest

edge

TICK IT OFF

4 Ticking off key features as you run

allows you to know exactly where you are

and how fast you’re covering the distance.

This is especially useful on straight trails

where there are less turn-offs to confirm

your position. Make a note of any river

crossings, farm buildings or hills you pass.

LOOK BACK

5 Everyone misses turn-offs now and

again, but if you’re trying to get to a specific

point then it’s wise to stop, consult the map,

and go back if necessary. It’s tempting

to keep going, hoping there’ll be another

path, but it’s worth double checking you’re

still heading in the right direction.

ENJOY IT

6 Get out there and enjoy it – we run on

trails to soak up the paths and outdoor

spaces. The beauty of running on a track

network means you only need to check the

map when you get near a turn-off, so avoid

looking at the map every two seconds and

simply enjoy discovering new places.

70

WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


YOU CAN DO IT

Never get lost!

Nail basic navigation the easy way

OMM expert Dave Chapman says: “Building up a

picture in your head of how the map relates to what

is on the ground is the starting point to finding new trails.”

Once you’ve got that mastered, try to become aware of

how quickly you are covering ground on the map. Here

are the key features to get to grips with first…

ROADS

Start with a mix

of road and trail.

Roads are easy

to see and follow

on the map, and

you’ll always

have a point you

can go back to.

Once you’re got

the hang of it,

use the map to

avoid the roads.

SQUARES

ARE 1KM

Knowing that

each square is

a kilometre is

important when

you’re creating

a rough route.

Count how many

squares your run

covers, to give

you the distance

of your route.

DASHED

TRAIL LINES

Black, green or

pink dashed lines

are trails, paths

and bridleways.

As a general rule,

the thicker and

bolder they’re

marked on the

map, the more

obvious the trail is

on the ground.

RIVERS/

LAKES

These are

always good

to follow,

and make

excellent

reference

points for

working

out where to

go next.

TOWNS/

BUILDINGS

A farm

building, along

with other

features, is a

great point of

reference and

can let you

know you’re

heading the

right way.

ORANGE

CONTOUR

LINES

Lots of orange

contour lines close

together shows

an incline/decline.

When planning your

route, sometimes

going around a hill

is more efficient

than going over it.

IF YOU GET LOST

Everyone gets lost or loses their way at some point. With

trail navigation, most of the time you know roughly where

you are but not exactly. If you need to relocate yourself,

go to the nearest big feature – lake, river, church or pub.

Then turn the map until the feature ahead lines up with

the feature on the map. Now all the paths will be aligned,

also, and you can see which one you need to take.

TRAIL RUNNING 71


TRAINING

SKYRUN SKILLS

6

tricks for running

at high altitude

Team Dynafit athlete Anna Comet has the key to high-altitude races

WORDS AND PICTURES ©IANCORLESS.COM

MEET THE

EXPERT

Anna Comet, of Team

Dynafit, has always had a

passion for the mountains.

A four-year stint living in

the French Alps, aged 14, and two

years in Andorra, laid the foundations

for selection for the Spanish National

Team for Alpine Skiing. Unfortunately,

injury removed Anna from competitive

sport for four years and, when she

returned, trail running and ski

mountaineering were her chosen

disciplines. In 2014, Anna moved to trail

and mountain running, and victory at

the 2014 Everest Trail Race confirmed

she had made a wise decision.

Anna Comet,

aiming high at

High Trail Vanoise

72

WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


Powered by

High Trail Vanoise

personifies Skyrunning,

with a combination of fast

tracks, technical trails,

snow, ice and altitude. The

course has many key features, with

highlights coming at Col de Fresse

(2500m), Le Panoramic (3000m) and,

the highest point of the course, Grande

Motte at 3500m-plus. A roller coaster

of climbs and descents follows that

finally culminates with Aiguille Pers

(2800m) before dropping down to the

Col de L’Iseran and the final push to

the finish line in Val D’Isère.

“High Trail Vanoise is one of the

hardest races I have ever done,”

says Anna. “Only one-third of the

runners who started completed

the race. Climbing and descending

repeatedly is tough – I love these kind

of races but the altitude is hard. It is

Europe’s ‘highest’ race and when you

are over 3000m your body starts to

feel a little sick, your head is muddy,

and you really need to concentrate.

It’s a race you need to prepare

for. But it’s magic!”

6 TIPS TO TAKE

ON HIGHER

GROUND

Step-by-step success

for mountain running

HYDRATE Higher altitude means

1 that breathing is shallower and more

frequent. Increased ventilation and dry air

leads to greater fluid loss, so drink lots.

2ADAPT SLOWLY Try to train at

altitude at least once or twice a

week during the month-and-a-half

before your race. Your body will get use

to the feelings and will physiologically

adjust to it. Can’t make it to altitude?

Use ‘real-world’ altitude scenarios

when oxygen content and the

atmospheric pressure is low.

3USE POLES Poles will be your

second legs at altitude. They

will help you keep going uphill and

provide support for the downhills.

4PACE YOURSELF Race and train

at a slower pace. When running at

2500m-plus you can expect to move

20 to 30 seconds slower for every

mile. RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion)

is a great way to monitor effort.

5RECOVERY Rest with the same

intensity that you train – running

and training at altitude can make you

experience a loss of muscle, fatigue,

DOMS (delayed onset of muscle

soreness) and anemia.

VISUALISE Don’t think on

6 a big goal, divide your race

into smaller parts and achieve

one after another, visualising

them separately. After each

part, congratulate and

encourage yourself.

QUICK FIX

Anna says: “The best advice

that I can give for obtaining

a good result when running at

high altitude, without doing any

extra training, is to take part in

regular shorter races and find

a rhythm that allows you

to start slow and finish

stronger.”

3 WAYS TO TRAIN

FOR ALTITUDE

Athlete Anna Comet says, “Incorporate

these sessions one to two times per

week and you’ll adapt for altitude.”

1SWIM ONCE A WEEK It helps your

lung capacity, which has a direct and

very positive effect on altitude work.

2WALK IN THE MOUNTAINS Spend

two to four hours a week walking fast

in the mountains, on technical and steep

trails, over 1700m high if possible. A

weekend trip or two to the Alps will work

wonders if you can wangle it.

3HIT THE GYM Working on your

general overall strength is essential.

If your muscles are strong they can face

the long ascents and descents that highaltitude

running presents.

TRAIL RUNNING 73


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KIT BAG

WE TEST MORE GEAR THAN ANY OTHER RUNNING MAGAZINE

OUR EXPERTS

We use in-house and

independent experts

with sports & exercise

science backgrounds,

and many years of

trail kit testing under

their belts, so you can

trust our kit reviews.

MARK ROBERTS

Mark gets you up to speed

with the latest trail running

clobber, from torches to

waterproof jackets, p75.

JEN BENSON

Co-author of Wild Running,

Jen and husband Sim (right)

review compression leggings

for trail runners, p80.

SIM BENSON

Co-author of Wild Running,

Sim gives his verdict

on men's compression

leggings, p78.

KELLY LUCAS

Ultra-running journo Kelly

reviews the best long-sleeved

zipped baselayers to keep

you warm this autumn, p86.

WHEELY GOOD

Reinventing

the wheel?

Mountain Buggy Unirider £79

At the 2012 Olympics, British cycling

boss, Dave Brailsford, was quoted as

saying that the British team’s

success was down to special

‘perfectly round wheels’. It

was a wind-up to annoy

the French – a wheel’s

a wheel at the end

of the day. But…

you can find other uses for wheels, it

seems. Enter dad Simon Langham and

his three-year-old son Freddie. As an

outdoorsy dad, getting out into the hills

with his son was proving difficult for

Simon. But, in an eureka moment, one

Saturday morning he found a solution.

Grabbing some plywood from the garage,

vandalising a broom and nabbing a

wheel from Freddie’s bike, Simon set to

work and, eventually, emerged with the

very first Unirider. The prototype’s first

test was a 10k run over a ploughed field

– despite the bouncy ride Freddie had

a whale of a time. Fellow dad Jonathan

Mackintosh (pictured left) uses it to spend

time with his son when he’s training

for ultra marathons. Trail Running

readers can get an exclusive 20% off

Unirider purchases using the code

'unirider20TRM' at the online checkout.

www.mountainbuggy.com

SIMPLY

BRILLIANT

Partnering up with

New Zealand

company Mountain

Buggy, the Unirider is

designed for children

aged two to five

(depending on size),

weighs a mere 3kg, and

shares the prototype’s

footplates and safety

handle. The rugged 12in

air-filled wheel is designed

to bounce over the rockiest

of trails and has a central

axle to keep the child’s

weight over the wheel.

TRAIL RUNNING 75


KIT BAG

NEWS

HEADED

OUT TO

WHERE THE

PAVEMENT

TURNS TO

SAND?

Where the Road Ends

A Guide to Trail Running

by Meghan M. Hicks &

Bryon Powell £17

At the risk of jeopardising our jobs here

on Trail Running, the UK's only magazine

dedicated to the exciting, muddy world

of off-road running, comes this book from

the creators of the ultra-running website,

iRunFar.com. Its absolutely jam-packed

(to the extent that the jam is squeezing

out the sides) with everything you need

to know about trail running. With quotes

from leading trail runners, the authors cover

everything that a newcomer to the sport

would need to know, as well as tips even

you old pros will find useful too – from

technique to hydration and training to injury.

www.humankinetics.com

TROUBLE WITH

YOUR ’EARIN’?

Earin Earbuds £200

We realise that a lot of

you don’t listen to music

when you’re running;

many trail runners

prefer to take in their

surroundings – sights and

sounds – when they’re pounding through

the undergrowth. But how many of you

don’t wear headphones because you

hate the faff of wires? Here’s the solution.

Completely cable-free, these Bluetoothpowered

headphones are charged within

an aluminium wireless capsule when not

in use – each charge gives three hours

of listening, all packaged in the kind of

ergonomic perfection you'd expect from

Scandinavian design. The sound’s

not half-bad either.

www.

earin.

com

Mountain a challenge to

their competitors

OMM Ava Jacket £TBC

SUCK IT UP, ANYWHERE

LifeStraw Go £46

Coming up with gear that survives

the uncOMMonly challenging and

cOMMiting conditions of the Original

Mountain Marathon (OMM), and meets the

lightweight demands of cOMMpetitors

must be tough. But there’s certain to be

a high level of bonhOMMie in the OMM

office at the moment, because they’ve

just won the Outdoor 2016 Industry

Award for the Ava Jacket (Aether

in mens). Using lightweight

(200g), durable and breathable

eVent DVStorm fabric, the

jacket improves on existing

mountain-running models,

with new Active Cuff

closures (laminated adjuster

on the palm of the hand

and thumb slot, holding

the sleeve in place to

keep your mitts dry and

prevent water build-up)

and well-designed drop

hem at the back (to keep

your bum dry – good

cOMMonsense). They’ve

even shaved 50 per

cent off the weight of

the pocket liners. We’d

definitely recOMMend

it, but you’ll have

to wait till mid-

September. The

OMM takes place

on 29-30 October.

www.theomm.com

“But I don’t want to drink from that

crystal-clear mountain stream; I might

get ill.” Joking aside – you actually

might. Especially if the sinister Sheep

of Death is stalking your every move

upstream, waiting to spread its diseased

innards to your defenceless guts.

Luckily, LifeStraw Go’s two-stage

filtration system removes over 99%

of contaminants, for safe drinking

water. The first stage – a hollow fibre

membrane – removes bacteria and

protozoa, and the second filters out

chlorine and pesticides. With regards

to the all-important Faff-Reduction

Rating it scores highly, especially when

compared with other filtration systems.

www.lifestraw.com

TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


NEW UPDATES TO THE

SPINE OF THE TEAM

Montane Spine Jacket £250

British brand Montane’s recent transfer from team

eVent to team Gore-Tex certainly caused a bit of a

stir in the waterproof membrane world. It's the first

British brand to be awarded a Gore licence in over

a decade, leaving eVent with just one British player

– Rab. Montane has followed up its transfer with

a host of new Gore-Tex Active jackets. This one is

light and breathable, with a 30D shell, minimal seams

to reduce weight, and an athletic cut designed to be

worn over low-bulk baselayers and midlayers. Taking its

name from the brutal winter Pennine Way race, it has a

fitted hood with laminated peak, made to keep you dry in

the toughest of running conditions. www.montane.co.uk

Need a new head torch?

When? Nao!

COMING SOON

The Nao+ will be

available in October

– perfect for autumn

nights on the trails.

BEST OF THE REST

Hydro Flask Wide Mouth

32oz £35

Trying to make friends

at a new running club or

after a race? Desperate

to be popular? Share out

the hot beverages with

this flask; the Honeycomb

Insulation cap and

Tempshield bottle keep

drinks hot for six hours

and cold for 24.

www.hydroflask.com

Runderwear

Women’s

Hotpants £18

No one wants

sweaty pants. If

you're in favour of

British companies,

and breathable,

wickable, chafe-free underwear, get

some Runderwear. The women’s

hotpants are out now.

www.runderwear.co.uk

Petzl Nao+ £145

Introducing the new Nao+ headtorch, one of the most technically

advanced headtorches we’ve seen yet. As well as the reactive light

technology (which adjusts the strength of the beam depending on

where you’re focusing), an upgrade to 750 lumens (135m beam) and

rear-facing red LED safety light, there’s a brand-new innovation. In

the eternal quest for low-faff adjustable-beam headtorches, Petzl have

turned to the app. The Bluetooth-compatible lamp connects to your

phone and allows you to: modify brightness and lighting modes; monitor

remaining burn time and battery life; and choose five different activity

profiles, including one fully customisable one. All this technology might

be enough to send you reaching for the candles and matches, but there’s

no denying it’s an interesting concept. www.petzl.com

Left: Main bag + jacket + halfbag.

Middle: Main bag + filler bag.

Right: Main bag + overbag

BAG SOMETHING

REALLY UNIQUE

PHD Sleep Systems £Variable

Custom down specialist PHD has come

up with a new concept that’s genuinely

revolutionary. We’ve probably all been

there: carrying a sleeping bag that’s

much too heavy and much too warm for

the conditions, just in case it gets cold.

We layer our clothes, wearing only what

we need, so why not our sleeping bags

too? PHD’s new mix-and-match Sleep

System gives protection for even the coldest

environments. But if you don’t need all that

soft, insulating duck fluff, you can just take

the bits you’ll need. www.phdesigns.co.uk

Petzl Noctilight £14

I might be an unashamed gear nut

but you have to admit – this is a

really… bright idea. Doubling as a

protective case for

your headtorch, the

Noctilight diffuses

the beam, turning

it into a lantern

that can be stood

up or hung from

a roof of a tent.

www.petzl.com

ON Cloudventure £125

Feet in the clouds… No, not the

famous Richard Askwith book

about fell running – ON’s first entry

into trail running. Run like a Swiss

machine with the patent

CloudTec soles

and microengineered

grip rubber.

www.onrunning.com

Smartwool Ultra Light SS £50

Like water off a sheep’s

back. Hang on… No

that’s right, sheep’s

wool has natural

moisture and

temperaturemanagement

properties, and

these newly redesigned

Ultra Light tops have

been engineered for an

efficient figure-hugging

fit. www.smartwool.com

TRAIL RUNNING 77


KIT BAG

RUNNING LEGGINGS

Men’s tights

Sim Benson tests the top 12

compression leggings for best

performance and recovery

BEST FOR

RECOVERY

CEP RECOVERY

PRO TIGHTS 185g Size 5

www.cepsports.co.uk

£120

OMM FLASH TIGHT 1.0

210g Men’s M

www.theomm.com

£45

COMPRESSPORT

COMPRESSION FULL TIGHTS

150g Size 3 www.compressport.com

£85

Compression level High. A specialist item

designed for post-run recovery. Sized from

three measurements, CEP draws from its

medical background to create an effective

fit. The compression profile from foot to waist

promotes circulation, prevents congestion

and accelerates metabolism, aiding recovery.

Don’t run in them though; they're not made

for a lot of movement.

VERDICT

A great piece of kit, perfect for

the high-mileage athlete.

9

10

Compression level Low. These tights are

great for winter training or a mountain

marathon like the OMM event in October.

With flatlock seams and a combination

of stretch, compression and mesh panels,

they’re a supportive but breathable tight

that you can wear for a couple of days at a

time. Finished with an internal key pocket

and reflective detail.

VERDICT

A bit plain, but comfortable

and great for winter running.

8

10

Compression level High. The polyamide/

elastane-mix fabric is very light but offers

strong graduated compression with a

light, stretchy knee panel. Sized by a thigh

measurement, the fit is excellent but highly

dependent upon getting the sizing right,

so try them on if you can. The legs are

seamless, the wide waistband is great, and

there’s a useful rear pocket.

VERDICT

Great design. Excellent for

long days out running.

9

10

BEST

IN TEST

BEST FOR

VERSATILITY

KALENJI KANERGY ¾ TIGHTS

175g Men’s M

www.decathlon.co.uk

£28

ZEROPOINT POWER

COMPRESSION TIGHTS 160g

Men’s M www.zpcompression.com

£90

SALOMON S-LAB EXO TW

SHORT 145g Men’s M + EXO CALF

£45 70g Size 5 www.salomon.com

£130

Compression level Medium. You get

performance-enhancing compression and

excellent features in these great-value

tights. There's a wide waistband with two

zipped and two stretch pockets, and noncompressive

knee panels. However, we

found the lack of stretch around the legs

uncomfortable; they come in several sizes, so

try before you buy.

VERDICT

Compressive, great value and

well featured, but try them first.

8

10

Compression level Medium. This Finnish

brand specialises in compression wear.

The polyamide/elastane-mix fabric is 100%

recycled and durable, and the tights are

made in the EU. Performance-boosting

compression feels great due to the excellent

fit, with stretchy panels on the backs of the

knee and a waistband with a comfortable

drawstring.

VERDICT

Stylish, ethical and awesome

to run in.

10

10

Compression level High. The combination

of calf guards and shorts creates a versatile

compression system which doesn’t restrict

the knees. Both products use a nylon/

elastane-mix fabric with a supportive

polyurethane grid, offering targeted

compression. The fit and feel is great and the

shorts are well featured, with five pockets

in the waistband.

VERDICT

Expensive, but ideal for long,

technical endurance runs.

9

10

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WHAT?

Compression tights are designed

to improve performance and aid

recovery. Always check size guides.

?

WHY?

Compression wear is thought to

improve blood circulation and

reduce muscle oscillation.

WHEN?

Lower levels of compression are

designed for running, and

higher levels to aid recovery.

BEST

VALUE

BEST

FOR

ETHICS

SKINS DNAMIC LONG TIGHTS

135g Men’s M

www.skins.net

£70

MORE MILE COLD

COMPRESSION LONG TIGHTS

205g Men’s M www.startfitness.co.uk

HELLY HANSEN

PACE TIGHTS 260g Men’s M

www.hellyhansen.com

£30 £60

Compression level Medium. These feel

like a performance-enhancing skin. The

fit is excellent and the combination of

nylon and elastane means they won’t go

baggy. We love the styling and uncluttered

design aimed purely at maximising running

performance. They’re great for long runs

and racing, but also perform well as a postexercise

recovery tight.

VERDICT

Performance boosting, 10

lightweight and well made.

10

Compression level Medium/High. A thick

polyester/elastane-mix fabric creates a

comfortable and supportive tight. The fit

is good but they lack any features and the

compression is uniform, so they can feel a

bit tight on the backs of the knees when

running. We found that the extra warmth

and soft feel mean they work particularly

well as recovery tights.

VERDICT

Good-value compression; fits

well but lacking features.

8

10

Compression level Low. These are the

heaviest tights on test but the planetfriendly

Bluesign fabric feels particularly

durable. They fit well and if it’s cold they are

lovely to run in, offering good support and

reassuring protection. Ankle zips make them

easier to use, and they have lots of reflective

detail, a draw-cord waist and a sweat-proof

pocket at the back.

VERDICT

Good ethics, warm, comfy and

supportive: great for winter.

8

10

2XU RECOVERY

COMPRESSION TIGHTS

215g Men’s M www.2xu.com

£100

RONHILL TRAIL CARGO

CONTOUR ¾ TIGHT 205g

Men’s M www.ronhill.com

£40

INOV-8 RACE

ELITE TIGHT 255g Men’s M

www.inov-8.com

£60

Compression level High. Designed to aid

recovery, these nylon/elastane-mix tights

feature strong graduated compression to

improve blood flow and offer maximum

support to tired muscles. The fit is good but

the waistband is narrow and the draw cord

digs in. We found these comfortable to

wear for short, gentle recovery runs as well

as post exercise.

VERDICT

Strong compression, great

after exercise, but expensive.

8

10

Compression level Low. These tights fit

well and the polyamide/elastane-mix fabric

is supportive and very comfortable. They

have a large zipped pocket at the back,

four stretch pockets, and four elasticated

gel loops, so you can carry plenty for a

long training run or a race without the need

for a bag. Good value and finished with

reflective details.

VERDICT

Loads of pockets, good for

self-sufficient races.

8

10

Compression level Low. These tights are

supportive and well-featured, making

them ideal for a day in the mountains.

The polyester/Spandex-mix fabric feels

protective, with ankle zips to make getting

them on or off easier. Two small elasticated

pockets and a larger zipped pocket mean

snacks and other essentials are always

easily accessible.

VERDICT

Protective and well-featured

for long days at low intensity.

9

10

TRAIL RUNNING 79


KIT BAG

RUNNING LEGGINGS

Women’s tights

Jen Benson asks which

of the top compression

leggings perform best

BEST FOR

RECOVERY

BEST FOR

ULTRAS

CEP RECOVERY PRO TIGHTS

115g Size I

www.cepsports.co.uk

£120

2XU ELITE MCS

COMPRESSION TIGHT 175g

Women’s S www.2xu.com

£110

RAIDLIGHT LAZERTAPE ¾

TIGHTS Women’s S 90g

www.raidlight.com

£65

Compression level High. These tights take a

bit of getting used to: they cover you from

your waist to your toes. But once they’re on,

they feel amazing; lightweight yet firm allover

compressive action – ideal for post-run

recovery. Multiple measuring points ensure

a near-custom fit. With its foundations in

medical-grade compression, CEP has great

credentials too.

VERDICT

High-tec compression for those

who take recovery seriously.

9

10

Compression level Medium/high. These

great-looking tights feel wonderful on tired

legs. They feature high-gauge compression

that’s graduated to improve bloodflow and

varied to target specific muscles. They’re

great for recovery, however, the waistband is

narrow and needs to be tied tightly to stop

them sliding down during running, which we

found a bit uncomfortable.

VERDICT

Good, stylish compression, but

loses points for the waistband.

8

10

Compression level Medium. Made in France,

these pro-looking tights are designed for

racing. They’re super-light and ventilated,

with innovative reflective side compression

panels. Two side pockets hold a soft flask

each, plus there are clever waist pockets for

easy snacking. A nice level of compression

keeps legs feeling supported even when

you’re out all day.

VERDICT

Versatile, supportive tights,

perfect for longer races.

9

10

BEST

FOR

ETHICS

BEST FOR

VERSATILITY

ZEROPOINT POWER

COMPRESSION TIGHTS 160g

Women’s S www.zpcompression.com

£90

X-BIONIC EFFEKTOR

RUNNING POWER PANTS 190g

Women’s M www.x-bionic.com

£109

SALOMON S-LAB EXO SKORT

120g Women’s S + EXO CALF

£45 55g Size 3 www.salomon.com

£120

Compression level Medium. These great

leggings from compression specialists

ZeroPoint feel fantastic. They have

stretchy panels behind the knee to

avoid the discomfort you often get with

compressionwear, but the rest of the fabric

is smooth and consistent. They’re made in

the EU from a 100% recycled polyamide/

elastane mix.

VERDICT

Great for running or recovery:

a supportive hug for muscles.

10

10

Compression level Medium/High. Designed

in Switzerland, made in Italy, X-Bionic is

constantly pushing the boundaries of

wearable technology. 3D knit panels vary

venting, compression and stretch just where

you need it. They’re incredibly comfortable,

and the deeper knit is insulating when you’re

stationary yet allows cooling airflow when

you’re working hard.

VERDICT

High-tech tights with looks

and performance to match.

9

10

Compression level High. Salomon’s

patented Exo print is a clever way to add

compression. It doesn’t lessen with use and

feels supportive without being restrictive.

The skort is a joy to run in; airy yet

protective and with two good-sized stretchy

mesh pockets. The calf guards are snug and

supportive and work well with the skort for

great versatility.

VERDICT

Look and feel like a pro! A

high-performance combo.

9

10

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SQUEEZE FACTOR

Light support is great for long

runs, whereas greater support

may aid recovery.

FLEXIBILITY MATTERS

We found some tights uncomfortable

behind the knee. Make sure you try

them out with this in mind.

EXTRA FEATURES

Some compression tights focus

on the job in hand; others have

pockets, zips and draw cords.

ASICS LEG BALANCE TIGHT

215g Women’s S

www.asics.com

£74

ZAKTI ROCK SOLID

COMPRESSION RUN TIGHTS

155g Size S www.zaktiactive.com

SKINS DNAMIC LONG

£50 £70

TIGHTS 135g Women’s S

www.skins.net

Compression level Low. A comfy pair of

everyday running tights with a nice bit

of extra support thanks to two-layered

compression panels that wrap around the

leg and look pretty funky too. Compared

with most, they come with plenty of

features, including key pocket, lower leg zips

for ease of taking off/putting on, reflective

detail and draw-cord waist.

VERDICT

Good tights if you’re after

support and features all in one.

BEST

IN TEST

8

10

Compression level Medium. Good-value,

supportive compression tights, however,

the compressive seams that wrap the legs

have little stretch and felt uncomfortable

after a longer run. They’re made from

ISOCOOL fabric (a nylon/elastane mix) with

an antibacterial treatment. Straightforward

with no extra features, so best suited to

post-run recovery.

VERDICT

Good-value recovery leggings,

but with uncomfortable seams.

BEST

VALUE

7

10

Compression level Medium. Comfortable

to run in, these tights feel soft, silky and

lightweight, yet deliver on support too. The

combination of graduated compression,

muscle wrapping and varying panels

means you can feel them working slightly

differently in each area. Mesh sections

keep you cool and a wide waistband holds

them in place well.

VERDICT

Stylish, high-performance

tights for year-round support.

9

10

COMPRESSPORT PIRATE ¾

Size 2 140g

www.compressport.com

£80

BAM ENDURO DEEP

WAISTBAND LEGGINGS 290g

Women’s S www.bambooclothing.co.uk

£38

BELLUM ACTIVE GEO

PERFORMANCE CAPRI 180g

Women’s S www.bellumactive.co.uk

£53

Compression level Medium/high.

Compressport is a Swiss company with a

medical background. All of its products are

European designed and made. The result is

one of the best pairs of leggings we’ve run

in: seam-free and incredibly comfortable,

with panels to optimise compression. They

have a wide waistband and three goodsized

pockets.

VERDICT

Outstanding. Great

compression and features.

10

10

Compression level Low. Bamboo’s natural

weight and stiffness lends itself well to

supportive running wear. It’s mixed with

organic cotton and elastane, for a soft feel

that’s lovely to run in. These look the least

‘technical’ of those tested – nice if you’re

not into flashy branding. The fit is quite

generous, so you may want to size down

for more support.

VERDICT

Soft, supportive leggings,

great for everyday wear.

8

10

Compression level Low. These fun and

funky pink capris look great and perform

well too. They’re incredibly comfortable,

gently hugging your legs while giving firmer

support around the waist and bum. They

feature cooling mesh panels. A small front

key pocket and excellent waterproof zipped

rear pocket mean your valuables will stay

safe and dry.

VERDICT

For those who love style as

well as substance.

9

10

TRAIL RUNNING 81


KIT BAG

ROBUST SHOES

MUDDY MAYHEM

Shoes for winter trails

Hannah James tests the top 10

All year round, trails demand

tough shoes. You’ll be

encountering hard-packed

tracks, puddles and streams,

and potentially

slippery terrains. Opt for

ultimate protection

with waterproofing

and solid shells,

or go for a shoe

that’s lightweight

and fast, with

good drainage

for getting that

inevitable cold water

out quickly. Here are

some of our favourites…

DURABILITY

Look at how hard or soft the sole

rubber is for a good idea of how

much wear they can stand. Is

the upper a tight mesh or larger

weave? All these are a good

indication of durability.

GRIP

Think carefully about the trails

you run on. Ferocious grip

will help you in the mud but is

often a softer material, wearing

down quickly. Look for multidirectional

lugs to improve grip

on mixed terrain.

CUSHIONING

When trails are

hard with ice or

even snow you’ll

want some good

cushioning to

protect your feet.

DROP

If you suddenly

change your

drop when

running many

miles, you can

cause injury.

Be careful

and only go

up or down

by marginal

amounts.

FIT

It’s worth trying

shoes on in the

shop. Shapes vary

for different type

of feet. Keep in

mind that over long

distances you’ll

want room for your

feet to expand.

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In association with

Trail Off-Road Anklet £9

www.hillyclothing.co.uk

BEST FOR

VEGAN

ETHICS

MERRELL ALL

OUT TERRA ICE

308g (UK 7)

www.merrell.com

If there was a shoe built for cold

weather, it’s this. Using no

animal products, it’s vegan

friendly while being solid, with

a hard toe shield, rand and a

TPU upper, a flexible plastic

which is resistant to grease and

abrasion. The mesh isn’t netted

like on other shoes, avoiding

issues with mud and dirt

clogging up. It’s designed for

ice, so perfect for winter

running too, with tungsten

spikes for solid grip. It is terrain

and condition specific and, as a

result, became uncomfortable

when running on Tarmac. Large

triangular lugs shed mud well.

The sole is solid and cushioned

(Uni-Fly impact absorbsion)

with a 6mm drop. The upper is

very light, with less padding.

MAMMUT MTR 71 SALMING

INOV-8 TRAIL

TRAIL LOW GTX TRAIL T2

TALON 275

356g (UK 9)

246g (UK 7)

280g (UK 7)

£130 www.mammut.ch £90 www.salming.com £115 www.inov-8.com £110

It’s no easy tusk – sorry, task –

running on rocky terrain. This

shoe from Mammut feels as

though it’s been designed with

mountain environments in mind;

the wide sole base provides

excellent stability and the toe

area is protected by a panel and

hefty toe bumper. The Sonar

treads have a radial pattern,

spreading outwards from the

midfoot, which provides great

multi-directional grip. Traction is

limited in mud as the lugs aren’t

the longest, but it excels on

rocky trails. It’s a comfy shoe to

run in, with 9mm drop – just the

right level of cushioning and

trail-feel. The lacing system

could feel more secure, though,

and the Gore-Tex lining traps

the sweat on warmer days.

Salming is a Swedish

sportswear brand and

relatively unknown in the UK

to date – but it should be. The

T2 is light, with a 5mm drop,

and fits a narrow foot well.

Much of the shoe, including

the heel and rand, is covered

by a special PU coating,

protecting the foot from debris

and water, and increasing its

durability. The shoe isn’t

waterproof, however. It’s

lightweight, but due to the

PU covering struggles to drain

as well. The T2 is designed for

gravel and hard-packed tracks,

and made for moving fast. It

does perform well over wet

and dry rock, but misses the

aggressiveness needed for

serious mud.

Designed more for hard-packed

trails, this shoe is perfect if

you decide to give the more

technical ground a break when

the weather gets bad. It’s also

specifically designed as a

long-distance shoe: it’s

Powerflow technology gives

10% better shock absorption,

with 15% better energy return,

meaning you fly down those

trails. It’s not waterproof,

although a GTX option is

available. Instead, it’s light and

breathable, and drains well. This

shoe came up wider than

previous models, and the toe

box is very spacious for foot

expansion. Lugs aren’t as

aggressive as previously,

suiting loose, gravelly trails.

But it still bites downhill.

VERDICT

Perfect shoe for offroad

cold-weather

running: comfortable

and solid on icy trails.

8

10

VERDICT

Comfortable work

horse of a shoe;

ideal for cold, damp

days and rocky trails.

7

10

VERDICT

Incredibly comfy

and light, with

good protection and

technical ability.

8

10

VERDICT

Wider fit than

usual, but versatile,

comfortable and

breathable.

8

10

Grip nnnnnnnnnn

Cushioning nnnnnnnnnn

Precision nnnnnnnnnn

Grip nnnnnnnnnn

Cushioning nnnnnnnnnn

Precision nnnnnnnnnn

Grip nnnnnnnnnn

Cushioning nnnnnnnnnn

Precision nnnnnnnnnn

Grip nnnnnnnnnn

Cushioning nnnnnnnnnn

Precision nnnnnnnnnn

TRAIL RUNNING 83


KIT BAG

ROBUST SHOES

BEST

VALUE

SALOMON

SPEEDCROSS 4

GTX 290g (UK 7)

www.salomon.com

£125

SCOTT KINABALU

ENDURO

360g (UK 7)

www.scott-sports.com £115

PEARL IZUMI

N1

248g (UK 7)

www.pearlizumi.co.uk

£85

NEW BALANCE

LEADVILLE V3

278g (UK 7) www.

newbalance.co.uk

£100

My first impression was ‘phwar,

these are solid’. Toes are

protected very well by a

deceptively solid box, which

extends to a rand around the

rest of the foot. There’s an

11mm drop. The foot is cradled

well with SensiFit technology,

and the Ortholite insoles really

help your feet sit well in the

shoe. There’s not much room

for a hot forefoot to expand in,

though. Lugs have been made

much more aggressive than

previous versions of the shoe,

to help with grip; chevron

shaped, they face forward on

the forefoot and backwards on

the heel, to aid grip downhill.

This shoe is intended for deep

mud and soft ground. Comfort

is reduced on harder surfaces.

This is practically bomb-proof,

and will certainly protect your

foot very well. A rubber-like

casing provides protection

from abrasion over almost the

entire foot, making it a durable

shoe to have; you won’t need to

worry about rough ground in

these. There’s no Gore-Tex

option and it is quite heavy, but

if you’re running mainly on

harder trails and forestry tracks,

then this shoe is superb. The

eRide midsole eggs you along

the trail, and a wide toe box

leaves room for the foot to

expand over longer trails. Scott

also provides two different

insoles for men and women,

with the women’s accounting

for a smaller forefoot and

narrower heel.

The protection on the N1 is

minimal, but it’s flexible,

breathable and moves well,

so if you’re not bothered by

extra shielding then this shoe

is worth considering. It fits a

narrow foot well, hugging the

heel and mid-foot, but has a

spacious toe box. Its ESS

Forefoot rock plate does well

at protecting the foot from

beneath, while its Energy

Foam cushions, too. It sports

a tough rand around the toe,

which softens blows from

rocks and debris. Although

not waterproof, it does drain

well, due to the lightweight

nature of the mesh upper.

The grip is not aggressive but

provides good traction over

gravel, hard and wet surfaces.

Named after the tough

Leadville 100, this shoe is

made to be durable in extreme

climates. The protection on the

foot itself is rather limited, but

there’s a rubber rand around

the toe and a very solid but well

-padded heel. The upper is a

durable mesh with plastic

coating that provides some

level of protection from water.

It includes New Balance’s Rev

Lite tech; a foam that’s 30%

lighter than others it uses, while

providing the same level of

cushioning under foot. The grip

is multi-directional but not

deep. It provides plenty

of contact with the ground

– great on harder and loose

surfaces, but struggling slightly

in deeper mud.

VERDICT

A shoe to tackle

mountainous,

muddy and technical

terrain.

9

10

VERDICT

Ridiculously

comfortable, but

can feel heavy when

they get wet.

8

10

VERDICT

Minimal protection

but breathable

and solid underfoot,

giving a comfortable ride.

7

10

VERDICT

Comfortable,

padded and

supportive, but not

suited to deep mud.

8

10

Grip

nnnnnnnnnn

Cushioning nnnnnnnnnn

Precision nnnnnnnnnn

Grip nnnnnnnnnn

Cushioning nnnnnnnnnn

Precision nnnnnnnnnn

Grip nnnnnnnnnn

Cushioning nnnnnnnnnn

Precision nnnnnnnnnn

Grip nnnnnnnnnn

Cushioning nnnnnnnnnn

Precision nnnnnnnnnn

84

WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


In association with

Trail Skyline Anklet £10

www.hillyclothing.co.uk

Fighting it out

for best in test

ADIDAS ADIZERO

XT BOOST SHOES

244g (UK 7)

www.adidas.co.uk £110

This looks like a bruiser, with a

mean sole – but, in actual fact,

it’s super light on the foot.

A solid heel cups the foot,

keeping it in place. There’s a

large 10.5mm drop so they

encourage a fore strike but

make it harder to go downhill.

An inbuilt sock keeps out debris

from the main shoe. Despite

the upper shoe being very

lightweight, the sole is certainly

a solid one throughout the

foot and suitable for tackling

most terrains. Traxion and

Continental technologies work

well to provide great grip, even

in wet conditions. The Boost

technology helps you feel like

you’re springing along the trails,

but if they get wet do struggle

a little to drain water.

VERDICT

A solid sole means

you can fly along

winter trails – but

avoid water.

9

10

Grip nnnnnnnnnn

Cushioning nnnnnnnnnn

Precision nnnnnnnnnn

BROOKS

MAZAMA

232g (UK 7) www.

brooksrunning.com

This shoe is super bright

and funky, and fits a narrow

foot well, wrapping snuggly

around it. A solid toe box does

well to protect your toes,

and the upper materials are

made from a tough doublelayered

mesh, protecting

against abrasion. It’s breathable

and drain very well. A 6mm

drop feels natural on the

foot, with understated grip.

It’s multi-directional and

surprisingly sticky on harder

surfaces, gravel and rock, but

only 3mm deep, giving limited

grip over muddy surfaces and

little traction when digging in

downhill on soft trails. BioMoGo

soles biodegrade after 20-plus

years, making them more

environmentally friendly.

VERDICT

Fit like a glove,

are made to hit the

trails fast, but very

light for autumn.

£105

8

10

Grip nnnnnnnnnn

Cushioning nnnnnnnnnn

Precision nnnnnnnnnn

SALOMON SPEEDCROSS 4

The Speedcross 4s win out over the Adidas because their

build and technology is so suited to winter conditions. These

are bruisers. Don’t let this put you off, though, because

they’re extremely nippy. Great for running in the wet and

mud, and tackling steep ascent/descent head on. There’s no

rock plate in the sole but they’re robust enough that this

didn’t cause issues. The lugs are rather soft, meaning they

will wear down faster on harder trails,

although they’re more robust than the

Speedcross 3 due to the design of

the lugs – the fierce chevronshaped

grip will see you over

anything and is ideal for

wintery trails. Breathability

is a small issue (especially

as GTX). Panels reduce

venting – and likewise

drainage. This is the trade

off for a Gore-Tex

shoe though.

Verdict These are

the rough and

tough, hardcore

cold-weather

shoe for you.

BEST

IN TEST

ADIZERO XT BOOST SHOES

This looks so robust but is actually very lightweight. It

performed well, though, so you see it here fighting it

out for the best in test. It’s on the opposite end of the

spectrum to the Speedcross 4 – if a winter shoe, to you, is

one that drains well and is lightweight (it’s a matter of

course that waterproofing can only do so much – water

will find its way in somehow, like down your sock) then

this is a great option. It has

fantastic support under foot.

You can just get on with it

and enjoy the flexibility

and rebound that the

Adidas provides. The grip

is built for tackling mud. It’s

aggressive and sheds well.

Compared to the Speedcross

4s they have superb

breathability. Despite a

larger drop, which doesn’t

encourage downhill

movement, the lugs

are placed to bite.

Verdict Good

grip and comfort

makes this a

winner.

TRAIL RUNNING 85


KIT BAG

LAYER UP

Zip-up baselayers

Kelly Lucas tests the top 12 long-sleeved, zipped baselayers

BEST

FOR

ETHICS

RAIDLIGHT PERFORMANCE

LADY 175g Women’s M

www.raidlight.com

£50

SHERPA DIKILA MIDLAYER

TOP 220g Women’s M

www.sherpaadventuregear.co.uk

£35

OMM GRID TEE

165g Women’s M

www.theomm.com

£48

This bright top is packed full of features. It’s

super practical, with two side pockets, one

zip sleeve pocket and plenty of reflective

detailing. It also has silicone-print reinforced

shoulders to help packs stay in place, and a

built-in safety whistle and hydration clip on

the zip. The fabric is a recycled polyester,

which is lightweight, quick drying and good

for the environment.

VERDICT

Technical and safe (read

luminescent!) for autumn races.

8

10

A very comfortable, soft top which feels like

merino but is actually made of a Dryzone

synthetic ‘intelligent fabric’ – keeping you

warm in colder temperatures and cool in

summer. It’s also fast wicking and drying,

lined with anti-bacterial silver ions, and offers

SPF 50+. There’s a small zip pocket on the

sleeve for carrying essentials, and a soft

finish on the cuffs and neck.

VERDICT

Fits well, with nice long sleeves

for fresh mornings or evenings.

9

10

Designed for racing, this stretchy top

is made from a lightweight polyester

bamboo-mix fabric. It’s great at wicking

sweat away from the body and has flat

seams, with none on the shoulder, to reduce

the risk of chaffing. There are also mesh

panels under the arms and on the back to

help keep you cool. The zip is a little short,

but works fine.

VERDICT

A bright, lightweight top for

end-of-season races.

8

10

ICEBREAKER COMET

LONG-SLEEVE HALF ZIP 190g

Women’s M uk.icebreaker.com

£90

RONHILL WOMEN'S

THERMAL 200 HALF ZIP 184g

Women’s M www.ronhill.com

£40

THE NORTH FACE WOMEN'S

HYBRID BASELAYER 162g

Women’s M www.thenorthface.co.uk

£60

This top is part of Icebreaker’s GT collection,

a technical range which is geared towards

running. The result is 150 ultralight merino,

blended with nylon and Lycra to provide

stretch and extra durability. You also get

the usual merino benefits of breathability,

warmth and odour resistance. In addition,

there are mesh areas under the arms to help

with ventilation.

VERDICT

A good compromise between

merino and synthetic.

9

10

This affordable baselayer top is made

of Regulite fabric, which is designed

to provide you with the perfect body

temperature during your run. It is quick

drying and wicks sweat quickly and

efficiently, to keep you warm and dry.

The fit is good and it’s nice to have the

option of a lighter colour top to brighten

up autumn runs.

VERDICT

A solid, good-value, no frills

baselayer option.

8

10

This is a lightweight but warm baselayer

made from mainly HyActive fabric, which

is highly breathable and great at wicking

sweat. It also has mesh zones under the

arms and down the back for ventilation,

and ‘warm zones’ to give more insulation in

targeted places. The seamless construction

means its comfortable against skin, but it is

quite a fitted style.

VERDICT

A comfy top that will suit a

range of weather conditions.

8

10

86

WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


?

CHOOSE IT

Think about the climate you run in,

if you need extra features, and if you

prefer natural or synthetic material.

FIT IT

Choose the style you prefer, whether

that’s contoured or loose, and ensure

arm and torso lengths are right.

WEAR IT

Baselayers are designed to be

worn next to skin and can be

layered with jackets.

BERGHAUS WOMEN'S VAPOUR

ZIP-NECK T-SHIRT 123g

Women’s M www.berghaus.com

£40

COLUMBIA MIDWEIGHT

STRETCH LS 175g Women’s M

www.columbiasportswear.co.uk

HELLY HANSEN WOMEN'S

ENROUTE LIFA FLOW LS 175g

Women’s M www.hellyhansen.com

£50 £60

This bright, lightweight top is made with

Argentium and Polygiene fabric. It’s

anti-microbial and offers great odour

management, quickly wicks moisture away

from the body, and has a UPF of 50+.

Additionally, the under-arm area has a

lightweight mesh to help keep you cool.

I found the fit a little off, so it’s worth trying

on if you can.

VERDICT

A lightweight top, ideal for 7

runs on warmer autumn days.

10

This is a deceptively warm layer. It’s made

with Omni-Heat Reflective – a material

covered in silver dots, which reflects body

heat back on the wearer. Combined with

Omni-Wick, Columbia have produced a

really clever product that simultaneously

keeps the wearer warm and dry. It’s also

lined with anti-microbial treatment and has

built-in thumb holes.

VERDICT

A great layer for keeping heat

up and weight down.

8

10

This fitted top is built with Lifa Flow material

– a special stay-dry technology that pulls

excess heat and sweat away from your

skin, so you stay dry and comfortable on

your runs. There are no shoulder seams, to

prevent chaffing when wearing a pack, and

there is a large mesh panel on the back for

extra ventilation. The top also has a UPF of

30 for autumn sun.

VERDICT

A breathable top with a fit that

would suit petite runners.

8

10

BEST

IN TEST

BEST

VALUE

SMARTWOOL NTS MID 250

ZIP T 185g Women’s M

www.smartwool.com

£90

EDZ MERINO ZIP-NECK TOP

200g Women’s M

www.edzlayering.com

£60

INOV8 RACE ELITE MERINO

LSZ W 200g Women’s M

www.inno-8.com

£90

The NTS 250 is Smartwool’s warmest

baselayer. Super warm and cosy for cool

autumn weather, it features chafe-free

seams and shoulder panels which have been

specifically designed to prevent irritation

to your skin when wearing a pack. There

is a 20cm zip at the front, and it comes

in several striped colourways. It has a

great fit, too.

VERDICT

A warm and comfortable layer

which fits brilliantly.

9

10

Made with superfine merino wool, this top

helps regulate temperature and provide

warmth whilst minimising odour from sweat.

It has an attractive marled finish which

is soft on the skin, along with flat-locked

seams to minimise the risk of chaffing. The

fit is generous, with long sleeves, perfect

if you like to pull them over your hands

on cold days.

VERDICT

Great value merino wool top

– comfortable and warm.

8

10

This snug baselayer is made from warm

merino with an small percent of Lycra added

in, to provide a better shape. It's been

specially designed to regulate your core

body temperature in cold conditions. The

superfine 18.5 micron wool feels really soft

next to your skin, and there is a built-in

hood and cuffs which can be adapted

into hand mitts.

VERDICT

A fantastic choice if you want

extra warmth on autumn runs.

9

10

TRAIL RUNNING 87


“i’m going nowhere

near my comfort

zone”

Where will you

discover in 2016?

Trail and Country Walking

have put together these essential

guides for all of Britain’s best

routes...

SALE!

SAVE £2

www.dare2b.com

Get your guide today! Call 01733 840111

or visit www.greatmagazines.co.uk/explore


KIT BAG

PERFECT KIT

Obstacle race gear

Keith Fairburn from MuddyRace.co.uk reveals kit that won’t freak your finances

WRAG OR BUFF £15

www.buffwear.co.uk

A buff can be used for anything

from holding back long hair to

keeping your neck warm. When

in a race that requires mud to

be wiped off your face regularly,

you’ll see why almost every

experienced obstacle runner

has one. Verdict Incredibly

versatile and practical.

RUNFLEX

COMPRESSION TOP £40

www.runflex.co.uk

Look stylish as you’re face

down in the mud with this

compression top made from

tear-resistant material, and

featuring seamless stitching.

Verdict Stylish-looking

compression gear built with

the OCR runner in mind.

TECHNICAL

T-SHIRT £15

www.muddy

race.co.uk

Wearing your

favourite race

finisher’s t-shirt is a

great way to show off

your past achievement,

but wearing a team race

top is the perfect way to

link up with other likeminded

people and run

with a supportive network.

Verdict A great way to

meet fellow mudders.

MECHANIX

M-PACT

FINGERLESS

GLOVES £15

www.mechanix.com

With knuckle guards

and palm padding to

protects hands, these

fingerless gloves also

aid water drainage.

The grip remains firm

even when wet.

Verdict A strong glove

to protect hands and

maintain grip.

DARN TOUGH NO

SHOW ULTRA-

LIGHT SOCKS £14

www.darntough.com

Seamless to reduce

blisters, these supercomfortable

socks

also promise no

slipping or bunching.

Merino wool makes

this a fast-drying

and breathable sock

that stays cool in

summer and warm in

winter, while repelling

bacteria and odour.

They will never wear

out. Too good to be

true? Darn Tough

offer an unconditional

lifetime guarantee.

Verdict No more

blisters or cold feet,

with the only socks

you’ll ever need.

VJ IROCK £100 www.vjsport.fi

The shoe choice of OCR World Champion Jonathan Albon,

the Irock, an orienteering and off-road shoe, features 8mm

lugs on the flexible sole to provide unparalleled grip, while the

unique FITLOCK system keeps laces secure. Finnish company

VJ Sports have also thrown in a kevlar upper, excellent drainage

and a 6mm heel-to-toe drop, meaning this shoe can conquer

any course with comfort, speed and durability.

Verdict A comfortable shoe with great grip that can withstand

the testing nature of the toughest obstacle courses.

SUB-SPORTS

COLD MEN’S

COMPRESSION

TIGHTS £30

www.subsports.co.uk

With supersoft internal fibres,

stay warm with these thermal

compression tights. They aid blood

flow to the muscles, helping you

perform with optimum power.

Verdict Comfy compression tights

to keep you warm through the winter.

MI FIT 7” RUNNING

SHORTS £12.50

www.dwsports.com

For those less keen on

tights, these quickdry

shorts will be

very welcome after

dunking into an icy

pit or muddy puddle.

They feature straps to

keep energy gels or

bars secure. Verdict

Lightweight shorts that

won’t break the bank.

TRAIL RUNNING 89


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WINTER

TRAILS

Enjoy running

the UK’s top 10

off-road routes

TESTED:

Trail shoes,

head torches,

backpacks &

bumbags

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10 NEW EASY-TO-FOLLOW RUNNING ROUTES WITH FULL MAPS!

ROUTES

REAMS OF RUGGED OFF-ROAD

ROUTES READY TO RUN

Oct/Nov 16

Switching off

The insidious creep of

technology into our dayto-day

lives shows no sign

of abating – how long

before we’re all spending

entire weekends hunting

Pokémon instead of running? (Watch

out for long grass...) By refusing to

embrace this digital onslaught, we risk

being branded a pariah or, worse,

a fogey. But you don’t have to be a

raging Luddite to need a break from

the information overload. Hitting the

trails is the perfect escape from our

increasingly complex lives. Get

out into the wild pockets of

these isles, free yourself of

distractions, find some

headspace. Switch off.

Mark Roberts

WANTED:

YOUR TRAIL

RUNNING ROUTES!

Have you got a stunning local trail

that you’d like to share with other Trail

Running readers? Or are we missing

out on brilliant trails in your neck of the

woods? Send us your maps and/or route

suggestions for your chance of fame

here in the pages of Trail Running

magazine – email us at

tr@bauermedia.co.uk

NO HARD SALES, JUST GREAT TRAILS

1BEINN ALLIGIN, TORRIDON

Bag a munro with this hilly 10k

SITHEAN CHUMHAING, SKYE

2 Coastal 9.2k above Portree

SETTLE, NORTH YORKSHIRE

3 Look out for salmon spawning

on this riverside 15.7k route

WITCH ROUTE, LANCASHIRE

4 Trace out a magical 26.2k

SHERWOOD PINES,

5 NOTTINGHAMSHIRE

Hurtle through 5k of woodland

LLANBEDR, BLACK

6 MOUNTAINS

26.6k horseshoe in the Beacons

THAMES PATH, LONDON

7 London had trails too! 13.5k

BAGGY POINT, DEVON

8 Coastal 14.5k along the beach

WEEKENDER 1: EDINBURGH

911.5k in the Pentland Hills

WEEKENDER 2:

10 EDINBURGH

21.2k in seaside East Lothian

TIMINGS

Based on

a 5.5 min/km

(just over a

9min mile)

with 30sec

added for

every 10m of

ascent, with

no stops.

2

1

9

3

4 5 7

ROUTES ONLINE

Find our routes on

Trailzilla with the ID

at the bottom right of

each page. Subscribers

can access them

FREE, with 1:50,000

scale OS mapping;

non-subscribers pay

£10. Subscribers get a

discount on 1:25,000

scale OS mapping –

£15; non-subscribers

£25. trailzilla.com

IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?

EASY Simple to

navigate, short

distance run

MODERATE Some

navigation needed,

longer distance run

HARD Navigation

& mountain skills

needed, long run

8

6

TRAIL RUNNING 91


Loch Maree, Kinlochewe

& Gairloch

OS EXPLORER

1:25 000 scale 4 cm to 1 km – 2½ inches to 1 mile

ROUTES

HILLS, RIVERS, COAST

1

Beinn Alligin Torridon

1

DISTANCE 10k ASCENT 1150m TIME 2hr

DIFFICULTY

The mountains of

Torridon – colossal

monuments to our

glacial past – thrust

out of the surrounding

muir like the fevered imaginations

of a fantasy novel. Beinn Alligin

(Mountain of Beauty) is the jewel

in Torridon’s crown, despite its

vaguely threatening appearance.

The path climbs steadily to the

west of the stream, rounding the

massif’s southern spur. It’s an

attritional climb up the deep corrie,

eased by the switchback snake of

newly-installed pavers. The view

from the top is truly awesome: the

bread-knife arête of Liathach, the

hulking triple buttress of Beinn

Eighe, and the distant volcanic

spine of Skye’s Cuillin. Ahead lies

Black Cleft, Sgurr Mhor summit and

the Horns of Alligin – as if Tolkien

had named them. The traverse over

the Horns strays into sky running

territory, with airy scrambling and

a short squeeze up a chimney. Drop

down the series of stone terraces,

following the stream to the start.

■ Travelling there? TR recommends the

self-catering lodge, house and bothy at

Ben Damph. www.bendamph.com

TORRIDON –

BEINN EIGHE

& LIATHACH

BEST

VIEW

Summit

of Tom na

Gruagaich

NG859601

START/

FINISH

Car park just

over the bridge

NG868576

433

TAKE A

MAP!

OS Explorer

433; Harvey

BMM

Torridon &

Fisherfield

REFUEL

Torridon Stores

and Cafe

IV22 2EZ

Photo: Mark Roberts Map: Ordnance Survey mapping © Crown copyright 2016 Ordnance Survey. Media 042/16

I couldn’t be

Mhor Sgurr-ed

looking down

Black Cleft


GRADIENT

PROFILE

METRES

ABOVE

SEA

LEVEL

1400

1200

1000

800

600

400

200

MILES 0

KILOMETRES 0

1

Start Tom na Gruagaich Beinn Allgin Sgurr Mhor Na Rathanan Finish

1

2

3

2

4

3

5

6

4

5

6

7 8 9 10

Route available to download

and print at: trailzilla.com

TRAILZILLA ID: TZID30803

Download Ordnance Survey

maps to your PC, GPS, iPhone,

iPad and Android for just £12.50

©Trail Running Oct/Nov 2016

92

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PORTREE & BRACADALE

OS EXPLORER

1:25 000 scale 4 cm to 1 km – 2½ inches to 1 mile

2

Sithean Chumhaing Skye

2

DISTANCE 9.2k ASCENT 410m TIME 1¼hr

DIFFICULTY

As varied trails go, this run

has it all – from wooded

tracks to coastal ridges. Head

up through a steep wooded

track, past the beautifully

located Cuillin Hills Hotel, and where the

trail opens out follow the sign marked

Torvaig past farm outbuildings. Continue

up steeply past the Clan Nicolson

Memorial. The way eases from here

and, to get the best from the route, keep

as close to the cliff edge as is safe. Upon

reaching the trig point on the Chumhaing

summit, the achievement mixed with

some of the best views on the island will

leave you speechless. Panning 360-degree

clockwise from the village of Portree you’ll

see the iconic Old Man of Storr, mainland

Gairloch, Applecross, the Isle of Raasay, to

Cuillin hills and Ben Tianavaig. Follow the

same route down and when past the

farm out buildings veer left, to complete

the Scorrybreac Circuit. Zigzag down and

around to meet the colourful building of

Portree Pier to your starting point.

■ Chris Macnab www.skyetrail.org.uk

■ Travelling there? TR recommends the

idyllic Isle of Skye Holiday Cottage.

www.isleofskyeholidaycottage.co.uk

SKYE

410

TAKE A

MAP!

OS Explorer

410; Harvey

Skye Trail

route map

(1:40K)

START/

FINISH

Scorrybreac

car park

NG487438

BEST

VIEW

Trig point on

summit of

Chumhaing

NG508466

REFUEL

Cuillin Hills

Hotel

IV51 9QU

Photo: Chris Mcnab Map: Ordnance Survey mapping © Crown copyright 2016 Ordnance Survey. Media 042/16

Cuillin down on a

breezy Skye clifftop


GRADIENT

PROFILE

METRES

ABOVE

SEA

LEVEL

600

400

200

Start Toravaig Sithean a’ Bhealaich Chumhaing Mac Coitir’s Cave Finish

MILES 0

KILOMETRES 0

1

1

2

3

2

4

3

5

4

5

6 7 8 9

Route available to download

and print at: trailzilla.com

TRAILZILLA ID: TZID30804

Download Ordnance Survey

maps to your PC, GPS, iPhone,

iPad and Android for just £12.50

©Trail Running Oct/Nov 2016

TRAIL RUNNING

93


Whernside, Ingleborough

& Pen-y-ghent

Showing part of the National Park

OS EXPLORER

1:25 000 scale 4 cm to 1 km – 2½ inches to 1 mile

ROUTES

HILLS, RIVERS, COAST

3

Settle Tops Yorkshire Dales

3

DISTANCE 15.7k ASCENT 385m TIME 2hr

DIFFICULTY

Do this route in late

October/early November

and, given the right

conditions, prepare to be

amazed by the leaping

salmon making their way upstream

to spawn as they negotiate Stainforth

Foss. It’s a short window of opportunity

to see the salmon flinging themselves

up the gushing torrent of this iconic

Yorkshire Dales waterfall, but well

worth the effort. If you miss the fish,

it’s still a beautiful route, guaranteed

to make you smile at any time of year.

The run makes its way from Falcon

Manor in Settle up the tops along the

limestone skyline backdrop to this

pretty market town, past Victoria Cave,

visits another cascade, Catrigg Foss,

then drops to Little Stainforth. Run

over the ancient packhorse bridge

then left onto the path to the waterfall.

Pause for a breath and a bit of salmon

spotting before continuing on the

riverside path to take you back to

Settle alongside the Ribble.

■ Davina Consoli www.falconmanor.co.uk

■ Travelling there? TR recommends The

Lion, Settle, with cask ales and homecooked

food. www.thelionsettle.co.uk

YORKSHIRE DALES

SOUTHERN & WESTERN AREAS

OL

2

TAKE A

MAP!

OS Explorer

OL2; BMM

Yorkshire

Dales (1:40K)

BEST VIEW

Stainforth

Force – pause

to watch the

salmon leap

SD818672

Photo: Julia Murfin Map: Ordnance Survey mapping © Crown copyright 2016 Ordnance Survey. Media 042/16

START/

FINISH/

REFUEL

Falcon Manor

Hotel, Skipton

Road, Settle

SD818631

Fishing for new

routes? Settle down

and have a read


GRADIENT

PROFILE

METRES

ABOVE

SEA

LEVEL

600

400

200

Start Sugar Loaf Hill Upper Winskill Stainforth Stackhouse Finish

MILES 0

KILOMETRES 0

2

2

4

6

4

8

6

8

10 12 14

Route available to download

and print at: trailzilla.com

TRAILZILLA ID: TZID30805

Download Ordnance Survey

maps to your PC, GPS, iPhone,

iPad and Android for just £12.50

©Trail Running Oct/Nov 2016

94

WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


Burnley, Hebden Bridge,

Keighley & Todmorden

OS EXPLORER

1:25 000 scale 4 cm to 1 km – 2½ inches to 1 mile

4

The Witch Route South Pennines

4

DISTANCE 26.3k ASCENT 615m TIME 3hr

DIFFICULTY

Aroute in the shape

of a witch! Gentle

undulation takes

you out of Norden

village, along Naden

Brook. The trail climbs sharply up

Ashworth Valley, up through Birtle

Village to a gorgeous view over

Cheesden Brook. Head north of

Birtle, then you’re climbing all the

way up the Witch’s back, rewarded

with a brilliant view from Knowl

Hill. More superb off-road running

past Waugh’s Well, with Edenfield

hills in view. Just after 17k you’ll

join the Pennine Bridleway, passing

Cragg Quarry MTB Trail, with

some lovely Pennine views. You’ll

join ancient Rooley Moor Road for

an exhilarating downhill section.

A sharp right at 22km and you’re

onto plush farmland heading back

down towards Norden, past three

reservoirs, down farm tracks and

back to the finish. When you get

back to the pub or chippy you’ll

have done over 26.2km. For a

shorter route, miss out the head of

the Witch by turning right at 12.5k.

■ Jeff McCarthy runeatrepeat.co.uk

■ Travelling there? TR recommends

Moss Lodge Hotel, luxurious with ensuite

rooms. www.mosslodgehotel.com

BEST VIEW

From the top of

Knowl Moor

SD842168

TAKE

A MAP!

OS Explorer

OL21; South

Pennines,

Burnley,

Hebden Bridge

SOUTH PENNINES

START/

FINISH

Norden

village

SD860145

OL

21

Photo: Jeff McCarthy and John Mayall Map: Ordnance Survey mapping © Crown copyright 2016 Ordnance Survey. Media 042/16

Pack a map so

you always know

witch way to go

REFUEL

The Bridge

(chippy),

Horse and

Farrier

OL12 7RB


GRADIENT

PROFILE

METRES

ABOVE

SEA

LEVEL

600

400

200

Start Birtle Knowl Moor Cowpe Moss Rooley Moor Finish

MILES 0

KILOMETRES 0

5

5

10

15

10

15

20 25

Route available to download

and print at: trailzilla.com

TRAILZILLA ID: TZID30806

Download Ordnance Survey

maps to your PC, GPS, iPhone,

iPad and Android for just £12.50

©Trail Running Oct/Nov 2016

TRAIL RUNNING 95


Mansfield, Worksop & Edwinstowe

OS EXPLORER

1:25 000 scale 4 cm to 1 km – 2½ inches to 1 mile

ROUTES

HILLS, RIVERS, COAST

5

Sherwood Pines Nottinghamshire

5

DISTANCE 5k ASCENT 83m TIME ½hr

DIFFICULTY

An enjoyable

and varied run

that follows a

waymarked route

around the denselywooded

trails of this beautiful

part of Sherwood Forest. From

the visitor centre, head across

fields to the start and pick up the

trail, which takes you along a

mixture of wide, open forest roads

and narrow, winding single track.

The route runs alongside the

family cycle path, so it’s a great

place to take the kids and their

bikes and keep them company

as you run. Once you’ve reached

the finish, take the opportunity to

get out and about and explore all

the other fantastic running trails

around this great, green forest.

This route is one of a new

series of running trails in

conjunction with the Forestry

Commission, Sport England and

Jen and Sim Benson, authors

of Wild Running.

■ Jen & Sim Benson wildrunning.net

START/

FINISH/

REFUEL

Sherwood

Pines Forest

Park Visitor

Centre

SK610633

BEST VIEW

Nothing specific

but the trails look

amazing winding

through the trees!

TAKE A

MAP!

OS Explorer

270;

Sherwood

Forest

SHERWOOD FOREST 270

Photo: Jen & Sim Benson Map: Ordnance Survey mapping © Crown copyright 2016 Ordnance Survey. Media 042/16

Leaf the

pavements

behind with a

forest trail


GRADIENT

PROFILE

METRES

ABOVE

SEA

LEVEL

600

400

200

Start Clipstone Forest Sherwood Pines Forest Park Culloden Plantation Finish

MILES 0

KILOMETRES 0

1

1

2

2

3 4

Route available to download

and print at: trailzilla.com

TRAILZILLA ID: TZID30807

Download Ordnance Survey

maps to your PC, GPS, iPhone,

iPad and Android for just £12.50

©Trail Running Oct/Nov 2016

96

WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


Eastern area/Ardal ddwyreiniol

OS EXPLORER

1:25 000 scale 4 cm to 1 km – 2½ inches to 1 mile

Graddfa 1:25 000 4 cm i 1 km – 2½ modfedd i 1 milltir

6

Llanbedr Loop Black Mountains

DISTANCE 26.6k ASCENT 1013m TIME 3¼hr

DIFFICULTY

6

Begin with a challenging ascent,

passing Perth Y Pia bunkhouse

and Crug Hywel – site of an

Iron Age hill fort – before

reaching the summit of Pen

Cerrig-calch. This initial effort is rewarded

by miles of uninterrupted mountain-top

trails, following the ridges linking the

major summits – Pen Cerrig-calch, Pen

Allt-mawr, Waun Fach (the highest peak

in the Black Mountains) and Pen y Gadair

Fawr, plus several smaller summits. The

views across the Brecon Beacons and

beyond are among the best in Wales. After

passing the trig point on the final peak,

Crug Mawr, the route finishes with a long,

exhilarating descent across moorland and

through woodland to St Peter’s church

in Llanbedr. The trails are a varied mix

of grass, rock and plenty of mud. Whilst

none of the trail is especially technical,

this is a wild and surprisingly remote

landscape. Visibility can be poor in bad

weather, and winter conditions can be

brutal. So go prepared with map, compass

and emergency shelter.

■ Andy Collis @ValleyViz

■ Travelling there? TR recommends the Perth-

Y-Pia Outdoor Activity Centre which you pass

on this route. www.perth-y-pia.co.uk

Barely Brecon

a sweat in the

Beacons

BEST VIEW

Cairn between

Mynydd Llysiau

and Pen Trumau

SO204286

Photo: Andy Collis/Valley Visuals Map: Ordnance Survey mapping © Crown copyright 2016 Ordnance Survey. Media 042/16

REFUEL

Red Lion,

Llanbedr

NP8 1SR

START/

FINISH

Llanbedr

lay-by

SO234202

TAKE

A MAP!

OS Explorer

OL13; Harvey

Superwalker

Brecon

Beacons East

BRECON BEACONS

NATIONAL PARK/

PARC CENEDLAETHOL

BANNAU BRYCHEINIOG

OL

13


GRADIENT

PROFILE

METRES

ABOVE

SEA

LEVEL

1400

1200

1000

800

600

400

200

Start Pen Cerrig-calch Pen Allt-mawr Waun Fach Pen Twyn Mawr Finish

MILES 0

KILOMETRES 0

5

5

10

15

10

15

20 25

Route available to download

and print at: trailzilla.com

TRAILZILLA ID: TZID30808

Download Ordnance Survey

maps to your PC, GPS, iPhone,

iPad and Android for just £12.50

©Trail Running Oct/Nov 2016

TRAIL RUNNING 97


OS EXPLORER

1:25 000 scale 4 cm to 1 km – 2½ inches to 1 mile

ROUTES

HILLS, RIVERS, COAST

7

Thames Path London

DISTANCE 13.5k ASCENT 14m TIME 1¼hr

DIFFICULTY

7

Once out of the station,

turn left and head

down Quadrant Road

opposite, run through

the passage, cross the

two greens, through old Richmond

Palace, out onto the riverside and

off you go! The route runs alongside

the river most of the way, passing

Richmond riverside and Ham House

(National Trust). It crosses the river

at Teddington Lock, the top of the

Tideway (above here the Thames is

not tidal), and then heads north on the

road before rejoining the riverfront at

Twickenham. It passes Eel Pie Island,

Marble Hill House (English Heritage)

and Orleans House, and then turns

inland along footpaths beyond

Richmond Bridge, crossing back over

Richmond Lock. This is a trail run in

the sense that most of it is off-road,

and much of the route is tarmac or

paved, but from the south end of

Richmond as far as Teddington Lock

the path can get muddy. If you would

like an additional five miles, carry on

up through Syon Park to Kew Bridge

and return alongside Kew Gardens.

■ Elizabeth Moore

LONDON SOUTH

Westminster, Greenwich,

Croydon, Esher & Twickenham

161

TAKE A

MAP!

OS Explorer

161 London

South;

Harvey

Thames Path

START/

FINISH

Richmond

station

TW9 2NA

BEST

VIEW

Lovely river

views and

historic houses

TQ173732

Photos: Elizabeth Moore Map: Ordnance Survey mapping © Crown copyright 2016 Ordnance Survey. Media 042/16

Who says you

can’t find trails

in the city?

REFUEL

Tide End Cottage pub

just after the Lock

TW11 9NN


GRADIENT

PROFILE

METRES

ABOVE

SEA

LEVEL

600

400

200

Start Eel Pie Island Teddington Dock

Eel Pie Island Richmond Lock

MILES 0

KILOMETRES 0

2

2

4

6

4

8

6

10 12

8

Finish

Route available to download

and print at: trailzilla.com

TRAILZILLA ID: TZID30809

Download Ordnance Survey

maps to your PC, GPS, iPhone,

iPad and Android for just £12.50

©Trail Running Oct/Nov 2016

98

WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


Woolacombe & Lundy

OS EXPLORER

1:25 000 scale 4 cm to 1 km – 2½ inches to 1 mile

8

Baggy Point Devon

DISTANCE 14.5k ASCENT 265m TIME 1½hr DIFFICULTY

8

Run along the wild Atlantic

edge of Devon. It’s a route

that’s very varied, and

includes the wide, open

beaches of Woolacombe as

well as the narrow South West Coast

Path around Baggy Point. Over the

miles you are bound to experience

wind, salt, sand, sheep, gorse, wild

flowers and stone walls: a natural

playground for trail runners. Whilst

clean, safe and easily accessible,

this route provides runners with a

closeness to nature – the power of

the crashing Atlantic surf, the soft

golden sand and, beyond, exposed

jagged cliffs, all adding to the feeling

of wildness. The past has left its mark

in many ways and is visible as you run

around – a large whale bone, one of

the last remaining coastguard training

poles, stone-faced banks built using

local slates, and Second World War pill

boxes. Often in view is Lundy, sitting

solitary and beckoning on the horizon,

forming the backdrop for year-round

dramatic sunsets and a natural focus

for all the wide sea views.

■ Rob Joules

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/woolacombe

BIDEFORD,

ILFRACOMBE

& BARNSTAPLE

139

TAKE

A MAP!

OS Explorer

139; Harvey

South West

Coast Path

1 (1:40K)

BEST VIEW

End of Baggy point:

Views over Croyde

surfing beach,

Lundy Island and

Woolacombe Sands

SS420405

START/

FINISH/REFUEL

National Trust car

park and Sandleigh

tea rooms

EX33 1PA

Photo: National Trust Images/David Noton Map: Ordnance Survey mapping © Crown copyright 2016 Ordnance Survey. Media 042/16

Running performance

dropped off a cliff?

Try this coastal run


GRADIENT

PROFILE

METRES

ABOVE

SEA

LEVEL

600

400

200

Start Baggy Point Woolacombe Sand Woolacombe Vention Finish

MILES 0

KILOMETRES 0

2

2

4

6

4

8

6

8

10 12 14

Route available to download

and print at: trailzilla.com

TRAILZILLA ID: TZID30810

Download Ordnance Survey

maps to your PC, GPS, iPhone,

iPad and Android for just £12.50

©Trail Running Oct/Nov 2016

TRAIL RUNNING 99


Penicuik & West Linton

OS EXPLORER

1:25 000 scale 4 cm to 1 km – 2½ inches to 1 mile

ROUTES

HILLS, RIVERS, COAST

SAT

SUN

2-DAY

ROUTE

9

DAY 1 Pentland Hills Edinburgh

DISTANCE 11.5k ASCENT 508m TIME 1½hr

DIFFICULTY

DAY1 START:

NEAR PENICUIK

Stretch those legs and

lungs on a steep ascent

from the very start,

heading up Turnhouse

Hill (506m). Follow the

signpost leading left to Scald Law,

through fields of sheep and cows.

The views back from here are

superb so make sure you stop

to catch your breath and take a

look. A grand traverse stretches

out now along the ridge to take

you to the summit of Carnethy

Hill (573m). The ridge isn’t very

long but the climb is steep so you’ll

be guaranteed to work up a sweat.

The 360-degree views from here

are unquestionably stunning, so

don’t forget to bring along your

camera. Now you’ve done the

hard work, enjoy the long descent

off Carnethy, dropping down to

the right to Loganlea Reservoir

where you join a gravel path

MEET THE

EXPERT

Keen ultra runner

Lucja Leonard

operates guided

running tours in and around

Edinburgh. On 27 August she,

and friend Marina Ranger, will

be running the Pieterpad Trail

500km through the Netherlands

from north to south, over five

days... in just their underwear! Visit

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/

Simply-Runderful to help them

raise money for breast cancer

charity Pink Ribbon Foundation.

www.runningdutchie.org,

www.edinburghruntours.com

turning into bitumen. Follow the

route of the reservoir and then the

Glencorse Reservoir all the way

back to the starting point, running

in a valley between all the hills.

The Pentland Hills covers an area

of 90sqm, so there are plenty more

hills to explore given the time.

If you’re pent up

from pounding the

pavements, get

out into the hills

START/

FINISH/REFUEL

Flotterstone Inn

EH26 0PP

BEST VIEW

Top of Carnethy

Hill looking over

to Edinburgh

NT203619

TAKE A MAP!

OS Explorer

344; Harvey

Superwalker

Pentland Hills

(1:25K)

PENTLAND HILLS 344


GRADIENT

PROFILE

METRES

ABOVE

SEA

LEVEL

600

400

200

Start Turnhouse Hill Carnethy Hill The Howe Finish

MILES 0

KILOMETRES 0

2

2

4

6

4

6

8 10

Route available to download

and print at: trailzilla.com

TRAILZILLA ID: TZID30811

Download Ordnance Survey

maps to your PC, GPS, iPhone,

iPad and Android for just £12.50

©Trail Running Oct/Nov 2016

100 WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


Musselburgh & Haddington

10

DAY 2 Aberlady Edinburgh

9

10

DISTANCE 21.2k ASCENT 138m TIME22k

2hr DIFFICULTY

DAY 2 START:

ABERLADY

Starting out on a wooden

footbridge, you’ll cross

heathland then reach the

dunes. Heading up your first

dune you’ll enjoy stunning

views of the coastline before you drop

down onto the beach. Head back to the

east, through grassy trails or directly on

the beach, keeping the water to your left.

There’s plenty of fun to be had along the

way with dunes to climb and rocks to

clamber over. As you reach Yellowcraigs

beach you will see the lighthouse on

Fidra Island. From here the path leads

inland to the Yellowcraigs play park and

into the village of Dirleton. Take on the

last five to six miles along the John Muir

Way, heading back to the start. As you

come to Gullane village, you’ll see

Falko Konditorei & Kaffeehaus on

the right hand side of the road before

you turn off into Gullane Golf Club on

your left, along a stone wall. The path

emerges onto the busy A198 – cross

carefully and follow the footpath back

to the start point.

DUNBAR

& NORTH BERWICK

OS EXPLORER

1:25 000 scale 4 cm to 1 km – 2½ inches to 1 mile

351

TAKE A

MAP!

OS Explorer

351; Dunbar

& North

Berwick,

Musselburgh

START/

FINISH

Aberlady Local

Nature Reserve

NT471805

BEST VIEW

From the first sand

dune before hitting

the beach. You

can see submarine

wrecks at low tide

NT466817

REFUEL

Ducks Inn,

Aberlady

EH32 0RE

Photos: Lucja Leonard Map: Ordnance Survey mapping © Crown copyright 2016 Ordnance Survey. Media 042/16

Get dune

and out in

Aberlady

HOW TO DO IT

GET THERE On Day 1 take

the A702 Biggar Road, or

there are buses from Edinburgh

(#101). The Aberlady Local Nature

Reserve car park is just off the

A198 or the First bus services

124/X24/X25 pass by.

EAT HERE Taste of Italy for

homemade pasta and pizza

at very good prices www.vittoria

group.co.uk/tasteofitaly

SLEEP HERE Crowne Plaza,

Z ZZ

near Arthur’s Seat, where

route author Lucja is the manager.

And TR mag recommends the

Flotterstone Inn, bar and restaurant

on the outskirts of Edinburgh, at

the foot of the Pentland Hills.

www.flotterstoneinn.com

GRADIENT

PROFILE

METRES

ABOVE

SEA

LEVEL

600

400

200

Start Gulland Point Black Rocks Dirleton Finish

MILES 0

KILOMETRES 0

5

5

10

10

15 20

Route available to download

and print at: trailzilla.com

TRAILZILLA ID: TZID30812

Download Ordnance Survey

maps to your PC, GPS, iPhone,

iPad and Android for just £12.50

©Trail Running Oct/Nov 2016

TRAIL RUNNING 101


ULTRAS, MOUNTAIN MARATHONS, TRAIL & ADVENTURE RACES

RACES

GET YOUR RACE SHOES ON THIS AUTUMN

WHERE'S

MY RACE?

IAN CORLESS

A call to action?

Just enjoy it...

Many readers love the racing side

of trail running – it’s fantastic and

exhilarating to push your limits in

events off road. But, in truth, I’m not

much of a competitor really. Don’t

get me wrong, that goal I scored during a work

four-a-side one lunchtime (with my first touch, on

the half-volley, following a gorgeous diagonal run

behind the defence) still gives me goosebumps.

But beating my parkrun PB by a significant

margin wasn’t anywhere near as rewarding as

finding that I’d been running for

an exhilarating two hours – much

longer than anticipated – in the

vertiginous Italian Dolomites. But isn’t

that the beauty of trail running? It isn’t

about beating your best time, glued to your GPS

watch, checking your splits; it’s about enjoying

healthy exercise in the great outdoors. If you do

sign up to a race in these listings, absorb your

surroundings and enjoy it – most of all, take it at

your own pace. Mark Roberts

You've spent loads on the marketing

budget: you've got a cool logo, great

slogans, an enticing race name; the

competitors will get fancy medals,

goodies from your sponsors and

tech tees... but you're not listed

in Trail Running Mag? Don't miss

out – send your race details into

trailrunningraces@bauermedia.

co.uk by 1st October

to get listed.

Get in quick

for early-bird

discounts and

team offers. Too

late? Put it in

next year’s diary!


TURN THE

PAGE FOR A

RACE NEAR YOU

TRAIL RUNNING 103


RACES

RACE THIS AUTUMN

RACE REPORT

Race to the Stones

Sat 16-Sun 17 July

Race to the Stones takes on

the Ridgeway, Britain’s

oldest long-distance path.

It’s a route used since

prehistoric times, passing

through an ancient landscape

of sweeping downland, secluded

valleys and leafy woods, finishing at

the World Heritage Site of Avebury.

There are several race options: 100k

in one day, two days or a single 50k.

Nervous but excited, I lined up at

the start of my first 100k. I wasn’t

sure what to expect, but the

organisation and atmosphere were

fantastic and I was excited to finally

be on my way.

The first few kilometres climb

steadily towards the escarpment,

fresh legs and leafy woodland

giving away nothing of what’s

to come. The heat really kicks

in on the long, exposed ridge,

magnified by the chalk trail

that snaked away across the

hills. The route rises and falls

with the land and there’s not

much distance on the flat, making

for some hot, hard running. But

the camaraderie is uplifting and

the support is great, with wellstocked

pit stops every 10k (the

fresh oranges were amazing!)

and a hot meal at 50k. A really

enjoyable, well-organised race

through 5,000 years

of history – and a

great first 100k.

Jen Benson

104 WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


SEPTEMBER 2016

Sat 3

Lakeland Trails: Keswick,

Lake District

10 or 15k race, challenge or run.

Carnival atmosphere.

www.lakelandtrails.org

Man vs Mountain, Snowdonia

Run 20 miles, climb Snowdon,

and take in a vertical kilometre.

www.ratrace.com

BG Survival Race,

Edinburgh

5 or 10k with obstacles and

survival challenges thrown in.

www.beargryllssurvivalrace.com

THHN City to Sea, Devon

Run a 55-mile ultra or 26.5-mile

marathon solo, or as a relay.

www.thhn.co.uk

Explore the

Surrey Hills

PROMOTED

RACE

The La Sportiva Grand Tour

of Skiddaw, Lake District

44 miles with a climb up the

mighty Skiddaw at halfway.

www.pureoutdoorsevents.co.uk

Saturday Night Marathon

and Half Marathon,

Berkshire

A late summer evening’s trail

run along the Thames Path.

www.saturdaynight

marathon.com

The Shoreham Woods 10k

Trail Run, Kent

Scenic course in the beautiful

grounds of Shoreham Woods.

www.pbraceevents.co.uk

Sat 25 September Surrey Hills Challenge

Set in the beautiful landscape of the Surrey

Hills on the Greensand Way, the County’s

largest sporting challenge welcomes people of

all ages and fitness to run or walk 5k, 10k, 21k

(half marathon) or 60k (Ultra). At 6am, ultrarunners

will weave out of Haslemere through

breathtaking National Trust land towards the

Devil’s Punch Bowl. The scenic trails meander

through autumnal woodland and across fields

to the top of Leith Hill (South England’s highest

summit) before descending into Dorking. 21k

runners set off from Ewhurst at 9am and join

the Ultra route. Runners will enjoy aid stations

every 10k (depending on their chosen distance)

which will serve ice cream, sandwiches, tea and

other delicious treats to spur on hungry

runners. All of the competitors can expect a

medal, chip timing, professional first aid, varied

terrain and a fantastic day out, suitable for all

the family. www.surreyhillschallenge.com

10k Marple Trail Race,

Greater Manchester

10k starting near Stockport.

www.10k.marple-uk.eu

Sat 3-Sun 4

The Heb, Outer Hebrides

Island hopping, multi-discipline

adventure race.

www.theheb.org

Sun 4

Clwydian 15, Denbighshire

Hilly fell race from our TR Route

contributor in the Clwydians.

www.walkrunclwydian.co.uk

Compressport Trail 10k

Wales, Snowdonia

10k through the stunning Coed

y Brenin Forest Park.

www.trailmarathonwales.com

Eridge Park 10 Trail

Challenge, Kent

10 miles through a historic deer

park and ancient woodland.

www.twharriers.org.uk

Kew Charity Richmond 10k

River Run, London

A stunning flat and fast 10k run.

www.thefixevents.com

Ouse Valley Way Marathon,

Cambridgeshire

Trail marathon along the Ouse

Valley Way from Earith.

www.brjrunandtri.org

Riverside Run, Staffordshire

5 or 10k run around the

Trent Washlands from

Burton-on-Trent.

www.stgileshospice.com

Woodchester Park,

Gloucestershire

8-mile run near Stroud.

www.stroudathleticclub.co.uk

Wed 7

Crown to Crown 5k, Essex

10k trail run, sign up on the day.

www.pitsearunningclub.org.uk

Sat 10

Maverick Race Series, Kent

7, 14 and 21k over rolling heath

and woodland.

www.maverick-race.com

Snowdonia 50, Wales

58-mile race with off-road

technical trail running.

www.snowdonia50.com

The Heroes Challenge,

Dorset

Marathon and half with 86% of

entry fee to local charities.

www.hangersheroes.co.uk

Clif Bar 10 Peaks, Brecon

Beacons

89km of fell racing, traversing

some spectacular ridgelines.

www.10peaks.com

Birmingham Canal Canter,

West Midlands

Marathon or half exploring

Birmingham's extensive

canal network.

www.ldwa.org.uk

Essex 10k Cross Country,

Essex

10k in Weald Park. Goody bag

for every runner.

www.theraceorganiser.com

Something Wild Trail

Marathon and Half, Devon

Across the beautiful and

challenging Dartmoor.

www.something-wild.co.uk

Wimbledon 10K, London

10k cross-country wombling

over the common.

www.mccpromotions.com

Bog Commander, Peak

District

6k mud run and obstacle

course race at Heathylee

House Farm.

www.bogcommander.co.uk

Glow in the Park: Longleat,

Wiltshire

Family, nighttime UV 6km run

at Longleat House.

www.glowinthepark.co.uk

Kings Forest Marathon,

Suffolk

Marathon on good tracks, 4

miles from Bury St Edmunds.

www.positivestepspt.co.uk

The Killermetre 10k and 5k,

Berkshire

A timed 1k section to the finish

on a private racecourse.

www.killermetre.co.uk

Sat 10–Sun 11

Coast to Coast, Scotland

Run, bike and kayak 105

beautiful miles across Scotland.

www.ratrace.com


TRAIL RUNNING 105


RACES

RACE THIS AUTUMN

RACE REPORT

Dolomiti Extreme Trail 2016

Fri 10-Sun 12 June

The organisers of

Dolomiti Extreme

Trail increased

their efforts

this year, with

three races covering three

distances: a short one – 23km,

1000m elevation gain; a

medium one – 53k, 3800m

elevation gain; and the ultra

– 103k, 7150m elevation

gain. Mountain trails and

mule tracks, high mountain

snowfields, ledges and

hard rock-roped trails have

become prominent features of

this race, which has become

an inevitable stage in the

worldwide trail races scene.

This year’s edition had

39 different nations at the

starting line, and 1040

participants in total.

www.dolomitiextremetrail.com

FINAL RANKING

23k MEN

1. Maran Stefano

2. De Col Federico

3. Corazza Tullio

23k WOMEN

1. Lovrantova Katarina

2. Scribani Francesca

3. Perna Jessica

53k MEN

1. Cipa Jiri

2. Dola Michael

3. Zakaitis Jonas

53k WOMEN

1. Flammersfeld Anne-Marie

2. Bertasa Cinzia

3. Slanà Alena

103k MEN

1. Jung Daniel

2. Kienzl Peter

3. Bassi Nicola

103k WOMEN

1. Borzani Lisa

2. Poretti Marta

3. Boettger Julia

106 WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


Sat 10–Sun 18

Cornish Coastal Path

Running Race, Cornwall

Nine-day stage race across the

280-mile coastal path.

www.bobbrownendurance.com

Sun 11

Up Hill Down Dale Trail

Series: Creini, North Wales

Series with exclusive access to

private estates, 8 or 16k.

www.uphilldowndale.com

Dyrham Park 10k, Bath

1, 2.5 and 5k races also available.

A few cheeky hills thrown in.

www.aspirerunningevents.co.uk

Montane Trail 13 Delamere,

Cheshire

10k or 13-mile race through

Delamere Forest.

www.trail26.com

New Forest Marathon 2016,

Hampshire

Plus junior run, 5k, 10k and half

marathon in the New Forest.

www.newforestmarathon.co.uk

Something Wild Trail 10k,

Devon

Across the beautiful and

challenging Dartmoor.

www.something-wild.co.uk

The Farnham Pilgrim

Marathon and Half, Surrey

Sections follow the well-worn

North Downs and Pilgrims' Way.

www.farnhampilgrim.org.uk

Fri 16

Salomon Mamores Vertical

Kilometre, Lochaber

In the style of the Skyrunning

Series VK races – 1000m height

gain in less than 5k.

www.skylinescotland.com

Sat 17

Ring of Steall Skyrace,

Lochaber

25k and 2500m ascent of

running on this classic ridge.

www.skylinescotland.com

Hardmoors 60, North

Yorkshire

60-mile race on the coast from

Guisborough to Filey.

www.hardmoors110.org.uk

Chiltern Wonderland 50,

Oxfordshire

50-mile loop around the

Chiltern countryside.

www.centurionrunning.com

Cumbria Way Ultra,

Lake District

Follow the 73-mile Cumbria

Way from Ulverston to Carlise.

www.pureoutdoorsevents.co.uk

Tod Anstee Valley

Challenge, West Sussex

8 miles around Goodwood

Estate, including three hills

and three pubs!

www.milestone-fitness.co.uk

Sat 17-Sun 18

OMM Lite, North Yorkshire

A fun weekend with a scored

course for groups and families.

www.theomm.com

St Oswald's Ultra,

Northumberland

Run 50k, 100k or the full 100

miles from Lindisfarne Priory.

www.stoswaldsultra.com

Sun 18

Salomon Glen Coe Skyline,

Lochaber

World Skyrunning Series

Race. Thrilling and exposed

ridge racing.

www.skylinescotland.com

Purbeck Marathon, Dorset

Marathon and 16k race along

the Jurassic Coast.

www.thepurbeckmarathon.

co.uk

Ashtead 10K, Surrey

The greenest race in Britain,

with loads of touches to reduce

environmental impact.

www.trionium.com

Ladybower 50, Lake District

Race around Derwent water.

www.accelerateuk.com

Two Tunnels Railway

Races, Bath

Laps along the historic Two

Tunnels path. Races from 500m

to 100k, with 40k underground!

www.relishrunningraces.com

Butser Hill Challenge,

Hampshire

Demanding race of Grade B fellrace

standard.

www.butser.org

Chislehurst Chase, London

Two laps of Scadbury Park.

www.bridgetriathlon.co.uk

Crossdale 10k, Nottingham

Out-and-back route along the

south Nottinghamshire wolds.

www.crossdale10k.co.uk

Doncaster Trail Half

Marathon, South Yorkshire

Start and finish on a race course

– some 'surprising' climbs.

www.curlysathletes.co.uk

Fri 23-Sun 25

South West Outdoor

Festival, Exmoor

10k, 25k, half and marathon trail

runs, dualthlon, plus kids runs.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Sat 24

Dales Trail Series DT40,

North Yorkshire

40k race, part of the three-race

Dales Trail Series Grand Slam.

www.dalestrailseries.co.uk

3x3000 80K Ultra Trail,

Lake District

Skyrunning Series climbing Scafell

Pike, Helvellyn and Skiddaw.

www.highterrainevents.co.uk

The Cotswold Way

Challenge, Gloucestershire

57-mile ultra over two days

along the National Trail.

www.xnrg.co.uk

Might Contain Nuts,

Round 3, Black Mountains

Choice of 10-, 26- or 38-

mile race across Black

Mountains, Wales.

www.mightcontainnuts.com

Sat 24-Sun 25

Rab Mountain Marathon,

location TBC

Two-day fell-running and

navigation challenge.

www.rabmountain

marathon.com

Sun 25

Pieces of 8 Half Marathon,

Sunderland

Finishes at Penshaw monument

and takes in Wearside Trails.

www.trailoutlaws.com

High Weald Challenge,

East Sussex

Half marathon and 50k on

long-distance paths in Sussex.

www.trailrunningsussex.co.uk

Surrey Hills Challenge Ultra,

Surrey

60k ultra, half marathon, 10k

and 5k through Surrey.

www.surreyhillschallenge.com

The Wicked Walden 10k,

Essex

Mainly off road on wide tracks

near Newport, Saffron Walden.

www.saffronstriders.org.uk

Black Hill Run 10km,

Dorset

Part of the Purbeck Trail Series.

Hilly, sometimes muddy, course

through the Dorset heathland.

www.blackhillrun.wix.com

East Grinstead 10k, West

Sussex

10k trail race in rural Sussex –

great for beginners.

www.eg10k.co.uk

Forest of Dean Autumn 5k

Run, Gloucestershire

Trail run through the woodland

of this historic forest.

www.forestofdeanhalfmarathon.co.uk

Guildford Lions 10k, Surrey

Through the National Trust

parkland of Hatchlands Park.

www.guildfordlions.com

High Weald Challenge 50km

Ultra Trail, East Sussex

31-miles, great for runners

attempting their first ultra.

www.trailrunningsussex.co.uk

LLyn Alwen 11.5k, Conwy

Trail run around a lake.

www.bespokefitnessand

events.co.uk

The Farleigh Wallop 10k

Trail Race, Hampshire

10k undulating terrain with an

old railway line and open fields.

www.hwrunners.co.uk

OCTOBER 2016

Sat 1

Maverick Race Series,

Herefordshire

NEW! 8, 15 and 25k via an

Augustinian priory.

www.maverick-race.com

Lakeland Trails: Coniston,

Lake District

Carnival atmosphere, live music:

10 and 15k, and a 15k challenge.

www.lakelandtrails.org

Saltmarsh 75, Essex

Flat but challenging 75-

mile race.

www.saltmarsh75.co.uk

Round Ripon Ultra 35,

North Yorkshire

Picturesque scenery in the

Yorkshire Dales heritage site.

www.gobeyondultra.co.uk

RogueLite Mountain

Challenge, Swansea

One-day mountain event.

Three classes: Linear, Score

and Introductory.

www.rogueruns.co.uk

Active Northumberland

Kielder 10k,

Northumberland

Run around the Bull Crag

Peninsula of Kielder Water.

www.kieldermarathon.com

Heart of England Forest

Marathon, Warwickshire

Entry fee plants one native tree

in this newly planted forest.

www.hofe-forestmarathon.

co.uk

Leeds Colour Run 5k, Leeds

Colour Run with Harewood

House as the backdrop.

www.events.st-gemma.co.uk

The Royal British Legion

Major Series South, Kent

10k OCR through 3000 acre

private estate, Eridge Park.

www.britmilfit.com

The Longmynd Hike,

Shropshire

50 miles through South


TRAIL RUNNING 107


RACES

RACE THIS AUTUMN

YOU TELL US

What's your racing

goal and why?

@365dayRunStreak

Truly caught #runningbug

doing #RunStreak and @

lakelandtrails so challenge

next year @TheViperSeries

9hr solo then BG round.

@communityrunner

My goal is just to run...

why? Because when

I run... I'm free!

@TheNew_Read

Working towards a trail

marathon in late 2017

– hard work, especially as

last year I couldn't run

30sec without dying!

@DelagrangeChris

I'm just taking it all in.

Thinning knee cartilage

and 52 bday coming on,

I'm running short and

Infrequent and having fun.

@jasonlikesbikes

Working my way up from

10k to trail marathon with

@HardmoorsUltras

@charlesebf1

Get back to full fitness

after knee injury and just

run more trails.

@smceneaneyirl

I'm taking on my first

marathon but road.

Then hopefully move to

marathon trail.

@robohara83

Atlantic coast challenge

2017! Did 1st ultra this year,

fancy a multi-day test next.

@DBH1954

I'd be pleased with

anything. Had months off

due to injury. Going crazy...

@_ClaireNaylor

A trail marathon… a

@lakelandtrails one... the

Coniston half last yr my

fave race ever. Building

slowly... damn injuries!

@thefitpetite

October #half and 200-

mile relay in November

@Lallanimaniacs

Attempt 2 marathons

in one year; a medieval

themed one in 4 weeks

and Dublin end of October!

Shropshire and the Welsh

marches.

www.thelongmyndhike.org.uk

Coastal Trail Series, North

York Moors

10k, half marathon, marathon

and ultra taking in parts of the

Cleveland Way.

www.theendurancelife.com

Limestone Way Trail Run,

Peak District

Ultra following the 43-mile

Limestone Way. Limestone 'half'

17-mile race also available.

www.trailrunningpeaks.co.uk

Gower Ultra 50

Run 50 miles through Britain's

first designated Area of Natural

Beauty.

www.runwalkcrawl.co.uk

Sat 1-Sun 2

Kielder Marathon,

Northumberland

Marathon, half, and junior events

around Kielder Water.

www.kieldermarathon.com

Sun 2

The Delicious Drakes Trail,

Devon

A local food and drink festival

on the run (or walk).

www.delicioustrails.co.uk

Titsey Trail 10K, Surrey

Through the glorious woodland

of the ancient Titsey Estate.

www.oxtedrunners.org.uk

Clarendon Marathon,

Wiltshire

26.2-mile trail race from

Salisbury to Winchester.

Shuttles provided.

www.clarendon-marathon.co.uk

Dynamic Dartington

Weekend, Devon

10-mile trail race within the very

scenic Dartington estate.

www.dynamicadventurescic.

co.uk

Ley Hill Challenge,

Buckinghamshire

5k and 10k timed to allow

parents to enter an event each.

www.leyhillchallenge.org.uk

South West Coast Path

Challenge, Devon

17.5 miles, in conjunction with

the SW Coast Path Association.

www.trailevents.co.uk

Sat 8

Lakes in a Day Ultra,

Lake District

50 miles, 4000m ascent – The

Lakes top to bottom.

www.lakesinaday.co.uk

Woolmer Brutal 10,

Hampshire

A very wet and very muddy 10k.

A surprise around each corner.

www.brutalrun.co.uk

Petzl Night Trail, Snowdonia

Prepare to get dirty on this 10k.

www.trailmarathonwales.com

Sun 9

The Festival Run, Somerset

2, 5 and 10k runs. Around the

world-famous Glastonbury site.

www.piltonvillage.co.uk

Sat 15

Rowbothams Round,

Rotherham

50-mile race and relay. Around

the boundaries of Rotherham.

www.rotherhamharriers.org

Ten10Ten, Sheffield

Exciting and creative multiterrain

trail 10k in Endcliffe Park.

www.sheffield10k.com

Sat 15-Sun 16

Grand Day Out in Cumbria,

Lake District

Weekend festival of events in

aid of Cumbria Flood Appeal.

www.granddayoutcumbria.

org.uk

Sun 16

Spires and Steeples

Challenge, Lincolnshire

Marathon or half marathon from

Lincoln to Sleaford.

www.spiresandsteeples.com

Ennerdale Trail Run, Lake

District

31 miles through western

fringes of the Lake District.

www.highterrainevents.co.uk

The Big Dipper,

Sidmouth

Approx 5/10-mile race with over

1km of vertical ascent along the

South West Coast Path.

www.puretrail.uk

Sat 22

Garmin Mourne Skyline

MTR, County Down

Skyrunner Series race – 35k and

3370m of ascent.

www.mourneskylinemtr.com

Sandstone Way Ultra,

Northumberland

120 miles of trails, from Berwick

Upon Tweed to Hexham.

www.trailoutlaws.com

Coastal Trail Series, Suffolk

10K, half marathon, marathon

and ultra.

www.theendurancelife.com

Sun 23

Turnpike Trot 10k and

Rabbit Run 5k, North

Yorkshire

Races for runners of all abilities

on the North Yorkshire Moors.

262.hardmoors110.org.uk

Exmoor Stagger,

Devon

15-mile race to the highest point

on Exmoor.

www.mineheadrunning

club.co.uk

Fri 28

The Skeleton Run,

Leicestershire

5 miles of terrifying trails.

www.theskeletonrun.co.uk

Sat 29

The Northern Skeleton Run,

Lake District

5 miles of spooky woodland.

www.theskeletonrun.co.uk

Norfolk Coastal Race,

Norfolk

Half marathon and full

marathon along Norfolk coast.

www.positivestepspt.co.uk

Allithwaite-8, Cumbria

8 miles half-trail, half-road.

www.facebook.com/

allithwaiterunningclub

Sat 29-Sun 30

The OMM, South-West

Scotland

The famous adventure race is

back. Location, as always, TBC.

www.theomm.com

Sun 30

Herepath Half, Somerset

13.7 miles around the Herepath

Trail in the Blackdown Hills.

www.herepathhalf.org

NOVEMBER 2016

Sat 5

Lakeland Trails: Helvellyn,

Lake District

Starting in Glenridding: 10 and

15k, and 15k challenge options.

www.lakelandtrails.org

White Rose Ultra, Yorkshire

30, 60 or 100 miles.

www.whiteroseultra.co.uk

Sun 6

Meon Valley Marathon,

Hampshire

Hilly marathon or half, on a

variety of surfaces.

www.irunevents.uk

Lakeland Trails: Ullswater,

Lake District

Take the Ullswater Steamer

to start: 10 and 14k, and 14k

challenge.

www.lakelandtrails.org

Sat 12

Gordano Round Marathon,

Bristol

27.5 miles over coastal paths

and woodland following the

marked Gordano Round.

www.portisheadrunning

club.co.uk

108 WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


RACE REPORT

South Downs Way 100

Sat 11-Sun 12 June

I’d heard many good things about

running 100 miles, and the SDW100

in particular. Many terrifying

things too, but I preferred to focus

on the good stuff. They told me

how friendly it all is, and about

the breathtakingly scenery. They

told me about the brilliant,

knowledgeable volunteers, and

how every mile, every step, is

thoroughly thought through.

Unforgettable, they said...

They didn’t do it justice.

The South Downs on

a summer’s day is a

glorious place to be,

and during the run

the views frequently

gave ailing legs a lift.

The logistics were

brilliant – how clever

to put the aid stations

at the bottom of big hills

so you can grab a handful

of sustenance and eat as

you hike upwards. Fellow

runners were all fun to meet,

not least Sam who once came

second here but was happy

to slum it with me (for fully

seventy miles!) in joint 23rd.

And those volunteers were

beyond amazing. They stop at

nothing to help, even smiling when

they’re tired in the night and you’re

grumpy and filthy. But what nobody

told me about is the warm afterglow

which stays with you for weeks.

Astonishing really. So I’m tempted

to suggest on Radio 2 that all our

listeners should try running 100

miles. It’s optimistic. But how about

you happy Trail Running brigade?

If you haven’t already, you really

should, you know...

Vassos Alexander (pictured left),

BBC Radio 2

TRAIL RUNNING 109


RACES

RACE THIS AUTUMN

Hardmoors 26.2, Goathland,

North Yorkshire Moors

Marathon, half and 10k trails.

www.262.hardmoors110.org.uk

Spider Hill, Hampshire

Racing at Long Valley.

www.brutalrun.co.uk

Sat 12 - Sun 13

OMM Japan, Shinano

Omachi

Original Mountain Marathon in

the Japanese countryside.

www.theomm.com

Sun 13

The Winter Beast,

Leicestershire

5 or 10 miles set on an equine

cross-country course, with

obstacles.

www.thebeastrun.co.uk

Sat 19

Kendal Mountain Festival

10k, Lake District

10K trail run above Kendal.

www.openadventure.com

Glentress Night Run,

Scottish Borders

10 or 21k through the forest.

www.highterrainevents.co.uk

Sun 20

Wooler Trail Marathon,

Northumberland

Marathon, half and 10k options,

including the Cheviot Mountain.

www.trailoutlaws.com

Wildest Peaks Trail Run,

Peak District

10 or 27.5k race over high-level

and moorland trails.

www.trailrunningpeaks.co.uk

Sun 27

Mini Mountain Marathon,

Peak District

4hr of fell running and

navigation. Last in series.

www.minimountainmarathon.

co.uk

DECEMBER 2016

Sat 3

Might Contain Nuts, Round

4, Brecon Beacons,

Choice of 10-, 27- or 42-

mile race across the Brecon

Beacons, Wales.

www.mightcontainnuts.com

Old Down Estate Santa

Run, Bristol

5 and 10k race, plus family

fun runs.

www.aspirerunningevents.co.uk

Coastal Trail Series, Dorset

10k, half marathon, marathon

or ultra along the Jurassic

Coast Path.

www.endurancelife.com

Sat 10

The Cockington Christmas

Caper, Devon

8 miles along a very muddy

and hilly course.

www.barnabassports.co.uk

Sun 11

Bovington Marathon and

Half Marathon, Dorset

Races starting and finishing at

the Tank Museum.

www.whitestarrunning.co.uk

Hardmoors 26.2 Roseberry

Topping, North Yorkshire

Moors

Marathon, half and 10k trails.

www.262.hardmoors110.org.uk

Sat 17

Tour de Helvellyn, Lake

District

38 miles through the lakes, with

serious ascent and descent.

www.nav4.co.uk

Sun 18

Brean Down Santa

Scramble, Somerset

5 and 10k race, plus family

fun runs.

www.aspirerunning

events.co.uk

Sat 26

Wendover Woods 50,

Buckinghamshire

5 x 10-mile loop on forest trails

within Wendover Woods.

www.centurionrunning.com

Sat 31

Longmoor, Hampshire

16k and 8k muddy trail race

across an army training area.

www.brutalrun.co.uk

JANUARY 2017

Sat 7

Kielder 10K Night Run,

Northumberland

10k night run through Kielder

Forest.

www.highterrainevents.co.uk

Sat 14

Coastal Trail Series, Dover

10k, half marathon, marathon or

ultra along iconic white cliffs.

www.endurancelife.com

Sat 23

Buff Winter Trail,

Snowdonia

Half marathon through the

beautiful Coed y Brenin

Forest Park.

www.trailmarathonwales.com

Sat 28

Peddars Way Ultra

Marathon, Suffolk

Run a national trail in a day.

www.positivestepspt.co.uk

FEBRUARY 2017

Sat 4

Coastal Trail Series, South

Devon

10k, half marathon, marathon

or ultra through a renowned

AONB.

www.endurancelife.com

Wed 15

Breakfast Race, Surrey

6hr timed race completing as

many laps of a 3.28-mile course

along the river Thames.

www.phoenixrunning.co.uk

Sun 19

Dirty Running, Surrey

6hr timed race completing as

many laps of a 3.28-mile course

along the river Thames.

www.phoenixrunning.co.uk

Sat 25

Coastal Trail Series,

Northumberland

10k, half marathon, marathon

or ultra along the stunning

Northumberland coastal path.

www.endurancelife.com

Sun 26

Hameldown Hammer, Devon

Challenging half marathon with

spectacular views of Dartmoor

Moors and Tors.

www.puretrail.uk

MARCH 2017

Sat 4

Marathon 1, Firebird Series

2017, Surrey

First marathon of the 2017

series along the Thames

towpath.

www.phoenixrunning.co.uk

Sun 5

Ashbourne 10, Derbyshire

5 or 10k, or 10 miles, along the

Tissington Trail.

www.sbrevents.co.uk

Sat 18

Coastal Trail Series, Sussex

10k, half marathon, marathon

or ultra over a dramatic cliff

ridden coastline.

www.endurancelife.com

APRIL 2017

Sat 1

Vale of Glamorgan Ultra

32 miles along linear coast

route. A shorter 18.5 mile race is

also available.

www.runwalkcrawl.co.uk

Sat 8

Coastal Trail Series,

Exmoor

10k, half marathon, marathon

or ultra through Exmoor

National Park.

www.endurancelife.com

South Downs Way 50,

East Sussex

50-mile race along the South

Downs National Trail.

www.centurionrunning.com

Sat 8- Sun 9

The Oner Ultra Trail Run,

Dorset

89 miles over the world famous

Jurassic Coast.

www.brutalevents.co.uk

Sun 23

The Longhorn,

Nottinghamshire

10k over farm/old military

roads, woodland and

grassed paths.

www.sbrevents.co.uk

Sat 29

Coastal Trail Series,

Pemrokeshire

10k, half marathon, marathon or

ultra along Pemrokeshire's

beautiful coastline.

www.endurancelife.com

Thames Path 100,

London

100 miles from Richmond to the

centre of Oxford.

www.centurionrunning.com

MAY 2017

Sat 13

North Downs Way 50,

Surrey

50 miles from Farnham

along the North Downs Way

National Trail.

www.centurionrunning.com

JUNE 2017

Sat 17

Salomon Trail Marathon

Wales, Snowdonia

Fully marked half and full

marathon through forestry,

single track and heathland.

www.trailmarathonwales.com

Fri 23-Sat 24

South Wales 100 and 50

100 or 50 miles through South

Wales valleys and the Brecon

Beacons.

www.runwalkcrawl.co.uk

Sat 24

Mignight Mountain

Marathon, Brecon Beacons

Half and full marathon set in

beautiful surroundings.

www.brutalevents.co.uk


List your race! To list your

event email: trailrunning

races@bauermedia.co.uk

110

WWW.TRAILRUNNINGMAG.CO.UK


FINISH LINE

SENSE OF ADVENTURE

WORDS BYJEFF MCCARTHY @RUNEATREPEATUK HTTP://RUNEATREPEAT.CO.UK

I TRAILS

Nothing but a number

Doug Richards, author and grandad, on hot and cold running extremes

W

hat drove you

to start running?

My declining

fitness when

approaching my

mid-30s, and a breathless dash

upstairs to console my young son

having a nightmare. Inspired by the

1981 London Marathon, I vowed

to go for a run the next morning –

and managed a mile!

How did your Running Hot &

Cold book come about?

I would always write down memories

of each running trip. I joined the

University of the Third Age after

retiring and a life writing group

who urged me to collate them

into a book.

Silver Trophy in Running Awards

book category – how proud?

Very! The book was primarily a

record of my running adventures

for my family and interested friends.

When it reached a wider audience

I started receiving emails and

messages from people I’d never

met, saying the book made them

think differently about their lives.

When it was shortlisted for the

Running Awards I was over the

moon. To be there on the night

and hear it being Silver Trophy

winner was a really proud and

unexpected moment.

So how does a bus-pass-bearing

pensioner stay upright running on

Greenland’s polar ice cap?

With very hefty spikes attached to

my running shoes! At my age I’d

like to avoid any falls, but I can take

a tumble on the most innocuous of

surfaces! But, luckily, I didn’t fall once.

How was the Rio de Janeiro half

marathon?

Hot and humid. It was a lovely

coastline route with one

punishing climb, before

tackling Ipanema and

Copacabana beach

roads. 36 hours before

the start, I was struck

down by a nasty

bug. I was just on

the mend for race

day and managed to

finish, though the last

five miles were hard. I ran

straight through the finish tunnel

to the Portaloos!

Confronted by elephants – how

scary was that?

Our elephant encounter in South

Africa was very real and, without

doubt, the scariest moment of my life!

Your most emotional event and why?

A series of races throughout Sri Lanka

just five weeks after the devastating

tsunami of Boxing Day 2004. On the

downhill section of a half marathon

I was greeted by a group of six

young children. One said ‘Can we

run with you, grandfather?’ Soon

we were holding hands and running

together singing ‘Run, run as fast as

you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the

gingerbread man.’ More

joined at each turn

until there were

30 or 40 children

with me as we

entered their

village. We were

warmly greeted

by their families

in a ‘never to be

forgotten’ moment,

at a time when their

country was suffering.

What is the Run England

project?

I’m open and

honest about the

battles I’ve had

with anxiety and

how running has

helped me overcome

them. England Athletics

announced a trial Mental

Health Ambassador

programme so myself

SCARE

YOURSELF

LIKE DOUG!

Doug says: “Don’t be afraid to

take on challenges that scare you.

It’s only when you try something

that feels way beyond the limits

of your comfort zone that

you truly discover

just what you are

capable of.”

and a lady member put our names

forward to represent Kingfisher

Harriers. We help people who

are experiencing mental health

difficulties to start running or get back

into running, and encourage existing

members to continue running to

improve their mental wellbeing. It’s

so satisfying to see people’s progress.

How has running enriched your life?

Well, life can be a roller coaster. I feel

blessed to have a wonderful daughter

and son, and two delightful granddaughters.

I have run with Holly (the

elder) on several occasions already.

Josie is a little too young yet. Also,

I’d never have visited many of the

wonderful places I have been privileged

to run in, and meet their people. TR

n To read Doug’s inspiring adventures,

you can buy Running Hot & Cold here:

http://amzn.to/28WnKkT.

Doug taking

on the extreme

temperatures

of the Marathon

Des Sables

114

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