Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Ultra no 4 Yorkshire Ultra Recce

Ultra no 4 was due to be a training run or recce after missing out of a place in the 'Hebden'.
 My first choice was to run from Osmotherley following the Cleveland Way to Blowarth Crossing and back, a 30 mile route with a decent amount of climb and only a 45 minute drive away from home. I had done this route several times throughout Oct and November. Then it dawned on me, I should take advantage of having the time to recce an upcoming race for once. Ultra no 5 would be the 50 mile  'Yorkshire Ultra' and I knew the first and last bits (out from Whitby to Ravenscar and Ravenscar back to Whitby) but I hadn't a clue about the inland section of the route, I checked the route on memory map software and the section I needed to recce added up to 28.5 miles give or take, all I needed to do was to add 2 miles onto the route then I would have my 30 miler. Saturday 21st I drove over to Ravenscar on a very sunny morning, correction... a very very windy sunny morning and so not to bore you too much ill wrap this up in a nutshell!!! Very strong winds, legs had nothing in them, shoes had stilts of mud on the bottom of them making me 12 feet tall, more mud, more wind, even more mud, even stronger wind...Trashed quads, dramatic fall over a stile departing me from my shoe momentarily. Beautiful waterfall, more wind, walking not running, crawling not walking, sitting not crawling...  The day was tough, the wind took a lot out of me and my legs where heavy and tired. No adrenaline in my system which is fuelled by the element of competition to motivate me to push harder!!! Got round, did my 30 miles, took forever and made me feel like dropping down to the marathon at the Yorkshire Ultra. Well I thought that for 5 Min's anyway!!! The highlight of the day was descending into Ravenscar in the dark with the lights of Robin Hoods Bay flickering to my left and over to my right Ravenscar Hotel lit up and the only sounds being the wind and the sea.

A couple of people have asked me if I run during the week as well as the weekly Ultra, well I do. My routine for the next few months and has been recently is,:

2 x 10 miles  on  weeks when the Ultra is 30 miles or less (making the total weeks mileage 50 miles) one of the 10 mile runs will be at  a steady pace. The second 10 miler will be treadmill based and if the Ultra is a hilly race (4000ft +) , then the treadmill will be flat and the first 4 miles will be taken steady, leaving the last 6 miles to be taken at 10k race pace. If the Ultra is flat, then the first 90 Min's will be at full incline leaving whatever distance left to be made up on the flat.

1 x 6 miles on weeks when the Ultra is 50 miles plus. The run will be done on the treadmill and rather then relying on the Treadmills odometer, I will run for 45 Min's.

Monday I teach Kickboxercise (predominately circuit work, focus mitt work, core work etc)
Tuesday and Thursday I hit the weights for 60 Min's and stretch. Leaving Friday and Sunday night to recover. I'm sure some will or would say I should just rest through the week in preparation for the weekend and yes maybe they are right but this is what I love to do and in past years I have run high mileage on a weekly basis (70 - 80 miles) year in year out. So my body is used to years of overtraining abuse whether it has been Martial Arts, Boxing training, Bodybuilding (a long time ago) or ultra-running.

Nest week is the 'Yorkshire Ultra', followed by  'Rombalds Stride' following that I jet off to Abu Dhabi for a weeks holiday with my fiancee Shirley who is currently working in Saudi Arabia (initially this would of resulted in missing an ultra on that week, hence creating 2 to do in one week, but Shirley spotted a race in Oman called the 'Wadi Bih Run' the race is a trail 45 mile relay with over 1100 metres of climb and is organised and entered by Ex Pats based in the Middle East. The race is also open to solo runners  who can run the full 45 miles ;0) . The journey will involve hiring a car and driving from Abu Dhabi to Oman then camping the Thursday night before the race with other competitors ( a race tradition including a barbecue etc) 

Following is a scattering of events I have entered so far this year

GOLDEN FLEECE CIRCUIT         26.5 miles  March 3rd
WUTHERING HIKE                       33 miles     March 10th
HARDMOORS 55                           55 miles     March 17th
CLEVELAND SURVIVAL              26 miles     March 24th
COMPTON DOWNLAND              40 miles      April 7th  (entry to be sent)
CALDERDALE HIKE                     37 miles      April 14th
WOLDSMAN                                  50 miles      April 28
BOB GRAHAM ROUND                72 miles      May
DUKERIES ULTRA                        40 miles       May 26
HARDMOORS 110                         30 miles       June 1-2nd (as race director I will hopefully sweep 30 miles of  110)
WEST HIGHLAND WAY RACE    95 miles      June 22-24th (will run extra 5 miles to make it up to 100 miles)
OSMOTHERLEY PHOENIX           33 miles      July 7th
LAKELAND 100                              103 miles     July 27-29th
GLENMORE 24                                24hr race     Sept 2nd   (Hopefully achieve 100 miles minimum)

As you can see there are still a lot of races I need to enter, and some months where races are thin on the ground (February) These gaps will be filled with more events or Bob Graham recces, Runs in the Peaks, Dales, Moors or Lakes. Still quite a few to enter in Sept/Oct IE Round Rotherham, High Peak 40 etc etc
As you can imagine entering all these races in one month wouldn't leave me much to live on, so I will enter races nearer the time to help  budget on a monthly basis, risking the chance of the race becoming full though!!


  1. Total madness but that's what I love about you. You make me feel normal!!! X

  2. Every time I read your "To do list", my legs start to shake and I get a few twinges of cramp. Inspirational!