Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Ultra 52 in 52 Stats

Ok Im not very good at this as I haven’t really kept many in the way of stats, so what follows is a compilation of things which may or may not interest you. Im an ‘Arty Farty’person not very technical. So please bare with me.

Top Races
(my favourite races of the 52 in 52)

Rombalds Stride
 (all round great event)
Wadi Bih
(Stunning scenery and all round experience)
Hardmoors 55
(great scenery, fantastic route, well organised and an awesome Race Director ;o) )
Wuthering Hike
 (all round great event)
Dukeries Ultra
(all round great event, well organised)
Leaden Boot
(Stunning Scenery)
West Highland Way Race
Osmotherley Phoenix
 (Perfect event)
Lakeland 100
 (all round good event)
Smugglers Trod
 (all round good event)
Glenmore 24
(Great event)
Saltergate Circuit
(all round good event made even better by running the whole event with Shirley)
Frostbite 30
(All round great event, well organised)

Over the year I have run various Ultras which havent been races, some of these have been my favourite runs of the year. Time spent in the North York Moors with Shirley, Mark Dalton, Garry Scott and Dave Cremmins. Runs in the Lake District reccing the Bob Graham Round with Rorie Macintosh. Times in the Peak District with Stuart Walker, John Vernon and Karen Mc Donald. The Marlborough Downs route with Shirley. Bob Graham Round attempts with Sarah Booth, Andy Norman, Jenny and Ken Wyles, Danny Aldus, Mark Dalton, Brian Melia, Andy Scaife, John Vernon, Rorie Macintosh, Shirley and Karen Mc Donald. It would be rude not to mention my crew at the Tooting Bec 24hr Track Race, Julien, Ernie and Debbie.THANKS GUYS

Least favourite Races

Yorkshire Ultra
 (where do I start, so I won‘t)

Fastest Races

Filey Flyer
(23miles in 3hrs 12mins, about 10 minutes behind winner and leading pack.)
Rombalds Stride
 ( 1 minute up on my 2011 time)
West Highland Way Race
( 3hrs 25mins quicker then my pb in 2008,)
Glenmore 24
(Target 100 miles in 24hrs, managed 112 miles in 24hrs)
Ingleborough Marathon
 (2nd place)

Slowest Races

Osmotherley Phoenix
(50 mins slower then 2011)
Wuthering Hike
 (40 mins slower then 2011)
Yorkshireman Marathon
(60 mins slower then 2011)
Tooting Bec 24hr Track race
 ( Target was either 120 miles and/or 100k in 10.30hrs, managed 89miles in 24hrs)
Liverpool Marathon
 (4hrs 38 mins - felt shocking, ran 30 miles day before, first road marathon)


Round Rotherham
(dropped out after 24 miles due to severe pain in my knee )
Second Bob Graham attempt
I don’t class as a dnf as I still covered an Ultra distance before hypothermia could take hold (severe conditions over the Dodds) and I dropped out of the attempt.


2 x Salomon Speed cross ( abandoned now, due to having a high heel lift which seems to exaggarate the overpronation of my gait = knee pains.
1 x Hoka Evo Stinson  (Courtesy of Mark Barnes)
1 x Inov-8 x talons 190 (Courtesy of Rorie Macintosh)
1 x Inov-8 x talons 212 (Courtesy of Rorie Mc) Favourite trail shoe as long as there is minimum road.
1 x Brooks Cadence (Pure Flow) 1 road marathon so far ( 6mm heel to toe differential)

Throughout 2012 I remained pretty much injury free apart from Knee pains which started in October, with lots of great advice I managed to continue the challenge and sort the knee problems through the months of October and November using the following ;

Rock Tape
I was introduced to Rock Tape by Mark Barnes. The stuff is awesome! From the end of October to the middle of December I religiously used it on both knees on every Ultra. While wearing it the knee pain seem to subside.
Sports Massage
Karen from Sports Stadium gave me sports massage on my very tight calves and some work on my itb plus resulting in less painful running and the massage was a big factor in sorting out my knee problem
Foam Roller and Stretching
I started in October to work on my calfs/quads/hams/glutes twice a week with a foam roller which was as hard as a fire extinguisher.

I find 3-6mm heel differential to be the best for my gait, I can keep a midfoot strike avoiding overpronation and thus no Knee or ankle problems. The day after my dnf at the Round Rotherham I ran a 32 mile Trail Race (Ennerdale Ultra) wearing a knee support and using x talons plus concentrating on a midfoot strike with short steps resulting in no knee pain
Omega 3’s
I increased the amount of Omega 3’s in my diet by including more efa’s in my diet and including supplementation. Omega 3’s are great for combating inflamation.
Throughout 2012 I covered 3015 miles (Ultras + weekly training miles) would have been more but October November and December I stopped running during the week to give my knees a break and concentrated on weight training (upper body) purely to give myself a diversion from running. I quickly built up to Bench Pressing 300lbs for reps (something I hadn’t done in quite a few years). 

Throughout 2012 my bodyweight remained a constant 15stone. People were surprised I hadn’t lost weight. My diet had stayed the same for the year, a lot of brown rice and Tuna, jacket potato’s with (yes even more) Tuna, fruit, salads etc with my vices being Diet Coke, Coffee and chocalate.
I believe the reasons why I didn’t lose weight is my body had adjusted to the Ultras and in fact held onto weight to fuel my body through 30 plus runs (almost like a camel state) The second reason is Ultras can make the body release Cortisal (the stress hormone) Cortisol can also cause you to store body fat etc (ok there is a lot more science about it then that)
Body weight - losing weight is  a lot more technical then eat less and exercise more, Im living proof of this, the body soon adjusts to exercise and is very adaptable The body will reprogram itself to use less energy for any given task. Run 30-40 miles and the body will go into a panic and burn whatever it can to produce the energy , now run that distance week in and week out and the body will say ‘How can we do this with less calories?’ Yes people do loose weight running Ultras but how much of it is muscle? The body will use its pathetic 2000 cals storage of Carbs and carbs coming in in the disguise of flapjacks, gels etc etc when its used both those stores up what does it use next fat? No unless your body is Ketone adapted those 40,000 cals of fat storage (no matter if you are a super waif you will still have about the same storage) will probably only be tapped into after your body has started on the protein in your body/muscles 

Big Weeks

Throughout the year I had a couple of big weeks to catch up with ultras I had missed 

Saturday - Sunday Bob Graham Round 28hrs 68-72miles
Thursday - Osmotherley Phoenix Route 28 miles
Saturday - Dukeries Ultra 42 miles
Sunday - Leaden Boot 28 miles

Total - 166 - 170 miles

Saturday - Frostbite 30 - 28miles
Sunday - Edale Skyline plus - 28 miles
Tuesday - Treadmill Ultra 30 miles
Saturday - Edale Skyline plus - 28 miles
Sunday - Stratford Trail Marathon 28 miles

Total - 142 miles

The Year of Ultras has been an awesome year. Ive made some great freinds and seen some stunning scenery. Travelled to places I have never been before both externally and internally. I have had highs and lows. The whole thing has been like an Ultra, a 100 miler, a relatively fast start, a few tough miles then some highs and easy miles then at the 70 mile stage real lows (October) but like in a 100 miler you push on and this energy appears from nowhere and you get faster and you go along like nothing can stop you and in the last few miles a big hill slows you down (Sickness bug in December) So you get your head down and trudge on slowly wondering if you will finish the 100 miles, but then you get there, a couple of miles left so you speed up and then...your there..its all over, You have lived a lifetime in a100 miles (52 weeks)

Thank You for reading my blog and persevering with my ramblings etc etc...

If you want to sponsor me for last years exploits please visit 


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