Month: July 2014

Back to Back

This week I have had three consecutive days off work so I decided to Max them and challenge myself to a back to back hard session to see how my body coped.

Day one was a lucky run up one of my favourites and highest spot on the island – Goat fell – 2750ft – 11km.

With the weather being heavy rain for most of the morning, I packed my full waterproof gear and enough fuel to keep me going for a few hours plus a bit extra ” just incase”
Running in the rain can be really wonderful in the summer, I really enjoy the freedom and freshness of it and tend to run in shorts with a light,long sleeve base layer and a waterproof jacket if it’s torrential.

At the moment I am continuing to use and test my kit kindly supplied by Berghaus which consists of the following..

Vapour storm jacket
Hyper 22 backpack
Vapour light claw shoes
Vapour light shorts
VapourLight HyperTherm reversible jacket
Vapour short sleeve,zip neck T-shirt (base layer)

I am enjoying wearing it all and you know it does it’s job well when all that you are thinking about when you are out is your running technique, next challenge, food and of course the scenery.
Everything is so comfortable and light weight that I just haven’t had to think about changing anything.

As I set off the weather had improved dramatically and the sun was beaming through the clouds.
There was still that freshness in the air and I had a wonderful run up to the summit cairn.

Keeping in mind all of what we were taught in the alps by Julia of Tracksandtrails, I tried to stay light on my feet, keep my body relaxed and as upright as possible and power walk the very steep sections.
I also kept my energy up by topping up with fuel every 45 mins, thank you Torq fitness

Interestingly I was reading a post today that Torq have redesigned the opening tab of the gels to help prevent littering!
new design
This is an ace idea as I have been paranoid of losing the wee bits whilst footering around with stuff in my pack.

I am a strong believer of “leave the hills as you find them” so this is just proof that these products don’t just taste great and work well but the company are caring about the environment too which is brilliant!

My run on Goat fell was just one of those special unexpected days.
I only passed a few folk coming off as I was heading up and I had the summit all to myself in the sunshine whilst the rain clouds covered the majority of the surrounding hills- magic!

I wasn’t pushing it too much on Goat fell but I felt strong and more confident on my descending than my previous run up there and am enjoying thinking about and practicing all the things we learnt In the Alps.

Day 2 -The Ross – 2459ft – 29km

After an amazing day up Goat fell the previous day tackling some technical terrain, I thought I’d give my legs/mind a wee test of endurance and chose to run the Ross and back.

The Ross is a picturesque single track road which climbs steeply out of the village of Lamlash to its highest point (just over 900ft) then heads down the other side, eventually spitting you out on the other side of the island.
Basically once you reach the other side you just turn around and do the same again but the opposite way.

Knowing I had 18 miles to conquer and with the weather being a scorcher, I loaded up my pack with extra fuel and 2 litres of water/electrolyte/energy mix.
I also took an extra TORQ bottle with me as I knew there were a few steams along the way to fill up from.

Running on the road isn’t something I do a lot of but it was a nice change to test my speed a bit and I’ve always wanted to complete the entire Ross road and back in one go!

After a very hot 18 miles and some fairly substantial climbs I was pleased to have completed it in under three hours after yesterday’s mountain run.

I’m trying to focus more so on time on my feet at moment and really enjoying just being out for hours at a time, training myself to fuel efficiently and concentrating more on my running form and where I can improve.

“Anybody can be a runner… We were meant to move. We were meant to run. It’s the easiest sport”.

Bill Rodgers

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Chamonix and beyond

Well, where do I begin…
I’ve been back on my lovely wee island for three days now and I’m still feeling overwhelmed by the whole experience of running in the alps with Trail team 2014

I went out there as a trail runner whose longest run equated to 26km and came back with having completed 93km and 3600m of ascent.

I’m still coming to terms with the amazing experience we all had!
This trip has honestly changed my life and I am more excited than ever to get on with my lifetime goals and challenge myself to do things I may not have thought I was ready for before this trip.

The inspiration and determination of everyone in the trail team shone throughout and I think we are a strong team who can motivate each other to do great things in the future as well as helping to motivate others in the process.

Our fantastic guide Julia from Track and trail was an inspiration throughout and kept us going to meet our targets throughout the whole journey.
She led us on some amazing mountain trails through Chamonix, Italy and Switzerland and gave us top tips and advise along the way.

Meeting and running with legendary adventurers Phillipe & Anna Gatta and hearing their advice and stories was just amazing, it’s just brilliant to see people living life to the full and not being scared to go for it and take on these amazing challenges.

We are all human at the end of the day but some push the boundaries of what is classed as normal and reap the joys of achievement.

I feel like I’m ready to push a little higher than the previous boundaries I had given myself and take on things that before this trip I would have thought were outside my capabilities .

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Happy feet

After three full on days running through France, Italy and Switzerland you could say that would be a good test for a pair of trail shoes!

With some technical accents and descents thrown in and a mixed day weather wise on day two( very wet under foot) I’d say that a pair of shoes that were comfortable, super light, breathable and grippy would be ideal to support a pair of feet for the journey ahead.

I chose to wear my Berghaus Vapour light claw shoes for the duration.

We had a very fast,steep technical decent on the first day and I felt they weren’t quite supportive enough around the sides of my feet for that but for the rest of the trip they were fantastic and the fact I have no blisters at all after 93km in the heat is amazing.

My conclusion on the woman’s vapour light claws is that they are a fantastic overall shoe for mostly all trails except for the very steep, technical descents.

3 days of running, 93km, 3500m of accent and a pair of vapour claws = a happy pair of feet!

Thank you Berghaus!

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Fueling

I’m learning the importance of proper fuelling these days with longer, tougher runs and have been making good use of my TORQ fitness products.

As part of Trail team 2014 I had the chance of pushing my body to the limits around the Alps last week and thanks to the easy system that TORQ have created its so simple to grab a gel,bar and energy drink on the move when you need it and enjoy the delicious flavours, my favourites being the mango bar, raspberry ripple gels & lemon drink!

It’s so important to get the correct fuel into your body when your pushing hard and I’ve found that using TORQ products in between other food delivers that and gives you something to look forward to eating which helps with general focus and helping you to push through when you are feeling fatigued.

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Berghaus branded photograph by our awesome photographer Reuben Tabner