About talkultra

Ian is a photographer, writer, reviewer and blogger at iancorless.com. Ian is currently travelling the world capturing stories from some of the most iconic ultras on the planet. Ian is also creative director and host of an ultra running podcast called Talk Ultra. The show is available every 2 weeks 'for free' on iTunes and talkultra.com.

Fernanda Maciel summits Aconcagua

Image ©FernandaMaciel - The North Face, Red Bull, Compressport

             Image ©FernandaMaciel – The North Face, Red Bull, Compressport

Fernanda Maciel (The North Face, Red Bull, Compressport) reached the summit of Aconcagua – ascent and descent time of Aconcagua, Argentina (6962m) in 14 hours, 20 minutes.

Following in the footsteps of Kilian Jornet (here) and Karl Egloff (here), Fernanda has gone on to say:

I left the Base Camp at 5am to the summit. The dawn plenty of stars and moon was inspiring me, the mountain was all white because it had snowed a lot the day before my intent. I felt motivated and grateful to have such a beautiful night on the mountain. When I reached 5,500m (Nido de Condores) my toes were frozen, I had to stop and warm up them for a few minutes on the fire of a jetboil. Then I kept strong with good feelings towards the summit, but I was very slow in each sections because there was too much snow. Impossible to run or walk fast because I had to open tracks until the ascent. The Travesia (6.200m) was a long section having snow covering my knee. One of my crampons’s broken there. When I arrived in Canaleta (6.700m) the sky was dark, the snow storm started and I could not see anything ahead. I went up with difficulty but lucky to have good feelings in so high altitud. After 9h50min I reached the summit (around 3pm) and I felt like a bird, exhausted but with wings to fly free. A sensation of being in a vacuum, without tears, without smiles, just observing my breath and my passion for the mountains from my heart. I loved being there with a calm soul. I’ve been in Aconcagua summit with a blue sky before, but now everything was White. – Fernanda Maciel

I caught up with Fernanda yesterday, Sunday 8th Feb just as she returned back to her hotel to recover. You can hear the interview HERE and in the next episode of Talk Ultra.

Fernanda Maciel ©iancorless.com

Fernanda Maciel ©iancorless.com

 

Listen directly below:

Long Term Goal Setting and Planning for Ultra Running

The Long Term Goal

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Recently I have produced several articles that have been created to help runners formulate a plan for a new year of racing and training. The articles have been as follows:

  • Planning a Running and Racing Year HERE
  • To Base Train or not to Base Train HERE
  • Base Training HERE
  • How long should the long run be? HERE
  • In addition, I wrote several articles on walking and how important it is to practice this for:
  • Ultra running HERE
  • Walking with poles HERE
  • Walking efficiency when climbing HERE

Recently I was involved in a series of discussions about the Marathon des Sables, not the 2016 edition of the race but the 2017 edition of the race. One thing that became very clear is the panic and apprehension many runners feel about a goal that may well be a ‘one-off’ or lifetime goal.

Experienced runners will know how to goal set, they will know how to periodise and plan their training so that they hopefully arrive at a target event in peak form. This was discussed in Planning a Running and Racing Year (HERE). However, goals that go beyond one macrocycle (one year) require a much greater perspective and overview. If you are new to running, well, it can be just terrifying.

A great deal of advice can be extremely counter productive as it makes many runners feel inadequate, inexperienced, lacking confidence and in the worse scenarios even questioning if they should even go ahead with the race.

Let’s be clear. Everyone is an individual, I have yet to find two runners who need the same training plan or structure. However, certain scenarios work for all and it is with this in mind that I am writing this post.

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Why set a long term goal?

Long term goals provide incredible motivation to step out of the door and to train. You will have heard the saying, ‘if it was easy, everyone would do it!’

To that end, iconic races such as UTMB and Marathon des Sables, are races that for many are the ultimate race, they are races to be built up to and therefore a macrocycle is not enough time to prepare; hence long term goal setting.

Irrespective of experience, two key words come in to play when setting a long term plan: Structured and Progressive.

In this scenario, I am using goal setting for Marathon des Sables.

STRUCTURE

A macrocycle is one training year and this is broken down into mesocycles. It may sound like a fancy word but a mesocycle is a series of blocks of training that make up one macrocycle. For purposes of explanation, let’s assume that you are running the Marathon des Sables which takes place in April 2017.

I always recommend getting a year planner so that you get a big picture of what lies ahead. Fourteen months may seem like a long way off, it is, no need to panic, but also don’t become complacent. What’s important here is experience. I am therefore going to have two runners.

Runner A has run a marathon, runs to keep fit and has set the lifetime goal of Marathon des Sables. Priority is completion.

Runner B has been running for years, eats marathons for breakfast, races ultra races regularly and is going to Marathon des Sables as a challenge, to test him or herself and plans to compete over complete.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to work out that runner A and runner B need completely different training plans and strategies. Keeping in mind that A has less experience, more insecurities and a great deal of anxiety about the big target, I will talk through the possible planning cycle for A.

Let’s break down the macrocycle. As I said, we have fourteen months to play with, so a schedule may look like this:

Phase 1: Feb, Mar, Apr, May with C race objective (marathon).

Phase 2: June, July, Aug with B race objective (50k to 50m).

Phase 3: Sep, Oct, Nov with A race objective (multi-day race)

Phase 4: Dec, Jan with B race objective and/ or specific warm weather training camp.

Phase 5: Feb, Mar.

Phase 6: Apr – A race.

Phase 1

Is all about consistent and regular running based on available time, ability and commitments. Set yourself a C race target for the end of this period. It could be a half marathon or even a marathon. It’s always good to have intermediate targets to work to and we often use C and  B races as stepping stones to an A race, in this scenario, Marathon des Sables.

Be realistic here, it’s important. Ask yourself a couple of key questions:

How many days can I train?

How many hours a week can I train?

We are going to assume that running three/four days is possible every week with a fourth/ fifth day for cross training and strength work. A microcycle (week) in phase 1 may well look like:

  • Tuesday – key day
  • Thursday – key day
  • Saturday – Cross training
  • Sunday – key day

In phase 1 we want to just walk, run or walk/ run and build a base of fitness from which to build. No need to rush in and panic. Be sensible and progressive. A safe way to do this is build for three weeks and on the fourth week rest and recover, Yes, rest and recovery is just as important as running.

Use the 10-20% rule and never add more time than this to each run. An example for the first month may look like:

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Over this phase, you would eventually cap the length of time for the Tuesday and Thursday runs at 60 to 90-minutes and the Sunday run would progress to 3-hours 30-minutes as follows:

 

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Use this system in phase 1 building week on week over four months to lay a great foundation of progressive miles and time on feet. If you have built progressively, your Sunday long run will have progressed to over three hours which puts you in a great place for a C run target.

A marathon would be a good C target at the end of phase 1. You wouldn’t taper for a race like this, it would be a training run that would be added to your plan.

Phase 2

You have phase 1 under your belt and the confidence of completing a C target. Phase 2 now builds and at the end of this phase you will have a B race target as a goal. This race should be challenging but not so challenging that it becomes intimidating or breaks you. If you ran a half marathon as a C race, then your B race could be a marathon. If your C race was a marathon, then your B race may be a 50k or up to a 50-mile race if you feel that training is going very well?

It’s also important now to think ahead to Phase 3 and an intermediate A race target that will motivate you and boost your confidence for phase 4, 5 and 6.

Also think about planning and booking heat chamber sessions or equivalent for the final build up phase just before the race; this usually takes place in the final 2-3 weeks and sessions go quickly.

In the UK, a race takes place in November called the Druids. It’s a three day race where runners take on a marathon for three consecutive days. It’s a perfect ‘mini’ Marathon des Sables scenario and a great opportunity to test clothing, pack, fitness and build confidence.

Assuming that four days training are still possible and that you have had no injury issues or problems, we can now progress training building on endurance in the long runs and adding some faster/ strength sessions during the week.

A week may look like this:

  • Tuesday – Hills.
  • Thursday – Speed
  • Saturday – Cross training and strength.
  • Sunday – Long run.

As in phase 1, progression is really important and the plan would actually change and evolve over this period with each month looking different.

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The above plan is a guide and this is where a run coach can step in and provide structure and remove the guess work away from how the plan is put together. It’s all about placing the right emphasis at the right place and at the right time.

You will see how month 3 changes from months 1 and 2 so that it is specific to the B target at the end of this mesocycle.

Phase 3

You have just completed your longest run in a B race, be that 50k, 50m or somewhere in-between and your confidence is sky high. You now have an A race on the horizon (November) that involves three back-to back marathons and suddenly your appreciation of what is required is much clearer. You respect the Marathon des Sables target but now it is less intimidating as you have moved your way up through logical and incremental steps.

Another three month phase of training that allows is to fine tune and hone in on the racing skills required.

As you may expect, phase 3 starts with recovery from your B race target. You will need to cross train or just run easy for 3-4 days. By the time the weekend comes around, you will feel as though recovery is well on the way, don’t rush. Take your time and the following week run easy Tuesday and Thursday for up to 60-minutes and then do 60 and a 90-minute run on Saturday and build on the Sunday run. An example of phase 3 is below. Please remember, YOU are an individual with specific needs and what I provide below is a possible structure leading to an A race in November.

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The A race at the end of November provides a significant marker in your training. The experience will allow you an opportunity to find out what worked, what didn’t work, how your kit worked, what was good, what was bad and so on.

December is now upon you and Phase 4 is an opportunity to look at weaknesses and work on them so that you are in great shape to take on Phase 5 which is the final period before your key race.

1. If you lacked endurance in your November A race, keep working on consistency and build endurance with time on feet.

2. If you lacked speed and want to run faster, December is a perfect opportunity to cut back on distance and long runs and add some speed work.

3. Due to the demands of running with a pack, running long and all the associated fatigue, make sure that you incorporate a strength and core routine to make you a stronger runner. It’s easy to say here, ‘I don’t have the time!” You do, cut down your run time on a Tuesday and Thursday and free up time for strength and core. Maybe you can even find an extra day in your week (Wednesday) to allow you to work on this. Alternatively, work on strength and core at home maybe while watching television? The time is there, you just need to find it and be creative.

4. Practice walking. Effective and fast walking is a key weapon to a successful race in any long ultra or multi-day race.

With a new year coming, April and the heat of the Sahara looms on the horizon. January provides a perfect opportunity for a warm weather training camp just as the weather is wet, miserable and cold in Europe.

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In conjunction with 2015 ladies Marathon des Sables champion Elisabet BARNES, we run a week long camp in Lanzarote that provides the perfect opportunity to test everything in a real situation. We even provide a bivouac experience. You can ready daily posts and view images from the 2016 camp HERE and you can listen to client feedback below:

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Phase 5 is the last phase and ultimately you have 6 weeks to get prepared and ready for your key race. If you attended a training camp you will now have a full appreciation of everything that you need to do. That may be changing kit, more time on feet, looking at nutrition or even a combination of all elements

Now is the time to make sure you have all your admin sorted – insurance, medical, compulsory kit and so on.

Don’t leave anything to chance now. If in doubt about equipment, contact MyRaceKit, they are able to provide expert advice in regard to everything that you will need.

Think about heat and how you will adapt. With luck, back in phase 2 or 3 you will have thought ahead and booked time in a heat chamber. Ideally this will take place in the final 2-3 weeks before the race. No sessions booked? Train in a gym with additional layers, take a sauna, do Bikram Yoga etc

Again, consistency is key here. You have been training for this long term goal for sometime, don’t do anything silly, don’t do a long run that is really long; you up your chances of injury risk. Remember, training is about ALL the sessions you have done and not just one session

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Phase 6 is race time.

Be organised, be prepared, think of everything and have the race of your life.

It’s in this final phase when you are so close that little things can go wrong. Be prepared as best as you can. You can’t account for the unexpected but reduce chances of anything going wrong by taking no risks.

The information provided above is designed to provide an outline and a guide on how to plan for a long term goal. Although you may be able to take this plan away and use it, please be sensible and assess your own experience, fitness and goals. Importantly, the scenario provided is with a multi-day race in mind, you would need to tweak and adjust this for a single stage race or a mountain ultra for example.

I can’t emphasise enough that we are all individual, so you need to find out what works for you.

Good luck.

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Lead From Behind by Niandi Carmont

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“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur.” – Nelson Mandela

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I just so love this quote by Mandela one of history’s truly great legendary and inspiring leaders. This guiding principle is what no doubt helped Mandela lead South Africa towards the democracy it is today, even from behind the secluded prison bars of Robbin Island.

Leading from behind is one of the most effective, rewarding and empowering leadership strategies. It goes against the traditional image we hold of great leaders, leading the troops from the front by setting the example.

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As a coach during a 2016 training camp for multi-day racing and specifically the Marathon des Sables (here), I had the opportunity to put this into practice. Marathon des Sables or “MDS” as it is affectionately called by most aficionados is a gruelling self-sufficiency multi-stage running event which takes place every year in April in the Sahara. The event is celebrating its 31st year this year and will gather over 1300 international participants at the start line on 8 April. Participants are required to carry a minimum weight of 6.5kg with a minimum calorie allowance of 2000Kcal/day covering a total distance of 250km with temperatures exceeding 45C over dunes, jebels and scorched sun-dried salt lakes.

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The pre-race training camp last week in Lanzarote provided participants with an opportunity to run long distances on consecutive days in the heat and on demanding terrain simulating that encountered in the Sahara. It also allowed them to test their equipment and exchange with coaches on nutritional and hydration strategies.

Attendees were divided into groups of differing ability depending on the objectives they had set themselves.

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” — Sam Walton

Coaching one of the groups provided me with one of the most insightful weeks on leadership, mentoring and providing feedback. How do you support and develop each participant in the group giving them the self-confidence to learn and grow? This is where leading from behind comes in. At times I would be running ahead setting the pace. Then I would slow down and run in the group egging them on to the next landmark. Other times I would drop down to the back of the pack and let them set the pace. After all isn’t it all about a balance between pushing people outside their comfort zone because you know this is what will help them have the strength to face adversity in the challenge they have set themselves? Then again you also need to be there to monitor their progress and not push them beyond their limits or dampen their enthusiasm. A fine line!

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A good leader is also a good listener. Managers are advised to listen 70% and speak 30% when providing feedback. It is surprising what you learn from coachees when you listen actively. I learnt a wealth of useful information listening to each participant in my run group. Listening gave me a better understanding of the difficulties of each and everyone: ranging from juggling personal and professional commitments to finding the time to train, fitting training around consecutive business trips, adopting a healthy nutritional strategy with a demanding work schedule and business dinners, dealing with sports injuries due to increased mileage, apprehension of the unknown, fear of failure, professional stress impacting on training performance…the list is endless. But listening helped me to be specific in my advice.

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” — Rosalynn Carter

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A leader should also enhance competitiveness. Many in my group had set out with the objective of completing Marathon des Sables and getting that beautiful big shiny medal handed over to them by the race Director Patrick Bauer, ticking MDS off on their bucket-list of ultra-running achievements and adding it to their run CV. I know the runners in my group will cross that finish line but I also know that they can achieve much more. They showed that tenacity, grit and determination in training that will take them to the finish line at MDS.

“The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men, the conviction and the will to carry on.” – Walter Lippman

And so my final message to my coachees after a week of learning from them about leadership, mentoring and providing feedback is:

“I won’t be there with you at the start-line although I’d love to be but I will be be tracking your progress live on-line and living every minute of the MDS experience with you.” – Niandi

 

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If you would like to join our 2017 Multi-Day Training Camp, please go HERE

View images from 2016 HERE

View daily images and summaries from 2016 HERE

Buud and Hayvice triumph at the 2016 Tararwera Ultramarathon

jonas finish line

Widely tipped to take out the internationally esteemed Tarawera Ultramarathon 100km event, Sweden’s Jonas Buud didn’t have it all his own way, battling it out over two thirds of the distance with Australia’s David Byrne.

Forty-one year old Buud, 100km world champion, eventually broke the bungy cord between the two just before the 60km mark and charged home to take the 2016 title at the finish line in Kawerau in a time of 08:00:53. Byrne, 35 years, finished second in 08:22:39.

Ryan Sandes from South Africa completed the podium in a time of 08:30:40. Japan’s Yoshikazu Hara finished fourth in 08:40:17, with New Zealand’s Vajin Armstrong the first Kiwi home in a time of 08:46:12.

Meanwhile, Wellington’s Fiona Hayvice claimed first place in the women’s 100km event, after race favourite Ruby Muir pulled out at the 76km mark due to stomach issues. Hayvice also won the Tarawera 50km Marathon in November last year.

Muir, from Hawke’s Bay, had led the field from the outset until her withdrawal from the race.

Hayvice won the event in a time of 10:34:26. Australia’s Melissa Robertson came second in 10:56:20, with New Zealander Fiona Eagles taking third in 11.24.57.

The men’s first and second spent much of the race together, with just seconds between them at several of the key aid stations, including Lake Okataina (39.4km), Humphries Bay (49.2km) and the Tarawera Outlet (57km).

Buud finally put a gap on Byrne and never looked back.

“I felt very strong for the first 60km,” he says. “The plan was to keep a good pace in the first 60km. The next dirt road stretch really suited me so I was able to speed up and continue with that pace. The last seven to ten kilometres was pretty heavy though!”

Buud says the morning’s rain was a help in the first half of the race, but the humid conditions in the second half made for it being “a bit warm”.

Byrne says he is thrilled to have run so well in his first ever 100km event, but he was completely demoralised by Buud who “looked like he was just jogging, and then took off”.

“Then I went into consolidation mode to get to the finish. It’s a great event and I’m really happy to run so well. I’ve only ever run 60km, this was my first 100km race but I had to do it in New Zealand – it’s the best country on the planet!”

Third place Sandes says he’s happy to take the last spot on the podium.

“I’m super stoked, it’s an awesome event. I was pretty conservative in the middle stretches, but the last bit on the road was hard and I was worried that third and fourth were going to run me down. I decided to make a break in the technical section, as I knew Vajin [Armstrong] would run away from me on the flat.”

Hayvice says she couldn’t be happier to take the win.

“I’m feeling awesome, what a great day. The Tarawera Ultra is dear to my heart because its the first ultra I ever ran and it usually lays the foundation for me for the year. I have a big schedule lined up for the year but now my foundation is laid and I’m stoked.”

Hayvice says she found the first part of the race “actually quite lonely” due to the new course and its big climbs which threw the field open.

“I ran a lot of it on my own which I haven’t done in previous years. Once you know you’re in the final stages, you just tick the kilometres off. My goal was just to better my time, but the course and conditions had an impact on that time – but the win has meant I changed the goal!”

New Zealand’s Vajin Armstrong finished fifth, claiming a new record for finishing in the top five placegetters for the sixth year in a row at the Tarawera Ultramarathon. Armstrong says he hadn’t intended running the event this year, after racing the Tarawera Ultra for the last five years, but once he saw the elite world champion field that was entered, he couldn’t resist.

“I wanted to run against the best runners in the world and I also felt like I had a bit more in my legs last year. The whole goal this year was to be a bit more aggressive and get myself into a position to compete with these top runners. This was by far my best performance here, even though the time was a bit slower with the slightly different course. Three or four years ago I would have won it today, but [race organiser] Paul keeps bringing better runners. The pedigree of this race is such that it now has world champion runners and I think it’s important for New Zealand runners to represent and show what we can do on the world stage.”

Due to course changes in for this year’s event, the actual course was 102.7km.

Race results: 

Tarawera Ultramarathon 100km Results:

Men:

  1. Jonas Buud (Sweden) 08:00:53
  2. David Byrne (Australia) 08:22:39
  3. Ryan Sandes (South Africa) 08:30:40
  4. Yoshikazu Hara (Japan) 08:40:17
  5. Vajin Armstrong (Christchurch, New Zealand) 08:46:12

Women:

  1. Fiona Hayvice (Wellington) 10:34:26
  2. Melissa Robertson (NSW, Australia) 10:56:20
  3. Fiona Eagles (Auckland) 11.24.57

Tarawera Ultramarathon 85km Results:

Men:

  1. Richard Coghlan (Japan) 08:40:55
  2. Valentin Benard (France) 08:50:58
  3. Lance Brew (Hamilton, NZ) 09:11:52
  4. Valentino Luna Hernand (Wellington, NZ) 9:34:12
  5. Sidney Willis (Townsville, Australia) 10:15:18

Women’s results unavailable at time of distribution.

 

Episode 105 – Eoin Keith and Matthew Laye

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This is Episode 105 of Talk Ultra. Niandi and Ian are back from a multi-day training camp in Lanzarote, The Spine winner, Eoin Keith tells us all about his race and we speak with Rocky Raccoon and Fling Race winner, Mat thew Laye.

00:01:05 Show Start

Lanzarote multidaycamp – Images story and here is some feedback from the participants:

Audio feedback HERE

Images and daily reports HERE

00:12:38 NEWS

ULTRA EASY 100k – Australia

1 – Sam Mccutcheon 10:36 new CR

2 – Grant Guise 11:28

3 – Nick Johnston 11:31

1 – Louise Clifton 13:08

2 – Veronique Chamberland 14:15

3 – Floortje Grimmen 14:49

Arrowhead 135

1 – Jim Reed and Scott Hoberg finished together in 37:20

1 – Carla Goulart 52:51

Emelie Forsberg is injured and out of the SkiMo season: 

“My cruciate ligament is broken. An accident in the first downhill and my season is over. It’s pretty shitty right now. I donno what to say more.”

Honk Kong 100

Francois d’Haene is back with superb win in freaky weather Hong Kong, he ran 9:32 for as new CR ahead of team mate Yan Long Fei 9:37and Gediminas Grinius 9:53 3rd.

Dong Li won the ladies race I’m 12:05 ahead of Liza Borzoi and Silvia Trigueros, 12:30 and 12:34 respectively.

Susie Chan ran a new ‘Guiness’ 12-hour record of 68.5 miles on a treadmill.

As this show comes out Tararwera is going on in New Zealand, it’s Rocky Racoon 100 this weekend, Ian Sharman is running and he said the trails are in good condition, I wonder, can he get close to his 12:44 of 2011? On Thursday Niandi and I head out to Costa Rica with 2015 MDS champion, Elisabet Barnes for The Coastal Challenge.

The season is starting to hot up!

00:21:30 INTERVIEW with EOIN KEITH

01:06:21 INTERVIEW Rocky Raccoon and Highland Fling winner MATHEW LAYE talks running and PED’s.

UP & COMING RACES

Argentina

Columbia Cruce de los Andes | 90 kilometers | February 11, 2016 | website

Australia

Queensland

Caboolture Historical Village Dusk to Dawn 100km | 100 kilometers | February 13, 2016 | website

Caboolture Historical Village Dusk to Dawn 50km | 50 kilometers | February 13, 2016 | website

Tasmania

The Cradle Mountain Run | 82 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Brazil

1000 Miles | 1000 miles | February 09, 2016 | website

Chile

60K | 60 kilometers | February 13, 2016 | website

El Cruce Columbia | 103 kilometers | February 09, 2016 | website

Costa Rica

Adventure Category | 155 kilometers | February 13, 2016 | website

Expedition Category | 230 kilometers | February 13, 2016 | website

Finland

Lapland

66° North Ultra Race | 66 kilometers | February 19, 2016 | website

Roavve Polar Ultra 300 | 308 kilometers | February 19, 2016 | website

Rovaniemi 150 | 150 kilometers | February 19, 2016 | website

France

Aude

Gruissan Phoebus Trail | 50 kilometers | February 14, 2016 | website

Côtes-d’Armor

Défi Glazig (45 + 18) | 63 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Germany

Lower Saxony

Brocken-Challenge | 86 kilometers | February 13, 2016 | website

India

Gujarat

135 Miles | 135 miles | February 19, 2016 | website

160 km | 160 kilometers | February 19, 2016 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | February 19, 2016 | website

Ireland

Kildare

Donadea 50K | 50 kilometers | February 13, 2016 | website

Italy

Marche

Maratona sulla sabbia – Ultra maratona | 50 kilometers | February 14, 2016 | website

New Zealand

Tarawera 100K Ultramarathon | 100 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Tarawera 60K Ultramarathon | 60 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Tarawera 85K Ultramarathon | 85 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Nicaragua

Fuego y Agua 100k | 100 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Fuego y Agua 50k | 50 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Oman

Wadi Bih Run | 72 kilometers | February 05, 2016 | website

South Africa

Wild Coast Lite | 110 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Wild Coast Ultra | 270 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Spain

Region of Murcia

100 km | 100 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Sri Lanka

RacingThePlanet: Sri Lanka 2016 | 250 kilometers | February 14, 2016 | website

Sweden

Ice Ultra | 230 kilometers | February 13, 2016 | website

Thailand

Thai Ultra Race | 140 kilometers | February 13, 2016 | website

United Kingdom

Cornwall

Arc of Attrition | 100 miles | February 05, 2016 | website

Devon

Coastal Trail Series – South Devon – Ultra | 34 miles | February 06, 2016 | website

Oxfordshire

Thames Trot 50 | 50 miles | February 06, 2016 | website

Surrey

The Pilgrim Challenge North Downs Way Multistage Ultra | 66 miles | February 06, 2016 | website

Worcestershire

Hot Runner 14 in 7 | 590 kilometers | February 15, 2016 | website

Hot Runner 7 in 7 | 295 kilometers | February 15, 2016 | website

USA

Alaska

Little Su 50K | 50 kilometers | February 13, 2016 | website

Susitna 100 | 100 miles | February 13, 2016 | website

Arizona

100K | 100 kilometers | February 13, 2016 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | February 13, 2016 | website

Pemberton Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | February 13, 2016 | website

Ragnar Relay Del Sol | 200 miles | February 19, 2016 | website

Southwest 125 Ultra | 125 miles | February 15, 2016 | website

Arkansas

White Rock Classic 50K | 50 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

California

American Canyon 50K Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Jed Smith Ultra Classic – 50K | 50 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Jed Smith Ultra Classic – 50 Miler | 50 miles | February 06, 2016 | website

Sean O’Brian 100K Trail Run | 100 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Sean O’Brian 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Sean O’Brian 50-Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | February 06, 2016 | website

Sean O’Brien 50K | 50 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Sean O’Brien 50M | 50 miles | February 06, 2016 | website

Florida

110 With Donna Ultra Marathon | 110 miles | February 14, 2016 | website

Destin 50K Beach Ultra | 50 kilometers | February 14, 2016 | website

Destin 50M Beach Ultra | 50 miles | February 14, 2016 | website

Iron Horse 100 km | 100 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Iron Horse 100 Mile | 100 miles | February 06, 2016 | website

Iron Horse 50 Mile | 50 miles | February 06, 2016 | website

Ragnar Relay Florida Keys | 199 miles | February 05, 2016 | website

Skydive Ultra 100M Run | 100 miles | February 06, 2016 | website

Skydive Ultra 50 km Run | 50 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Skydive Ultra 50M Run | 50 miles | February 06, 2016 | website

Louisiana

Rouge-Orleans Ultramarathon & Team Relay | 126 miles | February 07, 2016 | website

Nevada

Jackpot Ultra Running Festival 100 Miler | 100 miles | February 13, 2016 | website

North Carolina

Uwharrie 40-Mile Mountain Run | 40 miles | February 06, 2016 | website

Oregon

Bristow 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Hagg Lake 50k Trail run | 50 kilometers | February 13, 2016 | website

South Carolina

Mill Stone 50K | 50 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Rut Rogue 40s – 40 Mile 3-5 Person Relay | 40 miles | February 06, 2016 | website

Rut Rogue 40s – 40 Mile Run | 40 miles | February 06, 2016 | website

Texas

Cross Timbers Trail Runs 50M | 50 miles | February 13, 2016 | website

Piney Woods TrailFest 50K | 50 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile | 100 miles | February 06, 2016 | website

Rocky Raccoon 50 Mile | 50 miles | February 06, 2016 | website

Utah

Moab’s Red Hot 55K | 55 kilometers | February 13, 2016 | website

Virginia

Holiday Lake 50K | 50 kilometers | February 13, 2016 | website

The Wild Oak Trail 100 | 100 miles | February 13, 2016 | website

Virginia Beach Distance Races 100k | 100 kilometers | February 07, 2016 | website

Virginia Beach Distance Races 50k | 50 kilometers | February 07, 2016 | website

Washington

Orcas Island 100 | 100 miles | February 19, 2016 | website

Orcas Island 50K | 50 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Woolley Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | February 13, 2016 | website

Wisconsin

John Dick Memorial 50K | 50 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

Venezuela

Ultra Laguna de Urao | 65 kilometers | February 06, 2016 | website

01:58:22 CLOSE

 

02:06:25

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Libsyn – feed://talkultra.libsyn.com/rss

Website – talkultra.com

Lanzarote Multi-Day Training Camp 2016 – Day 8

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Day 8 of the 2016 Lanzarote multi-day camp was a cracker. The hottest day of the week with little or no wind, a stunning coastal route with mixed terrain, volcano climbing and descending and of course, stunning views and amazing people.

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As on all previous days, we had three run/ walk groups. Everyone managed to cover somewhere between 20 and 35km and it was interesting to see how during the week, people progressed, not only in fitness but in regard to equipment, planning and preparation.

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We also pushed everyone out of their own comfort zones with some tough climbing, very technical terrain and challenging descents. It’s all about taking things up a notch so that when race day comes around, the runners are prepared.

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“Brilliant MdS training camp in Lanzarote with organiser, coach and photographer Ian Corless and MdS 2015 champion Elisabet Barnes. 100-miles run in the week with some excellent advice and support plus great people!” – Paul Allum

Paul’s thoughts were echoed by so many of the camp attendees. Elinor Evans in particular found the whole experience enlightening and invaluable. During the weekly runs, the overnight bivouac, the volcano walk and the daily talks, Elinor realised that she had the wrong pack for her, the wrong sleeping bag, a need to address her nutrition and look at her MdS admin. Invaluable!

“The Training Camp in my opinion was exceptional and far exceeded my expectations. The whole program start to finish pushed everyone to achieve their potential while taking into account the wide variety of abilities. All of the coaches were supportive and challenging and while clearly experts in their field never made novices like me feel stupid. The information we got was priceless and the blend of commercialism and a genuine desire to want to help people achieve their goal of competing or completing MDS was incredibly well done. I wouldn’t just recommend this to future MDS competitors I’d suggest you add it to your Compulsory Kit list! Simply brilliant!” – Simon Dunn

Listen to camp attendee feedback HERE

“Fantastic week in magical terrain with lovely people – thank you Ian, Elisabet, Niandi and Marie-Paule – Sahara countdown is ON.” – Elinor Evans

The morning run of 3-5 hours was followed with a relaxing lunch and then an afternoon Q&A which addressed many of the issues raised during the week and allowed everyone to clarify and appease their minds ahead of their next multi-day race.

The day finished with 20-30min cool down run and then an evening group meal and drinks. It has been an incredible week and one that has provided inspiration for all concerned. Roll on 2017.

‘How was your holiday?’ ask the lads at work. 

‘Amazing’ I say. ‘Look at these pictures’. ‘That’s how to round tape to ensure you minimize the risk of blisters’. Blank looks. 

‘See her? She’s the 2015 MdS champion putting the needle into my foot’. 

More indifference. 

‘Lads, this is the same you fat bastards going to Weston Karting centre at the weekend and Jensen Button turning up to do the safety briefing’. 

They still don’t get it. 
‘Did you learn much in Lanzarote darling?’. 

‘I certainly did. The WAA bag is a goner. It would be like taking a knife to gun fight. Ok, it would be like taking a clutch bag to an all day shopping trip. You know, when only a tote will do’. 

A nod of understanding, but really boredom turning to neutrality at best. 
‘Was it fun running Daddy?’ ‘It was. Midpack daddy is certainly going to need more fat than carbs to keep him going in the dunes girls’. 

‘Did you bring us back any sweets?’. 

‘No’. 

‘Can we watch TV?’ 
‘How was the volcano mate?’. ‘Wonderful. It was cold, but the stars were out and we all had an amazing time’. 

‘Get much sleep?’ 

‘Yes. In fact I’ve found it hard to sleep since without the sound of Elaine gently rustling inside her tent next to me’.  

These people don’t understand me anymore…. I miss #Lanzarote 
– Rich Carps

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If you would like to take part in the 2017 Multi-Day Training Camp, please go HERE

Many thanks for the support of MyRacekit, OMM, Raidlight, PHD. Scott Running, inov-8 and Berghaus.

“Really great few days, some invaluable experience and some valuable miles in the legs. Kit choice, food, packing the bag now all things I’m ready for. Thank you to the organisers and thank you to the fellow participants for making it such a nurturing environment in which to prepare for the MdS.” – Leon Clarance

Lanzarote Multi-Day Training Camp 2016 – Day 6 and 7

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For the participants of the 2016 Lanzarote multi-day training camp, it all got ‘real’ on day 6 and 7 of the camp.

It all started of with blue skies, sun and a 2 hour run without packs so that everyone had an opportunity to work on a little faster running. In most cases it was a great tempo 10-12 miles in the bag.

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Following this we had a 2-hour talk, demo and an opportunity to test packs from WAA, OMM, Raidlight and Aarn with a very informative and enlightening discussion on bag packing from Elisabet Barnes. It really raised the question; what is and is not an essential item?

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Ultimately the day (and night) was all about a medium length run of 2-3 hours and an overnight bivouac.

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Heading out along the course, the runners departed in three groups: walking, run/ walking and ‘mostly’ running to a pre-arranged rendezvous on the coast.

Ian Corless moved ahead and set up camp inside an incredible and dormant volcano. Rendezvous time was 1900 and right on cue, the three groups all arrived from different directions within 15-minutes of each other.

Running with packs, the runners carried all essentials less the additional days food. Food requirements were snack for the run on both days, evening meal and snacks plus breakfast.

At the overnight bivouac we operated self-sufficiency, water was provided but rationed. The only treat came from 24 beers (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) transported in as a special treat.

A clear starry sky, camp fire and the illumination of head torches within the stunning setting of an amphitheatre of rock made everyone suddenly realise that it was one of the special moments.

It wasn’t all plain sailing though. One or two runners realised on the run that their chosen pack just wasn’t the one for them. This is the whole reason behind providing a real scenario such as this on a training camp. It’s invaluable to find out these issues before your chosen must-day race.

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It was lights out, well, head torches out around 9pm and as the warm night drifted past midnight, the temperatures dropped. Unlike races such as Marathon des Sables, the night was damp lowering temperatures even more. One common thread with 0700 wake up call, a cockerel crow by Niandi, was, ‘My sleeping bag is not warm enough!’

Yes, it had been a rough night for some.

Elinor Evans said, “This experience has been incredibly invaluable. I have learnt my packs not right for, my sleeping bag is not warm enough and I need a warmer jacket. Last night was beautiful but also a little harrowing as I got so cold. Better here though than at my race!”

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It was a sentiment echoed by Leon Clarance, “I was just cold last night. Despite additional layers, my sleeping bag was not warm enough. I also made the mistake of removing my socks. I woke up with feet of ice.”

In general though, freeze dried food and peoples selections seemed to hit the spot, apple pieces with custard proving to be a hit with those lucky enough to be carrying it.

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The bivouac provided everyone with a very real and practical scenario and valuable lessons were learnt. A bivouac debrief back at Club La Santa will allow everyone to discuss this.

Leaving camp, the sun was getting higher in the sky, a new day and more valuable experiences to follow. But before that debrief, there was another 2-3 hours of running.

It’s been a great two days and night.

If you would like to join our 2017 camp, please go HERE

Many thanks to Raidlight, OMM, PHD, inov-8, Berghaus, Scott Running and MyRaceKit for the support

 

Lanzarote Multi-Day Training Camp 2016 – Day 5

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It was day 5 of the Lanzarote 2016 multi-day training camp and what a day…

Leaving the resort at 0830, three groups covered 4-hours to 5hours 30-minutes on the challenging trails of Lanzarote in three groups: walking, walk/ running and running.

It was a tough day, the clouds cleared, the sky came a deep blue and the heat started to slowly rise but all the time it was masked by the ever present winds coming from Morocco.

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Starting at Club La Santa, the groups moved along the coastline, moved inland to Soo and then re-navigated back to the coast and the village of La Santa before heading out on new coastline. Lanzarote’s mixed terrain provides the perfect environment for a multi-day camp and today, camp attendees enjoyed a real mix os sandy access roads, volcano trails, climbing, coasteering, volcano climbing and then out-and-out technical dried lava.

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Elisabet Barnes from MyRaceKit and sponsored Raidlight athlete guided the ‘fast’ group over 5-hours and 15-minutes and although it’s her first time on the Canarian island, she is taken back by its unique beauty and its specific trails.

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“Lanzarote is just amazing. The climate and the trails are just perfect for Marathon des Sables training. La Santa and the surrounding area manages to throw everything at you that you will experience in a typical edition of the iconic Moroccan race, even down to the strong winds, variable heat and especially the mixed terrain. Soft sand, stoney ground, hard trails, tough climbs and beautiful views; what more could you ask for?”

Like any training camp, mixed abilities are catered for and Niandi Carmont has guided a run/ walk group and Marie-Paule Pierson (who recently competed Atacama) has guided and paced the walkers.

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After a midday break, the afternoon had a foot care seminar hosted by Elisabet Barnes where she clearly explained the pros and cons of specific foot treatments and she also provided some very clear and highly informative ‘taping’ workshops.

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Tomorrow is another long day with a 2-hour run at 0700, a seminar late morning and then in the afternoon a 2 to 3-hour run will be followed with an overnight bivouac.

If you would like to join our 2017 training camp, please go HERE.

Many thanks to Raidlight, OMM, inov-8, Scott Running, Berghaus, PHD and MyRaceKit of the support of this camp.

Lanzarote Multi-Day Training Camp 2016 – Day 4

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It was an active recovery day at the 2016 Lanzarote multi-day training camp. It was kicked off with a guided 3-hour walk through some of the islands most stunning volcano sections close to the Timanfaya National Park.

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Famous for it’s volcanic landscape, today everyone was able to appreciate up close how dramatic and tough these trails can be. Black lava sand, interspersed with jagged rocks but ultimately everyone was blown away with the dramatic and somewhat eerie vistas. In the early 1700’s, this area had six continuous years of volcanic eruptions that created this stunning landscape.

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Elinor Evans, a yoga expert undertaking Marathon des Sables for the first time in 2016 commented after the walk:

“It’s been a really special day in this environment. We have walked with our packs, covered some miles and in the process had a wonderful learning experience. It has been magical.”

It was a sentiment echoed by everyone in the camp and with 5-hours of running waiting for everyone tomorrow, the opportunity to walk today was welcome.

The evening discussion was all about food and hydration for multi-day racing and we discussed the different nutritional needs for someone who may be looking to compete, the mid-packer and the walker. Of course, it’s all very personal, but many similarities from all three scenarios crossed over providing all the participants with plenty of key and essential information that they can now take away and formulate their own strategies for their chosen race.

Tomorrow, Sunday, kicks off with a 5-hour run along a new coastal section that will involve some climbing, scrambling and of course a plethora of mixed terrain.

If you are interested in a multi-day training camp, our 2017 dates are set and you can view HERE

Many thanks to:

Raidlight, OMM, inov-8, Berghaus, PHD, MyRaceKit and Scott Running for the support with this camp.

Lanzarote Multi-Day Training Camp 2016 – Day 3

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The 2016 Lanzarote multi-day training camp really got underway today with a full day of activity. This morning was a 4-hour run or hike over some very specific terrain that provided every participant a full-on appreciation of what terrain they may encounter at a race such as Marathon des Sables.

Mitch Keene, on the training camp with his wife, said post run:

“It was great to experience the sort of terrain that we are likely to come across when we get to the real event. To understand what it is like to run in some deep sand. It was also great camaraderie on the run. It’s good to know that there is going to be people around you who are in the same sort of position as you are and learning from them. And then there is just some basic stuff like understanding that wearing very short socks is a bad idea when running in the sand. So really simple stuff that you think you know when you set off but don’t. The whole learning experience is phenomenal out here and I really enjoyed it.”

The morning session took a relatively flat run out over very mixed terrain (sand, rock, lava, dunes) in three groups. Elisabet Barnes leading the runners who are able to hold a faster and more consistent pace. Niandi Carmont leading the runners who will run and occasionally walk and then Marie-Paule Pierson leading a small group who intend to walk the whole event. Ian Corless moved from one group to the next.

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“It’s nice meeting people who actually want to talk to you while you are running. I have found it quite difficult taking up running again on my own and going to events on my own,” said Leon Clarance. “People are usually polite but today people were actually chatting about their own experiences and it was nice to meet some likeminded people.”

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At the coastal resort of Famara, everyone turned 180-deg and the re-traced along the coastline but this time taking in the small mountains and hills that back on to the sea in this area. At times rocky and technical, everyone had a real insight into the complex terrain that one may encounter in a multi-day event. At the summit, one or two runners experimented with foot care and treatment; a key element of successful multi-day competition.

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“It’s ben a real eye opener,” said Alan Guthrie. “I have been behind with my training and today I managed my longest session for some time in some very specific terrain that directly relates to my chosen event; Marathon des Sables. It’s been a tough session but I have loved every minute of it.”

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Post run stretching relaxed tired muscles and 2-hour break was followed with a talk and discussion called, ‘What goes in the Multi-Day Pack?’

And just when the runners thought it was time to relax and chill-out an ‘optional’ 20-30min shake out run fired everyone up for one last effort, making the day a very successful and tiring one. Evening drinks, relaxing chat and good food was extremely welcome. Tomorrow we have a structured group walk in the Timanfaya National Park in a series of volcanoes followed with a talk on nutrition and hydration.

Many thanks to MyRaceKit, Raidlight, OMM, PHD, inov-8, Scott Running and Berghaus for the support.

If you would like to take part in a multi-day training camp like this, dates have been set for 2017 and it’s possible to book HERE

Click on an image to view today’s gallery