A wonderful film by @TAA The African Attachment and Salomon Running on what it is like preparing for a race season. It’s not all work but play…
Monthly Archives: May 2012
Another wonderful film to come out of the island of La Palma and the Transvulcania race. This time by Salomon Running and featuring British runner and 2nd place in the race, Andy Symonds.
Transvulcania La Palma – The Movie
A hard and extreme Ultramarathon, proof that only men of iron and women of steel can overcome, many try, many want to, but only a few will achieve the goal. The body is pushed to extremes in a race that all who participate call spectacular, breathtaking, addictive, and challenging. The 2012 event included a stellar line up with athletes travelling from all over the world to take part. To reach the goal of the finish line is everybody’s dream but the reality is not an easy one… welcome to the fourth edition of the Salomon Transvulcania Nature Trail
Kilian Jornet – Summits Teaser
Inspirational and what a teaser. Filming by the best in the business, Sebastien Montaz
Summits of my Life – Kilian Jornet
Summits of my life – Kilian Jornet has a new project.
Tune in to a LIVE BROADCAST 1800hrs CET HERE
Kilian’s Quest will be no longer and the new project?
It will start this year, 2012 and commence to 2015. It’s a new departure that will see Kilian attempt to improve the record ascent and descent of some of the most iconic, high and complicated world’s mountains.
His adventure will start with Crossing Mont Blanc. The first one will be on skis going from Champex to Contamines taking in some of the major peaks of the massif and of course, those peaks will be followed with some crazy descents. Apparently he will be undertaking this trip with two companions. His second Mont Blanc crossing will be from Courmayer to the summit of Mont Blanc.
This will be the challenge for 2012 and one assumes that he will then concentrate on his running and skiing for the remainder of the year before his plans continue in 2013.
2013 will see attempts on key European Summits. He will start in Russia and Mt Elbrus. Following this he will go to the Cervino and then finally he will go to Mont Blanc and attempt the record set in 1990 for the PA Goblet. Arguably the Cervino will be the toughest challenge, Bruno Brunod still holds the time of just under 3hrs 15m for this tough and technical mountain.
In 2014 he will go to America and attempt two high peaks, one in the North and one in the South. In the north he will attempt McKinley and in the south he will attempt Aconcagua in South America.
The culmination of this ambitious project will be in 2015.
As you can imagine, if you are going to finish a project like this, you may as well finish on a high! Yes, the highest point – Everest. Kilian plans to go up and down 8488 meters as quickly as possible.
This project confirms that Kilian is like a river. Ever moving, ever bending and flexible to changes. He is possibly one of the most gifted athletes ever. A natural runner, skier, cyclist and so on…
He loves a challenge and this new project takes him to a whole new level of personal development. He is still so young that one but can’t help wonder what incredible achievements he make in his lifetime.
Kilian will not undertake these challenges alone and will have a pool of resources available to him. He will also call on several people to help facilitate, one of whom will be his sister. Other names are to be confirmed.
Check out the website HERE
From Kilian’s website, updated 29/05/2012 17:58pm:
Today I am here to put forward a new project I have had in mind for some time. When I was a child, I had a photo of Cervino on my bedroom wall, I read Mesner’s books and I used to flick through my parents’ photos searching for mountains to dream about. This project has its roots in that time but it has been dormant until today.
Summits of my Life is a 4-year project, in which we intend to run the length of the world’s greatest mountain ranges, trying to climb and descend some of the most spectacular mountains in the world as quickly as possible.
By no means does this project mean that I am leaving Trail Running or mountain skiing behind. On the contrary, given my passion for mountains, I want to pioneer the most alpinist part of my being and I believe I am now ready to attempt this.
The project will start off this summer with two itineraries at the birthplace of Alpinism, where the very first climbers began to dream of reaching summits. Both will be in the Mont Blanc mountain range. The first will be on skis from Champex to Contamines, reaching some of the most important summits and doing some of the most spectacular descents. Stephane and Mateo will ski alongside me. The second will be from Courmayeur to Chamonix reaching the summit of Mont Blanc, ascending the Italian southern face and descending the northern face.
In 2013 I’m going to attempt to break ascent and descent records of the most important summits in Europe, beginning with the highest, Mount Elbrus, in Russia. The next one, Mount Cervino, is possibly the most difficult to break, with an impressive time of 3h14m achieved by Bruno Brunod. At a technical level and in terms of risk taking, this mountain will definitely be the toughest. The last attempt in 2013 will be to do Chamonix-Mont Blanc-Chamonix, for which P.A.Goblet’s record has held since 1990.
In 2014 we are going to cross the Atlantic to reach the two highest American summits: Mount Aconagua in South America with its nearly 7,000m altitude and famous winds and Mount McKinley or Denali in Alaska, a summit with especially tough weather conditions.
The target for 2015 will be to climb up and down Mount Everest as fast as possible
I am a competitor. I like to compete, to go beyond, to search for my limits. This is the reason why this project is based on striving to break records and to do fast ascents of those mountains that mean most to me. But records and times should only be important whilst running. Once back at the bottom, they should vanish. They serve to stimulate you, to find the limits inside yourself; they should be a mere intrinsic motivation. This is why this project is not only about breaking records or climbing up and down mountains fast and with little equipment. It is also about transmitting values. I don’t mean to say they are the right values, the ones to follow, but they are the ones I was given and those I want to pass on.
Violoncello player Lluís Claret once told me some words I will never forget. “The voice of many people is in your sound…Our sound, our voice, is also the testimony of those we have admired and loved, those who have influenced and taught us.” Mountains have taught me a great deal, I owe them who I am, and also those who showed me the way to know the mountains, those who took me there and those I took there. They all filled my life with certain values, and it wouldn’t make sense to break records without them.
The team taking part in this project is equally small. Apart from myself, there is Sebastien Montaz, who is going to shoot the films with little equipment, trying to find spectacular images. Here is a video he has prepared to show you the philosophy underlying the films he intends to shoot during this project.
Apart from Seb, there is the Lymbus team, led by Jordi, who will be in charge of all communication with the media and who will find the way to make this project possible.
In some mountains I will count on the help of good friends and renowned alpinists, Jordi Tosas and Jordi Corominas, whom I totally respect and trust. I thank them for their experienced guidance.
Likewise, and although this is an entirely personal venture, the brands which are supporting me know about the project and will be backing me in my challenge. On some occasions, and given the particular nature of the project, very special equipment will be required which we will work on together with these brands. I also thank them for their trust and support in this endeavour.
Given the magnitude of this project, we are looking for a main sponsor to help us guarantee that it will be carried out. Over the last months, efforts have been focused on technical aspects. As of now, an important challenge begins which is to find the resources to carry it out. But, as we always say, willingness can move mountains.
This is an open project because you never know what tomorrow might bring, let alone the next 4 years. Many friends, local guides, people from the different regions will give me a hand with the routes, logistics, training or cheering me on at each challenge. We won’t pick the best or fastest alpinists or managers. Instead, those who accompany us will be friends and those who have trained and shared adventures with me.
Simplicity is the other value I wish to put forward. There is no doubt that technique and technology aid man to reach far and run fast but what for? Walter Bonatti distinguished between “Man’s alpinism” and “Technique’ alpinism.” We’ll try to be as naked as possible in the presence of nature, with the least possible equipment so as to feel and face the mountain with no intermediaries. Great means are not necessary to do the things that fill one the most. The simpler the means, the more personal and greater the value we lay on them.
The idea I will try to convey throughout all this time is that we are part of this world, just one more part, no more or less important, just like any animal, stone or tree. We are all equally significant. “The Earth is not an inheritance from our ancestors, but a heritage for our children.” (Indian proverb). We’ll try to be as silent as possible in the mountains, so that our steps are hardly heard, and as ecological and economical as possible.
And finally, a sentence by the great writer Pablo Cohelo, “There is only one thing that stops dreams from coming true; the fear of failure.” I am aware this is a very ambitious and hard project. But one must be ambitious, know where the hazards are and risk failure. Without trying, dreams remain dreams, and we’ll never know who we really are. In the end, we’ll understand the dream is not about breaking records, but rather about the ways to reach the summit, and failure isn’t about not reaching the summit or stopping the chronometer a few minutes later, but about not being able to take this path.
To finish this presentation, I’d like to show you some images. There will be very few of us on the mountains during the ventures, but we’ll show you what the mountains and the people we meet teach us. So at the end of each season, in October-November, some short films (5-8 minutes long) will be displayed on our website. And during the autumn, a longer film will be produced summarizing the experiences of each season.
To start with, and as an image is worth a thousand words, here are some images that will show you better what I mean.
What is Kilian up to?
LIVE tomorrow, May 29th – read what Kilian Jornet has planned for the next three years… it is going to be pretty incredible. Believe me!! http://www.kilianjornet.cat/en/summits-of-my-life
Running in the heat
Okay, lets start as we mean to go on! Do you you prefer it on your back, in your hand or maybe you need both hands or maybe you prefer it all centered around your waist… of course I am talking about your method of hydration.
With temperatures rising, the UK in a heat wave and longer lighter days, we can hopefully all get out and run more. But as we all know, or maybe we don’t. We need to consider several things when running in the heat;
- It’s harder
- You sweat more
- You need more fluid
We need to adapt. So what happens when the mercury rises?
Well, the body’s core temperature rises with exercise. In simple terms the more we exercise, or the harder we exercise and this core temperature rises. Unchecked this internal core would exceed boiling point; not a good idea. So, our clever body reduces this core temperature by evaporation (sweat). This process helps cool the body, maintain a manageable core temperature and hopefully allow us to continue exercise.
I say hopefully because the process of evaporation means that we loose liquid (hydration). So the trade off of a cooler core is potentially dehydration.
Dehydration as we all should know is something that does not go well with any sport. It increases heart rate and also adds to core temperature rises. It therefore can become a vicious circle. Initially running will feel much harder, the supply of oxygen to the brain will become impeded as blood is forced to the skins surface to help reduce the internal pressure. Your muscles will start to fail, become heavy and cramp. You may start to have blurred vision in extreme cases and in severe cases you will just stop, potentially collapse and black out. If you need clarification, this is NOT GOOD.
Depending on external temperatures, your ability to withstand heat, your own personal sweat rate and your adaptation to heat it is possible to loose 3-4 litres of fluid in an hour when running. I know, 3-4 litres! Loose more than 2% of body weight and this will impair performance and your mental ability. So, if your looking to perform or if you just want an enjoyable stress free run in the heat, you need to keep on top of hydration.
Hydration is NOT just fluid. Sweating means that we loose key minerals. These minerals keep our body in balance. Therefore you must replace electrolytes (salt) to keep your body in balance. Like your own personal fluid requirements, you salt requirements will also differ to that of your run friends. So take your time to work out what works for you. At the end of a hot run do you have salt marks on your clothes, do you have dried salt on your face? If so, you are more than likely a heavy sweater and your salt needs may very well be double or triple. Plenty of products are now available on the market and they all offer different methods and tastes. For example, Saltstick offer a really handy tablet which works well with bladders or bottles as it means you can keep your electrolyte supply separate and it also means that you can adjust your needs on the fly. However, Nuun offer a very popular flavoured tablet that comes in a handy tube that again can be taken with you on training or racing. This product must be added to your liquid though. Of course other products are available and I use these two reference points as purely as demonstration of what is on offer. It is fair to say that all sports drinks manufacturers now offer a form of electrolyte replacement.
How do you avoid the dreaded dehydration?
First and foremost assess yourself and your abilities. If you live in a hot climate with all year sun and heat you are going to be well adjusted. If you live in the UK and then we suddenly get a heat wave, you are not going to be adjusted. It’s a simple fact that many fail to acknowledge. Running 7 min miles in 10 degrees is much easier than running 7 min miles in 25 deg. As I said previously, you try to run the same pace in much hotter temperatures and only one thing will happen; your core will rise, you will sweat more, you will start to suffer and eventually you will come to a stand still.
Slow down. Accept that the warmer temperatures will mean a slower pace. This will allow you to regulate your temperature and keep on top of your hydration. The longer you spend in the heat, the more you will adjust and eventually you will start to be able to lift the pace for the same effort and sweat rate. In simple terms this is what pro athletes do when they ‘acclimatize’.
- Start a run hydrated. Your urine colour is a great indicator of how hydrated you are. A light straw colour is best.
- Keep the sun off your head when running by wearing a white hat with a peak.
- Wear sunglasses.
- Wear light clothing that is loose and that will reflect the suns rays.
- Use waterproof sun cream and be careful around your eyes.
- Drink regular and often.
- When possible, pour water on your head to reduce your core temperature.
- Plan your runs and make allowances for refilling bottles or bladders on long runs using streams or shops (as applicable). You may want to carry some water purification tablets if you are in extreme places.
- Take some money, mobile phone and ID.
Do a self-check when running:
- Do you feel cool? (and I don’t mean in a ‘rap’ way)
- Do you feel clammy?
- Have you stopped sweating?
- Do you feel sick?
- Are you dizzy?
- Are you fatigued?
- Is your heart rate pounding?
Any of the above and you are starting to show signs of dehydration. Don’t wait to be thirsty… it will be too late. Depending on how bad your symptoms are you will need to do one of the following:
- Reduce your pace to a walk, let your temperature drop and slowly rehydrate – don’t gulp.
- Stop. Sit down in the shade. Recover and let your temperature drop while drinking slowly to rehydrate.
- Stop and basically STOP. If you have all or a combination of the above symptoms your best option may well be to stop and recover. Come back another day with lessons learnt
Recovery is key and it is important to rehydrate post training and racing. For every 1kg of weight loss drink 1ltr of water. When your urine has returned to a light straw colour, stop drinking and resume normal drinking… do not over drink.
Drink sensibly, don’t force yourself with water. Research into Hyponatremia has shown that it’s not a lack of salt, which leads to hyponatremia, it’s drinking too much fluid. If you urine regularly and it is clear, you are drinking too much. A bloated stomach is a sign of the onset of the problem, headaches and nausea. During an event just sip and understand your sweat rate and needs. You can always test yourself by wiggling yourself naked pre run, run for 1 hour without drink and then re weigh yourself. The difference will give you an idea of your sweat rate; 1kg = 1ltr. Of course please keep in mind external conditions. Your sweat rate will differ for hot/cold days and depending on how hard or easy you run.
Drinking methods when running?
Do you you prefer it on your back, in your hand or maybe you need both hands or maybe you prefer it all centered around your waist…
How we carry our fluid is very personal and it also does depend on the demands of the training or the race. If you are racing you may need to carry compulsory equipment and this will almost certainly mean waist pack or rucksac is required.
But how we carry the liquid is what counts. The fluid needs to be accessible at all times as this will promote drinking.
Bladder v Bottle
Bladders come in varying sizes. 1ltr to 3ltr, with different methods of distributing the liquid to the runner, ultimately this is a pipe with a mouth valve. Bladders sit on your back or around the waist and offer an easy slurp system that is easy to use. The main issues with them are that they are difficult to clean, you are never quite sure how much you have left and they are more awkward to fill when racing.
Like bladders they come in varying sizes but 500ml to 1ltr is normal. The size of the bottle may very well depend on your carrying system. For example – handheld bottles, bottles in a waist pack, bottles on a rucksac (at the back) or bottles on a rucksac (at the front). Bottles are easy to fill on the go, easy to clean, cheap to replace.
Manufacturers realize now that runners needs are increasing and runners are becoming more demanding. Therefore packs such as the S-Lab 12 has allowances for a bladder, bottles on the front and even two large ‘dump’ pockets on the side of the pack that will take bottles. The advantages here are excellent as you can customize your needs for each run.
Putting it into practice
I personally use all of the above.
When it is really hot and I am just going for a training run I love just having two hand held bottles (Dakota Style) and running free. It allows for no restriction on my waist it also allows my back to be free and ultimately enables me to remain cooler.
If I need to carry some essentials then I will add a waist pack that will hold just a light jacket, phone, money etc and keep the bottles in my hand.
When the demands are greater I shift to a rucksac allowing me to use a bladder and or bottles with the option to carry other equipment.
I am not a fan of waist bottle belts as they usually become uncomfortable, bounce and rub the skin – but that is my personal feedback.
It’s not rocket science but not putting it into practice is the difference between a great run and a lousy run. More importantly, when racing, it is the difference between potentially winning and not even finishing.
Choose your method and keep hydrated on your next run!
Loving the feedback!
This really does make it all so worthwhile – thanks
I thought the Comrades show as first class, then you did Transvulcania, blimey, you keep setting a rather high standard for yourselves!
Love the show guys, keep up the great work! 🙂
Talk Ultra is nothing without downloads and I just want to say a BIG thanks for all your support. We are still ‘hot’ in the iTunes charts along with our sister show, Marathon Talk.
Just goes to show that we DO know how to put a podcast together…
Let’s not be complacent though. Please spread the word with Twitter, Facebook and any other form of social media and don’t forget, as British Telecom would say “it’s good to talk”.
The next episode is available on Friday June 1st and will have an interview with the incredible Scott Jurek. The show is available on iTunes Libsyn and talk ultra.com or go HERE for links.
The Gap between US & Europe…
Last weekend I was standing around in the pouring 45F rain in the town square of Zegama in the Basque Country of northern Spain. Montana mountain runner Mike Wolfe had just crossed the finish threshold of the Zegama-Aizkorri SkyMarathon in 14th place as the top American and was still visibly amped up about the weather, the course, his race.
“I was passing people like crazy on the climbs, and I consider myself comfortable on technical trails, but these guys just go nuts on the downhills. I’ve never seen people run downhill like that before!”
Hearing that from such an accomplished mountain athlete as Mike helped me realize the true gap that currently exists between long distance mountain races in the U.S. versus those in Europe.
Read the great post in full by Anton Krupicka HERE