In 2015, we came up with a challenge to run 256 miles in one month. Yes, 256 miles! December can be a tough time for many when the motivation to get outdoors can be hard. So….
Who fancies the #256CHALLENGE ?
Kick start 2017 feeling strong and motivated with a fantastic base of endurance from which to build.
How does it work?
Well actually it is pretty simple…
For the first 16 days of December you run the miles that correspond to the day. 1-mile on the 1st, 2 on the 2nd, 3 on the 3rd and so on to the 16th.
On the 17th you go back down… 15, 14, 13, 12 and so on.
It’s a brilliant pyramid session and one that will give you 256-miles for the month of December. No one day is too long but just look at the week of the 12th when you will rack up 99 miles. For many that may well be a ‘normal’ training week but for most it will be the biggest week of their training life!
The advantage of the #256CHALLENGE is that it builds slowly, stresses you (and probably makes you overreach) and then allows you to step back down gradually, allowing for recovery and all in time for a serious blow out for the New Year!
Who is in?
To help add additional motivation we encourage you to monitor and share your progress. You can download a log sheet PAGES HERE (for Mac) or EXCEL HERE (for word).
Share your daily runs on Facebook and Twitter using #256CHALLENGE log your runs on one of the log sheets above and ideally upload your run sessions to Strava. Once December is completed forward your log sheets and we will pick a winner.
The first person drawn from the hat will receive a signed copy of
I am pleased to say that my new book, RUNNING BEYOND is now available on pre-order at Amazon (HERE). English version will be available November 3rd and Spanish, Italian, German and US versions will be available tbc.
Foreword is by Kilian Jornet.
“Ian has been there to witness the stories. He knows the sport, he practices it and he has been involved in many different aspects, all of which provides him with a great overview. He has the strength and character to work many hours, even practicing his own ultra with cameras in order to capture the emotions and the passion from inside the sport. Ian has immense enthusiasm, and his commitment to following a race knows no bounds.” – Kilian Jornet
RUNNING BEYOND BOOK
by Ian Corless
Foreword by Kilian Jornet
Published by Aurum Press
Available in the UK from November 3rd 2016
Translated into French, Spanish, Italian and German (release dates to follow)
“Ian has been documenting trail running since I can remember. His images, writing and podcasts have played a major role in showcasing our sport and growing it into the global sport it has become today… Ian is extremely passionate and really understands what trail running is about, and this you can see in his incredible images. Ian’s images capture the runners emotion; the natural beauty and race atmosphere – making me want to put on my shoes and head out the door for a run. Running Beyond is a must get book for all trail runners.”
For the short and steep specialists, the BUFF® EPIC TRAIL VK is 2.8 km long with 1,030m positive climb. The average incline is 30.7% and reaches a mean 50.4% at the steepest point. It is capped at 250.
The rugged BUFF® EPIC TRAIL 42KM is a point-to-point race with 3,200m positive vertical climb. Again, a highly challenging extremely technical race with a nine-hour time limit capped at 500 runners.
The BUFF® EPIC TRAIL 105KM, with a grueling 8,000m elevation gain and a maximum gradient of 56%, is as tough as they come. Strict qualification standards were enforced for participants, which were capped at 250.
This is Episode 111 of Talk Ultra and it’s all about Transvulcania. We speak with Chris Vargo who placed 5th, Alicia Shay who placed 4th and Ida Nilsson who blasted around the course to take the ladies victory. We have the news, a chat with Holly Rush and Speedgoat Karl is back
80 days to the AT for Karl
Luis Alberto Hernando – 7h04’44”
Nicolas Martin – 7h10’40”
Sage Canaday – 7h14’16”
Andy Symonds – 7h25’04”
Chris Vargo – 7h26’53”
Ida Nilsson – 8h14’18”
Anne-Lise Rousset – 8h31’53”
Ruth Croft – 8h33’32”
Alicia Shay – 8h49’46”
Hillary Allen – 8h54’57”
00:36:54 INTERVIEW Chris Vargo and Alicia Shay
Paddy O’Leary 9:35
Bob Shebest 10:07
Lon Freeman 10:51
Magdalena Boulet 10:58
Erika Lindland 12:22
Annie Rutledge 12:24
Cody Reed 9:04
Chiara Omine 9:13
Franz Van Der Groen 9:16
Aliza Lapierre 10:25
Bree Lambert 10:55
Katie Arnold 11:16
No full results online yet but Holly Rush blasted around the ladies course to smash the CR and finish 4th overall (time 7:11) and Neil Kirby 6:57 for the men’s win
01:40:17 INTERVIEW Holly Rush
DOUBLE BOB GRAHAM ROUND
Nicky Spinks has done it only the 2nd person and 1st lady to complete a double BGR in 45:30
To keep you all excited and on your toes, Skyrunning UK are pleased to announce several key changes that will be implemented in 2016.
All Skyrunning UK races in 2016 will have a minimum prize purse of £500 awarded as £125, £75 and £50 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd male and female.
The Skyrunning UK Series will be implemented in 2016 and at the end of the year a male and female champion will be crowned. Points are awarded as outlined HERE. To qualify for the series, runners must participate and finish in a minimum of 4-races. Points are accumulated and the male and the female with the most points are the Skyrunning UK 2016 Series Campions. It is possible to run all Skyrunning UK races and use your best 4 performances for the ranking.
UK Series Prizes
In addition to prize money awarded at each race, the male and female 2016 Skyrunning UK Champions will receive:
Free entry into all Skyrunning UK races in the following year.
Guaranteed entry into a 2017 Skyrunner World Series event with 2-nights accommodation.
Prizes from Skyrunning UK sponsor, Raidlight
Needless to say, Skyrunning UK is booming!
Less Cloud, More Sky.
V3K Ultra Skyrunning – June 18th
Distance/ascent: 55km, 4,000m
Main mountains and terrain type: The 15 highest mountains in Wales, Snowdon massive (including Crib Goch), Glyderau (inluding Tryfan) and Carneddau expect gnarly ground, a knife edged arete, grade 1 scrambles, boulder fields, scree and some great gentle grassy slopes to finish
TheV3K crosses the best of Wales – gnarly edges, rocky inclines and grassy slopes. food. You’ll need to be mountain savvy with a good head for heights, confident scrambling technical terrain and be prepared for the greatest mountain day of your life.
Main mountains and terrain type: Fairfield, Helvellyn, Swirral, Casty Cam & Striding Edge, Pinnacle Ridge, High Street and Red Screes. Its a mixture of single track trails, technical rocky ground and open fell. This is a race of 2 halves, with very technical running & graded rock scrambling in the 1st half, then faster and easier running on good trails for the second half. The course ascends and descends some of the most classic ridge lines taking in 3 of the most iconic scrambles in the Lakes.
The course is fast & furious. Be lulled into the race by ascending Fairfield via Dove Crag,then punished by Helvellyn’s Edges and the ascent to Pinnacle Ridge. Luckily there’s Patterdale CP & the second half to recover if your legs can still take it!
Note – New LSU propose a new addition for 2016. A SKY race. More news to follow via Skyrunning UK.
The route is based on a local fell running challenge called the 5 Trigs. The race principally follows public footpaths passing close to or over the tops of Axe Edge, Roaches, Shuttlingsloe, Shinning Tor and Burbedge Edge. Competitors will cross fields, moorland, limestone and millstone grit peaks/escarpments.
Peak SkyRace is an ideal introduction to Skyrunning in the UK. The Peak District cannot compete with the altitude and ruggedness of the Lake District, Snowdonia and the Scottish Highlands. However do not think that this course will be easy, pacing is crucial. Go out too fast and you will pay the price in the later stages where most of the ascent and technical descent is found.
Race entry HERE * Entries will open when land permissions have been granted
Glen Coe Skyline – September 16th, 17th and 18th
Distance/ascent: 53km / 4200m+
Main mountains and terrain type: Buachaille Etive Mor, Bidean nam Bian, Aonach Eagach Ridge: extremly remote and serious Scottish mountains.
A route that dances along the jagged and lofty mountainous horizons above Scotland’s most famous Glen and Pass, with long and serious sections of grade III scrambling. Skills needed: scrambling, endurance, running
Note – New additions for 2016
There will be a VK Friday evening 16th September and a 25km ‘Ring of Steall‘ SkyRace race on the Saturday 17th (same high mountainous terrain at Glen Coe Skyline but without the technical scrambling sections).
Main mountains and terrain type: Scafell Pike – Steep rocky terrain throughout. The summit plateau of Scafell Pike is a vast boulder field. Initial part of descent is steep & covered with loose rocks.
Helvellyn – Long ascent then rolling mountain trails along the beautiful Helvellyn ridge line. Skiddaw – A long & steep climb on grassy terrain, summit scree/slate, fast descent on gravel/stone trails.
A unique ultra running event linking the Lake District’s highest mountains-Scafell Pike, Helvellyn & Skiddaw. Designed by 2013 World Trail Running Champion Ricky Lightfoot, the route offers a journey through the full spectrum of classic Lake District fell terrain.
Garmin Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race – October 22nd
Distance/ascent: 35km/ 3370m+
Main mountains and terrain type: The course covers the highest peaks in the Mourne Mountains, including Slieve Donard (850m), starting at sea-level on Newcastle Promenade and winding it’s way uphill onto forest and mountain trails, all surrounded by the most stunning scenery.
The seaside start, alongside the relentlessly tough (yet spectacular) course has proved popular with athletes. You will need mountain-trail experience, endurance and courage for the race, which is technical in places. Some speed will also help on the flat and fast sections, and the final 5k descent!
Race entry HERE* Please note entries will open on St Patricks Day (March) 2016.
Episode 90 of Talk Ultra is playing catch up. Yes folks we missed a show… Speedgoat discusses Scott Jurek on the AT. We talk Western States and have an interview with Rob Krar. We have some Richtersveld Wildrun chat from South Africa with Nikki Kimball and Georgina Ayre. We also speak to Stevie Kremer on Ultra Skymarathon Madeira. Talk Training, the News and Niandi co-hosts.
FKT for Gary Robbins – In Washington on the 95-mile Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier, Gary Robbins ran 18:52 to cut just over two hours from Kyle Skaggs’s previous supported record, which had stood since 2006.
Episode 89 of Talk Ultra is all about running around the world. We speak with Tony Mangan who ran around the world in 4 years covering 50,000km’s and we also speak with Kevin Carr who set the fastest time for running around the world 26,232km in 621 days. We have the News, a Blog,Talk Training, Up & Coming racees and Speedboat Karl.
Due to popular demand I have produced a limited edition small landscape book (13cm x 10cm) on my photography undertaken on a recent working trip to Nepal to photograph the Everest Trail Race.
FACES of NEPAL
Is very much fuelled by a passion for photography, the intrinsic beauty in every single persons face and of course the magic of Nepal.
“Travel is the discovery of truth; an affirmation of the promise that human kind is far more beautiful than it is flawed. With each trip comes a new optimism that where there is despair and hardship, there are ideas and people just waiting to be energized, to be empowered, to make a difference for good.”
― Dan Thompson, Following Whispers: Walking on the Rooftop of the World in Nepal’s Himalayas
Printed on 200gm paper on 24-pages with a super gloss finish. The book is hard bound and will last a lifetime. Only 30-books have been printed and all books can be signed (if requested) on the inside front cover with a personal message.
£20.00 plus £2 UK postage or £5 postage outside the UK
If you are living in Europe we won’t need to tell you that winter has arrived. Temperatures are dropping, the days are shorter, road conditions are unpredictable at times and the urge to get out and do anything (particularly cycling) can be diminished.
Don’t be disheartened though. Remember we are using cycling as a way to enhance our running and at this stage we are very much using cycling as active recovery or a method of maintain fitness while injured.
We all get injured at some point in our running. Salomon athlete, Jorge Maravilla posted this just the other day:
“I’m guilty of constantly thriving for the runners high, but lately my body has denied me. Despite an unwelcomed setback, today I found joy on two wheels.”
We keep saying this, but cycling is just great all around exercise. Jorge is lucky… he seems to have some nice weather in San Francisco. If we Europeans wish to continue cycling in winter we have two options:
Purchase some great all-weather clothing.
Both options above are valid and we combine both in our training.
Cycling outdoors in winter
The old saying, ‘there is no such thing as bad weather; just bad clothing’ really is applicable for cycling outdoors in winter. However, let’s get one thing straight, no all singing and all dancing Gore-Tex this or Gore-Tex that will protect you from ice on the road and dangerous conditions. Our first tip is assess conditions and be sensible… if in doubt, stay indoors.
Essential kit for winter cycling:
Hat ideally with ear covers that will fit under your helmet
Buff or seamless neckwear product for around your neck
Merino base layer
Long-sleeve jacket with a windproof chest panel
Gloves – depending on conditions you may well need options. For example: a Merino liner glove with thicker warmer/ windproof glove for cold and icy winds. Alternatively you may well need a glove that performs in wet conditions.
Long tights – we recommend those with in-built braces as they provide added protection around the kidneys. Also consider tights with foot loops. These loops will stop them riding up. Tights are available with or without at seat pad. We purchase without seat pad so we can wear our normal cycling shots underneath.
Merino socks or similar
Shoe covers to help block out the wind, rain and colder temperatures
Waterproof jacket that can fold up
If you have all of the above you are set for winter cycling. Remember, cycling in winter is much colder than running primarily due to the wind chill. Don’t skimp on layers. In particular, your hands and feet are the most vulnerable areas.
We recommend cycling at all times (even in the day) with a flashing small led light at the front of your bike and a flashing red at the rear. It just adds a little more presence on the road and makes you more visible. It goes without saying that if you are heading out at night, use the best front and rear lights you can afford.
Eye contact is a key element of cycling, especially in winter. When approaching junctions or any areas where cars can impede and impact on your travel, look for eye contact. Lock in on them. Stare at them and acknowledge that they have seen you.
As we mentioned in article 3, when cycling use light gears and aim for 90-cadence. Remember, we are using cycling to either extend aerobic activity or as an alternative to a recovery run at this stage. As we progress with our articles we will discuss how to adapt your cycling sessions so that they can become specific in extended your fitness and/ or building strength.
Cycling indoors in winter
Lets face it, heading outdoors in the cold and potentially wet conditions on a bicycle is not something that you may not wish to do. It’s understandable. It’s not for all of us, especially if your runs are wet, muddy and cold. Step in indoor cycling.
We love indoor cycling…
We know; it’s the equivalent of running on a treadmill. However, just like a treadmill, indoor cycling can provide you with a very controlled and specific environment.
Focused and quality sessions
Improved cycling technique
Our first hot tip is don’t use the bikes at your local gym unless you have no other option… why?
Well, gym bikes are just so far removed from your ‘own’ bike. Remember in our first couple of articles how we emphasized how important it is to get the correct bike, the correct fit, the correct saddle and so on… why would you then go the gym, get on a generic bike and then disregard everything you have strived to get right.
The way forward is to purchase a ‘Turbo Trainer.’
Many styles of turbo trainer exist and you can pay as little or as much as your budget allows. We would recommend a middle of the road trainer costing in the region of £100-150 to be the best of both worlds. We also recommend a ‘fluid-resistance’ trainer as you use your bicycle gears to create more or less resistance. For clarification, ‘magnet-resistance’ units often work by adding a lever to the handlebars and you then add/ reduce resistance by moving the lever. We not keen on these though as the resistance seems to be linear and the feel is nothing like riding on the road.
One more feature that we think is worth mentioning is a spring- loaded resistance unit. Indoor trainers can really impact on the longevity of a tyre; a spring-loaded unit will provide a longer life.
How do they work?
A turbo trainer usually consists of an ‘A’ frame and a metal drum. Quite simply, you attach the rear of your bicycle to the frame and place the rear wheel on the drum. This drum provides resistance to the rear wheel and creates a similar sensation to riding on the road. You can add more or less resistance to make sessions as hard or as easy as you require. Tip: The front of your bicycle will feel as though it’s pointing downhill due to the added height of the turbo trainer. Therefore raise your front wheel to make your bicycle level. You can use anything to do this but many companies now sell specific products to do the job for you.
Hints ‘n’ tips
Image copyright – highergearchicago.com
Use a piece of old carpet or purchase a turbo training matt so that you provide some protection between you, your bicycle and the floor. This is really important if you are using a room in your home. (3)
Have some towels handy to protect your bike and to use to mop sweat from your face (4)
Use a fan to cool you down (2)
Have water available (1)
Raise the front wheel (5)
Always use the same tyre pressure and resistance on the rear wheel. This will make sessions controllable and comparable.
Use a HRM such as a Suunto Ambit and/ or rear wheel cadence counter
Use music or a dvd to provide stimulus. We personally create music playlists based on the session we are doing… rocking out on your indoor trainer to AC/DC makes speed and interval work easy! (6)
Indoor cycling generates plenty of heat and even when cycling easy, you will still sweat. Be prepared.
For the first month of indoor cycling you can apply the principles as laid out in Article 3 of Cycling for Runners – keep gearing light and easy, aim for a 90-cadence and use a HRM to ensure that you are not working harder than you should be. Double what would have been your run time; so, if you were doing a 30-minute easy run, do a 60-min easy cycle.
In article 5 of CYCLING for RUNNERS we will discuss spicing up your outdoor and indoor cycling sessions with one session for outdoors and one session for indoors and how to combine this with your recovery sessions.
Enjoy the seasons, enjoy the change in the weather and importantly use cycling to enhance your running.