Tag Archives: NDW100

A DNS and Injury

The big news  is  that I have decided to withdraw from the North Downs 100 this year. I spent a lot of time deliberating whether to withdraw now, later or see if I could get the necessary training in and hope for the best but the reality is that I don’t want to put myself through it knowing that I am not ready.

Last time I got to 60 miles but fell apart and I would have concerns over  even getting that far. I would rather take my name off the list and let someone else who wants to do the race have the chance. That said I am still hopefully going to be involved as I have offered to man an aid station if needed.

I wanted to write that the barefoot experience is a positive one but today’s run (albeit not barefoot but in my Xeros) has left me feeling quite frustrated and really coming to the end of my tether with running in general.

Running home my left knee started to hurt and progressively got worse until I had to stop, I stretched and started again after the pain went but it quickly returned. That was the summary of the rest of the run home, stopping, pain, stopping and so on.

The pain was located on the outside of the knee so can only assume its IT band related, so once again I am back to the drawing board and a frustrated runner who just wants to run!

However self pity to one side for the moment, I have a plan and am putting it out to the world to give a sense of accountability if I don’t stick to it.

I have drafted a daily conditioning plan below:


  • 200 meters barefoot everyday – 2 minutes estimate
  • Plank 45 Seconds x 3
  • Single Leg Squat x 5 each leg
  • Eccentric Calf Raises x 10
  • Side-lying Abduction x 10 each side (use resistance band as strength improves)
  • Pelvic Drop x5


  • Kneeling hip flexor stretch
  • Calf Stretch (Result Sport Calf Stretchers)
  • Hamstring
  • Groin (feet together, sitting)
  • Quad Stretch
  • Foam Roll
  • Tiger Tail

Hopefully the combination of strength, stretching and running form work everyday will slowly get me fixed and able to run. I think the problem is due to my form changing and the muscles not knowing what has happened, so I need to basically re-train myself from scratch (I sound like a broken record the number of times I have ‘gone from scratch’)

The only race I have is in June and I am going to drop to the half instead of the full marathon and that will be a ‘just get round affair’

Anyway, hopefully in a few weeks time I will be in a more positive state.

Should anyone reading this have any thoughts/suggestions please leave a comment, any advice will be welcome.

Week 2: Building Some More

Third week has gone and well into the fourth now, last week I ran last Tuesday 2.6 miles (longest so far) totally barefoot but after that my feet were tender for a few days so I ran on the Friday and Saturday with my Xero’s with a short barefoot warm down afterwards.

Yesterday (Week 3) I ran at lunch barefoot again, feet having recovered and set a new distance record of just over 3.10 miles (5km) and other than my feet again feeling tender the rest of my body felt relaxed and at ease.

It could just be me but I do feel like my feet are slowly changing shape, my big toe on both feet seems to have more mobility and my arches seem to be more pronounced. Outside of my feet my glutes now feel like they are firing more and my calf muscles, while still not 100%, feel relaxed. It’s a slow process and there is part of me that wants to get some shoes on and go for a long run, or run at the speeds I know I can before making the change but the ‘enforced’ training limits by being led by my feet long term feels like the right thing to do.

I do have a concern over my race plans for the year, I don’t see me being ready for a marathon in June and the NDW 100 might be off the table as well. I have a line in the sand date of May 18th to make a call on the NDW 100 and already probably going to drop to the half in June but hopefully what I lose out on this year will be paid back with many injury free years of running in the future.

Still early days, but if nothing else every run is truly exciting again.


Week 2

  • Barefoot: 2.63 Miles
  • Huaraches: 8.23 Miles
  • Cycling: 64.89 Miles

My posting has been rubbish…….

My last post was ages ago, I think May following the NDW50/Richmond Park Marathon effort.

Suffice to say I need to start posting more and actually write some of the gear reviews that I had planned as well as race reviews. The good news is my training has really picked up over the last few weeks as well as me loosing about 2 kilos of weight, meaning that running and cycling is getting easier meaning I can run and cycle more!

The last two weeks is where it has really slotted into place, with 35 mile week of running and 62 miles of cycling followed by a 43 mile week of running and 51 miles of cycling.

The next events planned is the Snowdonia Marathon followed by the Winter Fandance (Clean Fatigue) so I will focus on writing about my build-up to these as well as the longer term plan for the (in hushed tone) North Downs Way 100 in 2015

Post Ultra Blues

Its been a couple of weeks since my weekend of ‘running’ and I still don’t feel fully recovered from it. I ran to work on the 28th May after taking the whole of the previous week off and still felt sluggish and just seemed to tire really quickly. I managed to cycle to and from work the following day and cycled again yesterday but my legs are just not in it.

With the Trail Half Marathon Wales fast approaching I need to get a few runs in just to make sure I don’t fall in a heap on race day, I am not going to be flying around the course but it would be nice not to be last.

Plans are forming in my head about what I would like to do in 2015, I have a score to settle with a certain 100 mile race and some other ultra distance events I would like to do as well.

For now I am going to enjoy the THMW in a couple of weeks and start formulating a proper training plan.

Oh, and I have a new theme for my website which I hope you like (Mobile devices might just show the standard mobile theme)


Back to posting, onwards and upwards

It’s been a while since my last post, several months in fact and I still haven’t found the willpower to write the post on the NDW100. As I seem to be suffering writers block when it comes to that particular topic, I am going to distil the event into a few short bullet points so I can move on and start posting properly again.

North Downs Way 100

Good Points

  • I got further than I have ever run before.
  • I met some great guys (Garry, Paul, Nick)
  • Event as always was excellently organised

Bad Points

  • I didn’t finish
  • In terms of training I was wildly under prepared
  • I didn’t finish
  • Nutrition needed work
  • I didn’t finish
  • I didn’t finish

Now that’s put to bed I can move on to making sure that in 2015 I smash that race.

The Next Challenge

So on to focusing on the future, my long term plan for next year is the NDW50 but in the immediate future I (along with garethdaviesPT and another chap) have signed up for the Avalanche Events Winter Fan Dance

Taken from the website: http://www.thefandancerace.com


The event is a gruelling 24km non-navigational race over two sides of Pen Y Fan, the highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons. This infamous route has long been a part of SAS (Special Air Service) and SBS (Special Boat Service) Selection and is considered the yardstick of a candidate’s potential to perform well on Test Week and ultimately pass the Special Forces Selection programme.

Starting at the Storey Arm’s car park, the race goes straight up to the summit checkpoint of Pen Y Fan and, after descending ‘Jacob’s Ladder’, continues along an undulating stone vehicle track (the ‘Roman Road’) to the second checkpoint which also serves as a tea stop and turnaround point. Then, taking the route in reverse, racers climb back up “The Fan” via Jacob’s ladder and pass through the summit checkpoint a second time before legging their way back down to the finish at the Storey Arm’s car park.

The route is a real lung buster that throws everything at you, including the elements. There are steady slopes that allow a solid jogging pace, shocking inclines that have you almost on your hands and knees, loose stone tracks that require cautious foot placements and a forested vehicle track that allows for some rapid going. Even SAS recruits at the height of their physical abilities regard beating the clock in this event as a serious challenge, and all know its capacity to hurt. Aside from the race aspect of this event, just getting to the end is an accomplishment and something to be proud of. The Fan Dance is open to ANYONE looking for a unique challenge: be it personal, competitive, as a sponsored participant in aid of your favourite charity or as part of a team building exercise. As per real Special Forces Selection, the event will be staged in both summer and winter (both load-bearing and clean fatigue).

Now I don’t for one moment think that by doing this event I am in the same league as those that go through Selection, but I have to be honest and say the allure of completing this event which forms part of that process is very appealing and so we do it properly we have entered the load bearing event.

Training has been going well, and I seem to be getting the drive and motivation to run again. On Saturday 12th I ran the Pine Ridge Race 10km which I finished in just under 53 minutes. My ankle which is still giving me issues held out ok and although sore it hasn’t prevented me from running since.

Tuesday it was 5 miles in the morning with a 3kg rucksack (clothes for work etc) and 4.5 miles home again, Wednesday 5 miles in the morning again and Thursday it was 5 and 4.5 again. After my morning runs I have been going to the gym for a weights workout, usually I can cram in about 30 minutes before work.

Saturday was the first real foray into a load bearing run and Gareth and I did 6.7 miles around Box Hill. I had around 11.5 kilos on my back (24.4 pounds) and I have to say I certainly felt it!  I am quite pleased with the pacing that we achieved and we have learnt some lessons already in terms of packing and kit. More training sessions like that in the lead up to Jan 18th are needed.

It’s good to be back,  and as they say “Qui audet adipiscitur”