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SCOTT SUPERTRAC RC   

First run in the production shoe.

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Having been lucky enough to run in the prototype Scott Supertrac RC for the last 6 months I was aware of the tweaks that would be made in the final production shoe, one of the those was to use a more sticky outsole and another to firm up the midsole.

Whilst I totally agreed with the outsole tweak (to make it more sticky on wet rock), I was a little concerned that the midsole tweak would ruin what I think is one of the best racing trail shoes on the market.  Having ran Lakeland 50 back in July in the RC, along with a  number of fell races and countless training runs across in the lakes and on the Cleveland Way I was concerned that stiffening up the midsole would change the shoes dynamics and do what most shoe brands tend to do with tweaks – DESTROY AN AWESOME SHOE.

My initial thoughts when first putting on the shoe from the box, was that the shoe felt a little more robust and substantial rather than hard like the prototype. The lugs also seemed a little firmer but not too firm like the X Talon or Mudclaw.  For my first run i wanted to test the shoe on the following surfaces:-

  • Wet rock
  • Wet slabs
  • Muddy climbs
  • Muddy descent
  • Steep muddy descent
  • Steep wet grassy descents
  • Hard compact trail
  • Tarmac

I decided to start at Roseberry Topping Carpark, The route would take me up over Roseberry and on to the Cleveland way along to Capitan Cooks monument and back. The route is perfect for the test as has muddy slabs, wet rock, hard compact trail and a steep wet grassy descent on one of the sides.

Setting out from the carpark the first challenge were the very muddy cobbles, my initial fears of the midsole being too hard were soon a distant memory, the shoe still felt soft but not as soft as the prototype, that little extra firmness helped to keep the feeling of sharp rocks at bay and actually felt more stable on the loose stones and cobbles,. The grip (which uses a football boot type lug pattern) also worked very well keeping me on my feet when having to quickly change gear and direction passing walkers, children and dogs. Climbing up the muddy steps and slabs to Rosebery the shoe did its job, but the real test was yet to come- on the way back down the muddy descent. 

After Rosebery I reached The Cleveland Way which has hard compact trail, the shoe really suits a quick tempo on hard compact with the e ride system rolling you through the gait cycle. Once i reached Captain Cooks carpark i decided to head off on to the muddy trails, the shoe again performed very well with no slipping, even when running over wet branches in the marshy section i ended up in.

The shoe really seem to come to life when running fast, I ran quickly down from the monument hugging the side of the trail to try and slide, i did manage this to much disgust from a lady walking with her children.

Once back to Rosebery i found the steep grassy bank that i had been dying to try them out on, as you know with most trail shoes wet grassy banks are the enemy, yet again the shoe performed fantastically well ,with very little slipping, the shoe held well, almost like the X talon but without the hard studs smashing your feet to bits.  After playing on the grass for a while, i headed for the muddy stones complete with navigation around numerous Sunday walkers hiking up and down, again the shoe performed totally amazing with changing direction and pace to contend against the obstacles.

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In summary my initial thoughts that they may have spoiled a very good shoe with stiffening up the midsole, but in reality they have made the shoe even better.  This shoe has everything, traction, cushioning, and looks but is still responsive and stable unlike what you’d get with Hoka.

Take a bow Scott development team i really think you have come up with a game changing shoe!!

The shoe is due for launch in late December / early January and is available for pre order at www.ultra-runner.com

Running on a treadmill can have its benefits as we mentioned in earlier blogs. Time, protection from the elements and unsafe running conditions are just some of the reasons we may opt for the treadmill rather than outdoors and fresh air. When you run in doors its critical that you dont just run junk miles so make every session count.

Here is out top 4 sessions.

treadmill-running


PYRAMID

Set 1: steady pace 1 minute each at 4, 5 and then 6 percent incline

followed by 2-3 minutes recovery at 0 percent

Set 2: steady pace 1 minute each at 5, 6 and then 7 percent incline

2-3 minutes recovery at 0 percent

Set 3: steady pace 1 minute each @ 6, 7 and 8 percent incline

2-3 minutes recovery at 0 percent

Set 4: steady pace 1 minute each @ 7, 6 and 5 percent incline

2-3 minutes recovery at 0 percent

Set 5: steady pace 1 minute each @ 6, 5 and 4 percent incline

2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

Your Paces and Speeds:

Easy Runs =

8:01 – 9:03 or 6.6 – 7.5 MPH

Steady State Run =

7:30 – 7:49 or 7.7 – 8 MPH

Speed Workout =

6:50 – 7:03 or 8.5 – 8.7 MPH

Recovery Jogs = 9:09 – 9:50 or 6.1 – 6.6 MPH

(PLEASE NOTE THESE SPEEDS CAN CHANGE DEPENDING ON ABILITY)

Instructions: Start the workout with a proper warm-up (10-30 minutes of easy running). Then, increase the incline simultaneously with the speed — do not start your clock until the treadmill hits the target incline and the speed has increased to steady state pace. End the workout with a proper cool-down (10-30 minutes of easy running). I suggest four to six sets the first week, then six to eight, then eight to 10.


MIX IT UP

Set 1: 4 minutes at easy run pace then

recovery jog pace for 2-minutes

Set 2: 4 minutes at steady state run pace then

recovery jog pace for 2-minutes

Set 3: 4 minutes at tempo run pace then

recovery jog pace for 2-minutes

Set 4: 4 minutes at tempo interval pace then

recovery jog pace for 2-minutes

Set 5: 4 minutes cruise interval pace then

recovery jog pace for 2-minutes

Your Paces and Speeds:

Easy Runs =

8:01 – 9:03 or 6.6 – 7.5 MPH

Steady State Run =

7:30 – 7:49 or 7.7 – 8 MPH

Tempo Run =

7:11 – 7:29 or 8. – 8.4 MPH

Tempo Time Intervals =

7:04 – 7:21 or 8.2 – 8.5 MPH

Cruise Intervals =

7:00 – 7:12 or 8.3 – 8.5 MPH

Recovery Jogs =

9:09 – 9:50 or 6.1 – 6.6 MPH

(PLEASE NOTE THESE SPEEDS CAN CHANGE DEPENDING ON ABILITY)

Instructions: Start the workout with a proper warm-up (10-30 minutes of easy running). This is a great “time saver” workout where you get a great workout in a short amount of time. Start with one set, but if you are training for a marathon, you may even do two (though this will be quite tough). End the workout with a proper cool-down (10-30 minutes of easy running). The incline should remain at 1% throughout the workout.


FASTER & FASTER

400m at easy run pace then

400m at tempo run pace then

400m at speed workout pace then

3 minutes at recovery jog pace

Your Paces and Speeds:

Easy Runs =

8:01 – 9:03 or 6.6 – 7.5 MPH

Tempo Run =

7:11 – 7:29 or 8. – 8.4 MPH

Speed Workout =

6:50 – 7:03 or 8.5 – 8.7 MPH

Recovery Jogs =

9:09 – 9:50 or 6.1 – 6.6 MPH

(PLEASE NOTE THESE SPEEDS CAN CHANGE DEPENDING ON ABILITY)

Instructions: Start the workout with a proper warm-up (10-30 minutes of easy running). Once you begin the faster running, do not start your clock until the treadmill hits the target speed. Move from one speed to the next each minute then take three minutes easy between sets. End the workout with a proper cool-down (10-30 minutes of easy running). Start with 2 sets and build to 4 sets. The incline should remain at 1% throughout the workout.


UPS & DOWNS

90 seconds at 6 percent grade at steady state pace then

1-minute at 0 percent grade at recovery jog pace then

1 minute at 7 percent grade at steady state pace then

2-minutes at 0 percent grade at recovery jog pace

Your Paces and Speeds:

Easy Runs =

8:01 – 9:03 or 6.6 – 7.5 MPH

Steady State Run =

7:30 – 7:49 or 7.7 – 8 MPH

Recovery Jogs =

9:09 – 9:50 or 6.1 – 6.6 MPH

(PLEASE NOTE THESE SPEEDS CAN CHANGE DEPENDING ON ABILITY)

Instructions: Start the workout with a proper warm-up (10-30 minutes of easy running). Then, increase the incline simultaneously with the speed — do not start your clock until the treadmill hits the target incline and the speed has increased to steady state pace. End the workout with a proper cool-down (10-30 minutes of easy running). I suggest four to six sets the first week, then six to eight, then eight to 10.


*Please note these are tough sessions and should not be taken lightly,. ULTRA-RUNNER.COM or any of its associated trading styles cant be held responsible for any issues or injuries from following these workouts.

BEFORE STARTING TO TRAIN FOR A HALF MARATHON

You need to have  basic level of running  fitness. If you have any concerns about your fitness or health then please consult your GP, most healthy people can train themselves to complete a 13.1-mile race. This free guide will tell you how to achieve this..

The following plan assumes you have the ability to run 3 miles without stopping, three to four times a week. If that seems difficult, consider a shorter distance for your first race.

One of the things i struggled with when i started running again what terminology and the basics, so let me help you out.

new-runner

Pace: Don’t worry about how fast you run your regular workouts. Run at a comfortable pace, a conversational pace. If you can’t do that, you’re running too fast. (For those wearing heart rate monitors, your target zone should be between 65 and 75 percent of your maximum pulse rate.)

Distance: The training plan has workouts from 3 to 10 miles. Don’t worry about running precisely those distances, but you should come close. Pick a route which is local to you or even at a country park. In deciding where to train, chat to other runners. GPS watches make measuring courses easy.

Rest: Rest is just as important as your training runs. You will be able to run the long runs on the weekend better if you rest before, and rest after.

Long Runs: The key to half marathon training is the long run, progressively increasing in distance each weekend. Over a period of 12 weeks, your longest run will increase from 3 to 10 miles. Then, after a brief taper, you jump to 13.1. The plan below suggests doing your long runs on Sundays, but you can do them Saturdays, or any other convenient day,

Cross-Train: On the schedule below, this is identified simply as “cross train.” What form of cross-training? Aerobic exercises work best. It could be Swimming, Walking, Cycling, Cross trainer at gym or even some combination that could include strength training.  Cross train on Wednesdays and/or Saturdays. Cross-training days should be considered easy days that allow you to recover from the running you do the rest of the week.

Strength Training: If you never have lifted weights before, now might not be the best time to start. Wait until after completing this plan. If you are an experienced gym gower, continue, although you may want to cut back somewhat as the mileage builds near the end. Tuesdays and Thursdays after your run would be good days on which to hit the weights.

Racing: Consider doing a couple of races of shorter races to get used to the feeling of a race,  I have suggested a 5-K race at the end of Week 6 and a 10-K race at the end of Week 9. If you can’t find races at those distances on the weeks suggested, feel free to modify the schedule.

Juggling: Don’t be afraid to juggle the workouts from day to day and week to week. Be consistent with your training, and the overall details won’t matter.

Running 13.1 miles is not easy. Whether you plan your half as a one off to raise money fro charity or as a stepping stone to the even more challenging full marathon, crossing the finish line will give you a feeling of great accomplishment.

Have a blast with your training and remember to enjoy! Distance is just a state of mind.

 WEEK 

  MON   

TUE

WED

THU

FRI

SAT

SUN

1 Rest 3 m run 2 m run or cross train  3 m run Rest 30 min cross train  4 m run
2 Rest 3 m run 2 m run or cross train  3 m run Rest 30 min cross train  4 m run
3 Rest 3.5 m run 2 m run or cross train  3.5 m run Rest 40 min cross train  5 m run
4 Rest 3.5 m run 2 m run or cross train  3.5 m run Rest 40 min cross train  5 m run
5 Rest 4 m run 2 m run or cross train  4 m run Rest 40 min cross train  6 m run
6 Rest 4 m run 2 m run or cross train  4 m run Rest or easy run Rest 5-K Race
7 Rest 4.5 m run 3 m run or cross train  4.5 m run Rest 50 min cross train  7 m run
8 Rest 4.5 m run 3 m run or cross train  4.5 m run Rest 50 min cross train  8 m run
9 Rest 5 m run 3 m run or cross train  5 m run Rest or easy run Rest 10-K Race
10 Rest 5 m run 3 m run or cross train  5 m run Rest 60 min cross train  9 m run
11 Rest 5 m run 3 m run or cross train  5 m run  Rest 60 min cross train  10 m run
12 Rest 4 m run 3 m run or cross train  2 m run Rest Rest Half Marathon

Disclaimer. Please note that DA Buying ltd or any trading style associated with DA Buying ltd cannot be held responsible for any injuries etc caused by the above free plan or any associated plans.

treadmill running

Personally i do think that treadmills  make you faster, more efficient and make you mentally tough. Having ran 65.5 miles in12 hrs on a treadmill (and 14th in the world i may add – well of people who have registered there runs) i feel i have a PHD in the subject. Ok your probably thinking that ULTRA-RUNNER.COM is going to sell treadmills, don’t worry thats not in the business plan, well not until 2035.

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Lets start at the beginning of my thought process.

You hop on the treadmill for a run and after what you think is about hour you look at the clock on the treadmill and you see it says you have been running for 5 minutes. If you manage stay on without more clock watching and actually reach the hour you will be mentally tougher when you get back outside running on the roads, trail or fells.

If you set the speed of the treadmill at a 9 minute per mile pace. As you run to keep up with the moving belt at a specific speed, you will have a natural tendency to adjust your running form to make it the least effort possible. Before using the treadmill i found when running down the road i sometimes used too long or too short of a stride length, yet when on the treadmill i would shorten or lengthen my stride to what would be the most efficient for the length and the pace. I found that these adjustments in form transferred to when i was running outside. Reading some studies on treadmill running i read that “A runner may have other form inefficiencies such as those that make them bounce or lift their feet to high. These runners will actually clean up their form seeking the easiest way to run the pace set. These effects are increased if the pace is a difficult one for the runner to hold. After using a treadmill consistently for a period of time these changes in form will be learned and you will take them with you when you go on the road” I found that these improved efficiencies in form made me a faster runner.

When i first started looking for treadmill blogs and studies i stumbled across an interview with Ingrid Kristianson  just after she set the women’s world record for the 5,000 meters. When she was asked about her training and the world record she said it was treadmill running that gave her the record. She said how she learned the world record pace by running it on the treadmill. She said that over 90% of her recent workouts were treadmill runs.

Whilst training for the Lakeland 50, running my own business and living in a fairly flat part of Northumberland i used to add treadmill hill sessions to my weekly routine and two sessions if I could not get up to the Cheviots or head over to the lakes. The session would be 400 meter hill reps at 10% incline running hard or an tempo run at 8 to 10% incline, YES i know there is no substitute for running in the hills but its better to do something than nothing!

Another session i added to my weekly runs was SPEED – this was mainly tempo but would switch out for a 10 x 400 or 6 x 800. Again with the busy life I do most of my running first thing in the morning so heading to the track was not possible at 5am which is when the treadmill became a great tool. My other philosophy was tempo running, so lets say you tempo seen is 8.6mph, by doing this on a treadmill it allows you to set the pace and the treadmill will maintain the pace, as you get tired you still need to sit a the the pace set or you are simply off the back were as on the track or road you naturally slow down.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a passionate “obsessed” with running trail so why am i writing this blog and why am i even suggesting turning on a treadmill?

Simple its helped me become a better and faster runner.

Here is a couple of tricks that work for me to fend off the dreaded clock watching.

1. Always use the treadmill to run hard and do a good session and not long and slow, by doing this you will see that the time flies. Use the treadmill for speed intervals, hill repeats and tempo runs. The treadmill is defiantly not the place to do a long run ( I have done long runs if coming back from injury)

2. Run on the treadmill rather than missing a run, say if your baby sitting or waiting for ASDA (Other supermarkets are available)

4. I never get the time to watch TV so I have the iPad with Netflix, SKY and all the normal telly apps so I can catch up but normally its YouTube watching running stuff.

If you are going to pop out and buy a treadmill I personally don’t think you have to spend thousands but you do get what you pay for, the one I currently have in the house was around £2,000 which is ideal.

Just remember treadmills are there to compliment your running so don’t spend 80% on the belt and 20% on the road or trails.

overtrain1

Having been blighted with injuries over the last couple of years i wanted to find out why, Was it i was to old? (I’m 41 at the time of this blog) was it i was just unlucky? was it i was potentially over training? lets face it I was doing 100 miles per week.

The one thing about going from 100 miles per week to a few pool session and turbo trainer sessions is you have time to read blogs and studies.

So here is what i uncovered –

After my latest injury I used this study as a basis to make sure i did not over train, I ran less yet felt stronger and even managed a sub 10 hour Lakeland 50 finish after a 9 week layoff and only 8 weeks of solid training. 

Could i have been overtraining prior to this?

Is this you?

So we all think we are super human right? We can run 7 days per week covering hundreds of miles right?

Well unless you are called Clark with the surname Kent we very much doubt it!

Loss of energy? Stiff muscles? Lowered sex drive? (what is a sex drive?) They might seem like completely unrelated problems, but there’s one thing that links them all – overtraining syndrome. It may sound a little made up but trust me it exists and you should recognise the signs so you can get sorted. Hopefully with this blog you’ll be able to spot the signs of over training.

What is overtraining?

Overtraining, or Unexplained Underperformance Syndrome (UPS and no its the the chap who delivers your parcel), is a persistent issue in an unexplained dip in performance that continues even after you’ve had what you think is sufficient rest. The term ‘overtraining’ is actually a little misleading as it’s actually ineffective recovery and outside stresses that make us more susceptible to UPS. I.E Running to much – Get the picture?

From time to time we all find ourselves tired and achy during and after periods of hard training sessions, but UPS is much more than tiredness after a hard session. The deep fatigue and tiredness  you feel may result in longer-term problems, which take ages to recover from. These symptoms could also be an indication of another underling problem so if you’ve been suffering from unusual levels of fatigue for more than few months then pop along and visit your GP just to rule out ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

After doing some research (google) on the the subject I found a study by Urban Bettag who is a Level 3 Performance coach and works at Serpentine Running Club, and who suffered a bout of overtraining syndrome in 2003. He said, ‘When I started running I tried to do my own thing, and I experimented with high mileage. I ran around 280 miles in a two week period, with three training sessions a day. But I quickly found out that I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. I was stale, and I found it impossible to focus on anything but the next session.’

Who is at risk of overtraining syndrome?

Unexplained underperformance seems to be common, occurring from elite athletes to us mere mortals, especially if you’re smashing in the races or you’ve recently ramped up your mileage.

have a good look at your training plan. Does it include enough variety and recovery time?? Running the same distance at the same pace all the time means you could become stagnant and only working a limited range of muscles in a narrow cardiovascular range, and you will get bored Calculating how much recovery you need requires constant attention. Listening to your body is so important as you become fitter and you’ll recover more quickly from workouts, but hammer the miles too quickly and you could push your body too breaking point. If you’re feeling especially tired or suffering niggling injuries that seem to hang around, take the day off or even a couple of days off. It’s better to turn up to your race slightly undertrained than not to make it to the start line at all.

Distance runners seem to be more susceptible to UPS – some of the studies say that it’s the volume rather than the intensity of training which leads to the condition. One study found that high-intensity training poses less of a risk, this was found due to a lower proportion of sprinters suffering with UPS.

Even if you are training and recovering in the right manor and aren’t running long distances you could still be at risk of overtraining. busy work life, stressed or having relationship problems can impact upon your training and trigger UPS.

What are the symptoms?

Elevated resting heart rate can be a sign of this. try taking your pulse daily as soon as you wake up.  An increase of 10bpm or more indicates that your body may not recovered from recent training.

Not sleeping properly or If you’re having trouble getting to sleep overtraining might be the cause. The body takes time to settle down after training so long training sessions late in the day can mean a  late bedtime. Urban who we mentioned early in the blog says, ‘After dragging along in the last run of the day to make up the miles, I found it quite hard to sleep. My last run would be as late as 9 or 10pm sometimes and then I’d be hyper for hours.’

Lack of appetite or weight loss, as your training harder you need nutritionally balanced meals and lots of them, well not to many i guess.

Man flu, colds and low-level viruses like coldsores are another sign, with the amount of training you’re doing it means your immune system could be on the floor so if you don’t take enough time   to recover from illness they linger and can lead to bigger problems.

Higher perceived effort for the same sessions If you’re noticing that it’s harder to hammer the same pace or that even easy runs are wearing you out, you might be suffering from UPS.

Injuries and muscles aches take longer to heal,  You’ll notice muscle soreness dragging on for days and more niggles than usual.

Worsening race performances, this is the one that really makes runners take notice. You’re training harder than ever before but your times are slipping.

You could get a man size bout of –  depression or mood disturbances, lowered libido, anaemia, lightheadedness, loss of motivation and lack of competitive drive.

How can you get back on your feet?

So now you’ve sussed out what’s wrong, it’s time to get it sorted. With just a few tweaks and changes to your training and your back on track.

Take it steady and jump straight back in to silly miles with lost of speed work

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Electrolytes 101

Ok you’re gearing up for yet another race. You’ve planned your workouts to the eighth degree, and you’re sticking to your program like never before. All you need now is a performance-boosting fuelling strategy.

Thankfully, it’s not all smoke and mirrors. You already know you won’t get far without getting your  calories. The calorie part is easy as fuel equals energy and energy equals performance.

The same goes for fluids, dehydration won’t just slow you down, it’s also dangerous. But what about electrolytes? You get told you need them, and you may even know they help keep body chemistry in balance. But how critical are they to performance?

Electrolytes aren’t just essential for optimal performance; they’re critical for any kind of performance. You should be just as concerned about taking them in as you are with replacing lost fluids.

What Are Electrolytes?

electrolytes (1)

Electrolytes are minerals that, when dissolved in water, break into small, electrically charged particles called ions. These are present wherever there’s water in your body (blood, cells and cell surroundings), electrolytes regulate your body’s fluids, helping to maintain a healthy blood pH balance, and creating the electrical impulses essential to all aspects of physical activity, from basic cell function to complex neuromuscular interactions needed for athletic performance.

Did you know sodium and chloride are among the body’s most important electrolytes? (both help “excite” nerves and muscles), but don’t think dousing your food with table salt (sodium chloride) is the only key to proper electrolyte replacement.

Other key electrolytes:

Calcium – aids muscle contraction

Magnesium – aids healthy cell function

Potassium – helps regulate pH balance

Phosphate – helps regulate pH balance

If you have a balanced diet you’re probably getting adequate quantities of electrolytes for normal human function. When consumed, electrolytes separate into positively and negatively charged ions in the water inside or surrounding each cell and in the bloodstream.

The water then serves as a conductor, allowing ions to move across membranes and carry fluid, nutrients and waste. In the process they trigger nerve impulses and muscle function and allow ions in the blood to neutralize lactic acid as well as other acids dumped into the bloodstream as waste.

As long as your hydration and electrolyte levels stay in balance, you enjoy normal physical function. However, add exercise to the equation and that balance begins to shift, first by increasing the concentration of electrolytes in your body and then, over time, depleting them can hinder athletic performance and in extreme cases can lead to serious illness.

So dont all run out to Macdonalds for some salt sachets.

SUPERFOOD

With all the chatter about Superfoods, Here is our our two penath.

Adding some of the top 10 superfoods into your daily diet can set you up for the ultimate healthy balanced diet. Running any distance puts great demands on our body so packing yourself with the right nutritious foods will keep your body healthy and lean and you running strong.

This section strips nutrition down to the basics, highlighting 10 easily sourced foods you should incorporate into your diet. They’ll help to boost your metabolism, shred fat, help fight disease, lower cholesterol, stabilise blood sugar and put a few years extra on your life. Oh and did we say that they’re also delicious? Make it your mission to add these superfoods into your daily diet.

Heart-shaped fried egg

1. Eggs

When it comes to breakfast, eggs come up trumps. (That did not take it much researching)

With only 72 calories, each large egg holds 6.3 grams of high-quality protein, along with an awesome amount of vital nutrients.

A recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that people who replaced carbs with eggs for breakfast lost as much as 65 percent more weight. Now that cant be bad can it?

Now for more facts “Research conducted in Michigan showed that regular egg eaters enjoyed more vitamins and minerals in their diets than those who ate few or no eggs. By examining surveys from more than 27,000 people, the researchers found that egg eaters were about half as likely to be deficient in vitamin B12, 24 percent less likely to be deficient in vitamin A, and 36 percent less likely to be deficient in vitamin E”

And here is yet more facts: those who ate at least four eggs a week had noticeably lower cholesterol levels than those who ate fewer than one. Turns out the dietary cholesterol in the yolk has little impact on your levels of blood cholesterol.

Anyone for Omelette???

 

green-tea

2. Green Tea

So many studies have been carried out to document the health benefits of catechins, the group of antioxidants concentrated in the leaves of tea plants.

One of the studies that stands out was published by the American Medical Association in 2006. This study followed over 40,000 Japanese adults for a ten year period, and at the 7-year follow-up, the ones who had been drinking five or more cups of tea per day were 26 percent less likely to die of any cause compared with those who averaged less than a cup.

Wow but there is more! Another Japanese study broke participants into two groups, only one of which was put on a catechin-rich green-tea diet. At the end of 12 weeks, the green-tea group had significantly smaller body weights and waistlines than those in the control group.

Hmm why? Researchers believe that catechins are effective at boosting metabolism.

Whats that they say about all the Tea in China??

 

garlic

3. Garlic

And you thought Garlic was just for Italians or to scare away Vampires?

The benefits of garlic come from its rich variety of sulfuric compounds. With nearly one hundred nutrients in garlic, the most important health benefit seems to be the sulfur compound allicin—an amino acid. Allicin is not present in fresh garlic, but it is created instantly when cloves are crushed, chewed, or cut. Allicin seems to be responsible for the superbiological activity of garlic as well as its odor. In addition to allicin, a single clove of garlic offers a stew of compounds with potential health benefits, including saponins, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, selenium, polyphenols, and arginine. In addition to these compounds, garlic is a good source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C. As with most whole foods, garlic’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities are probably due to the sum of the whole rather than a single agent.

The chemical is produced by the garlic plant as a defence against unwanted pests, but inside your body it fights cancer, strengthens your cardiovascular system, decreases fat storage, and fights acne. To activate it crush the garlic as finely as possible.

Garlic breath has never been more popular…..

 

grapefruit

4. Grapefruit

Everyone knows Grapefruit is good for you right?

Lets call it the better-body fruit. In a study of 100 obese people at the Scripps Clinic in California, those who ate half a grapefruit with each meal lost an average of 3.6 pounds (1.6 kilos) over the course of 12 weeks. Many lost more than 10 pounds. The study’s control group, in contrast, lost a paltry ½ pound.

Guess what? more facts and this is even better: those who ate the grapefruit also exhibited a decrease in insulin levels, indicating that their bodies had improved upon the ability to metabolise sugar. WOW!

If you can’t stomach a grapefruit a day, try to find as many ways possible to sneak grapefruit into your diet. Even a small increase in grapefruit intake should get you results, not to mention earning you a massive dose of lycopene—the cancer-preventing ­antioxidant found most commonly in tomatoes.

Think we need to re invent the Apple a day song!

 

Yogurt

5. Greek Yogurt

Having a Greek grandmother I always new the stuff she used to feed us when we were kids was good for us – “NOT”

Normal yogurt is more of a dessert than a meal. If you want substance stick to Greek.

So then what sets the two apart? Greek yogurt is separated from the watery whey that sits on top of regular yogurt, and the process removes excessive sugars such as lactose and increases the concentration of protein by as much as three times.

What does that mean? well it means it fills your belly more like a meal than a snack. Plus half a big pot has almost a quarter of your day’s calcium, and studies show ­calcium-rich diets can help you to lose body fat.

Having a pudding for lunch sounds unhealthy right? Don’t worry its not Carlsberg writing this blog 🙂

 

Avocado

6. Avocado

My personal favourite in a Salad instead of Chicken.

Yes it has fat but guess what? some of those fats are actually good for you.

More than half the calories in each creamy green fruit comes from one of the world’s healthiest fats, monounsaturates. These fats differ from saturated fats in that they have one double-bonded carbon atom, but that small difference at the molecular level amounts to a dramatic improvement to your health.

Lots of studies have shown that monounsaturated fats both improve your cholesterol profile and decrease the amount of triglycerides (more bad fats) floating around in your blood. That can lower your risk of stroke and heart disease.

Still worried about piling on the pounds? Dont be as there’s no causal link between monounsaturated fats and body fat.

Here we go with a small snippet from a study “Participants on a high-calcium dairy diet were able to lose 70 percent more body weight than those on a calorie-restricted diet alone”

If only everything you ate could make a similar claim right?

 

quinioa

7. Quinoa

not the most common ingredient in UK kitchens, quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) should be the grain of choice as it boasts more nutrients than any other grain. It has more fibre and nearly twice as much protein as brown rice, and the proteins it has consist of a near-perfect blend of amino acids, so that your body can easily break them down and turn them into muscle.

And get this: All that protein and fibre—in conjunction with a handful of healthy fats and a comparatively small dose of carbohydrates—help ensure a low impact on your blood sugar.

Awesome news for prediabetics and anyone watching their weight!

So what’s the downside? NONE. Quinoa’s soft and nutty taste is easy to handle even for picky eaters, and it cooks just like rice, ready in about 15 minutes.

Curry and Quinoa for tea i think..

 

peppers

8. Peppers

All peppers are loaded with antioxidants, but none have as much as brightly coloured reds, yellows, and oranges.

These colours result from carotenoids concentrated in the flesh of the pepper, the same carotenoids that give tomatoes, carrots, and grapefruits their healthy hues.

The benefits provided by these pigments include improved cell communication, better immune system function, protection against sun damage, and a diminished risk for several types of cancer.

And if you can take the heat, try cooking with chilli peppers, too. They’re still loaded with carotenoids and vitamin C but have the added benefit of capsaicins, ­temperature-raising phytochemicals that fight headache and arthritis pain as well as boost metabolism.

Now thats a HOT tip!

 

almonds

9. Almonds

Did you know that thirty grams of almonds a day (about 23 nuts) provides 9 grams of heart-healthy oleic acid, which is more than peanuts, walnuts, or cashews.

This monounsaturated fat is known to be responsible for many health benefits, the most recently discovered of which is improved memory.

A study in the US showed Rats were able to navigate better in a maze the second time around if they’d been fed oleic acid.

Guess there’s no reason why the same treatment won’t help you navigate through your day.

If you are feeling a little peckish, snacking on them will take your mind off your hunger. Nearly a quarter of an almond’s calories come from fibre and protein.

Researchers at Purdue University found this is made a group who ate the nuts feel full for an hour and a half longer than a group who at rice cakes.

And no I’m sorry Mr Kipling who may make exceedingly good cakes does not count!

 

swiss-chard

10. Swiss Chard

Most fruits and vegetables supply us with a monster dose of a single nutrient. But not Swiss chard, this green god or goddess is nature’s multivitamin, delivering substantial amounts of 16 vitamins and vital nutrients, and it does it without loading the calories.

For a mere 35 calories’ worth of cooked chard, you get more than 716 percent of your recommended daily intake of bone-strengthening vitamin K, 214 percent of your day’s vitamin A ( Which helps to defend against cancer and bolster vision), and 17 percent of hard-to-get vitamin E (which can help tune mental acuity).

Finally there is also emerging research suggests that Swiss chard’s combination of fibre and phytonutrients and may provide an effective defence against colon cancer.

Remember the original Popeye cartoons? I bet the 2015 one would be cans of Swiss Chard.

 

Source: Runners World, SuperfoodRX, NHS, BBC.

Sometimes, everything goes right. The Hardmoors 55 was one of those times. Only my second race over 50 miles, this was a big test for me. I had prepared well, training hard and consistently, and I felt good about my aim of 10 hours or less. That turned out to be a bit of a miscalculation!

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While I always aim to do the best I can, I knew I had my work cut out to get a podium place with Shelli Gordon, Charmaine Horsfall and Heather Mochrie all performing really well recently, when I had been less than impressive since last summer. A different strategy was necessary for this one, so while I usually start steady and try to maintain or get quicker, I thought I’d set off a bit quicker. Conditions were perfect; dry and cold but with a slight tailwind.

The strategy worked! For the first 20 miles or so, I had Charmaine just behind me, sometimes playing a bit of cat and mouse over the tough climbs of the three sisters (Wainstones, Cold Moor and Cringle Moor). She probably didn’t realise, but I was a bit shocked to be anywhere near her! We caught Shelli and Heather at Lord Stones (25 miles) where I learned that Heather was suffering a bit. Charmaine got a good lead on us all here though, and we didn’t see her for the rest of the race.

The three of us (and Adam Breckon, out for a training run) ran together for the next 7 miles or so toward Osmotherley and still, I was inwardly shocked that I was able to run comfortably with these girls that I admired so much. Unfortunately, Heather pulled out at Osmotherley, a sensible decision as she didn’t seem to be enjoying herself much anymore.

Shelli and I continued on, chatting and enjoying the day. Shelli had completed her 1000 Hardmoors miles, so was buzzing from her achievement. Jayson was now supporting both of us though! After some potatoes at Square Corner (34 miles), we pushed on up the long slog towards High Paradise Farm. I had a small setback when a blister that I didn’t realise I had popped pretty spectacularly causing me to walk for

a few minutes. Shelli waited for me though and I managed to run through the weird squishy discomfort!

Seeing Chia Charge Tim at High Paradise boosted me a bit as I had started to tire with the continuous hard pace we were setting. There was no cola, but luckily Tim handed over his own Diet Coke which really helped me to keep going. Also, the knowledge that Jayson was at Sutton Bank with some tea helped immensely!

When we reached him, I was slowing down and I’m so grateful to Shelli for staying with me and not letting me drop off too much when she could have gone on. The chai tea gave us both a little lift and as we completed the final hard climb of the day, the White Horse, I started to think we might be on for a good time.

Problems with my ITB have slowed me down in the past in the final stages of a race but my strength training had clearly worked as there were no niggles at all. In fact, the only pain I was really having was in my feet. I’d gone with my Inov-8 Mudclaws as I am more confident on descents with plenty of grip, and I trusted them. In hindsight, softer trail shoes might have been better as it was so dry!

Jayson met us around Rievaulx and ran back in with us, which was lovely, as I was struggling at this point. I kept running – except on the climbs! – but I was definitely moving slower than Shelli. I could see that her and Jayson were trying to get us back in under 9 hours, but I was too tired to really push any harder. As we ran round the corner to the village hall in Helmsley, Shelli held out her hand to me and I started welling up! We ran in together, to finish joint second lady, in 9.04.10, a time I owe completely to her pushing me and Jayson for supporting me at every opportunity. I’ve realised from this race that I can push harder for longer without hurting myself, and still enjoy every second. I love it when a plan comes together…

hwc logo square comp

Welcome to the Groombridge Place High Weald Challenge Trail Races

Trail Marathon, Trail Half Marathon and 50km Ultra Trail

The Groombridge Place High Weald Challenge Trail Races follow the long distance paths of the High Weald Landscape Trail, the Vanguard Way and the Wealdway. All three races start in the East Sussex village of Groombridge and finish within the impressive grounds of Groombridge Place, amongst the giant redwoods directly in front of the 17th Century Manor House, as pictured above.

All routes encompass the surrounding beauty of the Sussex countryside en route, with a small venture into the Kent countryside during the last few miles. The courses are approximately 80% off-road, and as the runners travel along the picturesque and undulating routes, they will take in a great variety of landscapes containing rolling hills, irregular shaped fields and ancient woodlands. Runners participating in the Trail Marathon and 50km Ultra Trail races will experience the added bonus of the spectacular views from the open heathland of the Ashdown Forest, and also cross the famous Pooh Sticks Bridge from Winnie the Pooh fame.

clennell trail marathon

Long distance running doesn’t get any better than this.  Up hill and down fell you will be pushed hard in this ever undulating terrain.   Prime farming land in the upper Coquetdale area all the way across to the forest of Kidland will test your  endurance.  You will even get the chance to skirt along the England/ Scotland border and follow the Pennine Way route for a short while before commencing the journey back to the finish.

 

the weald

The Weald Challenge Trail Races follow the long distance paths of the Wealdway and the Vanguard Way. All three races start and finish in the village of Chiddingly and encompass the surrounding beauty of the Sussex countryside en route.

The route follows a 30 or 40 mile loop taking in some of the most beautiful and undiscovered sandstone villages and historical sites in England. Starting in the heart of Sherwood Forest and keeping mostly to forest trails and footpaths, the route passes charming lodges, through Cresswell Crags and skirts the Welbeck Estate.

st oswalds way

St Oswald’s Ultra will take place and will offer a 50km, 100km and a challenging 100 mile route all of which follow the St.Oswald’s Way long distance walking route through some of the finest landscapes and fascinating history of Northumberland.

pieces of 8 trail race

Trail Outlaws are proud to present the first race in their Urban Trails series. Pieces of 8 @ Penshaw has everything you would want in a Trail Race. Trail running is now one of the fastest growing sports both here and in the USA. So why not challenge yourself to run off road. Starting at the bottom of the iconic Penshaw Hill. Runners will work their way around the hill to the top of the monument before heading back down in the fantastic trails of James Steel Park.

hardmoors 26.2

The Hardmoors 26.2 Trail Marathon Series comprises 6 beautiful and challenging trail marathons, half-marathons and 10k’s based in various different locations around the North York Moors.

inov8 grand tour of skiddaw

The inov-8 Grand Tour of Skiddaw is a 44 mile trail ultra race taking in the beautiful Northern Lake District with a climb up the mighty Skiddaw at the approximate halfway point, giving a total of 7136 feet of ascent. The route is almost entirely run on public footpaths and bridleways, starting and finishing at Lime House School near Dalston.

cumbrian way ultra

The Cumbria Way Ultra is a 73 mile trail ultra race which passes through the varied terrain of the beautiful Lake District, giving over 10,000 feet of ascent. The route follows the iconic trail which was first devised in the 1970s by local members of the Ramblers. The Cumbria Way Ultra provides a relatively low-level crossing of the Lake District National Park, following tracks and paths along valleys and over passes in the midst of stunning and varied scenery.

the spine race

The Montane Spine Race is Britain’s most brutal race. The longest, coldest and most demanding mountain marathon in Britain. 268 miles of ice, snow, cold and savage winds. Competitors have 7 days to complete the race. To much of a challenge? check out The Spine Challenger which is a 108 mile option.

V3K

With the V3K now a Sky Running UK Race this is sure to be a must on the race calender. A grueling race with dangerous ridges, technically difficult sections and very limited support. Entrants are required to be excellent navigators even in clag which this part of Snowdonia is susceptible to, vegan for the day at least and extremely experienced fell runners.

Northumberlandia 5k Trail Race

The Northumberlandia 5K Trail Race is a trail race like no other. You will run over one of the most spectacular sculptures in the world.

NORTHUMBERLANDIA 5K TRAIL RACE

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