Saturday, 16 December 2017

9 Months to Iceland.

Wow, where has this year gone. last posted in May, and I am finally back on track for the 2 big events next year. Last time I blogged, I decided to stop and reset. This involved me getting to the root problem to why I was getting injured all the time apart from the constant running. I went to see a local physio and friend Kerstin Langer. After her assessment, my issue seemed that I was running with my toes up, which in turn was making my ankle unstable. The rehab included doming my foot, towel dragging with my toes, and balancing on a piece of foam whilst curling toes down and lifting heel. These exercises strengthened my foot and ankle.
Next part of the plan, was to start early to avoid having to catch up on mileage later on, As the mileages started growing, I had a moment where I decided to take the advice that I give to people and listen to my body. I cant run long runs, week after week. So recovery time became my friend. This also has meant that so far, the long runs haven't been met with dread, in fact the opposite has been the case. Instead of constantly running, I've been on my turbo trainer in the garage. So far so good.
Well I have just under 9 months to go until the Fire and Ice Ultra, so this is my plan for the next 6 months. My Long run is up to 26.2 miles on a course that was a mixture of road and Boggy cross country and that felt comfortable in a time of 4 hrs. so carrying on with my recovery/low run mileage  weeks, plan to add 4 or 5 miles every month up to 50 miles, which should be by the end of April 2018. This gives me an easy 4 weeks before London to Brighton. The lower mileage weeks will include a half marathon. So this will give me the opportunity to run with weight, which I will increase over time. I've estimated that my bag weight for Iceland will probably be close to 12KG. Ive based this on the fact that my bag weight for MDS was around 10kg, but I am going to need more clothes for Iceland.

Talking of clothes and kit, I've gone for another choice of Shoe and waterproof jacket and trousers. The shoes offer a Gore-Tex lining, which I figure may help. I had to change my waterproofs as the Montane set didn't meet the minimum requirements for Iceland.

Inov-8 Trail Talon 275 GTX
Run with comfort and protection on hard-packed trails with this men's trail running shoe. The TRAIL TALON 275 offers the ultimate balance of speed and cushioning. Debris-free trail running with integrated gusset tongue as well as gaiter options (gaiter sold separately). Perfect for long miles on hard-packed trails, the TRAIL TALON 275 delivers the perfect fit and unrivalled comfort with next generation ADAPTERFIT technology. A two-piece Powerflow midsole delivers optimum levels of shock absorption and energy return.

Fit Scale 4
Drop 8mm
Footbed 6mm Foam
Lug Depth 4mm
Midsole Stack Heel 25.5mm / Forefoot 17.5mm
Shank DFBル
Product Weight
275g / 9.7oz
For long miles on hard-packed trails


Not sure whether to bring a wind or rain coat? Don't worry - just bring the UD Ultra Jacket. It's waterproof and as light as most windbreakers. Designed with input from ultrarunner Anton Krupicka, this waterproof-breathable ultra running jacket has flip mitts, fully taped seam, underarm vents, hood ventilation, internal storage pocket and 3x bungee hood adjustments.

"Designed with input from ultrarunner Anton Krupicka, the waterproof-breathable Ultra is intended to get you through the most challenging conditions. It weighs less than six ounces and has smart features like flip-on mitts and vented pits and hood."
Outside Online

"Part of UD’s first line of jackets, the waterproof, breathable Ultra Jacket was tested in both rain showers and shower stalls. Keeps you dry as dirt. Packs into its own internal pocket."
Runners World

- Full zip front
- Waterproof/Breathability - Over 22,000mm/Over 22,000g/m2 24hrs
- Exceeds the Breathability and Waterproof standard required by the Ultra Tour du Mont Blanc
- Fastbreath Ultra™ - waterproof/breathable fabric
- Fully-taped seams
- Stuffs into chest pocket
- Internal chest pocket holds and protects iPhone 6 and features a headphone port
- Underarm vents provide ventilation and cooling while wearing a hydration vest
- Ergonomic shoulder construction enhances range of motion
- Self-bound seams provide superior durability
- Patent-Pending TunnelEffect™ hood channel for airflow and moisture management
- Patent-Pending FlipMitts™ - self storing mitts provide waterproof warmth

5.9 oz / 167 g

48gsm 20D HexNylon Fastbreath Ultra™ Fabric

Men's Ultimate Direction Waterproof Trousers : ULTRA PANT V2

Don't worry - you don't have to choose between windproof or waterproof trousers - with the Men's UD ULTRA PANT V2 you get both.

This waterproof-breathable men's ultra running trouser exceeds the breathability and waterproof standards required by the Ultra Tour du Mont Blanch. The UD Ultra Pant V2 has an elasticated waistband with draw-cord, an internal storage pocket, long zipped fully-taped leg openings for easy on/off and stretch fabric. Men's Ultra Jacket V2 jacket also available.

- Fully taped seams
- Side long zipped leg openings
- Waterproof/Breathability - 33,000 mm water entry pressure and 29,000 moisture vapor transmission rate
- Exceeds the Breathability and Waterproof standard required by the UTMB
- Fastbreath Ultra™ - waterproof/breathable fabric
- Internal pocket

3.5 oz / 100 g

10D High-strength Nylon 2.5L Waterproof-Breathable

                    I would like to say Thank You to
        who gave me 10% discount on the waterproofs
        Please press this link to take you to their page


So time to get back to fundraising too..........we are currently at 10% of our £5000 target at £452

if you want to donate please press the link below

Thanks in Advance
Sit back and watch what I've been upto

 Have a Great Christmas
New year

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Setback, Stop, Reset and Re-plan

OK, I haven't been in the mood to write in this Blog......I have now suffered a major set back..Before starting this Blog, I suffered an injury to my Ankle, with probable ligament damage. I thought that it had been sorted out, but now feel that the amount of mileage that we have done this year, has not done me any favours. The up shot is that after trying a 50 miler and failing miserably, Paula and myself have deferred our London to Brighton places till next year. Paula has also been suffering with hip flexor problems... I feel that all the time spent this year has been wasted, all the early mornings and tired thats the setback.

Here are the last long runs through April that we did.......

long run 1st April 2017 - press this link

Long run with Paula April 7th 2017- press to watch

15th April 2017 Run

Long Run 29th April 2017

Now the Stop, which is exactly that, or it probably should be.... but for those that know me, know that isn't going to happen. So its been back to cycling and swimming, and not much running.....I am actually enjoying the variation. Paula has got back into cycling and swimming with a view to participating in a triathlon that she deferred last year after fracturing her toe. For me it is just pain free ticking over.

So thats it for now.

Will post about the reset and possibly the Re-plan next time.

Look after yourself, whatever you are training for......

Sunday, 26 March 2017

10 weeks to London to Brighton Ultra

Its been a few weeks since my last post, I know I said I would blog every week, but I just cant do it with work and training. So I think once a fortnight is going to be the best that I will manage. Since the last post, our long runs have gone well and Paula has made real progress. This week she officially became an Ultra runner after a 30 miler...... Im having no issues with kit, having been the the trials with socks, food, shoes and shorts, I've finally found what suits me.  Paula on the other hand is just starting her Ultra running journey and is trying food on the run for the first time and new socks, shoes and sports bras(which thankfully I never had to  deal with, because is causing her a few problems).

Talking about kit, at the moment my shoes of choice for Fire and Ice will be the same as I used for MDS, Inov 8 trailroc 255

Heres the technical info:

The 255 offers a high performance trail shoe with protection for the developing trail runner. inov-8's groundbreaking Tri-C™ compound outsole of three different rubbers offers industry leading grip and durability, while a third generation Meta-Shank™ ensures natural movement with rock protection. Choose this shoe for a protective, natural trail running experience.

WEIGHT (UK8) - 255G / 9OZ


Fundraising is going well, with £432 raised so far, so nearly a tenth of the target already. Thanks to those that have donated so far...including

Jon Mcgraine
Rock estate riders for the spin sessions7
Cardiac rehab exercise  group
Tracey Youngman
Sally Dravnieks
Jayne Lisantri

If you want to donate, please click the link......PLEASE DONATE

3 long runs........

3rd March 2017...... Run on my own as Paulas foot still not right.. Wet and windy day

17th March 2017...... Run with Paula, windy. Great run for Paula

23rd March 2017.... Run with Paula, and she did fantastic, entering the world of Ultra Runners

TILL NEXT TIME........................................................................😊

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Injuries in Shifts

Paula and I don't seem destined to train in the way we want to train for London to Brighton. This week we should have been at 6 hours on our feet. The last few weeks, Ive been dogged with injuries and time issues. This week it was Paula's turn, after buying and wearing a new pair of trainers, she appears to got a soft tissue injury on top of her left foot. This resulted in us not getting as longer run in as we wanted.

Long runs this week totaled 30 miles, a 14 and a 16

Long Run Part 1

Long Run Part 2

There has been no change on the Donation front, as we are still waiting for Lowestoft Thursday club to get back to us.
Hopefully we will have some news next week.

 interesting news from Iceland

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Short and sweet.......

Not much to tell this week....feeling better with the runs..I think Paula may have overdone the mileage this week as today's time on feet was a struggle for her, but she is doing amazingly and doesn't give up... So she had a nice massage treatment today.. We are nearly at the end of Feb, so 3 months to London to Brighton and 18 months to Fire and ice.....😬😬😬😬😬😬😬😬
Donations are going well, upto £167 in a week, thanks to those that have's the page if you want to but haven't got round to it.

mark and paulas justgiving page

Long run this week

and here is the video

                                           HAVE A GREAT WEEK  !!!!!!!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Bit of a set back??... Work/life balance.... Back on it

Its been about a fortnight since I last blogged. I haven't had a lot to write about really. The treatment that I had on my Achilles did the trick but then I suffered with a cold, which then went a bit on my chest. which meant the long runs took a back seat...( I know this sounds a bit moany and a situation where I would tell others to dry their eyes). But to be honest if I had of been well, I wouldn't have had time to do long runs because I have been so busy at work and my work/life balance has been none existant

Wish I had read and implemented the tips in this link

So I have taken a few days off..(A) to have a break (B) cos its my birthday week.. 

This is one of my presents from Paula... Its a one hour float in a pod. The sound quality isnt great (not sure why). so heres the Link.....Float Norwich.....and here is the details...

As soon as you walk in, you can feel how relaxing the experience is going to be. You are asked to immediately remove your shoes and are placed in a shoe rack.. After filling in an electronic waiver form, I was taken to a room with a massage chair in it, and i was given a 5 minute treatment in felt quite nice on my feet and calves but quite  harsh on my back. I was then take into a room with the float pod. The water is very dense with Epsom salt and was asked if I had any cuts on my body, if I had, I would need to cover them in Vaseline before getting in. I imagine if you had a cut and didn't know about it, you soon would know after getting in the float pod, cos it would sting like crazy.
          So I got in the pod and pulled the lid down, and there was music on and it was lit. I switched the light off after floating for a couple of minutes, and the music went off after about 10 minutes.
Floating feels really nice, however I'm not the type of person that switches off very easily and after about 20 minutes, I was bored. So I put the light on, videoed for a bit and then went for another stint. About 5 or 10 minutes before the end of the hour, the music came on again. I think I could of floated for an hour if the music had stayed on for the full duration..... I mentioned this to the staff on my way out and they said it was possible if requested before the session starts....note to self for next time because yes I would definitely do that again, because I did feel good when I came out.

Kit for Fire and Ice..........

As with my sleep system, I think lightweight layers will be the best option. So the first purchase Ive made are Montane Minimus waterproof trousers...these are very lightweight and I already had the Minimus waterproof smock and it was a great purchase, again being lightweight and offering great wet proof protection.

Here are the specifications for those that are interested.

Montane Minimus Trousers
The Minimus Pants are exceptionally lightweight rain shell pants. Tailored for trail running and use when moving fast in the mountains, the Minimus Pants can be pulled on over lightweight trail footwear and have a tiny pack size for superb versatility. Together with the supreme breathability of PERTEX® Shield they’ve become one of the most innovative no compromise minimalist waterproof shell garments MONTANE® has ever created.

Montane Minimus Smock
As fast and lite aficionados, it was love at first sight when our development team first conceived the Minimus Smock. This is the garment design that PERTEX® Shield + fabric was developed for. Waterproof, exceptionally breathable and astonishingly light, the Minimus Smock has such a micro pack size that when not worn it will live unnoticed in your pack - enabling you to go further and faster.

so thats one layer sorted.....will go through other layers in future blogs..

Ollies Heroes and Lowestoft Thursday club

So these are the 2 charities that we have decided to raise money for They are both fantastic charities and are both local to us.

We have already set up a justgiving page for Ollies heroes and here is the link
We are just waiting for the Thursday club to register with just giving and the we will set up a page to donate to  * Watch this space*

Back on the long runs.......

As I said at the start of this post, I have recently been just short running... but having time off work with Paula gave us an opportunity to do a  long run.... so on a morning that was forecast to be a nice morning on Paulas Iphone turned out to be dry but extremely windy but we managed 21 miles of a run/walk mixture in 4 hours 39mins.... it was a good head tester and Paula did really well to keep plugging away....... as you will hear from video, my voice was drowned out by the wind, so my apologies for that.

Well thats all till next time..........

Friday, 27 January 2017

Kit research..........Warm but light

Its gotta be warm but also light...............

So as I will be carrying everything that I need for the 6 marathons, the equipment will as it was in desert, as light as possible. The challenge this time is the low temparatures, particularly at night. So my theory based on my past military experience is layering. Starting with my sleeping system, Im staying with my sleeping bag that i used on the MDS, just to save money. It was a 2-3 season bag, so I plan to use THERMOLITE  REACTOR PLUS liner which adds 11 degrees to a bag, which will make it a 4 seasons bag without adding much weight.

Next on my list is the sleep mat... My MDS mat took up alot of space, so i wanted one that could be rolled up and stowed on the underneath of my Ultrabag. The Static V2 sleep mat weighs 480g, inflates to a depth of 6.5 cm and cradles the body whilst sleeping and rolls up nicely underneath the ultrabag. The only thing that is abit of a negative is the insulation value, but may be able to up this by having a survival blanket in between the mat and my sleeping bag.

                                                         Static v2 sleep mat

London to Brighton..May 2017

So this event is my one DNF and need to get it ticked off my list.... The last time I attempted it, I was in a lot pain with my back and pulled out at 50 miles.. A big regret for me, but on a plus side, I am pretty sure that I won't voluntarily pull out of an event ever again. Also this time, I have the added bonus of having my fiancée Paula to run with. I have completed the distance since my last London to Brighton event. I completed The Stour valley path 100km in 2014.
The training plan is to do time on our feet rather than running set distances... I feel this will put us under less pressure

Time Targets:
4.5 hours by the end of January 2017
6 hours by the end of February 2017
8 hours by the end of March 2017
10 hours by the end of April 2017

Paula and me did 4hrs 09mins on January 20th 2017...... unfortunately today, which is the 27th January 2017, Ive picked up an injury on my left achilles. I did a fastish( for me) run 3 days ago..6 miles in 46mins. So that in addition to step aerobics and a spin session, I think has contibuted. So Paula has gone out for a 13 miler, whilst ive come into work and ultrasounded  and Rocktaped myself. I feel frustrated but know running is not a good thing to do at the moment.

For those interested in the treatments ive used on myself, Press the links

                                                             Rock Tape

                                                       Therapeutic ultrasound

                                                              Enjoy ya Day  

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Fire + Ice Ultra 2018

So this is what ive signed up to...... Its the equivalent of 6 marathons in 5 days...same distance as MDS (Marathon Des Sable), but 1 less day to do it in... I will have to carry everything that i require for the duration of the race.... so food, sleeping stuff and clothes etc. The training starts now... well actually it started in early November. The reason being is that Paula and me have also entered the London to Brighton 100km in May 2017.

Long runs so far:

Time on feet Run with Paula

  • 13.4mi
  • 2:41:04
     Moving Time
  • 11:58/mi

Morning Run- time on feet xc with Paula

  • 15.1mi
  • 3:13:24
     Moving Time

  • 12:47/mi

Snowy time on feet Morning Run with Paula

  • Photo
  • Photo
  • Photo
  • Photo
  • Photo
  • 16.4mi

  •   12:49/mi

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

New Year's Day and a new adventure

Happy New year all....... Well it is time to sign up for another race on my bucket list.... So Fire and Ice 2018 it is.

This race looks amazing...... Bit different from MDS..

Here's a quick trailer