From the sofa to compulsive racer.
My first thought would be that you are not really concerned about my little life, what I get up to or any opinion I may have, but I’m guessing you’re just like me looking to improve at the sport you do and become better than the person you was yesterday.
So about me then……. I’m 35, probably the middle of my life and until recently I felt quite young, I then got invited to a 20 year School reunion, had I really left school twenty years ago??!!
Right so that’s age covered, what sports am I interested in?? I have to admit that I’m not into spectator sports i.e. football, Rugby etc. My passion lies in obstacle course racing. As well as this I love Trail running and combine this in marathon and Ultra marathon events.
I’m guessing by now that most of you will have heard of this sport and are probably aware of someone or know a friend of a friend who has done a Tough Mudder or Spartan race, whilst at the time of writing I have not done a Tough Mudder I have done a couple of Spartan Race events. Along with these events there are now literally 100s of OCRs available with more and more becoming available every month.
It is at this point I would like to add that I am in no way an elite racer, I take part in these events as I like to test myself and push my body to its limits, having an event coming up keeps me focused on my training.
In 2014 I decided that I would like to have a go at an Ultra marathon, I signed up for the UK Skyrunning Peak Skyrace in August, this is when I had started to look at fueling myself during the race and came across the Mountain Fuel brand. I have to say that I am always a little dubious of supplements and the claims they make but I do believe that the Mountain Fuel Blackcurrant xtreme energy drink helped get me through the toughest race I had undertaken at that time.
I took part in a lot of OCRs last year, this is a list of a few –
Nuclear Races, Spartan Race, Born Survivor marathon, Rock Solid race, Judgement Day. Man Vs Mountain, Dirty Dozen Races, Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest, The Suffering Race, Montane trail 13/26.
This is my 2014 bling collection
I suppose that this would depend on what you class as an accomplishment, for me the accomplishment is crossing the finish line before everyone has started to pack up the event village and go home…….
If I was to look at the best finishing position I have achieved to date this would be my one and only podium position of 3rd place at the Ram Run 24k trophy event last year.
My main aim when I am on the start line is to complete the race I have entered but I always hope to finish in the top 10 – 15% any higher than this is a bonus for me.
Nutrition and training to me are the same thing, without one the other is pointless. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t follow any fad diets I’m just a normal bloke that loves an occasional burger. For me it’s a moderation of the things I like, don’t get me wrong I sometimes fall off the wagon and have a binge week but sometimes that just helps me to refocus what I’m doing.
My average diet normally consists of porridge or egg muffins for breakfast, lunch will normally consist of a salad with noodles or rice, sometimes a sandwich and my evening meal will normally be meat or fish with vegetables and sweet potato, pretty boring you might think but luckily these are the foods I enjoy, I’ve also been known to eat the odd chocolate bar (or two) or a bag of midget gems but snacking usually consists of nuts or fruit such as bananas, apples, melon and pomegranate seeds.
As far as training is concerned I do everything outside, I’m not a fan of gyms and feel far more at home outside in the fresh air. I don’t really follow any kind of training plan I just tweak what I’m doing depending upon any upcoming event.
I try to run three to four times a week and this will include a long steady run on a Sunday of between 15 – 20 miles, this is usually done around where I live or if I have the time I will go to the Peak District or Dalby forest for my long run. I will then also do a speed session and a middle distance run of about 10 miles.
The only other training I do is suspension training or kettlebell works these are normally done two or three times a week, I have also recently started attending a local Military Fitness class to try and improve my overall body strength.
So far in 2015 I have done an Ultra Marathon, the toughest marathon I have ever done (The Eliminator Race) and a few OCRs including 3 laps of The Nuts challenge (voted the UKs toughest obstacle course race).
I currently have another 22 events booked (may increase depending on the wife’s approval) of the 22 it is predominantly OCR heavy, I do have a few other types of events such as the Fan Dance Race, Man Vs Horse marathon and I am also signed up to an event in Oslo Norway called the Toughest, see the finish line below at the top of an Olympic Ski Slope.
My next biggest challenge will be The Suffering Races Relentless Suffering, this is an obstacle course race that is to be not less than 40km with 100+ obstacles and a reaper squad handing out punishments of burprees, press-ups and other exercises. The race will consist of laps of a 10km+ course, this is where my fueling strategy will consist of the Blackcurrant Xtreme Energy Fuel to keep me going and to reach the finish line.
Prior to this event I will be also racing at Judgement Day and The Dirty Dozen races double.
The best medal I have earned so far but also the toughest to earn……
My next event is Judgement Day on the 04th April so I’ll write a blog post to let you know how I prepared for it and what the event was like.