My Early Running
I have always been fairly active be it rugby, basketball, hill walking or jogging. Although running has been plodding along in the background it wasn’t until 2009 that I moved from jogging or ”going for a run” to what I would call training. Initially this was all road running, the next year I dabbled in trails and later fells where I found I was much more at home. To be able to make your own route choices or to rock hop, bog jump or even purposefully splash through puddles felt so much more natural; I was hooked.
After my first marathon in 2006 I swore, “never again”, as the wall hit me with a good 9 but in 2010 after training I did Edinburgh Marathon finishing in 41st position in 2:53 on a hot day and over an hour faster than my first outing 4 years earlier. This was also the year I did my first ultra-distance runs and found I had an affinity with going long finishing 7th in The Round Rotherham in only my third ultra. Since then I have done over 30 ultra-distance and trail marathon events with some successes but also some less successful races but so far none have been a DNF. Finishing, regardless of time, for me, is half the challenge.
Nutrition, Recovery and Training
In the last few years I have been looking more and more at nutrition and hydration strategies especially after having a few blow ups and stomach issues in races which retrospectively can mainly be attributed to poor fuelling. There is no single solution for everyone, in every race, in every condition as everyone’s body behaves and reacts differently to various stresses put upon it. Mountain Fuel works very well for me as it is a versatile effective fuel when used in conjunction to sensible healthy eating. I find the Blackcurrant Xtreme Energy Fuel a fantastic drip feed on both long and short runs; on the longer ones I dilute it down a bit more. The homemade gel is fantastic for all distances and helped me to my win at the Ennerdale 50k in October, taking 15 mins of my previous fastest time.
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