Recce Weekend January 27th 2018, Ambleside to Coniston Night Run

The second recce of the 2017/18 season covers the ground from Ambleside to Coniston and is relevant for both 50 and 100 mile runners. This is the final 16 miles of the 50 and 100 miles course. The route leave Ambleside Parish Hall (CP12) and climbs over Loughrigg, before following the main track into Great Langdale to reach CP13 Chapel Stile. From here the route continues to the end of Great Langdale before climbing to Blea Tarn. The next stop is Tilberthwaite (CP14) and the dreaded stair case, before one final descent into Coniston and the finish. This section will be a night run, starting and finishing in darkness. You can register now by GOING HERE.

The location for the Saturday guest talks will be Ambleside Parish Hall,  in Ambleside, the exact location is HERE. There is no parking outside the hall so please use public car parks in Ambleside.

All recce days cost £15, the cost includes all guest talks, refreshments, coach transportation, guides, checkpoint manning and food/drink at checkpoints. You will need to find your own accommodation if staying Saturday evening.

Saturday January 27th

10:00am Arrive at Parish Hall, free tea/coffee
10:30am Navigation skills for trail runners part 1 – General Nav
11:30am refreshments
12:00pm Navigation skills for trail runners part 2 – Night Nav
1:00pm Overview of the recce route (Terry Gilpin)
1:30pm Finish, questions and drive to Coniston
3:30pm Coach pick up at John Ruskin School, Lake Rd, Coniston
4:00-4:30pm Coach drop off Ambleside and start run to Coniston

There will be ‘guides’ available on the day, to help you navigate but they are not there to ‘follow’. You should be prepared to navigate and learn the route, the guides will support you.

What Do I Need To Bring?

The navigation talk will be part practical. Please bring a compass together with the Ambleside-Coniston section of the roadbook and a map. You can download the map/roadbook from the website HERE or purchase them from our event shop page.

For the recce you must ensure that you are carrying the full kit you will be required to carry on race day. You can see the full kit list HERE. Please make sure your headtorches are fully charged and you have spare batteries if required. You only need to carry the Ambleside-Coniston section of the map/roadbook for this recce. If you need to purchase any kit, please visit out event shop page.

General Information

Due to the recce day being completely full, there will be no room in the hall for extra guests. Please refrain from bringing friends and family to the talk. Dogs are also not allowed in the hall so please, no dogs.

As you board the coaches you will need to check we have the correct mobile number for the phone you are carrying on the recce day and also your emergency contact details. Please ensure your contact details are correct on your recce entry form as it will speed up the coach loading on the day. You can check/amend these HERE.

You must make sure you sign in at all the checkpoints on the recce route. These are at Chapel Stile, Tilberthwaite & Coniston. Please make sure you sign in at Coniston before you go home. If the last support runner passes a checkpoint and there is an outstanding runner, we will attempt to contact you via your mobile phone number provided. To avoid unnecessary phone calls please make sure you check in. There will be jelly babies/biscuits/water supplied at Chapel Stile & Tilberthwaite.

Emergencies On The Route

Should you experience a major injury that prevents you from continuing you must contact the organisers who will either send a medic or call 999. If you get lost please contact the organisers so that they can try to establish your location.

The emergency phone numbers will be sent out via email a week before the recce.

See you all on 27th January.

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Montane Lakeland 100 Recce Day, Coniston to Buttermere, Sunday 12th November

The opening recce for 2018 event takes place on Sunday November 12th and covers the ground from Coniston to Buttermere. This section is the first 25 miles of the Montane Lakeland 100 course and it’s a challenging section. The day starts from John Ruskin School and the first call is Seathwaite CP1. From here the route heads to Boot CP2, Wasdale CP3 and finally it’s a long, steep and tough section to Buttermere CP4, including Black ©iancorless.comIMG_5078UTLD2014Sail Pass and Scarth Gap. The final sections of this recce in particular are steep and rocky with rough descending. Last year many did the final section in the dark and the last finished at 9pm Sunday night.

All are welcome for this recce day (including 50 runners) but you must be fully prepared and confident of your navigation skills. You must bring all of the equipment specified on the compulsory kit list, including head torch!

Boot to Buttermere is the toughest section of the whole course and will be done in the dark during the actual event. Last year, the final finishers for this recce reached Buttermere at 9:00pm, it is a long day.

Timetable for Sunday November 12th:

7:00am Arrive at Buttermere and park
7:30am Coach pick up from Buttermere, bottom of Newlands Pass: GO HERE FOR PICK UP LOCATION
9:15am Coach drop off at Coniston John Ruskin School to start run
8:00pm Last anticipated finisher at Buttermere

Cut off times: Seathwaite 2.5 hours from start / Boot 5 hours from start / Wasdale 7.5 hours from start. Those after cut off will be returned to Buttermere in minibus.

You should be prepared to navigate and learn the route, the guides will support you. You should bring full kit as per the event requirements and you will need a copy of the road book (which can be downloaded from the site) and a map (either printed from the site or purchased). If you have a GPS you should also bring this, the routes are available from the Lakeland 50&100 website. please not that there will be no GPS support throughout the weekend and we will not have access to the routes/tracks for you to download.

How do I sign up?

To sign up GO HERE, all recce days cost £15. The cost includes refreshments at checkpoints and coach transport. You will need to find your own accommodation, we suggest Buttermere Youth Hostel or other accommodation in Buttermere/Keswick.

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Lakeland 50 & 100 Recce Days 2017/18

The recce days give you the opportunity to practice on the course and experience the terrain and navigation required. We split the 100 miles route into 4 sections to cover the full 100 course. The 50 mile event is the final 50 miles of the 100 course, so this means that your relevant sections are 3 & 4. You can register by clicking the relevant links below, but read the following information, which gives you a better understanding of how the weekend works. Each recce day costs £15.

Section 1: Coniston to Buttermere (100 course only) Sunday Nov 12th
Section 4: Ambleside to Coniston (50 & 100 course) Saturday January 27th – NIGHT RUN
Section 2: Buttermere to Dalemain (100 course only) Sunday March 25th
Section 3: Dalemain to Ambleside (50 & 100 course) Sunday 27th May

Q: Why are the sections done as 1/4/2/3 and not just 1/2/3/4?

A: Anyone doing the 100 should be very comfortable running on the fells in the dark, this may not be the case for 50 competitors, especially if it’s your first ultra. The sections covered are therefore based upon daylight hours, length of section, level of ability required for 100/50 runners and the potential weather conditions at that time of year.

Q: If I’m doing the 50 can I join the 100 runners for sections 1 & 2?

A: Of course, we welcome everyone as these are great training runs and the 50 may well be a stepping stone to the 100, so a recce of sections 1 & 2 may be very useful. Things to note are that these sections are tough and may be done in darkness. Last year during the recce of section 1 (due to take place in October) runners were still finishing at 8pm in the evening, completing Blacksail Pass and Scarth Gap in darkness. For those of you not familiar with the Lake District, those climbs and descents are not for the inexperienced.

Q: All recce days are ‘point to point’ so how do we get our cars back?

On Sunday morning (Saturday afternoon for Jan recce) you need to drive to the end point for that day and you will be collected by coach and taken back to the start. For example, recce section 1 November 12th, Coniston to Buttermere. On Sunday morning you will drive and leave your car at Buttermere. You will be picked up by coach and driven to Coniston to start the run for that day, finishing back at your car. This might sound a little complicated… ‘you’re at the start, you then drive to the finish, we then bus you back to the start’ but it is the best format as explained below.

Q: Why do we drive to the finish and not just bring you back by coach?

A: Faster runners can often finish the recce days up to 6 hours quicker than the last runners. If the coach were waiting to bring you back, it would have to be in place for 6 hours to collect everyone before you can get back to your car! Alternatively, we’d have to have multiple buses running shuttles which would not be logistically possible. Driving to the finish means that we can collect everyone together, it also means that at the end of the day, you can get in your car and go straight home!

Q: What if I’m coming on the train or don’t have a car?

A: Please don’t presume that you can get a lift back to the start or to the station when you reach the end of the run, this isn’t the case. If you are traveling by train or don’t have a car, we suggest that you go onto the Facebook page and try to arrange with others beforehand. The organisers cannot ferry any runners back to the start or any other location.

Q: What’s at the checkpoints?

A: We will count you through and provide ‘basic’ refreshments such as water, biscuits and flapjack. You should carry your own food and drink if required. You will also be counted in at the finish.

Q: What do I need to bring?

A: Full kit list as per website, food and drink, mobile phone charged, map and roadbook printed from website, GPS if you have the option – route downloaded from website.

Q: Will there be people to guide and help me navigate

A: Whilst there may be a number of people running who are there to guide, presume that the answer to this is NO. Ultimately you need to navigate yourself and you need to bring all the items as above, which will help you navigate the course.

Q: When does the sign up close?

A: Sign up closes on the Wednesday prior to the recce weekend as we need to confirm coach size and requirements.

Q: If I’ve signed up, when do I get final details regarding pick-up times, location of guest talk etc?

A: We will email all those signed up on the Monday prior to the recce weekend, details will also be posted on this blog page in the week prior. You can find the blog page by going to the Lakeland 100 homepage and clicking the blog link.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: Each day, including refreshments and coach transport is £15.

Q: If I can’t make it can I transfer my money to the next recce day?

A: You’ll need to tell us 1 week in advance otherwise this won’t be possible as transport, venues and refreshments have been booked and paid. If you tell us a week or more in advance.. no problem..

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Welcome to the 2018 Montane Lakeland 50 & 100

Welcome to the 2018 Montane Lakeland 50 & 100. We’d like to introduce ourselves and tell you a little bit more about the event. We are The Endurance Store, a small independent running shop based just outside Wigan in Lancashire and we also organise a series of trail running events, including the Montane Lakeland 50 & 100.legends

We started this event in 2008 with a very small number of competitors and since then it has grown beyond our expectations. In 2018 we are planning our biggest and best year. When we started the event in 2008, we approached Montane to request sponsorship and they agreed, despite the very small number of entries in year 1. Without their support over the last 10 years, we would never have been able to develop the event into it’s current form.

Entries filled very quickly this year and often people ask why they are required to enter on September 1st for an event which is 11 months away. Our reasoning is quite simple, for those doing the 100 event and for many doing the 50, you will need 9 months to fully prepare. If you have a place in the event, you are now able to plan your year and your winter preparation for July 2018 with a guaranteed goal. The reality is that the Montane Lakeland 100 is not successfully completed on the last weekend of July, it’s completed in the months of November to March, in miserable, dark and cold weather. There are few people who are motivated to train hard through the darkest winter months, based on an event which they ‘may or may not take part in’.

Our view is that you haven’t ‘entered a race’, you have registered for an 11 month journey which starts right now. Gaining a place will give you the motivation you need to get out of the door and hit the trails. Many of you will already be planning your training for the winter period and you will be looking for other events which can fill your weekends. Part of your journey will hopefully include our recce weekends, the first of which takes place November 12th.

We’ll keep in touch over the winter with regards to the progress of the event and what’s on. If you’re local or find yourself in our neck of the woods, come and join us for our Saturday morning trail club which runs October to March or the legendary Tuesday night Bat Run Series.

For now, well done on gaining a place. I’m sure we’ll see you soon and if not, we’ll see you in Coniston on Friday July 27th, 2018.

Welcome to the #LakelandJourney and welcome to the #LakelandFamily.

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Team True Spirit are back again!

Team True Spirit are the Help for Heroes long distance challenge team and is made up of 19961554_1676060579102092_2766951157671718974_n.jpgwounded, injured and sick (WIS) serving soldiers and veterans.

Originally formed at Headley Court, to give the injured guys returning from Afghanistan something to train for and for the seriously injured guys (traumatic blast injuries, amputees, bullet and shrapnel wounds etc.) showing that their life was not over but was just going to be different and they could still be involved in training, challenges and sport.

Last year the team took part in the Lakeland 50 and the Lakeland family accepted them with open arms. The teams are made up of both males and females and there are a huge range of injuries, from ABI (acquired brain injuries), blast injuries, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) to visual impairments and hearing problems.

Last year, several of the team completed the 50 mile challenge within the qualification time and will be on the start line for the 100 mile event in 2017. Having just completed the Bolton Ironman event (last weekend), they are ready for whatever challenges the Lakeland 50 & 100 will throw at them.

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Lakeland 50/100 The Goal Setting Process – Final Installment ‘Get The Pacing Right’

The team at Lakeland 50 & 100 are pleased to have Dr Ian Boardley as a guest blogger. Ian10-peaks-1_0508 is a sports psychology lecturer at the University of Birmingham and a 5 time Lakeland 100 finisher. He will be writing a monthly blog post to help you prepare for the 2017 event. You can follow him on Twitter HERE

In the first five blogs in this series, we have introduced goal setting and why athletes use it, discussed different types of goals, which goals to set, key characteristics of effective goals, key aspects of the goal-setting process, potential barriers to goal achievement and how to overcome them, how to monitor and evaluate progress towards your goals, when it may be appropriate to revise your goals, and how we can use training data to monitor and evaluate goal progress and inform and your race-day goals. Hopefully by applying these techniques to your training and preparation races you are feeling well prepared for the upcoming event and now have a clear time goal in mind for race day. Also, you should now have a clear set of process goals that you plan to implement in your race. In addition to these process goals many athletes also like to have target splits for each stage of the race both to work towards and to help monitor their progress along the way.

However, given the changes in terrain throughout the course, just dividing your overall race target time by the race distance and multiplying this value by the distance for each stage is likely to be largely unhelpful in determining realistic time targets for each stage. So how should one go about determining realistic achievable time goals to guide efficient pacing? A useful analogy here – taken from an article I read in UltraRunning Magazine last year – is spreading peanut butter on a piece of bread. You don’t want to spread it so you have a big glob of peanut butter for the first bite and then little left on the rest of the slice. Equally, you don’t want to leave any on the knife! So how can we plan our pacing strategy to get that nice even spread across the entire slice?!

In terms of pacing strategies, clearly there are marked differences between road marathons and trail ultra-marathons. The most obvious of these is the difficulty involved in quantifying intensity. For a flat road marathon with few tight turns and little wind then minutes per mile is an effective – and measureable – indicator of intensity. This brings up an often missed point when pacing strategies are discussed; that it is intensity – and not pace itself – we should be looking to monitor and control if we want to optimise our performances as this is what actually impacts the physiological systems in a runner’s body. Whilst pace can be a useful indictor of intensity for road marathons, it is pretty much meaningless as an indicator of intensity for ultra-marathons held on hilly and technical terrain.

So what information can we use to assess – and plan – our pacing strategies for races such as the LL50/100? One option is to look at historical data for your target race, and look at how more – and less – successful runners have paced their races. When doing this the first issue to overcome is finding a way to compare runners who differ vastly in their levels of performance. On the road we can do this by looking at how pace varies as a function of a runner’s overall pace for the race. For instance, if a three-hour marathon runner is close to 6:52/mile or a four-hour marathon is close to 9:10/mile throughout a marathon we would say both of these runners have paced their races pretty well. An equivalent approach for ultra-marathons is to calculate the ratio between a runners’ average pace for each stage and that for the entire race. This gives you a value that varies around 1.0 depending on whether the pace for an individual stage is slower (i.e., ratio >1.0) or faster (i.e., ratio <1.0) than the overall pace for the race for any given individual. Estimating a line of best fit for these ratios across the race demonstrates whether relative pace was increasing or decreasing across the race; if this line has a negative slope (i.e., is sloping down) then the runner has run the equivalent of a negative split and vice versa for a positive slope (i.e., sloping up).

Having calculated these ratios for runners who completed the 2015 LL100, I have conducted two analyses using these ratios to try to determine what appears to have been the best pacing strategy for the event. The first of these analyses compares the pace ratios for the first and last ten finishers of the 2015 race (see Figure 1). One thing this analysis shows is that the top ten finishers ran a much more even pace across the race than the bottom ten finishers, evidenced by their much flatter line of best fit in Figure 1 for the top ten runners compared to that for the bottom 10 runners. Interestingly, the winner of the race ran an even more even-paced race (i.e., his line of best fit is flatter than that for the top ten overall) in comparison to the top ten as a whole, suggesting the potential benefits of further evening out relative pace across the race beyond that seen for the top ten. This suggestion was supported further by a separate analysis (not shown in Figure 1) in which I calculated the ratios and line of best fit for Terry Conway when he ran the course record. This analysis showed an even flatter line of best fit for Terry Conway in comparison to the 2015 winner. Also shown in Figure 1 are my pace ratios for the 2015 race. Collectively these analyses support the potential benefits of evening out your efforts across the race (i.e., spreading the PB evenly), in comparison to going out hard and trying to hold on (i.e., big glob of PB in your first bite).

Figure 1 – Comparison of Pace Ratios between Top and Bottom Ten Finishers

So this is all well and good you may say, it is not particularly ground-breaking to show faster runners ran a more even paced run than slower runners. However, an alternative analysis of the ratio data demonstrates that the potential benefits of an evening out of pace are not constrained to the elite (see Figure 2). In this second analysis I took the ten runners with the highest pace ratio for the opening stage (i.e., those who set out most conservatively) and compared them with the ten runners with the lowest pace ratio for this stage (i.e., those who set out most aggressively). This figure shows a clear difference in pace degradation for runners with the ten lowest initial pace ratios compared to those with the ten highest. An outcome of potentially greater importance though is the finding that it was not only faster runners who demonstrated the most evenly paced races, as the runners with ten highest initial ratios came from runners who finished between 6th and 107th. Thus, there was a large spread in finishing position for runners with conservative opening intensities – and resultant even pacing – meaning you don’t have to be elite to pace evenly. You may therefore be thinking is a conservative opening intensity effective then? In response to this it is important to consider pacing strategy is just one factor in determining performance (along with fitness, navigation, nutrition, etc.) and also to consider what is shown in Figure 1 alongside what is shown in Figure 2. In combination these two analyses show the fastest finishers run a fairly even intensity, but also that the ability to do this is not restricted to the fastest runners. Further, if one compares the positions of the ten runners with the highest opening pace ratios (i.e., 6th to 107th) with those for the runners with the ten runners with the lowest initial pace ratios (i.e., 67th to 209th [i.e., last]) one can see that although high and low initial pace ratios are both associated with a wide spread of finish positions, the high ratios are spread largely across the top half of the field, whereas those with the lowest initial ratios are spread mainly across the bottom half of the field. This adds further support to the argument that on average a more even pacing strategy appears to be advantageous in comparison to setting out aggressively and slowing later.

Figure 2 – Comparison of Highest and Lowest 10 Pace Ratios for Stage 1

So assuming having read the above and looked at the two figures you agree that a fairly even pacing strategy is the likely to be optimal, how would you go about calculating target splits for each stage for your overall target time? To do this, all you have to do is: 1) identify your overall target time based on your training data, race history and recent race performances, 2) decide which profile you want to apply (i.e., average top 10, 2015 winner, Terry Conway), and 3) multiply your race target time by the pace ration for each leg of the profile you have selected. Doing this will give you target splits for each stage of the race. For instance, the average ratio for the first stage for the top ten was .82, which for someone targeting a 30-hour finish (i.e., overall average pace 17:09 minutes/mile) would equate to an average pace for stage one of 14:03 minutes/mile (i.e., 17:09 x .82). This would give a time of 1:38:24 as a target for stage one. Using this method, you can apply this process for you own target time using the information in Table 1.

Stage Top Ten Average My Data
  Overall Time Stage Split Leg Pace Ratio Leg/Overall Pace Ratio Leg/Overall Pace
CP1 Seathwaite 01:11:00 1:11:00 00:10:09 0.76 0.93
CP2 Eskdale 02:28:56 1:17:55 00:11:08 0.83 0.96
CP3 Wasdale Head 03:30:12 1:01:16 00:11:21 0.85 0.98
CP4 Buttermere 05:16:12 1:46:00 00:15:22 1.15 1.26
CP5 Braithwaite 06:52:05 1:35:53 00:14:45 1.11 1.14
CP6 Blencathra Centre 08:37:51 1:45:46 00:12:27 0.93 0.97
CP7 Dockray 10:15:11 1:37:20 00:12:38 0.95 0.91
CP8 Dalemain 12:13:40 1:58:29 00:11:44 0.88 0.87
CP9 Howtown 13:46:34 1:32:55 00:13:05 0.98 1.00
CP10 Mardale Head 16:07:41 2:21:07 00:15:01 1.13 1.10
CP11 Kentmere 17:45:16 1:37:35 00:15:01 1.13 1.07
CP12 Ambleside 19:33:58 1:48:42 00:14:53 1.12 1.00
CP13 Langdale 20:45:47 1:11:48 00:12:49 0.96 0.85
CP14 Tilberthwaite 22:24:17 1:38:30 00:15:09 1.14 1.02
CP15 Coniston 23:15:17 0:51:00 00:14:34 1.09 0.92

To do this using the average pace ratios for the 2015 top 10, all you have to do is follow the three-stage process described above using the values in the fourth column. However, based on the data presented in Figure 2, my own experiences, and the fact most people (even those finishing in the top ten!) tend to set off too fast I would actually advocate a more conservative approach. Also, it is worth bearing in mind that the analyses presented here only include the finishers of the race. It is possible – indeed quite likely – that the support shown for an even pacing strategy would have been even more marked had the ratios been included for those runners who failed to complete the course! A very conservative approach (i.e., the equivalent of a negative split), would be to adopt the ratios from my data in the fifth column. Alternatively, if this is a little extreme for you, you may wish to design your own set of pace ratios to work towards based on those presented in this blog. However, if you do this a good check at the end is to make sure your average pace ratio equates to 1.0 – otherwise there are errors in your calculations! If you are running the Lakeland 50 rather than the 100, the data from legs 9-15 should help inform possible strategies for your race.

To conclude, hopefully the above information and figures have helped you reflect upon and identify what may be an effective pacing strategy for your race. Whatever process, performance, and outcome goals you set for your race, I hope you have a great race and manage to achieve them. When it comes to your pacing strategy though, try to spread the peanut butter evenly so you can enjoy your final bite as much as your first!

See you in Coniston!
Ian Boardley

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None Shall Sleep…

Completing 100 miles within the 40 hours time limit requires runners to travel through at least one full night, often 2 . Hallucinations are common amongst competitors and in 2012 one runner was convinced that he had passed opera singer Paul Potts (Britain’s Got Talent winner), who was humming Nessun Dorma at the time. The relevance of this story is that Nessun Dorma translates as ‘none shall sleep’ which seemed appropriate given the circumstances of the runners. Roll forwards 12 hours and during the Sunday presentation party, a Twitter conversation with Paul Potts, reveals that it was in fact him on the course and not a hallucination at all…. much to the amusement of those tired souls who attended the presentation.

Such was the relevance and popularity of this story, in 2013 we adopted Nessun Dorma as the official Lakeland 100 anthem, to be played at the start line. What was intended as a humorous act became an emotional moment. Runners and families were silent as the anthem played and there were a few tears shed for the epic challenge they were about to embark upon.

Following that moment in 2013, our anthem was set and it’s now part of the event history. Each year we invite an operatic tenor to sing Nessun Dorma and this year Chris Lafferty will be performing live at the start line.

Whether you’re supporting a 100 runner, or taking part in the 50 mile event, don’t miss the start of the 100 mile event from Coniston John Ruskin School at 6:00pm, Friday 28th July. The children and family 1 mile event follows at 6:30pm, so make sure you book the Friday afternoon off work and travel up early as it’s not something you’ll want to miss.

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