Archive for May, 2017

Who’s looking after you… a guide to checkpoints, 1-14

Checkpoint 1, Seathwaite Village Hall, Seathwaite Superheroes

GLL Ulverston is a friendly, community focused indoor and outdoor leisure facility offering a 25m swimming pool, modern gym facilities, Cumbria’s largest tennis centre and much more. This year they will be teaming up with Ulverston Triathlon Club to greet you at the first checkpoint on your 100 mile journey. Their theme for the checkpoint is superheroes, team manager Caroline does a very good Wonder Woman!


Checkpoint 2, Corn Mill, Boot, Eskdale, Mexico

For the 100 runners you’ll be facing darkness soon after this checkpoint so this is the perfect place for Petzl and CP manager Martin Bergerud and their theme is all things Mexican!! This year Martin and his team will be feeding, hydrating, supporting and pushing you onwards to Wasdale. Martin is an all round mountain man, runner, cyclist and great guy so you are in safe hands. Part of Martin’s role is to ensure that petzl produce the best products for ultra runners.


Checkpoint 3, barn close to Wasdale Inn, Wasdale (CIRCA 1984)

It’s the ‘Stroller Disco’… if you ran last year, I don’t think we need say more.

Based in the North East is an immense army known as The Sunderland Strollers. They are regulars at ultra running events throughout the UK, competing or supporting. Many of the members have already taken part in the Montane Lakeland 50 & 100 and they have an elite team ready and waiting for you at Wasdale checkpoint. With Blacksail Pass and Scarth Gap looming, you’ll need ‘lifting’ at the Wasdale CP, the Strollers are the team for the task. Imagine a barn in bleakest Wasdale with glitter balls, 80’s disco music and excessively flared trousers. Throw in a few affro hairstyles and you get the picture.


Checkpoint 4, Buttermere Village Hall, Buttermere, California

Bev & Kim (don’t need to say any more for the regulars) will be staffing this point and the theme is ‘American Diner’. Coffee and doughnuts? Drive in movies? Last year their milkshakes went down an absolute storm!

Checkpoint 5, HMS Braithwaite, The High Seas

Tony and Giselle are at CP5 and that’s probably as much as we need to say for those who’ve done the event before. They’ve been there every year, feeding, supporting and pushing people onwards and they are the first ‘real food’ stop (mains and pudding!!). Tony and Giselle have been long distance runners and walkers for many years and have racked up more LDWA events that they’ll serve hot meals in July. If anyone complains, you will be made to walk the plank as the pirate team running HMS Braithwaite will not take any abuse from slackers.

Checkpoint 6, Blencathra Centre

A full name is not required, he is the man simply known as ‘little Dave’. He’s done it beforehand, both 50 and 100 so he’s the man equipped to keep you going. Little Dave is quite famous now, but many have suggested that this fame is attributed largely to the chocolate cake supplied by his mum. The chocolate cake has special properties and has been the difference between dropping out and finishing for many competitors.

Checkpoint 7, Dockray, Matterdale

Checkpoint 7 is found at the end of the old coach road, in a deserted car park, usually in the early hours of the morning and that’s why you’ll be pleased to see them. The Newburgh Nomads are a running club from Lancashire who have experienced your pain, the guys and girls who staff this CP are Old Skool. This CP is renowned for cowbells and grumpy men who resemble something from last of the summer wine.


Checkpoint 8, Dalemain House, Pooley Bridge

The ‘half way stop’ for the 100 course which is in fact not half way at all and it is the start of the 50 mile event. Dalemain is manned by The Endurance Store and this year’s theme is MASH. Those of a certain age will remember this classic TV programme and the tent at Dalemain very much resembles a medical tent with bodies sprawling on the grass, taking intravenous cola.

The coaches drop off at this point for the 50 runners to start and friends family get a great spot to view as runners initially complete a 4 miles loop before starting their journey to Coniston. Friends and family may choose to join you for the first 4 miles rather than watching, after that you’re on your own.. apart from 1000 other people.


Checkpoint 9/1, Bobbin Mill, Howtown, Mid West

The first CP for the 50 runners and you’ll have barely broken sweat. After a great trail along Ullswater you drop to Howtown for the first stop and then start the first real climb up Fusedale valley. The checkpoint is managed by Chia Charge. As you can imagine, with barely an hour of running gone by, this checkpoint can be a little ‘manic’ with runners grabbing food and drink, recording their time and then dashing back up the hill in the direction of Mardale. Don’t annoy the CP staff, a few of them are gunslingers so show respect when you roll into (Howdy)town…


Checkpoint 10/2, Mardale Head Car Park, Mardale

Delamere Spartans are a collective of trail runners who shun tarmac in favour of adventure and good times in the great outdoors. The brotherhood of Sparta is a bond that cannot be broken. In Sparta you will find friendly bravado and good old fashioned ‘encouragement’ for all. They live wild in Delamere Forest, their spiritual home and out on the killing fields of Cheshire. The Spartans are driven on through wind, rain, sleet and snow. Even darkness turns to light in their presence. They are committed to finding personal limits and once discovered, they smash through them like a truck on a colossal mirror.

Treacherous Persians cower (NB: not many Persians at Mardale) as the Spartans find glory through their victories. Witness their banner at races, from the friendly Lakes of the North to the burning pit of hell known as the South (their words not ours, for our Southern friends reading this). They are the Delamere Spartans, what’s your occupation?


Checkpoint 11/3, Kentmere Institute, Kentmere

This year we have a new team at Kentmere. Montane have handed the reigns over to Team Mountain Fuel. They will be serving pasta and pancakes, a trusted combination.


Checkpoint 12/4, Parish Hall, Ambleside Circus

Checkpoint 12 is Ambleside Parish Hall and the stop is managed by Ringmaster Nicola Merrett of Mountain Run & Nics Nordic Walking.

Reaching Ambleside is a great landmark so you’ll be glad to reach the parish hall and you’ll welcome the relief. Some of you will reach Ambleside before last orders, no stopping in the pub please, it’s not in the spirit of the event…


Checkpoint 13/5, Chapel Stile, Langdale

A great place to start and an amazing place to visit. Chapel Stile is staffed by ‘the Howards’. The checkpoint is an oasis of calm, runners sitting outside on sofas and armchairs, warming themselves next to wood burning chimneys whilst mellow music playing in the background.

The checkpoint is staffed mainly this year by Ross Howard. The family own Grove Cottages of Ambleside, if you are looking for a wonderful place to stay for a week of recce and training, this family know a bit about the course and you couldn’t possibly meet a nicer bunch of people. Once again the Howards will be staffing CP13, Chapel Stile, it’ll be hard, but try not to stay too long.. ;)


Checkpoint 14/6, Tilberthwaite, Coniston, Stairway to Heaven

The final checkpoint will once again be managed by Janet & Lisa. Their CP is named and themed ‘The Stairway to Heaven’. From here, the only way is up…

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Montane Lakeland 50 & 100 2017 Checkpoint Cut Off Times

Throughout the course we have cut off times at all checkpoints except Seathwaite, Boot & Tilberthwaite. We want to make it clear that you must have LEFT each checkpoint by the stated cut off time. Any runner arriving at the checkpoint or still remaining in the checkpoint, after the cut off time, will be regarded as timed out and will be retired from the event at that stage. The checkpoint cut off or ‘closing’ times are the same for both the 50 and 100 event.

You can view the individual checkpoint cut off / closing times by CLICKING HERE.

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Lakeland 50/100 – Using training/race information to inform your race-day goals

In the first four blogs in this series, I 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 and when it may be appropriate to revise your goals. With the race less than 15 weeks away we should all (hopefully) be well into our training by now. As such, although exactly where you are in your training is likely determined by your overall race plans and whether you have any other main target races prior to your chosen Lakeland event, you should now be at least starting to accumulate some useful training information. The focus of this blog is going to be how we can use this information to monitor and evaluate your current goal progress and inform and set your race-day goals.

In the previous blog, I proposed preparing and maintaining a goal-setting log such as the one seen below. I also described how by maintaining an up-to-date and accurate log, you will have a clear record of the key performance attributes you are working on, the goals you are working towards to develop these attributes, the indicator/s that you are using to evaluate goal achievement, the activities you are engaging in to work towards these goals and whether you are completing these activities successfully. Whilst there is a plethora of information that you could collect regarding your training and competitive performances, by keeping a goal-setting log you automatically collect information that is of direct relevance to the goals you have set for yourself. Information gleaned directly from your running may take the form of race times, heart rates, training paces, fluid/fuel intake, ascent/descent rates and volumes, whereas some of you have even undergone lab testing to produce data on physiological variables such as VO2 Max, Anaerobic Threshold and/or Velocity at VO2 Max. By keeping a log it helps you to easily record and evaluate the information of most relevance to your running and the goals you have set for it. As such, if you are not currently keeping a goal-setting log, it may be worth considering starting one.

Another potential benefit of keeping a goal-setting log – and the main foci of the current blog – is that they allow you to record key information that can be used to inform your race-day outcome, performance, and process goals. Information such as this can be gleaned from information recorded for training and race performance goals, and we are going to look at examples of both in the subsequent paragraphs. First we will look at an example from goals set for training. As can be seen in the table below, this example athlete is looking to develop his nutritional (fluid and carb intake) strategy and running pace at race intensity. With respect to fluid intake, based on weighing himself pre- and post- one-hour runs (without any fluid intake) in normal climatic conditions he has set himself the target of consuming 600ml pf electrolyte solution per hour to maintain his hydration status. However, having recorded how much he currently takes in during long runs he finds he is 200ml/hour short of this target. As such, during his long runs he is gradually increasing his intake and monitoring the effects on gastrointestinal comfort, thirst, and urination. By monitoring the effects of the increase on these factors and recording the effects in his goal-setting log, this athlete will be able to determine whether 600ml/hour is the optimal level for him. By recording any issues/barriers in the final column, over time he should identify any factors (e.g., weather conditions, intensity) that may influence his fluid intake. Although, the second training goal in the table relates to carbohydrate intake as opposed to fluid intake, much of what have just said is also relevant to this goal; all that changes are the goal and performance indicators. In combination, the information recorded for these first two goals will eventually allow the athlete to devise his nutritional strategy (i.e., process goals) for his chosen Lakeland event as he should have clear information of what his optimal achievable fluid/carb intake levels are, as well as factors that may require him to revise the strategy (e.g., weather conditions). The final performance attribute in the example for training goals relates to running pace at race intensity, which is particularly important on the flatter sections of the course (e.g., coach road on 100; Langdale on both). The target here was set based on past performances on similar courses and the volume of training that is going to be possible. However, regardless of how well informed this target is, such goals are always going to be somewhat arbitrary and it could turn out that this pace ends up faster or slower than the target level. By monitoring this pace though, as well as his ability to hold this intensity for longer and longer periods, the athlete should be able to set performance goals (i.e., target times) for flatter sections of the course as well as developing confidence in his ability to maintain this intensity. Goals could also be set and monitored for specific sections of the course when recceing the course by training at the same intensity on those sections.

As can be seen from the above examples, information from training can be very helpful in developing and identifying specific process and performance goals for your racing. However, because training is different on a number of levels (e.g., pressure, distance, intensity) to racing, training performances are not always ideal for identifying your overall performance and outcome goals for race day. Here, setting and evaluating goals for your build-up races can be more helpful because such performances better simulate the race conditions you will experience at your chose Lakeland event. To help illustrate this point, I have provided some examples of outcome, performance and process goals an example runner has set for herself in one of her build-up races for her Lakeland event. Firstly, by analysing her average heart rate over her last three races between 4-5 hours, she has identified she can normally maintain around 148bpm over this length of race, and as such as set herself the range of 145-150bpm as a key process goal for the race. By looking at training and race performances over similar terrain to her target race (the Howgills Trail 26, 14th May 2017), she has determined that this heart rate normally equates to a pace of around 10:00 min/mile. As she wants to set a challenging yet achievable goal – and training has increased in volume and intensity this year – she has set herself the performance goal of averaging 9:45/mile in the Trail 26 event. Then, by looking at last year’s race results she can see that this pace (which would bring her in around 04h15m) would put her in the top 10% of the field overall and on the ladies podium. Thus, by looking at her training/race performances she has been able to identify and link her process (i.e., heart rate), performance (i.e., race time) and outcome (i.e., race position) goals for the event. Importantly, once this event is complete she can then use the information relating to goal achievement to set equivalent goals for her next build-up race, and eventually for her chosen Lakeland event.

To conclude, hopefully the samples above have shown how information recorded in goal-setting logs for both training and racing can be very useful in helping you to identify and set your race-day process, performance and outcome goals for both your build-up races and most importantly for your chosen Lakeland event in July. The examples provided are just examples, and you should look to apply the general themes from this blog to the specific performance attributes you have identified and are working towards so that the goals you set for your own races are specific to the goals you have identified for your running. As you generate more and more training and race information over the coming months, your race-day goals should gradually become more specific and accurate. The final blog in this series will be timed for late June, early July, which will be ideal timing to discuss the theme of that blog, which will be how to identify and monitor the specific goals for race day. Until then, enjoy your build-up towards the race weekend!

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