Wales, Training, Recovery and One Incredible Donation – Part 1.

Wales, Training, Recovery and one hell of a donation!

Normally when I start to update my blog I would begin by writing about the past week or two and how trainings been going, any updates on new challenges, planning etc etc or simply pleas for donations! Today though, I would like to start by thanking my employers, RVL Group ( for the quite incredible donation they have pledged to Children with Cancer UK! A donation of this amount, I hope, will really make a difference to the already amazing work Children with Cancer do in helping save young person’s lives that have been diagnosed with cancer! In addition it has definitely given me a huge boost to nail every one of the challenges across the Challenge 2012 year!  It really does mean a lot to me that they can show such amazing support for my effort and I cannot thank them enough for their support.

So what has the last week and a bit consisted of?  Well since my last entry with my proposed training plan, I have completed the 7 miles “long run” training as well as all gym sessions for week 1. Not taking into account the bank holiday weekend and the training trip to Wales for the 3 Peaks though, it has thrown my week 2 training somewhat off a bit.  It’s now Thursday and I have only completed one gym session last night.  It’s not the end of the world though, the plan is there as a guide and although on paper can look set in stone, it’s about making it fit around your own time and learning to make time for it. So I’m not concerned this week and confident I’ll get another gym session (or two hopefully!) in, as well as my long run before the weeks out  – whether that means waking up an hour or two earlier, I don’t know yet, but I’ll make it happen! So this weeks training is, week 2 of 28:

Week two's training plan!

Interestingly (or not…), I found the 7 miles run fairly “easy” the other day, setting a pace of 8:30min/miles and felt I had a lot moreleft in me to run further if I wanted.  I think a lot of this came down to pacing myself at the start.  The following week on my 6 mile training run I set off at a fairly fast pace and felt fine, only to find half way round I was cramping up and not feeling it.  After doing some research and digging out some training books, I found a good tip that I adopted for the 7mile.  Basically  –  “When running for distance, set off on a pace that feels a bit too slow for you…” – I did this on the 7mile and thought it would have affected my time and  workout slower than my 6 mile run the previous week. But, on finishing I was 10sec per mile faster and over a greater distance too! The difference felt huge half way around as well and as a result, I picked the pace up slightly and could maintain it nicely.  I even finished the run by running down the hill in my town to half way and back up it in a sprint! Genuinely enjoyed it! (It also hammered it down with rain about half way round and made me feel like a balding rocky!)  In addition to the above tip, I received valuable advice from a mate of mine Barry Griffin who is a regular club runner and completing numerous marathons this year  in addition to the 3 Peaks Challenge with myself and hopefully the Toughmudder in November (Unless he chickens out of course!?). His advice on viewing my training plan was that he felt I needed another 20 mile plus run in before the marathon and ideally, really before the Great North Run to leave enough time for tapering my training off before the big one.  He also mentioned that my mileage increases were probably a bit small to reach this and that I should try to increase it by say 2 miles or more instead of 1mile each week.  After the 7 mile run I would definitely agree.  My next planned run based on the original training plan is 8 miles, but now I will be going for 9 before the week is out… watch this space.

7.21 mile run - Airport Trail, my current training route.

So what else? It seems I’ve so much to write about in just a week that it would go on forever if I did. With that in mind will cover the Wales trip and my new nutritional plan regarding the supplements i’ll be using in training.

Wales! It was my first time there and it was awesome! There is so much I could write about so I’m going to try and keep in succinct and just go for it in the next 10 lines or so! So here goes – It rained and it rained! It was as if the country needed it more than anywhere else in the UK! We camped and we were cold, we climbed mountains in snow, we climbed mountains in freezing rains battering against us, driven by a bitter northerly wind angry as if we shouldn’t have been there, but we climbed them with a smile on our faces.  I was out my comfort zone several times and with hindsight, it felt amazing! My legs ached, I was constantly cold, I lost all the feeling in my toes when asleep in my sleeping bag, I was sweating and working hard on the ascents but smiling and enjoying it just as much at the top.  We got lost near the summits in snow and in cloud. I dropped a thermos cup off the side of Snowdon. Gal found it. We had an hysterical person freeze up half way up Tryfan and refuse to carry on as she was too scared but we got her over eventually and given our less than expert mountain skills, we then led a group back down the mountain too with some pint point map reading from Baz!  We crossed sheer drops in the clouds where a slip could have meant death. I might be a pilot, but I don’t like them type of heights. We passed people climbing with ropes and hard hats thinking they were taking a different route up to us, only to find they were actually going the same way… a scary point. Stupid? Maybe. But we learn from these events for the future.  We enjoyed a pint in the pub where Sir Edmund Hillary and team planned their accent of Everest in front of a log fire. We met great people from all over the country, some even playing hockey up Snowdon for Cancer Research!! There was so much that happened in those few days it seemed to go so fast but I loved it all. It was good training for the 3 Peaks, we all, I think, left our comfort zones and we all lived. Bonus. It definitely left me with a huge respect for the work Mountain Rescue do and as a result we’re now looking into doing a mountain leadership course and learning, what could be, some valuable skills that hopefully will not be needed on our 3 Peak Challenge.

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Being away in a tent, training in such bad weather, always being cold and wet really makes you appreciate the home comforts we have and how fortunate we are. There wasn’t a single night in that tent when I didn’t think about my bed back home and so on returning, clothes all banged in the washing machine, the feeling when I crawled into bed after a hot shower was absolutely AMAZING! I was smiling almost as much as I was at the top of the mountain…

I’ll leave it there for now as i’ve run out of time and off to see the comedian Jon Richardson tonight and will update the post tomorrow morning regarding my recovery and nutrition plan that will go along with my current training plan/goals.  It will involve stuff on BCAA’s, Protein/Carb shakes, regular small meals vs big meals, Pull, Leg and Full body workout routines and some info on training that will hopefully help me to complete all my challenges in good times! All my supplements are from .

Thanks for reading. My new target for Children with Cancer UK is now £6000, which at the start of setting these challenges or even a few days ago, would have seemed crazy but imagine if I could hit this new target and what a difference it could make!?! For anyone to raise any amount for a charity is amazing but as always, the more the better and the more it can really help!! I’d also like to say a thanks to the Bournville Hockey team for their generous donations and well done on making up Snowdon playing hockey, which in normal conditions would have been difficult, never mind the weather we had!!! Impressive.

Thanks again, the blog has now had over 400+views since February from all over the world amazingly and with messages of support from people i’ve never met – I am truely grateful for your support!!! Its a hell of alot more than I was expecting, so thank you very much!



The Challenges

Challenge 1 – Cycle 150miles across the county via the Coast to Coast off road routes – COMPLETE

Challenge 2 – Complete an Adventure Triathlon, Off-road run, mountain bike and kayak – COMPLETE

Challenge 3 – Complete the UK 3 Peaks Challenge, climbing the 3 tallest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales in 24hrs!

Challenge 4 – Complete the BUPA Great North Run 2012 – 13.1 miles

Challenge 5- Complete the Peak District Mountain Bike Challenge (British Heart Foundation)

Challenge 6 – Complete the Salomon Keilder Marathon – 26.3 miles of HILLS!!

Challenge 7 – Complete Toughmudder Challenge – Dubbed “propably the toughest event on the planet!)

Challenge 8 – Complete the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge

Challenge 9 – Kayak 100 miles of the River Wye

Challenge 10,11,12…. – TBA


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