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Trail Tips

What to wear for a Lakeland Trails event

The Lake District weather can vary a huge amount, so you should be prepared for running in cold wet weather, even in the middle of summer.

So, what should you wear for your run? inov-8 can kit you out head to toe, check out our top recommendations below:

Shoes

Grip is key. Running off road you encounter many different surfaces, gravel, water, mud, grass, and the occasional tarmac sections. Having a shoe that can cope with all of these terrains will make your run a lot more enjoyable.

Mudclaw

Mudclaw

If it's really wet and really muddy, there is no substitute for this shoe.

X-Talon 212

X-Talon 212

great off road grip, and offering more comfort than the Mudclaw.

Trail Talon 275

Trail Talon 275

The trail talon offers good grip on drier trails and more graded paths.

Roclite 290 / 305

Roclite 290 / 305

These shoes offer great all round grip, perfect for many of the Lakeland Trails events, they have good ground contact for gravel and hard packed trails, yet good lugs for great grip in muddy conditions.

As your shoe is the only part of you (hopefully) in contact with the ground, having the best grip available will really help you along the way, speeding up your time and maximising your enjoyment.

Clothing

Protection from the elements can make the difference between a great day out and a cold damp shuffle. Keeping comfortable while running allows you to focus on what you are doing, rather than worrying about being wet/cold/hot etc.

Base Layer

Base Layer

A well fitting short sleeve, or long sleeve T-Shirt, and, depending on the conditions, either some well fitting tights or shorts to protect your legs.

Mid Layer

It could be a little chilly on some of the event days, or blustery, so wearing a windproof jacket can really help take the edge off.

Shell Layer

Shell Layer

So it's going to be raining! Typical Lake District conditions… our range of waterproof jackets are perfect for running, offering a great fit, with freedom of movement to allow you to run in comfort in the worst of conditions.

Socks

Socks

Any socks can work, but wearing specific technical running socks can make a huge difference, less chance of a hot spot (which leads to a blister), and stays put even in really wet conditions. For the really cold days, the Merino sock will help keep you warm too.

Kit Carrying

Kit Carrying

If you need to carry some spares, to keep you warm, or snacks to keep you powered along a bumbag or for more stability a vest pack ensures you have all you need with you while out on the run route.

Hats / Gloves

For the colder days, keeping your extremities warm can make all the difference to your enjoyment.

Training Tips from Tom Adams

Tom Adams

It's always a shame when the Lakeland Trails series comes to an end for another year. The days start to get shorter, and the dark, cold nights start earlier every day. Winter can be quite a depressing time, but all is not lost...just around the corner is the start of the Spring series, starting with the beautiful Cartmel trail race with either 5, 10 or 18km options. This is the perfect excuse to get some quality winter training in.

The winter months for some is time to go into hibernation, but it's also the perfect time to put in some training to get you ready for next seasons amazing selection of trail races. The hardest part of training is actually getting out of the door in the cold, wet and dark, however there is some fantastic kit out there now to keep you warm, dry and to turn dark into light. For example, on cold winter days I wear the inov-8 Merino base layer, and the AT/C full-length tights, with the inov-8 wind-shell on top, to keep the breeze off, until I warm up. Check it all out on the inov-8 website, or find your nearest stockist and try the kit on. And then depending on the terrain, I will either wear something like the MUDCLAW 300 to beat the muddy fields, or when in town and in the parks I will use the PARKCLAW 275 GTX to ensure my feet stay dry and comfortable all winter.

Once you've got your kit sorted, you can get out there and put in some training, however I think one of the most important things to have in place prior to this is a training schedule. I went for years just going out and running at one pace (somewhere between fast and slow), and it wasn't until I started implementing a plan that I started to see vast improvements in my performance. I realise that everyone is different and that each person has different goals, abilities and amount of time to actually put into running, so the key is to make the most of the time you have on the trails. I have put together a list of key things that I'm sure will help you enjoy your running and see you improving your performance at the Lakeland Trails next year, whether it's the short medium or long events that you plan to take part in.

Have a plan

Work out how much time you have to put into your running. Even if it's one or two evenings a week, you can still put in some quality work to help improve your fitness and enjoyment on the trails. I have a year planner with key races on it, and sessions that I plan to do before and after these races to perform at my best. Having a plan can motivate you to get out when otherwise it's so easy to shut the door and relax for the evening...there's time for relaxing after your run.

Make the most of what you have

Not everyone is lucky enough to have the Lake District on their doorstep, but if you do then why not train on some of the footpaths that are on the Lakeland Trails routes. There's no better way to prepare than actually running on the race route in advance. Those of you that don't have the Lake District as a playground will have to make the most of what you've got. Find a nice park or wooded trail and get out and explore. I think one of the best things about running is being able to be an adventurer...find new trails and snickets that you've never run down before and it opens up a whole new world of running. Going down new trails keeps you on your toes and prepares you to expect the unexpected.

Speed and hill work

I try and get a speed and hill session in each week. They prepare you for what the Lakeland Trails have to throw at you. If you've never really tried speed work, then try incorporating a few short sprints into one of your steady runs. Even if it's just a ten second sprint with one minute recovery and then repeated, it will get you out of your comfort zone, which is what you tend to find when you're in a race situation. Hill work is also important, as it replicates what your body will encounter in the Lake District. There aren't many places out there with at least one little hill, so find it and make the most of it. Try running up it for ten seconds and jogging back down as your recovery, and then repeat.

Recovery

A recovery run is just as important as a speed or hill session. Your body needs time to recover from the hard work you have put it through. The majority of my running week is taken up with steady runs (I use a heart rate monitor to make sure I'm not over doing it). These runs allow your body to recover from a tough session and make you feel fresh and raring to go into your next session. It is so easy to fall into so-called 'Black Hole Training'...this is where you are neither pushing yourself nor recovering.

Cross-Training

I really enjoy a bit of cross-training, whether it's swimming, cycling or going for a walk, it's all helping to improve your cardio-vascular fitness. There is no harm in swapping a running hill session for one on the bike, and if you're lucky enough to have a turbo trainer, you can do it from the comfort of your own home. A speed session in the swimming pool is also a brilliant compromise to a session on the track or road.

Nutrition

It's no secret that a healthy diet has a big part to play in being a more efficient runner. I try to avoid sugary cereals for breakfast and stick to a nicer hot bowl of porridge with blueberries and banana. I find that this keeps me fuller for longer and I don't have that sugar crash mid morning. I try to avoid sugar as much as possible and the fresher the better is a good rule to follow. Also, try to avoid eating just before a run. If I'm racing I try and eat three hours before, this way you can be sure that things have settled before you put your body through its paces.

Kit

The right kit is essential when it comes to winter training. One of the best things about running is that it is quite minimalist and once you have the kit, it is relatively cost free.

  • A good pair of trainers is essential and when it comes to this time of the year, trails tend to get a bit more challenging, so a bit of grip is often a good thing, such as the inov-8 Mudclaw 300, X-TALON 212, or for a wider fit, the X-CLAW 275. Or for those in the more urban environments, something like the Parkclaw 275 GTX or Trail Talon 275 are perfect.
  • A descent pair of socks is always top of my list. A good pair can keep you blister free and toasty warm, the inov-8 Merino socks are fantastic, comfy, warm and durable.
  • Shorts or tights? I always like to run in shorts no matter what the weather has to throw at me, but when it's really cold I do reach for the full length tight!
  • Thermal vest. I have seen numerous runners come back from races either hypothermic or on the brink of hypothermia, so a warm, fast wicking top is very important. Merino wool can be quite expensive, but it has some of the best insulation and wicking properties of any material on the market today (and it smells better too!).
  • A waterproof or windproof top is a fantastic piece of kit. They weigh next to nothing now and can tuck into a pocket or bumbag without you even really noticing it's there. However, when the heavens open, pop it on and it has the capability to keep you bone dry even on the wettest of days.

I hope that you can take something from the little bits of advice I have sent your way, but just remember that no matter what distance trail race you plan to have a go at next year, the same formula works for all...if you put in the effort during these harsh winter months, then you'll reap the rewards next year. Enjoy your training over the next few months, make the most of those crisp, cold winter days and I'll see you at Cartmel in March for the first of the Spring series.

Tom Adams

5K to 10K Training Plan from Ben Mounsey

The aim of this training plan is to try and successfully make the transition from 5k to 10k on the trails. Over 10 weeks, pace and strength should steadily improve, after a combination of both speed and fast hill sessions with plenty of rest and easy running in between.

Tips

  1. The most important tip is to find yourself a suitable pair of trail shoes comfort and grip are the key. My personal recommendation would be the Roclite 290. Make sure that you train in the trail shoes you plan to race in. Never wear new shoes for a race!
  2. Vary the terrain that you run on, although most of your training should ideally be on the trails.
  3. Hill sessions: Choose a hill/s that suit/s your needs (study the ascents in your intended race/s) and vary the incline.
  4. Speed sessions: There are plenty of places to do your speed sessions. Use your local running track, the canal (my preferred choice) or pick a quiet road where you won t be battling the traffic.
  5. Core workouts: Work on improving the strength of your core muscles to help compliment your running. I try and include at least 3 core workouts a week into my training schedule. On the training plan, I have included at least 1 per week, but this can always be increased depending on the individual. An example of a core training plan can be found here.

Notes

Ben has a 10km PB of 30:45, so he knows a thing or two about training.

Ben Mounsey is an inov-8 ambassador and has won multiple vests and medals when representing both England and Great Britain in mountain trail running. Follow Ben s plan, and you too will get the best out of your race day 10km.

Download

Click a button below to download the training plan which is in a XLS format.

.xlsx.zip

55K - Training for your first Ultra by Nicky Spinks

Nicky Spinks

inov-8 ambassador Nicky Spinks is an ultra running legend. In 2016 she famously became the fastest person to run a Double Bob Graham Round in the Lake District - that's 132 miles, over 84 peaks, in a time of 45hrs 30mins. Watch the film (called Run Forever) of her Double Bob Graham Round HERE (www.inov-8.com/blog/run-forvever-film-nicky-spinks/). Nicky has also done many, many ultra runs and races around the world, including Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc. In 2018 Nicky will run the Lakeland Trails Ultimate 55k. Here is her advice for training for your first ultra:

An ultra distance run is usually thought of as being longer than a marathon. However, whatever race distance you've entered, if it's longer than you've ever run before, then it's an ultra to you… and thus you need to prepare for it.

The Lakeland Trails Ultimate 55k is an ideal first ultra as it's the right distance. It is nearly 35 miles and being off-road means that although it's more challenging than a road ultra, the views and the terrain will be more interesting and varied. This in turn will mean that time will pass easily!

It is a well-organised race and a well-marked route which is important as you don't want to be dealing with any added difficulties. For your first ultra you want to be able to concentrate on just running and eating.

So having pressed the button and entered the race you need to prepare properly to succeed. I would suggest the following timescale for the Ultimate 55k on the 8th July 2018.

Date Action
January Enter race.
February Work out your training schedule.
March Do consistent training
April Increase the distance of long runs
May Race research
June Last long run or race - then taper
July Race

January - Enter the race. Now you are committed, and it will give you the motivation to train.

February - Work out your training schedule. The most important aspects of training for an ultra are:

  1. Increase your weekly 'Long Run' distance gradually (2.5 miles each time) and build this up over the next five months so that by June you have run 25 miles two or three times - either as a training run, a recce of the route or in a 'training race'.
  2. Include off-road running in your training. Read the race description and the race reviews. Look at the photos. Find out what the terrain is like and copy that as much as possible in your training.
  3. And that includes ascent and descent!
  4. Include rest weeks where you give your body time to recover - usually one in two or three weeks should be a rest week. This is not a non-running week but a week where you do less miles and more 'easy runs.'
  5. Include some races as preparation if possible. The Long Distance Walking Association https://www.ldwa.org.uk/ have some good low key events. A 45k to 50k (around 30 miles) event would be the best ideally in late May or early June.

March/April - Be consistent in your training. Look out for injuries as you increase your mileage and get them treated early by a Sports Massage Therapist. If you miss sessions / weeks due to illness or injury do not try and catch up. Just carry on with the training as scheduled, maybe decreasing the Long Run Distance for one week.

This is an important Base Training phase. Speed is not important, it's time on your feet that is important. You need to get your legs and mind used to running for 3 to 4 hours at a time. Start to practise your race pace - walking up the hills and gently running everything else. This is an endurance event not a 10k!

May - Race research. This can begin at any time, the earlier the better. You are looking for details such as:

  1. Terrain - so that you can choose and run in the right shoes, for you.
  2. Kit requirements - so you have purchased all the necessary kit and run in the rucksack that you will use on the day.
Suggested kit
Pack All Terrain Pro Vest
Shoes ROCLITE 290 - a great versatile shoe coping with dry hard conditions, and wet muddy conditions.
TRAILTALON 290 - For that extra cushioning, on dry trails, with great support
Clothing inov-8 Clothing - Choose comfy clothing that you have tested out, the last thing you want is any discomfort on race day. Good comfy shorts/tights, a soft feel top, and of course a waterproof (this is the Lakes after all!)
  1. Race profile - so you know how much ascent and descent there is and, very importantly, where on the route it is. Taking a race profile with mileages on it can be very helpful on the race day. Use a program such as Memory map or https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/ to create a profile for yourself.
  2. Checkpoints - so you know how far apart they are and what they provide in terms of water, drinks and food.
  3. Course markings - so you know what you are looking for when running.
  4. Results - so you can have a rough idea of how long you will be running for. Look at the results for the past few years and compare with race reviews for that year. See what effect bad weather has on finishing times. Prepare accordingly with kit and food.

June - Most of your training and race preparation is done. By now you will have

  1. Run in training over 25 miles
  2. Bought and used the shoes and kit that you will run in - (ROCLITE 305 - a great sll round shoe with good cushioning and underfoot protection, TRAILTALON 235 - a stripped back racing trail shoe, great for fast drier trails)
  3. Practised what and when, to eat and drink on your long runs. Ideally every 30 minutes.

Mid June - Very importantly - this is the time to taper. Whatever training you haven't done cannot be crammed into the last two weeks. You will do yourself more harm than good and start the race with tired legs and a stressed mind. Have the mental strength needed to stop training and start to prepare for race day in other, but just as important, ways. Sleep and eat well. Have a sports massage. Get your rucksack packed. Watch the weather forecasts and adjust your kit accordingly. Lightweight gear is all very well but you don't want to be shivering for 7 or so hours if the forecast is horrendous. The aim is to finish and to finish happy.

July 8th - Now it's time to enjoy the race. I won't say good luck because I believe luck is in preparation and you have done all that so it will all be fine!

*Nicky holds a variety of sessions and seminars throughout the year, helping runners achieve their ultra running goals. Learn more HERE: http://www.runbg.co.uk

55K - Racing your first Ultra by Damian Hall

Damian Hall

inov-8 ambassador Damian Hall has placed on the podium at the Spine Race, Dragon's Back Race (5th OA) and the most recent UK Ultra Trail Championships. The outdoor journalist has completed UTMB three times, placing 12th (1st Brit; 1st Vet) last year, and ranking 17th in the 2017 Ultra-Trail World Tour. In 2016 he set a Fastest Known Time on Britain's longest National Trail, the 630-mile South West Coast Path. In 2018 Damian will run the Lakeland Trails Ultimate 55k. Here is his advice for running your first ultra:

Ultramarathons are easier than they sound. Sure the distance can seem daunting, but the more varied and often softer terrain than say a road marathon means its far kinder on the body (where you're hitting the tarmac in the exact same way time after time after time). It you go at a comfortable pace and shove some cake in every now and then, you should be fine. Plus hiking isn't just okay, it's encouraged on steep bits. It's a great way to preserve muscles.

Talking of cake, ultras are often said to be eating contests with a little exercise thrown in, and being well fuelled is important. If I ever have a negative thought, I straightaway eat and drink something. Usually that negativity just means I needed refuelling. I try and stay off the sweet stuff early on though.

Along with fuelling the other most important aspect is pace. Try not to have a strict schedule or finish time in mind and certainly not any ideas of splits or minute-per-mile pacings. Go out too fast and you'll have to suffer the consequence for quite some time. Instead, be aware of the cutoffs and give yourself a cushion from them, but otherwise just relax and enjoy it. There's no rush. Enjoy the cake and the views.

Indeed, make sure you enjoy the scenery. Numerous studies show how incredibly good for us nature is and exercising in natural surroundings feeds into our biophilia effect - our innate desire to be connected to nature and its ability to lift us psychologically. The Lakes are as good as it gets in the UK, so keep your head up (that's good technique anyway) and if it does start to feel a bit ouchy, dramatic panoramas are a great distraction.

Try to stay in the moment. The remaining distance might seem daunting when you're tired and a bit hurty, but can you manage another mile to the next aid station? Well then, concentrate on doing that. Then, can you make it to the next one? Bite-sized chucks is a great mental approach.

Ultras don't always hurt, but you should be prepared to suffer a little, which is most likely muscle soreness, tummy issues (slow down, rehydrate and get some salts in, try liquid calories) or perhaps the odd foot issue. But the fact these challenges are difficult is what gives them value, for yourself and others. Pain is temporary, but a DNF is forever.

It's not the size of your muscles that'll get you to that hallowed finish line (in fact big muscles will only slow you down), it's the size of your willpower. If you think it's possible, it almost definitely is. If things start to get difficult, if you want it enough, you'll get there. Ultras are at least 50 per cent in the mind.

Enjoy it. Talk to people. Make new friends with like-minded loons. Smile - which releases endorphins. Failing that, don't be afraid of a quick power sob either. Tears also work as natural painkillers.