DaznBone & Nathan/Tori (RunBulgaria) hosted our first Spartathlon based RunCamp in the mountains of Bulgaria. As we plan to host another edition in 2020 we wanted to share some nuggets on what we learnt from this one and what you can expect to get out of it………
DaznBone could not have beenmore proud of Bryn Jones superb run at Basel 24 hour race. Having struggled at last years Tooting 24 hour and then had plenty of challenges leading up to Basel - Bryn put in a mighty huge (chimp bashing) performance to gain his Spartathlon qualifier. Here is his own report of the race…….
Well it’s been quite a few weeks at daznbone with four of our athletes in action at big events. It’s been an absolute honour to have played a small part in improvements being made, PBs being set, qualifiers being met but most of all to see smiles on faces. We just love when people put themselves on the line, give their all and walk away - win lose or draw - a slightly changed person. Here we go:
Allan Anderson - Anglo Celtic Plate - Sparta Qualifier
Allan came to us back in October 2018 with a brief to get him qualified for Spartathlon. Following a great initial spike of fitness and a cracking run at Country to Capital in early January, optimism was running very high but we were all brought back down to earth when Allan had a really tough intro to 100k racing at the Flitch Way event on the last weekend of Jan.
We regrouped and refocused on building up Allan’s strength and “base” speed and fitness with the next target race being the Anglo Celtic Plate 100k Champs in Perth at the end of March. The Spartathlon qualifying mark for 100k is 10 hours (lowered from 10.5 hours recently given the increased interest in Spartathlon and the organisers fearing that 10.5 hours was slightly too “soft”) which looks very do-able on paper but is a tough ask for a lot of runners.
Allan went into the race really well prepared having completed his speed sessions diligently and ground out really good long training runs of 35+ miles in the preceding weeks. He set out at a relatively quick but controlled pace - very difficult not to in this event as it’s a very flat+fast course with of course all the National teams flying round it, so it’s hard not to get sucked in.
daznbone were watching the event unfold on the live tracking system throughout the day, and it was a joy to see Allan steadily chug through the laps. By the time the last 10k came up Allan had a really solid buffer against the 10 hour mark, and even had time to send us a text as he knew he was going to smash it. Sure enough Allan arrived at the 100k mark in a magnificent 9:49, securing his place in the Spartathlon ballot for 2020 and 2021. To say that we were all “over the moon” is an understatement!
Bryn Jones - Basel 24 Hour - Sparta Qualifier
Bryn is a well known character on the London running scene being a super fast member of Fulham RC and holding some special times at 5k, 10k, half marathon etc. Having also plunged into the ultra world with runs at Lakeland 100 and Tooting 24 last year, Bryn sought us out for some coaching to help him improve his game in “the long stuff”.
The target race was the Sri Chinmoy Basel 24 hour event, held on a 1.2km circuit in St. Jakob park. Bryn arrived at the race in great shape having gone through ~3 months of ultra-training including a long night run with Bone, a 90k track session with Bone early on and Daz stepping in around 50k, and a “double” London Marathon - finish to start to finish - in just over 7 hours. We’d also been working a lot on the mental angle of ultra-running - we all have battles with our inner “chimp” telling us what we are doing is ridiculous, we should stop, etc etc etc…. this can be particularly pronounced in the 24 hour format where it’s just going round and round the same short circuit for a very long time.
Bryn went into Basel with 4 different goals labelled A, B, C, D - a good strategy in such an event where if your “A” goal becomes unachievable it can be all too easy to give up and stop. Following a fantastic first 12 hours of the race, covering ~120km and running really well, some tough times arrived for Bryn in the night when a combination of bad weather and becoming unduly cold forced him off the track for a short rest spell. With the A goal gone Bryn did brilliantly to stay out on the track and keep going for the remainder of the event, reaching his “C” goal of 180km to make the Spartathlon qualifying standard (sorry that we are so obsessed with Spartathlon!), and well and truly “punching the chimp” into submission along the way.
Harvey Redgrave - London Marathon - Massive PB
Harvey came to us in November for a one off program with a brief to get him “Sub 4” at the London Marathon. Having completed a few marathons previously, with a PB of 4:35, Harvey was keen to improve on his race experience as he’d always been left feeling pretty disappointed and frustrated. He knew (as did we) he had a much stronger time in him, but always seemed to really struggle from around Mile 18 onwards.
We set to work with Harvey, setting up a detailed program which was primarily focused on getting him running much more frequently and not having big gaps between training runs. We also worked on Harvey’s nutrition plan for training and race day - it was apparent quite early on in the training block that he wasn’t taking on enough fluids and carbs during training runs, leading to a dramatic drop in performance. Finally, we encouraged Harvey to enter a variety of preparation races to get used to marathon race pace and the experience of being in a big race.
This approach paid off in spades, with Harvey setting a massive 45 minute PB coming home in a time of 3:50 and running strongly for the whole race.
Here’s what Harvey had to say:
Thanks mate, it was our absolute pleasure!
Jeff Strachan - London Marathon - 10 minute PB
Also out on the big London Marathon day was our wonderful Jeff. After spending so much of his time supporting daznbone in ultras it is just awesome to see Jeff get into endurance sport himself. Not only is he now running marathons with London being his second in 3 months, he has even been getting stuck into duathlons and desert running out in the UAE.
The build-up to London had been somewhat curtailed for Jeff due to an ITB and knee injury sustained in the Dubai marathon. He’d been dilligently working on strength and flexibility exercises though with the support of a PT in Dubai, and was feeling good going into London. This bore out with a super strong first Half of 2:06, not helped by his support crew (sorry Jeff!) not being able to spot him and hand over a bottle of Tailwind due to the absolutely massive London crowds!
The last 10k saw Jeff battle his way home along the Embankment, crossing the line in a fantastic 4:46 which was a 10 minute PB and another great stepping stone on his continuing journey.
Jeff it’s been an absolute honour to help you a little bit with training plans etc and can’t wait to see what’s next on the agenda. You’d better be careful if you keep hanging around ultra runners you know what’s gonna happen…………….
So that’s it for the moment, a really solid spring for our athletes and now it’s time to look forward to some big racing over the summer season.
First up for daznbone this weekend is buddying and crewing the mighty Nathan Flear as he takes on one of the UK’s premier ultras, the famous GUCR.
See you “out there”