Ultramarathon Tips & Tricks

Let’s rewind quickly back to March/April time this year. I was in the final weeks of marathon training ahead of the London Marathon, and I was just not enjoying it at all. I was really honest on the lead up that I was struggling with the training block, a combination of burning out earlier in the year and putting a lot of pressure on myself to get a PB meant that running just wasn’t giving me the same joy any more. I knew that I needed to give myself a break from the mental strain of marathon training after London, I didn’t want a break from running as such, but a break from constantly worrying about times & pace… so clearly signing up for two ultra marathons in two weeks was the logical thing to do! First up was the epic Adidas Infinite Trails, and then just this last weekend I completed my first non-stop 100k Ultra marathon at Race to The Stones (race review coming soon!)

When I announced my plans on Instagram, I got asked a lot of questions and it was mainly how I was going to train for the events and how it would differ from marathon training. So I thought would put together a post with the most popular questions, what I have learnt over the past 8 weeks, and everything in between!

The Boring Part

Now, I hate to be that boring person but as a running coach, I have to give the sensible advice first. If you are considering running an ultra marathon, please please please understand the challenge you are taking on. Whether its a 50k, 100k or a 100 miler – it will be a HUGE effort on your body, and going into it under prepared will not only mean you probably won’t enjoy it as much as it will be even harder than usual, but you are also risking potentially seriously injuring yourself and putting yourself out of the running game for a long time.

Ultra marathons are not for everyone. Not everyone will enjoy them, or have the desire to do one, and that’s absolutely fine (and that’s the same with marathons, half marathons, 5ks etc) We all have different things we want to achieve with our running and just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you have to as well!

You don’t have to have run a marathon to do an ultra, but in my opinion it certainly helps! Marathon training is hard work, and if you have already followed a marathon training plan you will have a better understanding of how training for longer distances work, and it will also give you a great base to build upon.

If for some reason you want to skip the marathon and head straight to the world of ultras, thats fine but just make sure you give yourself long enough to prepare and can sensibly increase your mileage week on week. The length of the training plan will obviously be determined by what distance and your experience, so I cannot give a ‘one size fits all’ answer, but if you would put yourself as a beginner, I would give yourself at least 6 months to prepare for the event.

All The Gear, And Some Idea! 

I get it, it is really hard to know where to start with kit, there are SO many options out there! From trainers, to hydration vests, to watches.. it can all get a bit overwhelming! Also, it is really important to remember that what works for one person, may not work for you, so always take recommendations with a pinch of salt.

Here is what I used during my training, and on race day.

*and just to be completely clear & transparent, these products were gifted to me by the companies linked below, but the opinions are completely my own and I have not been asked or paid to review them.

Shoes – Salomon S/Lab Ultra 2  

I started using these shoes back in June, in fact I got them just before I went to the South of France for a trail running holiday so it was the perfect chance to try them out over different terrains and getting used to spending lots of time on my feet.

On first impressions, I really liked the shoe and was surprised at how light they were, and comfortable. Trail shoes I have used in the past tend to be a lot more bulky and feel very hard underfoot but these were not like that at all. They have also been designed so they are suitable for all terrains, which can be really useful in any ultra distance race as it can sometimes be a combination of road, trail, gravel etc.

If you, like me are a neutral runner that doesn’t need a lot of support & cushioning I would recommend trying out this shoe, or similar from Salomon.

Hydration Pack – Salomon ADV SKIN 5 SET 

For the majority of ultra marathon or trail races, it it quite common that you are required to carry your own fuel, hydration, kit etc whilst out on the course. So finding the right bag is crucial. Being comfortable during an ultra marathon can be the difference between a great race, and a terrible one so its really important you find a pack that fits you properly and works for you. As a petite woman, finding a bag that fits me has always been a struggle. I have a small frame and narrow shoulders, so when bags are just a standard fit (and by standard fit I mean designed for men, obvs) even the smallest sizes are too large and can cause some pretty interesting chafing!

I would highly recommend this pack (or another from the Salomon range) as they really are one of the best in the market. Although it looks small, you can fit a lot in there. For Infinite Trails there was a pretty hefty mandatory kit list and I managed to get all of the following in the pack, and it didn’t feel uncomfortable or budge at all.

  • 2 x 500ml Soft Flasks
  • 8 Gels/4 x Energy Bars
  • Mobile Phone
  • Wateproof Jacket
  • Leggings
  • Spare Socks
  • First Aid Kit

GPS Watch – Garmin Forerunner 945 

For the last 4 years I have worn a Garmin GPS watch, for me there is no other option really when it comes to GPS watches. I recently upgraded to the new 945 as for my latest challenges I needed to make sure I had a watch that was going to last the distance! The 945 battery life is insane and can last up to 60 hours in UltraTrac mode.

The watch has so many great features, and if I am being completely honest I probably haven’t even made the most of half of them yet! But some of my favourite features that I use regularly are;

  • You can download your Spotify playlists straight to your watch (you do need a premium account for this feature to work & bluetooth headphones)
  • Performance monitoring features include VO2 max and training status with adjustments for heat, altitude acclimation status, training load focus, recovery time, and aerobic and anaerobic training effects
  • Loads of different activity settings including; trail running, hiking & climbing! Which is perfect for what I have been up to lately.

Of course I am not saying you need to invest in this watch specifically, this is just what I have been using. There are lots of great models out there, but my best advice is if you want to use it for ultras, make sure you check it has a decent battery life!

Headphones – Jaybird Sport Tarah Pro 

I have been working with Jaybird for just over a year now and I am proud to be part of the Jaybird Runners team! This does mean that I have been lucky enough to try a selection of their products and for the last few months I have been solely using the Tarah Pros.

The unique thing about the Tarah Pros is their battery life, once fully charged they last 14 hours, which is perfect if you are looking to take on longer distance races! I don’t always listen to music when I race, but I knew for Race to the Stones I was going to be out on the course for a long time, potentially on my own and there were going to be points where it got super tough, and for me personally, listening to music really helps me to just get my head down and dig deep! It was great to not have to worry about my headphones dying mid race or having to take a spare pair out with me – you have enough to worry about when running 100k so anything that makes it slightly easier is a bonus!

Fuelling – Training.

CARBS – this food group will really become your best friend during your training, race and recovery. Carbohydrates are what gives us the energy to be able to push harder, run further and last longer, and they also play an important part in recovery too.

I am sure you have all heard of ‘carb loading’ too, but unfortunately a lot of people seem to get this wrong. Carb loading does not just mean eating twice as much as you usually do the day before the race, or eating an entire family size lasagne. It simply just means on the days leading up to your event you increase the amount of carbohydrates in your diet, whilst lowering the other macronutrients (fats & protein and limiting fibre intake) It may be that your calories do increase slightly too, but there is no need to go over the top, as this is what causes the uncomfortable bloated, heavy feeling that people tend to experience and blame on the carbohydrates. Choosing carbohydrates with a higher glycemic index during your carb load can also aid in loading the muscle with glycogen, while minimising these feelings of fullness or bloating.

Here are some of my favourite carb heavy foods & snacks that are a staple in my diet.

  • Wholewheat Pasta
  • Rice/Lentils/Quinoa 
  • Bagels 
  • Porridge
  • Wraps
  • Bananas 

I then make sure I always add a protein source & fats to the majority of my meals too.

  • Chicken Breast
  • Tuna 
  • Fish – Salmon, Cod etc 
  • Cheese
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Peanut Butter 
  • Olives
  • Pesto 

And then finally I will add a good amount of fruits & vegetables (also carbs FYI) to my food.

  • Spinach 
  • Blueberries 
  • Strawberries 
  • Red Peppers 
  • Cucumber 
  • Salad Leaves 

For me personally, on the day before a race I like to keep my food quite plain so I avoid anything that is too creamy, cheesy, spicy etc. My go to pre-race meal is Pesto Pasta with chicken breast, olives, peppers & spinach.

Fuelling – Race Day 


This is perhaps one of the most popular questions I got asked when it came to ultra marathon training, and rightly so! Nailing your fuelling strategy (before, during & after) can be the difference between a great race, and a terrible one. But with so much information out there it can be hard to know where to start. The one thing I will say is that this will be different for everyone. Like most things with running, there is a rarely a ‘one size fits all’ plan, so its super important you find out what works for you. For some people during a race that’s gels, whereas others will swear by cold pizza. But the most important thing is that you are getting calories and carbohydrates (energy) back into your body frequently, keeping your glycogen stores topped up.

On the lead up to Infinite Trails & Race to the Stones I worked closely with Ben (lead Nutritionist for Science in Sport) and together we came up with a fuelling strategy to prepare me for the races.

Ever since I started running longer distances, I have used Science in Sport gels during my training & races. For me it is the easiest way to get calories and carbohydrates back into my body on the move, and I suppose I am fortunate I have never had an issue with them! During a marathon I will solely just use gels, but I knew for the ultra marathons I was going to need to include other fuel sources too.  And together we came up with the plan that I was going to try and use a combination of gels, energy bars, Beta Fuel and then also take on real food at the aid stations during the race. The overall goal was upwards of 60 grams of carbohydrate per hour, planning this out in a by-hour strategy so to ensure that energy intake started early enough into the race.

Here is what I ended up using during both Infinite Trails & Race to the Stones. I personally felt that I got my nutrition & hydration spot on. In neither race there was no point I felt really low on energy and I seemed to avoid that ‘hitting the wall’ feeling despite the fact that for both races I was out for 10 hours in total.

Infinite Trails 

8 x SIS Gels

1 x SIS Beta Fuel Sachet 

3 1/2 x SIS Energy Bars

Aid Stations – I didn’t eat a huge amount at the aid stations as I didn’t feel like I needed it. I mainly just took watermelon (as it was refreshing) and on a couple of occasions a handful salty peanuts or pretzels and made sure I refilled my water bottles.

Race To The Stones 

9 x SIS Gels

1 x SIS Beta Fuel Sachet

3 x SIS Energy Bars

Aid Stations – Again, I didn’t take a huge amount as I felt I really didn’t need it (which was a shame as the aid stations were AMAZING) I mainly just use the aid stations to refill my water bottles, obviously I had watermelon (just the best!) but apart from that I just stuck to what I had in my pack. At one of the last aid stations I did have a mini malt loaf though which felt like a great little pick me up!

So from this, my best advice would be to make sure you take everything you think you will need for the race, and do not rely on the aid stations. I knew that the gels, bars and beta fuel worked for me, and I felt confident that I had enough to see me through and keep me going between the aid stations.


This was probably the most popular question I got asked – how my ultra training differed from my marathon training. Anyone that has trained successfully for a marathon knows that it’s hard work. It’s early mornings, its long runs, speed sessions, easy runs, strength training – and for me, my ultra training was NO different! The only difference was that it was so much more enjoyable as on 90% of my runs I put no pressure on myself in terms of pace! I ran lots with friends and just chatted the miles away, or sometimes I just stuck my headphones in and tried new routes, but it was so nice to not have to worry about hitting ‘marathon pace’ or beasting myself on multiple runs a week.

When training for an ultra (especially if its you’re first one) the most important thing is getting your body used to spending a long time on you feet. But I get it, not everyone has 5+ hours on a Sunday afternoon to dedicate to a run, and to be honest not many of us would probably want to do that!

Everyones training will be different, and if you are looking to seriously train for an ultra marathon I would suggest investing in a coach to devise a training plan, but here are some hints & tips to help get you started

  • Hills – chances are, if you are doing an ultra marathon and it is on the trails, there will be hills! Include hills wherever possible in your training – in your long runs, easy runs, hill sprints etc. They are a great way to help strength train during your runs, and it just means on race day you will feel a little more prepared!
  • Back to Back Long Runs – most of us don’t have the time (or the desire!) to head out for multiple 6+ hour runs, and that is absolutely fine and in my opinion not essential for ultra marathon training. Instead, break these runs down into shorter, manageable sessions and just do them on back to back days. So for example, on a Saturday head out for a 2 hour run, and then followed by a 3 hour run on Sunday. Not only will this help to make the runs seem more manageable, but it will also get your body used to running on tired legs.
  • Cross Training – Strength & Conditioning should always play a part in training, and training for an ultra is no different! I included two S&C sessions a week and focused on the whole body and included lots of big compound movements such as; deadlifts, weighted squats and lots of core too. One big difference I made is that I invested in my own S&C coach who created workouts specific for me and my goals.
  • Get a buddy – as I mentioned earlier, I did a lot of my long runs with friends, which really helps just to make it so much more enjoyable! It can also be great motivation too for those days where you really can’t be bothered to get out and run. And plus you can always plan to go for a coffee/brunch/drink after which is a great incentive!
  • Get Exploring – if like me you live in a big city, it might not always seem easy to get out into the trails, BUT there are ways around it! Check out your local parks, follow a river/canal path or sometimes you may need to just jump on a train for an hour to get out of the city and into the countryside!

Final Points

Whilst writing this, I have realised there is SO much more I could say, and over the next few weeks/months I will 100% share more tips and tricks about how to train for an ultra marathon.

But one of the most important things to remember is… ONLY DO IT IF YOU REALLY WANT TO, NOT BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE ON INSTAGRAM IS DOING IT! Training and running an ultra marathons is hard and isn’t something that should be taken lightly. If you want to run well and ultimately have a positive race day experience than you need to put in the work leading up to it.

So give yourself time to train, time to adapt and time to fully learn to respect the beauty of long distance endurance running!

Jordan xxx







Adidas Infinite Trails – Part 2



Photographer – Jon Roberts http://www.jonroberts.co.uk/

So this was it, all that stood in the way of me and the finish line was 60km & 12,000ft of elevation… easy right?! I won’t lie, the whole race felt pretty daunting so I tried to follow the advice I have been given from Timothy the day before and just not think about what was coming up and just try to enjoy it and take it all in!

I knew that one of the most important things I had to do for the first part of the race was pace myself, I had a long bloody way to go and I couldn’t go tearing off like a mad woman over the first few miles, which would have been really easy to do! The first 7 miles of my race were pretty flat, which was a good way to get some steady miles in and get my legs warmed up ready for the climbs.

Almost as soon as I set off, it was like someone literally flicked a switch and turned the sun on. It was ROASTING, and it was only 9 in the morning! Again though, there was nothing I could do about it so I just kept telling myself I was going to get a cracking tan, and made sure I kept taking on water & fuel regularly.


Photographer – Jon Roberts http://www.jonroberts.co.uk/

Soon enough though, it was time to leave the road as I started the loooooooong climb up the first mountain of the day! I knew that Lewis & Jon were going to be at the first aid station on the way up, so that really helped to keep me going. I will be completely honest, on the uphill climbs there was pretty much ZERO running. I had got advice from lots of people who were a lot more experienced than me who all advised the same thing, to hike the hills.. so that is exactly what I did! I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and slowly made my way up the first big climb of the day. I also really regretted not having poles, watching people glide up the hills with them made more really envious so it’s something I’ll definitely invest in for the future!

I finally reached the first aid station and it was so good to see the guys there and have a chat (it was pretty lonely out on the course!) I refilled my water bottles, covered myself in water and grabbed a handful of salty pretzels and then carried on my way up the mountain.  The views were absolutely incredible, and there were many points throughout the race I actually made sure that every now and then I just stopped to look around and make sure I was taking it all in!



Photographer – Jon Roberts http://www.jonroberts.co.uk/


It was at this point that I realised how hard this race was actually going to be – I had gone from running, to hiking to now actually mountain climbing and scrambling along a ridge! I will admit I am not the biggest fan of heights, so I did take it pretty slow and steady and really concentrated on where I was putting my hands and feet – I definitely didn’t want to slip and fall at this point! It was a bittersweet moment when I finally got to the summit, I was relieved that the climbing was over for a while, but all I kept thinking was that  had to do this ALL over again once I got back down – mentally this was pretty tough to get my head round!


Photographer – Jon Roberts http://www.jonroberts.co.uk/

I didn’t hang about at the top, I still had a LONG way to go and I wanted to just chip away at the miles and get to the next aid station, mainly because I knew I was going to see some friendly faces. Running downhill is definitely a lot more fun than climbing, this is definitely where my strength is, and I really enjoyed getting some speed back into my legs as I made my way down. I stopped briefly at the aid station again, refilled & refuelled and carried on (you might be noticing a pattern here!) 


Photographer – Jon Roberts http://www.jonroberts.co.uk/

The next few miles were a dreaaaaaaam, it felt so good to actually get some decent running in on the road, and the miles went by so quickly before I knew it I was almost coming up to the half way point of the race! By this point I had been out on the course for about 5 hours and I was starting to just feel really hot, and tired! The sun was relentless. There was literally no cloud cover or shade out on the course, so the whole time it was just beating down on me! I wouldn’t usually run in a cap, but I have to say I was so pleased it was part of the mandatory kit list, it may sound dramatic but I think I would have really struggled at points if I didn’t have cover on my head (so if any of you have a race coming up and its going to be hot – get a hat!!)

I made it, I was over the half way point! Which was a great feeling, but also a little daunting as I knew I still had another mountain to climb and a lot of miles left to do.

As I started the next climb of the race, unfortunately this is where it started to go a little downhill for me (pun absolutely intended).  I was struggling. It was now early afternoon and after being out in the sun for over 5 hours already with barely any shade, I was starting to feel the effects of the heat. Between miles 21-27 there was hardly ANY running, the first few miles were a gradual climb – which normally I would run but I was finding it really hard. It was also pretty lonely out there, due to the format of the race everyone set off at different times, so sometimes I wouldn’t see another runner for what felt like miles, and I definitely think that made it that little bit tougher too. By now, all I was focussing on was getting to the next aid station. I kept checking the route (we were all given transfer tattoos of our loop) and thinking about getting a cold drink, some shade and salty food.


Photographer – Jon Roberts http://www.jonroberts.co.uk/

After what felt like FOREVER, I finally reached the aid station! I grabbed myself a drink and then asked the volunteers if they minded if I sat down for 5 minutes in the shade – it felt SO good to be out of the sun!! To be honest at that moment I could have quite happily stayed sitting in the tent, but luckily another runner (and yes I feel terrible I have forgotten her name!) asked if I was okay and if I wanted to run with her for a bit, which was enough to make me get out of my chair and back on the trails! It was so nice to have some company for a couple of miles, both of us were finding it really tough but she was definitely a lot stronger than me on the climbs. We agreed that we wouldn’t hold each other up, so once the climb started getting really tough again I let her go on as I was a lot slower. For me, this was possibly the hardest part of the race. I was back on the mountain, back to scrambling across rocks and my legs felt like they were made out of lead.

Like in any race, no matter if its a 5k or an ultra, once you lose it mentally it can be really hard to pull yourself back together. I messaged the boys and said I was struggling and finding it really tough, and honestly if it wasn’t for them telling me that they were waiting at the summit for me I probably would have come close to giving up. It was slow, it was painful, I had a little cry on my Instagram stories, but slowly and surely I made my way up through the snow (which was so bizarre when it was so hot!) and across the final ridge to the peak. It was so good to see the boys up there – and I couldn’t quite believe they had made it all the way to the top (they were the real heroes of the day – they were out on the course from 4am until midnight, god knows how many miles they clocked up!) 

Now that I had reached the second summit, I finally felt like I could get excited about finishing the race! All that was left to do was get down to the bottom, easy right?! I made my way to the next aid station where the boys were and also got to see Rich who came out to meet me on the course, it was great to see him. .. although admittedly the first thing I did when I saw him was shout ‘I HATE YOU’ (he was the brains behind the whole trip and the reason I was running the 60k) but luckily since then I have forgiven him!


Photographer – Jon Roberts http://www.jonroberts.co.uk/

I spent a bit of time at the aid station this time, I refilled all my bottles, got water poured over me, and ate perhaps the best, saltiest chips I have ever had in my LIFE! I hadn’t taken on any ‘real’ food in a while so they honestly tasted like the best thing in the world! We were all buzzing that I was almost at the finish, but the race definitely wasn’t over yet, I still had about 10 miles to go until I was done… so once again it was time to get my head down and crack on.


Photographer – Jon Roberts http://www.jonroberts.co.uk/

Actually being able to run and go downhill again felt amazing after a pretty miserable few hours of climbing, it was nice to get some speed back in my legs, and to my surprise once I started running again and got back on the road, my legs actually felt pretty good!

The miles started ticking by nicely, then all of a sudden I was going back uphill?! Ummmmm, this wasn’t what I wanted 55km into the race! It turns out that just because I was coming down from the mountain, they still threw in a few cheeky ‘undulating’ sections. And trust me, my legs felt every single one of those inclines!

But finally, as I made my way off the mountain for good I knew I was close! I could hear the music from the event village in the distance and that was literally what kept me going as I made my way back into the town. This race wasn’t about time, but I had set myself a goal (of course I did!) of wanting to finish in under 10 hours, and although it was going to be a close one, I realised I was going to do it. I text the boys to tell them I was on my way in so that Sum could get ready for his loop and just kept putting one foot in front of the other.

The music was getting louder and louder, there were people out cheering on the course and I was actually starting to feel pretty emotional, I was just so pleased it was nearly over! As with any long distance event, the last mile is always one of the hardest and the final loop of the park seemed to last forever, but I eventually turned the corner and the finish line was in sight! Crowd support & adrenaline can do amazing things, and with everyone cheering and clapping, even though I was exhausted I somehow managed to pull a sprint finish out of the bag! I could see Sum waiting and raring to go… I crossed the line, pretty much ran into him, wished him luck and then collapsed into a heap on the floor!


Photographer – Jon Roberts http://www.jonroberts.co.uk/

The next few minutes were a bit of a blur, one of the volunteers placed a wet towel over my shoulders which honestly felt like the best thing in the world. And then all of a sudden I became very aware about how much my feet were burning – I needed to get my shoes and socks off, pronto! They weren’t battered, blistered or bruised – but I think they were just suffering after being stuffed in a pair of trainers for the best part of 12 hours!


Photographer – Jon Roberts http://www.jonroberts.co.uk/

We then made our way out to the main finish area, and straight to the paddling pools filled with ice cold water. It may as well have been a luxury spa! It felt so good to finally be able to sit down, knowing that I didn’t have to get back up and climb a mountain! But our race wasn’t quite done there – the rules of the race stated that to officially finish as a team, once your 3rd loop runner was back in, as a team you then had to complete a 0.5km victory lap and all cross the line together. Luckily, we knew we had a few hours before Sum would be back in – so we went back to the hotel, got cleaned up, FINALLY HAD A BEER and grabbed some food!

We headed back down to the finish area just before Midnight and were constantly checking out phone for updates on how Sum was getting on – he was running strong but it was a tough out there and the Loop 3 runners also had the extra challenge of it being pitch black! Jon & Lewis finally joined us again after being out on the course themselves for 18 hours, and its safe to say we were all feeling pretty exhausted!

Soon enough though, Sum gave us the nod he was heading back into the centre, so once again Rich & I got ourselves ready in the start zone and as soon as Sum got to the line, we grabbed his hand and set off on our victory lap!

We crossed the line with a total time of  20:50:55 and made it back before 1am and were just so pleased to have completed it within the tough cut offs (which saw nearly half of the other teams get disqualified) And although we all raced separately, it was great to be able to all cross the line and finish together!


Photographer – Jon Roberts http://www.jonroberts.co.uk/

The race, and the whole trip to Austria is something I will never forget. I had the most amazing time, met some incredible people and I proved to myself that I am a lot stronger than I think! It has also opened my eyes to what else is out there, and made me realise there is a lot more to running then getting a faster marathon time! I have already started to line up my next challenges… one of which I will hopefully share with you VERY soon!

The best advice I can give to anyone who is reading this and thinking ‘I would love to do something like this’ is… JUST BLOODY DO IT! (Okay, well maybe don’t jump straight into a 60k ultra mountain race… but there is no reason why you couldn’t one day!) I honestly do believe that we never truly know what we are capable of until we try.  So here is to saying YES and all the amazing adventures along the way!

Jordan xx

Race Stats

**I was invited to be a part of Team Pro:Direct Running and to go on the trip by Prodirect. Race entry, travel, accommodation & kit were also provided**











Adidas Infinite Trails – Part 1


I guess the best place to start is right back at the beginning… So let me take you back to about 6 weeks ago, when I randomly got a message from Rich (boss man!) on Instagram asking if I would consider being a part of Team Prodirect Running for the upcoming Adidas Infinite Trails weekend. I had never heard of the event before, but after a quick look on the website I just had to say yes! I am ALWAYS up for a challenge & looking for ways to push myself out of my comfort zone, and this looked like the perfect event to do this!

img_6180I was really excited, but as the event drew closer I also started to feel incredibly nervous, especially as I had been given the task of taking on the biggie.. Loop 2! 60km with 3800m of elevation! Craaaaaap, those hills at Richmond Park seemed pretty insignificant now! Luckily, completely by coincidence I also had a trail running/mountain holiday booked for the beginning of June in the South of France which ended up being the perfect training week (I still need to blog about this too!)

Soon enough, race week was upon us and we were all getting really excited about what we were taking on! As with any race, I spent most of the week leading up to it frantically checking the weather, and it was looking like along with the rest of Europe, Austria was also having a heatwave (30+ degrees forecast everyday!) BUT unfortunately, the weather is something we cannot control, you just need to make the best of the situation and I’m extreme conditions just be sensible (note: I do not class running a 60km mountain race during the middle of the day as sensible!)

Day 1

Our journey started on Tuesday evening where we met at the airport hotel for dinner and to plan the week ahead. This was actually the first time I met the team so it was nice to spend some time with them all before we embarked on our crazy adventure! The following day it was up early doors for our flight to Austria where we already had an action packed day ahead of us!


Photographer – Jon Roberts http://www.jonroberts.co.uk/

Our first task was to get some content for Social Media which meant our first trip up the mountain (We did the sensible thing though and saved our legs by getting a cable car up & down) The views from the top were truly something else, we managed to get some pretty amazing photos but as always I don’t think a photo can ever really do something like this justice! There is also something incredible humbling about being on a mountain, and it makes you realise just how small we actually are!


Photographer – Jon Roberts http://www.jonroberts.co.uk/

The main realisation we all had from this was how bloody hot it was, even late in the afternoon and at the summit! There was no cloud, and even the wind was blowing hot air. Normally I am not one to complain about the hot weather, but all I kept thinking is that it was going to make an already tough race, that little bit tougher!


Photographer – Jon Roberts http://www.jonroberts.co.uk/

Day 2

This is where the real fun started! The small town we were staying in started to really come alive as athletes from all over the world arrived ready for the events.

Adidas Terrex had well and truly taken over! In the centre of the town was the ‘House Of Terrex’ which was their version of the event expo – there was food & drinks, massage, exhibitors, panel talks, massage, registration etc. It was great to be able to wander around and soak up all the atmosphere. This is when it all started to feel more real and reminded me I wasn’t just there for a holiday!

Thursday was also the first race of the weekend with the 15km Prologue event taking place that evening. This was essentially a warm up for the main event and your teams average finish time determined your start time on Saturday. We decided to use the race as a way to get some experience with trails and not completely trash our legs before our main race.

We set off as a team, alongside another 600+ runners and soon found ourselves in a single file queue making our way up the first climb. There wasn’t really any option apart from to walk, but to be honest we didn’t really mind (and I definitely wouldn’t have been able to run 99% of it anyway!) and we still managed to keep a solid walking pace to the top! Once we started the descent though, I will admit that Rich and I maaaaaaaay have got a little carried away with the downhill! It was super steep and it just felt so good to get some speed back into my legs! I wouldn’t say it was running… it was more just falling with style, and trying to keep my legs from going underneath me!

As a team we finished in just under the 2.00 hour mark, which we were super happy with! Out of about 180ish teams that put us in 139th position for the race on Saturday, which we were quite surprised at! But I think that just goes to show the level of athletes that had turned up to event, I mean.. it was the world championships after all!


Photographer – Jon Roberts http://www.jonroberts.co.uk/

Day 3

Today was all about relaxing, eating and trying to prepare ourselves for race day! My day started with another quick trip up the mountain (via cable car! and I had my first experience of being a footwear model) before I headed back down to chill – well, as best I could in 33 degree heat!


Photographer – Jon Roberts http://www.jonroberts.co.uk/

I headed back to the House of Terrex which was now absolutely buzzing with athletes and people getting ready and excited for the event! This was also where I casually bumped into legendary Adidas Athlete Timothy Olson! What he doesn’t know about mountain running, isn’t worth knowing! So I obviously had to ask if he had any advice for the race, and then get a photo of course!

1️⃣ Start SLOW (obviously all relative to the individual as his ‘slow’ pace would probably be my max effort 🤣)

2️⃣ Hike the hills! Don’t try and run it all, and use this time to take on lots of calories and water.

3️⃣ Think less! Don’t be constantly thinking about what’s coming up or what you have to do. Enjoy it, take in the views and just run!

The afternoon was pretty busy – we had to attend the mandatory Athlete Briefing where the RDs went through all of the loops and health & safety, then it was final kit checks before we headed to a local restaurant and stuffed ourselves with pizza before getting an early night! Oh, and of course I had to do a flat lay! I don’t think I’ve ever had so much stuff for a race before!

It was then straight to bed as we had a looooong day ahead of us on Saturday!

Day 4 – RACE DAY!

I actually got a really good night sleep and woke up feeling raring to go at 4am! Now all I had to do was fuel myself and wait for Rich to finish his lap.

I headed down to the event village at around 7am with some of the other guys to wait for Rich and cheer on the other runners. The atmosphere was incredible, it felt more like a festival than a race! I was feeling SO nervous and I probably went to the toilet about 8 times in the space of an hour. At around 8.30 we got the update from Lewis and Jon that Rich was heading to the finish! I got myself into the handover zone and tried to get my head in the game. Minutes later Rich came storming down the finish straight to hand over to me. This was it! Now the real fun was about to begin…

I have so much to say about this race. I think it deserves its own blog post… COMING SOON!