On Saturday 11th July, Philip and Warren spent 8 hours running on a treadmill inside the Intersport Guernsey store. The guys ran a combined distance of 76 miles, in this post Philip and Warren share the top 10 lessons learnt from their longest training run yet.
1. Nutrition – Eating and drinking at the right times is going to be critical. On Saturday this went well and we got the approach right over the 8 hours, this was very much down to the advice from Nutritionist Claire Mahy. However, what will be hard is to maintain discipline over the 48 hours when our minds are failing, it will be very easy to forget to eat and head into a downward spiral fast.
2. Time – 48 hours is a crazy amount of time to do anything, how did I get into this!
3. The Dark Moments – The nighttime is going to be really hard, when it gets cold, dark and quiet, those are when the hardest times will arrive during the challenge.
4. Run-Walk Strategy – I will probably walk more than I expect to, but walking fast felt harder than than running slow on the treadmill. I have a strategy, but after 6 hours this fell apart a bit, I need to keep the discipline if I’m going to survive the 48 hours.
5. Enjoy It – We must try and relax and enjoy it, the time will go quicker.
1. Treadmills – I don’t train on treadmills, I always train on the road or cliffs, I don’t like running on treadmills. This will bring it’s challenges during the 48 hours!
2. Hydration – In the 8 hours on a treadmill I drank over 5 litres of water / coconut water. Staying hydrated, with the right liquids, is going to be key during the EPIC 48 challenge.
3. A change of socks – I changed my socks after 4 hours, this was heaven. It might not sound nice but after 4 hours running my socks felt like wet flannels!
4. Nutrition – Thankfully I got the nutrition right during the 8 hour training run. Nutribullets have transformed my approach to nutrition and will be key in the EPIC 48 challenge.
5. Smile – Despite tough moments during the 8 hours (including forgetting that I had set the treadmill on an incline for 1.5 hours!) enjoying it and chatting to the amazing people that had taken time out of their day to come and see us helped the difficult times and made time pass pretty quickly.
We get asked quite a few questions about our training and how we’re feeling about the EPIC 48 World Record Challenge, so we thought it would be a good idea to share our answers to the top 5 questions we get asked by people.
1. What does your training plan look like for the EPIC48 World Record Challenge?
Philip – Unfortunately there isn’t a great deal of information available on how best to train for this type of run. Warren and I have used our experience form the 7 Marathons in 7 Days training last year as well as researching on how to train for 100 mile runs. Personally, I haven’t really stopped training since last years challenge apart from 2 weeks in April when I had a small injury. In terms of weekly mileage, in the early stages of 2015 I was running anywhere from 30 to 50 miles per week. With around 8 weeks to go I’m now hitting weekly totals between 70 and 100 miles. This year it is more about time on feet and throwing in a few challenges like long cliff runs and running when tired and on a lack of sleep.
Warren – Like Philip say there isn’t much information out there on 48 hour runs! You cant train for 48 hours so you have to aim to get yourselves well prepared physically but it’s the mental side that is going to be the difference between success or failure. The early part of the year for me was 40 mile weeks for a few months to build a solid base. This rose to 50 miles and more recently has been anywhere between 60 – 80 mile per week. We have challenged ourselves by running long cliff runs and ran the Saffery Champness Walk which was 38 miles followed by a similar run two weeks later combining 15 miles on the cliffs with the Guernsey Half marathon for a 28.5 mile run. I’m not sure any amount of training though will fully prepare me for this.
2. Doesn’t your body get tired with all the running?
Philip – The simple answer is yes. For about the last year I have been running on tired legs every day. I don’t know how, but the body manages to cope with it, I think it ’s a combination of learning about body management and developing the mental strength that enables you to tell your legs to ‘shut up’ when they are shouting “stop”. On the flip side, there is something energising and inspiring about a run along the cliffs or along the west coast on a nice day.
Warren – Yes all the time, there are very few times I have run in the last year where my legs have not been tired, it just ranges from a little bit to a lot. We just have to get on with it but some days it’s a real struggle to get out again and keep going, it helps being driven by the fear of failure and the reason we are doing this to help others
3. How do you fit in all the training?
Philip – This is a question we get asked a lot, with a young family, running my own business and the work with This Is EPIC life can get busy. But, the interesting thing is how efficient you become when trying to fit the weekly training in. You begin to cut stuff out that isn’s a priority or important, and from a work perspective you begin to look at meetings and aim to cut them down to 30 or 45 mins to fit in a lunch-time run. It’s amazing how efficient you can be when you prioritise properly!
Warren – This is really hard, I am often shoehorning a run into a day or quite often two a day to get the training in, as Philip says it does mean cutting out anything you don’t need to do in your life and trying to focus on the important things which for me are my family and work. Some runs have started at 5am just so we have them done and it doesn’t dominate a day of work or family time.
4. How are you avoiding injuries?
Philip – It has been incredible, in the last 12-18 months I’ve only had one small injury which put training on hold for 2 weeks. I think it is a combination of adjusting our running form last year, the support from the likes of Guthrie Steer (Physio), Paul Gosling (Massage) and Claire Mahy (Nutrition). In terms of our running form, last year we adjusted our form to a something called Chi Running. Which is essentially helps you reduce impact, improve your posture and core strength to make running more efficient.
Warren – This is something we get asked a lot, the fact we haven’t really stopped I am surprised the body has held up as well as it has, especially at my age. Without a doubt the support of Stuart Hardie last year and our crazy medical guys Paul Gosling and Guthrie Steer has made a big difference in getting into good habits and looking after ourselves. We can be flippant about it when we talk to people but we have taken training seriously and been disciplined in looking after ourselves. This year we have the addition of Claire Mahy advising on nutrition, which has been eye opening and will play a big part in getting us through the 48 hours.
5. What is the one thing that scares you the most about the challenge?
Philip – Ha, how long have we got to answer? With last years challenge we knew that a marathon is 26.2 miles, we knew that each day we would be finished by early afternoon and we could rest before another marathon the next day. With the 48 hour challenge we don’t have an afternoon to rest, or the ability to get a nights sleep before another 26.2 miles. Aside from short breaks for power naps and re-fuelling we’ll be running for the whole weekend, which is into the unknown in terms of how our bodies and minds will react. I’m not good without sleep, so for me it is going to be the lack of sleep that will be both a physical and mental battle. The unknown is the scariest thing, we can’t train for what we may experience during that weekend, and that carries risk with it around injury, mental challenges or our bodies just shutting down.
Warren – This is relentless, it is going to be so challenging mentally as well as physically, running a marathon is daunting enough, this is too big for me to comprehend. Hopefully the other guys running and the teams will help each other get through the tough times, because there are sure going to be as many of those as there will be highs. Part of me will just be relieved to get through it safe and without too much drama.
European sprint triathlon qualifier Abi Schofield will be taking on the EPIC48 challenge alongside Philip Smith and Warren Mauger in September this year in Market Square.
Along with Robert Young, Marathon Man UK and Adam Holland, Abi is the third athlete from the UK joining the EPIC48 team. In addition to Philip and Warren, Abi will also be attempting to break the female equivalent individual world record of running more than 200.65 miles in 48 hours.
Twenty four year old Abi qualified for the Great Britain Triathlon team after competing in her first ever triathlon last year.
Together with her intense training routine this summer, Abi is preparing to represent Great Britain in the age-group sprint triathlon, take part in her first half-ironman triathlon and the EPIC48 challenge.
Miss Schofield said: “I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this challenge; it is an amazing opportunity to push my limits and see how the human body and mind reacts in extreme circumstances.
“As a teacher I am passionate about inspiring others to work hard to achieve their dreams. I am eager to help with the overall aim of this challenge, changing lives through raising money and creating awareness.”
Over the years, Abi has competed in swimming at county and national level and she was a cross-country runner at district level.
“My attitude is anything is possible and I dedicate myself every time. I never say no to a challenge,” said Miss Schofield.
Abi Schofield photo credit – David Glover