A high chance of failure…

Orchard PR - 2472 - Epic Challenge

One thing we have noticed in recent conversations is often people talk to us about our 7 Ironmans in 7 Days challenge as if we have already completed it or that it’s a guarantee that we will complete it. On one side we’re humbled that we (appear to) inspire confidence in people about our ability to take on endurance challenges, but on the other side we want people to understand that this challenge carries with it a huge chance of failure.

With previous challenges, which have been all based on running, we knew things could go wrong, and they did, like broken treadmills, sore knees, sore ankles and kicking door frames. But we learnt to suck it, breath it in and keep moving forward. With this challenge we are bringing in two completely new disciplines and the mechanical element with the bike.

To recap the distances, an Ironman distance triathlon is:

  1. 2.4 mile swim (152 lengths of Beau Sejour Pool) 
  2. 112 miles on the bike (a long way 🙂 )
  3. 26.2 mile run (a marathon)

Each discipline has some big risks associated to it, and as the week goes on we have the accumulation of fatigue and likely to be operating on approx. 4 to 6 hrs sleep each night as the week goes on. Whilst we have completed thousands of hours of training over the past 17 months, this challenge has only been completed once by someone in the UK. What we have been unable to test in training is the level of fatigue combined with the lack of sleep. We have been extremely detailed in our training and that has contributed to us going through the past 17 months completely injury free, and whilst we have been training for circa 20hrs per week for the past 6 months, each ironman has the possibility of taking us 15 to 18 hours each day!

We believe this challenge is going to push us to our limits…and possibly beyond them. Each day we will be completed 140.6 miles. To put that into perspective, our first challenge of 7 Marathons in 7 Days was a total of 183.4 miles FOR THE WHOLE WEEK.

Are we confident? I’m not sure its confidence, but we have sacrificed so much over the past 17 months and believe in the causes we are supporting that this will drive us on and will push us over the finish line each day. The support from the community and the donations will also drive us on. So when you see us during our EPIC week we really would appreciate a cheer, a toot, a high-five and to have some money thrown at us towards our causes.

You can read about how the money raised will change lives and donate online via DONATE HERE

#NeverGiveUp

A look back at 2016

It has been quite a year for us at EPIC Challenges, we have really enjoyed expanding our calendar of events in 2016, which included the first ever EPIC Y-Front Fun Run, Guernsey’s first ever 12hr Endurance Event – EPIC12 and who can forget the Kings Mills Fun Run!

 

Part of our purpose at EPIC Challenges is to create the opportunity for the local community to get active and to push or challenge themselves to do something they haven’t done before. In 2016 that ranged from running 10km in Y-Fronts to support MUG and This Is EPIC, take on a family fun run to support Anthony McMahon & Jonah Gillingham, or to run through the night at EPIC12 or the Moonlight Marathon.

 

We want to make people realise that they can achieve far more than they currently limit themselves to, and on the way to being the best you can be we aim to raise money for our primary beneficiary This Is EPIC and charities that support community needs in Guernsey.

 

In 2016:

 

  • 787 runners participated in our events

  • Over 4,800 miles were run at our events

  • £14,300 was raised for charity 

 

We’re looking forward to 2017, we have already released our ‘save the dates’ for the next version of the Y-Front Fun Run, EPIC12 returns and the EPIC Moonlight Marathon is back for its 4th year.

 

2017 will also see us take on our next challenge but, and more importantly, alongside the challenge we will be launching a community wide challenge to get people active and raise money for charity. This type of community challenge has not been attempted ever before (that our google research shows anyway!), we are very excited and we are also very nervous about our next challenge – but more on that in 2017.

 

Thank you for your amazing support in 2016. We hope you enjoyed our events and enjoyed pushing yourself to go further than ever before. We look forward to seeing you again at our events in 2017!

 

 

#NeverGiveUp

 

 

Going balls out to change lives

One thing that we want to do with our running is keep it fun. It’s easy to get bogged down with personal bests and checking the pace on expensive GPS watches. But at the heart of it running should be enjoyable, make us feel alive and leave us feeling better than before we started.

Earlier this year we came up with an idea to do a run wearing Y-fronts! To put it all out there to help others – we thought it sounded perfect! But as always we wanted to partner with another charity as well as This Is EPIC. There was no better choice than MUG, who are always up for eye-catching, ballsy, different ways of raising awareness of male cancers and raising money. The MUG team loved the idea so here we are about to make it a reality.

Please don’t let it be just Warren and Philip and Trevor Kelham running in Y-fronts. On June 26th we want every male who is capable of running, walking or just moving to meet at Pembroke and flood the island in a sea of pants.

Wear them how you like: pure (just Y-fronts, a bit risqué), superhero, or get creative. Everyone signing up will be supplied with a special pair of Ys so there’s no excuses.

This is meant to be fun so don’t be shy. Starting at Pembroke, the route will snake its way round the coast around Bordeaux and into town, finishing in the High Street where those taking part can relax and let it all hang out!

The event will have a positive impact on lives and this is why you should enter.

For all of us involved in EPIC Challenges there is no point in doing something that doesn’t have a purpose, this event may save a life or change someone’s life forever. Here are a few other reasons:

  • Everyone taking part will be more informed about male cancers, which could save lives;

  • Exercise is good for us and keeps us healthy;

  • You will smile and laugh which is good for our brain and wellbeing;

  • You will help get people out of extreme poverty. 

If ever there was a time to wear your pants with pride (whilst sober) the time is now.

Signing up will take just a couple of minutes…

Y-FRONT RACE NATION SOCIAL LOGO 350X200-2

Success is not final. Failure is not fatal.

Failure, it’s an interesting word, and often one that holds us all back if we are honest. I’m writing this post as I sit on the train from Manchester back to Euston about 4 and a half hours after I finished the Greater Manchester Marathon.

In December 2015 I set myself a very tough personal challenge of aiming to run a marathon in under 3 hours, which is averaging at around 6:50min/mile pace. Warren and I continue to state that we are not athletes but we do enjoy setting challenges to see how far the body and mind can go.

One of the key lessons that Warren and I have learnt over the past couple of years of taking on challenges is to enjoy the process of being the best you, and not to beat yourself up when things don’t go to plan, like today.

Training over the past 16 weeks went to plan, I followed it religiously and found myself getting faster and the body adjusting in terms of the increase in pace and recovery time/approach. Did I feel confident of achieving? If I’m being honest I was, but I’m also not naive enough to ignore the fact that events like today are also about how you feel on the day and the conditions etc. Thankfully I felt great when I woke up this morning and the weather could not have been better, a crisp clear blue sky and hardly any wind.

The race went really well in the early stages, sitting in with the 3 hour pace runner with a group of around 50 other runners, the pace was very consistent, between 6:41 and 6:51 min/mile pace, I even managed to chat to a few other runners about the joy of running on a flat course compared to Guernsey (I’m not sure they were happy to talk).

I found myself still chuckling at a certain MarathonManUK who said he was going to jog and go for a 3:30 time and use it as a training run. As the elite runners came back up the road to was mile 1 and were just going through the turn, there was Robert Young, leading the race, bloody brilliant that guy.

I went through the halfway point bang on 1:30hr, Louise was waiting there to cheer me on, I managed to see her and pointed to my head and smiled. This was meant to indicate that I felt I had it in my mind and it was about the body coming along with me.

The next few miles flew by and the support was brilliant, I made sure to high-five the young kids that had come out to support us runners, it was great fun and it also helped ignore the pain that the body was quietly trying to tell me about.

Mile 20 – right, just a 10km race to go I thought, the wheels were still on and the body was aligning to the mind telling it that sub 3 hour was on. Up to around mile 20 we had been in a big pack of 50 or so runners, suddenly it thinned out and I found myself with only a few runners around me, it was interesting how the pack thinned out.

Mile 22 it started to get interesting, I ran past a few runners that were now walking due to cramp and the body starting to get the better of the mind and question the ability to stick to the 6:50 min/mile pace.

The body couldn’t stick at that pace, I needed to back off slightly. This was an interesting process. I had to dig deep and pull on all the experience and dark times of the 7 marathons in 7 days and the EPIC48 challenge.

I need to thank a few strangers in the crowds, the shouts of “this is where the hard miles count” and “you haven’t run 23 miles to give up now” really helped. They may sound like cliches but when you have someone you don’t know give up their Sunday morning to cheer you in it really does help.

Encouragement is vital, we all need more of it and we all need to give more of it.

There was a great moment at 24 miles, a poor guy in front of me stopped with cramp, a supporter tried to encourage him by shouting “don’t stop now mate, run through the pain” far easier said than done, but it helped me, it gave me a boost to just keep going.

I knew the sub 3 hour was out of reach but wanted to get a sub 3:05 now, the last mile or so were great, making sure to get eye contact with the amazing supporters on the roads, giving them a thumbs up and thanking them for coming out to support the runners.

The finishing straight was something else, packed with a few thousand people cheering, a real moment to savour and enjoy, I must be honest I was milking it for at least 400mtrs, thumbs up, arms raised, fist pumps, anyone would have thought that I’d won the race. Another lesson that Warren and I had learnt is to run happy, we got this from Rob Young.

Whatever the experience, a good run, a bad run, a brutal run, enjoy it and enjoy the moment.

I crossed the line in 3:03:37. 3 mins 37 secs off my target time but 27 minutes taken off my marathon personal best.

Failure. I’d like to challenge that on behalf of anyone that has ever set a goal and fallen a little short. It’s a big step setting a challenge beyond where you have been before, it’s another huge step going for it, and coming up short is neither here nor there. It is about enjoying the process of being the best you.

We often say that what you learn through the process of being the best you often has more impact than hitting the end goal.

Failure, or rather the fear of failure, holds us all back from time to time. I’m starting to learn that it is not about success or failure, it really is down to pushing yourself further than you have been before and overcoming the dark moments.

We all have it in us to go further than we have gone before.

We all have it in us to be the best version of us.

We all have it in us to overcome the moments of doubt and pain.

Never give up.

What if I fall…Oh but what if I fly?

With just 7 days to go until the Manchester Marathon I wanted to share some of the experiences and lessons learnt from setting myself the challenge of running a sub-3 Hour marathon for the first time. Despite the 7 Marathons in 7 Days in 2014, the 48 hour treadmill world record attempt and running over 3500 miles in the last 2 years, I do not consider myself to be an athlete.
The challenges that Warren Mauger and I have taken on over the past 2 years have been all about endurance, stamina, mental strength and distance. This personal challenge of a sub-3 Hour marathon has added the element of pace and speed into the mix and pushing the body to places it has not been before, well not since playing semi-pro football in my early twenties anyway!
I have been asked whether I am confident of achieving the time, and this for me is the main point behind setting a goal or challenge that is beyond the comfort zone. My fastest ever half marathon was 6 years ago, a 1hr 32min, our 7 Marathons in 2014 were run at an average of 5 hour pace, the per mile pace for our training for EPIC48 was around the 9 to 10 minute mile pace and I ran the Jersey Marathon in 2015 in 3hrs 30mins, so speed has not been something I have focused on in the last few years. However, setting the very challenging target of sub 3 hours can help in creating a mindset from the start of training that knew there would be some dark times during training.
When you commit to a challenge you need to realise that the path to achieving the challenge isn’t always going to be an easy one. 
As the date has got closer I have been asked if I’ll be disappointed if I don’t get the sub 3 hour time I have been training for, here’s the thing, I won’t be disappointed. Why not I hear you ask? Well, it is quiet simple, one of the key things that Warren and I learnt over the last two years is the about being the best you can be and learning from the process of being the best you.
We often say that what we learnt about ourselves, the strengths, the weaknesses, as we trained for our challenges and during our challenges actually had a greater long term impact on us that crossing the finish line. 
Irrelevant of the time I achieve on Sunday 10th April in Manchester, without setting the goal I would have never experienced of achieved the following over the past 16 weeks of training:
  • Taking 39 secs off my 5km personal best time
  • Taking 40-odd secs off my 10km personal best time
  • Finishing a 10 mile race in sub 65 mins
  • Running a sub 1hr 30min half marathon
  • Completing a 70 mile training week at an average of 7 min/mile
  • Experienced multiple days where I felt like a sub 3 hour marathon was way beyond me, but learnt to ignore these negative thoughts
  • Experienced the body telling me to stop during long distance fast training runs, and learning to respond by trying to run faster and harder (the body didn’t always respond but it felt good to react in this way)
  • Learnt that by following the plan to the letter my ability to run faster improved significantly – as the plan told me I would
  • Confirmation, again, that the body will go where the mind tells it too
  • Always run happy, even when you don’t enjoy a run or have a difficult training run (don’t beat yourself up). The sun will still rise in the morning.
If I hadn’t set myself a personal goal or challenge beyond where I think I can go then I may not have achieved or experienced the things I have during the past 16 weeks of training. Whether I get a 2hr 56min, 2hr 59min 59 secs or 3 hour+ time in Manchester, the lessons learnt over the past 16 weeks have been invaluable.
For anyone else taking on challenges in the next few weeks, remember how far you have come during training, focus on being the best you, look back at what you have learnt and make sure to run happy and never give up.
If you are thinking about taking on a personal challenge or setting yourself a goal, why not think about pushing yourself that little bit further outside of your comfort zone.
What you become during the process of being the best you will have a greater impact on you than crossing the finish line. 

 

Betway CI Sports Personality of the Year Awards

Warren and I had the honour and privilege last night of attending the Betway CI Sports Personality of the Year Awards. We were kindly invited along by ITV, under the premiss of answering a few questions on sport and challenges, little did we know that we had actually been selected for an award by the judges, but more on that later.

We have to be honest, it felt a little uncomfortable sitting alongside amazing sportsmen and sportswomen, who are competing at the top of their game, outstanding coaches, as well as volunteers that have been supporting sport in the islands for decades. Warren and I do not see ourselves as sportsmen, we tend not to look at ourselves as athletes either, we are just a couple of guys that have found a purpose in challenging the bodies and minds to got to the extremes to help and inspire others. We didn’t know what to expect last night in terms of the event, but we had a great evening and our eyes were opened wide to the talent we have in the Channel Islands.

In the sporting arena in Guernsey, and I think you can extend this to Jersey too, you often hear the term “punching above our weight“, usually in reference to a team or an individual competing. From the conversations and stories shared last night I don’t think we should be allowed to use that phrase any more in the Channel Islands, it is time to believe in ourselves.

The talent in the Channel Islands is incredible, we are not punching above our weight. We appear to simply have individuals and teams pushing themselves to be the best they can be.

We are extremely lucky to have such easy access to a broad range of sports and activities in the Channel Islands, something we all probably take for granted now and again. A combination of landscape, scenery, facilities, organisers, volunteers and coaches ensures the islands are fertile places for developing talent. When Warren I were in training for our 7in7 and EPIC48 events we went through some tough training periods, but the stories last night really inspired us, guys and girls who are training 6 to 8 times a week, who have been doing it for years and are pushing themselves to be the best they can be. That’s the inspiring bit, people making that personal choice and commitment to push themselves to be the best they can be, and we appear to have lots of them across the islands.

When you add that into the more informal activities taking place, the running groups that go out each week, the bike rides organised each weekend, along with all the other activities taking place on a weekly basis in the Channel Islands we have a unique community and one that we should be very proud of. It is also an area that can help the Channel Islands continue to prosper, when you look at challenges such as physical and mental health, the role activity and sport plays is a critical one in creating a healthy and thriving community.

As mentioned at the start of this post, we were somewhat duped into attending the awards, thinking they had us confused with sportspeople to answer a few questions. It was only when they ran the VT for the  RaceNation Charitable Achievement Award that we saw out feet pounding treadmills that the penny dropped. We were genuinely shocked at receiving the award and had no idea it was coming. It was both a joy and an emotional struggle to see the video from the team at The HUB and the impact of the Sunflower Project, where they continue to help children and families who have suffered bereavement. And we know that the projects in Uganda and the DRC with This Is EPIC continue to change thousands of lives.

We love what we do, it all comes down to ‘the why’, what we call ‘purpose’. It feels good to push the body and mind to places that you have never been before, but it is even better to see the positive impact from it, to see lives change and to others push themselves and take on new challenges.

Thank you to everyone for the kind words and support, as much as it is uncomfortable for us we really appreciate it and inspires us to go further and push harder. We were asked several times last night the worrying question of “What next?” Well, 2016 won’t hold any major challenges, that is being saved for 2017, but 2016 will include our Moonlight Marathon, as well as a set of local events in the Summer, hopefully working with our good friend Robert Young, aka MarathonManUK.

The 2015 Jersey Marathon

Philip here, the day after running the Standard Chartered 2015 Jersey Marathon. My wife, Louise, and I signed up for the Jersey Marathon about 6 months ago. I ran it last year with my challenge and running buddy Warren Mauger, about 6 weeks after taking on our 7 Marathons in 7 Days. Warren and I really enjoyed the run in 2014 and it was a no brainer to enter into the 2015 marathon.

Just over 4 weeks ago I completed the challenge of running (moving forward) on a treadmill for 48 hours. In the 48 hours I covered 131 miles, research indicates that the recovery period from this type of run is in the region of 4 to 6 months until your legs are back to being “fresh”.

This was always a concern, would the legs have enough in them to complete the Jersey Marathon and complete it well?

For anyone that thinks running a marathon is “easy” because of all the miles run in the past 18-24 months you are wrong. Irrelevant of how many miles you have run in training or how many crazy challenges you have taken on, 26.2 miles is still a long long way and it takes it toll on both the body and the mind.

Louise was taking on her 1st ever marathon after taking on a strict 12 week training programme (after 6 months out injured with no running). We were both a little nervous on the Sunday morning, but we had planned our pace and had a target time in mind. This is a good bit of advice for anyone running a marathon, think about your pace and have a plan. Yet again the atmosphere at Marathon Village prior to the start was great, and it was helped by an army of Guernsey runners involved in both the full marathon and the relay event. There was a great buzz about the place.

We set-off at 9am, the start line busy with supporters and this carried on as we headed out of St Helier on the marathon course. The support from the side of the road was brilliant, from cow bells being rung to children handing out jelly babies, the encouragement received on-route really helped us focus on achieving the goal we had set, a 3 hour 3o minute marathon. With events like these it is often the detail that counts, and something that the Jersey Marathon did was to print your first name on your race number. As Louise and I ran round the beautiful course supporters, marshals and water-stop volunteers would cheer you on with your first name, a really nice touch. I should also mention the marshals and volunteers, they were clapping every running and cheering people on, which all helped with the atmosphere around the course.

It was my first run in a long while where real pacing came into it. We were checking our watches, making sure we hit a nice rhythm and hit our min/mile targets. We’d also set mini targets, something Warren and I did in our 7 Marathons in 7 Days, we had water stops at 5, 10, 15, 19 and 23 miles. The Jersey Marathon had water stops pretty much every mile or two, but for me, I stuck to the targets that worked well during our 2014 challenge.

We chatted briefly to a very nice American guy who enquired about the 48 hour treadmill World Record Challenge (I was wearing a t-shirt from the event). He asked if I had the record, and when I said “no, I didn’t manage to break” his response was great, “it doesn’t matter the fact you went for it is what is important.” He then went on to tell me to take on the Badwater Ultra Marathon, the world’s toughest foot race. I don’t think Louise was too impressed with that suggestion .

Louise and I both felt comfortable until the last few miles, surprise surprise! Louise started digging in deep around mile 18 and was pulling out min/mile pace of 7:45 (not bad at that stage!) and from mile 22/23 my legs started to feel heavy and clearly had the 48 hour challenge in them! As we turned onto the home straight – the last 3 miles or so along the seafront into St Helier, we were greeted by a force 5/6 headwind, just what you wanted for the final 20 minutes of a marathon.

As we came round the back of the Radisson Blu Hotel we knew there was only 750 metres or so left of the marathon, the noise and support at the finish line was really special, and it was brilliant to cross the line in 3 hours 30 minutes (and about 5 secs). This was Louise’s first ever marathon and we think she finished as the 4th woman, and 2nd Channel Island female runner overall, not bad for your first attempt! For me, it was 23 mins off a PB, the legs survived and I know have a new target of a 3hr 20min marathon.

A big well done to the organisers of the Jersey Marathon, the course is a good one, with a challenging start of a gradual incline, but the support all along the route was fantastic. Post marathon the atmosphere around St Helier was another success factor for the marathon, so many people staying around the marathon village or the Royal Yacht Hotel and enjoying a drink or two.

Really well done Jersey and thanks to all the supporters and volunteers.

 

 

 

EPIC – Empowering People to Inspire Change

“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”  

Bruce Lee

I sit here a few days after completing the toughest physical and mental challenge I have ever taken on reflecting on the experience, the dark times, the funny times, the inspiring times and the life changing times of EPIC48.

When Warren and I came up with the idea around 10 months ago we never imagined that we would create effectively a party in the middle of Market Square, which would include 5 people running on treadmills for 48 hours. During organising the event we hit so many logistical headaches and obstacles but with the help of the Guernsey community and some great new friends in the UK we were able to sit back the day before the event, with the site set-up complete and realise that all we had to do now was run…run for 48 hours.

My training had included runs up to around 15/16 hours in length and 60+ miles in distance, so I knew that up to this time and distance I was still operating in the ‘known’. Beyond this time and distance I was going into the unknown in terms of how the body and mind would react and whether it would behave or not.

I’m not going to share about the running experience in this post as I am still processing the experience and impact, but I want to share about a few things that happened over the weekend, which for me, inspired me continue to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.

You are going to read this a lot from me, but the core of the EPIC48 challenge wasn’t about running or records. It was about helping change lives and inspiring others along the way.

On the Friday we had an amazing delivery of EPIC Cupcakes. A few schoolgirls (with a little help from their mum) baked a huge number of cupcakes and brought them down to the event. The girls also made posters for us to put on the treadmills such as “Never Give Up” and “Keep Going”. No one asked them to do this, they simply did it because they are awesome kids.

The girls were really interested in chatting to Abi Schofield and I heard a story of one of the conversations, a young girl was talking to Abi about running and saying that she wasn’t that great at running but enjoyed swimming. Abi explained to her that she started with swimming then got into running. The young girl then went away with a beaming smile and let her Mum know that “she could do it because Abi started with swimming.”

We were running a team challenge alongside us where teams of up to 5 people would run on treadmills for 4 hour slots. One of the teams included a young lad called Theo, Theo is a local hero in my eyes. There he was next to me on the treadmill, ramping it up to 5mph (faster than I was going at that point) and he gave us such encouragement by just being involved and giving us high-fives and ‘thumbs up’ every few minutes.

Forgive me for not remembering if it was the Saturday or Sunday, but we had 3 young children that saved their pocket money, came down to Market Square and put every single penny of it into one of our donation buckets. No one forced them or suggested them to do it, they did it because they wanted to help others and it was very humbling that our event provided them kids the opportunity to do this at such a young age.

We had a young girl on Sunday (Abi) who was desperate to meet and chat to Abi Schofield. Her parents brought her down towards the end of the event and she had a good chat with Abi Schofield. I bumped into the young girls Dad on Monday after the event who told me that his daughter had gone to bed on Sunday evening saying “I’m going to be a world record breaker”.

The final couple of hours on Sunday were like a party, the atmosphere was incredible and not what we expected. We had such a range of people from the Guernsey community, people were cheering, high-fiving, hugging, clapping and dancing, it was incredible.

This is why we take on these crazy challenges.

This is why we keep moving forward when our bodies are on the limit of breaking and giving up.

This is why we won’t stop here.

Thank you everyone for your crazy support.

#NeverGiveUp

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Nutrition and a 48 hour run

Earlier this year Warren and Philip asked whether I would be interested in providing nutrition advice for their EPIC48 World Record Challenge. They understood the importance of getting their nutrition right, both in training and during the event, however it was an area they hadn’t explored in great detail. Granted Warren and Philip are not ‘typical’ clients that I see in practice and this challenge is somewhat ‘off piste’, however it’s been a real pleasure working with them and developing a nutrition approach for such an intense challenge.  For those that have asked here is a summary of their nutritional journey to date.

Nutrition and Training

First off I asked the Philip and Warren to complete my questionnaire and food diary to help identify any nutrient deficiencies and/or imbalances. Luckily the guys were in good shape and credit where it’s due they were eating pretty well. However there were some changes to make in preparation for the 48 hour work record challenge.

Fats and Protein

I found they were both relying too heavily on carbohydrates as a source of fuel and advised them to increase their consumption of healthy fats, to include oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut and olive oil. I wanted the guys to become less dependent on a constant supply of glucose (sugar), which only ends up saturating the blood with insulin and has adverse health consequences. By increasing dietary fat intake, fat metabolism is enhanced and the body also becomes more efficient at utilising carbohydrates. Secondly I wanted them to increase their intake of good quality proteins, not only does protein provide the building blocks for all biological processes , it helps slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream, avoiding sugar spikes and crashes for more sustained energy release.

Carbohydrates

In terms of carbohydrates it’s still key for Philip and Warren to include them in their training plan to ensure their glycogen stores are always replenished, however I suggested they switch to whole grains for a slower release of glucose. I tried to steer the guys away from refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white pasta, white rice, pastries, biscuits etc since these products are stripped of fibre, and suggested they replace such foods with rye bread, wholegrain rice and pasta, quinoa, oats, buckwheat and sweet potato. As well as being rich in fibre to support digestion whole grains are packed full of B vitamins and magnesium, which are key nutrients for energy production .

Micronutrients – The Nutribullet

Before I met the guys, the word Nutribullet didn’t carry much meaning, however it’s now a household favourite! I advised them to invest in a Nutribullet to up their micronutrient intake whilst training and to create their own sports drinks for the event.

Philip and Warren have both shied away from energy drinks and gels, which I believe to be sensible, since they only provide a short term energy fix and contribute to blood sugar imbalance. However we needed to find a replacement drink to meet their electrolytes needs, which is where the  Nutribullet came in.  They’ve been experimenting with various combinations of the following ingredients with great success!

  • fruit – high in vitamin C, levels of which are depleted during exercise

  • hydrating green vegetables (cucumber, celery)

  • magnesium rich green vegetables (kale, spinach)

  • potassium rich foods (avocado, bananas)

  • nuts – the powerhouse of nutrients, also contains good quality fats and protein

  • ground flaxseeds and chia seeds – rich in omega 3 fatty acids, chia seeds are also hydrating

  • oats for slow release carbohydrates

  • coconut water for electrolyte content

  • protein powder

  • salt

Nutrition and The Event

Over the 48 hours it is estimated that their energy expenditure will be around 11,000 calories per 100 miles, nearly 29,000 in total if they break the world record. Realistically Warren and Philip will only be taking on about 6,000 calories per 100 miles which is why it’s been so important to get their bodies better adjusted to lipolysis, the breakdown of fats for energy production, in the lead up.

The guys are going to have a set of scales at the event and will be regularly weighing themselves, ideally their body weight shouldn’t fluctuate beyond a few percent. Through breathing and sweating alone it’s estimated they will lose 2-4 litre of water an hour, therefore replenishing  fluids and keeping hydrated is going to be crucial!

At the same time overhydrating is also problem, leading to hypernatremia, low sodium levels, which is why their weight will be monitored closely. I’ve suggested they also take on extra sodium during the event, in the form of  salt tablets, or added to their Nutribullets. They can  also add salt flakes to their homemade flapjacks and energy bites which will contain fats, protein and carbohydrates.

Philip and Warren have put their nutrition plan, as described above, into practice during their lead up challenges with great results!  Now the task is to repeat this for 48 hours!

If you have some time free over the 4th, 5th and 6th September then please head down to Market Square to support them. They are great guys taking on an ‘epic’ challenge which most importantly is for a fantastic cause – GOOD LUCK!!!

Claire Mahy

Claire Mahy Nutrition

It’s not about running or records

I thought I’d write this post following a few conversations in recent weeks about how I got into running and also about the Charity that Louise and I run, This Is EPIC.

People appear surprised when I say that I have only got into running as a result of deciding to run 7 Marathons in 7 Days in 2014. Prior to that I had run two half-marathons and my sports of choice were cricket and football, yes, very different from ultra-running!

It all started in December 2013 when I decided to take on running 7 Marathons in 7 Days to raise money for This Is EPIC, the charity that my wife and I started in October 2013. In February 2014 I met Warren, he was interviewing me for a StartUp Guernsey video, I told him about the challenge and it then snowballed into a big event that ended up raising over £22,000 for This Is EPIC and The HUB.

What we experienced with our 7 Marathons in 7 Days, the support from the community, the belief in the charities that we were supporting, and the personal battles that we won were a huge learning curve for both Warren and I.

In three weeks time we are taking on an even bigger challenge. We’ll be running on treadmills for 48 hours, attempting to break the World Record for the furthest distance run in 48 hours. The world record currently sits at 251.79 miles, just under 10 marathons in a weekend. A challenge on a similar scale is the fundraising target we have set ourselves, this year we are aiming for £100,000. This is a big number, but we are so focused on hitting it because we know first hand the good the charities can achieve with the funds.

Whilst the event is indeed a world record challenge, and yes, it is another running challenge, for us it is not about running and it is not about records. We both enjoy running and it would be awesome to break the world record, but the energy for us comes from the positive impact we can have through the money we raise from the event.

Margret Nantumbwe (Pictured at the start of this post) is just one of the sources of energy that keeps us putting one foot in front of the other, even when our bodies are telling us to give up. I read about Margret’s story this week as we received a project update from the This Is EPIC village savings and loans projects in Uganda.

Margret  Nantumbwe lives in a small village called Nkokko, which is in the Kirumba Sub County, Rakai district of Uganda. Margret is a mother to four children, three girls aged four, seven and eleven and one boy aged two.

Margret joined the This Is EPIC Tweyambe Village Savings and Loans (VSL) Group in early 2015.

Before joining This Is EPIC Tweyambe VSL group Margret could not afford school fees for her three daughters as she did not have a stable source of income. Through a “Farmer Field School” set-up by This Is EPIC aimed at helping communities increase agriculture production and productivity, Margret learnt knowledge and skills of production using organic fertilisers (compost and farm yard manure) plus mulching.

With the money that she had saved through the This Is EPIC VSL group Margret trialled her new knowledge on 0.5 acre of land she purchased and started to produce onions. Margret made enough profit from this harvest that she then hired 2 acres of land and now continues to harvest onions as well as egg plants, which she sells to the local community.

This is what Margret has to say about the impact on her life from joining a This Is EPIC VSL group.

“My life has improved tremendously Thanks to This Is EPIC; I can now afford to pay the school fee of my children. They therefore do not miss any classes because of tuition fees like was the case before. Right now I have plans of extending my garden size because I am sure to receive my sweat’s worth from my produce. There are not enough words in the world to express my gratitude to EPIC for the opportunity. Things would have remained the same for a long time had it not been their intervention. Thank you so much.”

This is why we run.

This is why we push our bodies and minds to the limit.

This is why keep putting one foot in front of the other.

If you want to help us continue to give thousands of others in Margret’s situation a help-up and the opportunity to turn their life around and provide a future filled with hope for their children then please support our EPIC48 World Record Challenge. Any donation makes a huge difference.

Thank you.

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