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Training and a look at the Fellsman


Its that dirty word training, every now and again I bump in to the odd person who does no training yet can turn up to an event and run for 15 hrs or do a sub 3 hr marathon. Well I can assure you that’s not me or the majority of the population.

I’ve decided to can the hill rep sessions, went out with Helm Hill runners and my good friends Sally Ozanne and Ant Cooper last week. Having done 4 out of the 8 hills my blood sugars had fallen from 11.4 to 3.9 and I still had a 2 mile run back. I felt OK but I also felt bad that Ant had to cut his run short – I was getting cold so hanging around was not a great option but running for another 30 mins was also not a good option either. Perhaps I’ll be back once I get this insulin pump.

Running with Lisa Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes, cycling back and forth to work and running with Allithwaite running club, I’m clocking up the hours (see here). The more I do the more I understand how to do this with insulin or not sometimes.

In summary.. reduce background insulin, always take food when out – usually for me shotbloks are easy to eat and high carbs. I also have a small blood glucose test meter and always take a phone. Days are gone when I ditched all the kit and just went for a run.

The Fellsman

I’ve entered the Fellsman, a mere 61 miles in the Yorkshire Dales – its at the end of April. The more I look at it the more respect I think it requires. My approach to using events as training for Howfast was to just turn up and navigate my way around with no recceing. If I was to spend anytime recceing it would be on the coast to coast.

That said the Fellsman is not just 61 miles on established paths, it covers large sections of featureless moorland with no paths and few navigational features, and for me quite possibly at night.


So when a friend of friend, Angela,who had heard I was doing this event asked if I fancy looking at a section, I thought this maybe good time spent. So at 5.15 am the alarm went off and I was stumbling around the house collecting up bits of kit so I could get to Kendal for 7.

Checking out a few forums the really nasty bit of this route was from Fleet Moss to Cray.. just over 7 miles, the plan was then to jog back another 10 miles along the road to the car.

This was the plan until I very nearly got the car stuck in Snow, yep it was pretty full on where our start point was, there was not a stitch of snow in the valleys up to 400m, we spent best part of 1/2 hour pushing the car back and forth. I was cussing that I didn’t have a shovel and that the tyres were to be honest in not great nic.

A day out on the hills

Angela was humble about her experience having only really started doing these kind of events in the last year. That said the lack of experience was made up by her wisdom to make sure she knew what was ahead of her when the event came around and had looked at most of the route, so had a better idea than me for what was in store.

With 2 feet of snow and some tricky navigation this section took us five hours, we were barely going above 1.5 mph. To go any faster in such deep snow would have been a bit of a waste of time for us and could have resulted in a broken leg.

Which way?

Eating every 30 mins was tricky but doable, we both had the fitness to keep going. But in my mind I was thinking that I had just climbed out the car at the start of this trek, not just done 37 miles as will be the case on the Fellsman. It was also day light, and whilst the sun was not shining and there was a good dump of snow at least there was not wind and more snow / rain.

Perhaps snow shoes would be good to take out on a day like this, but they are heavy – be interested to hear if you have been fast trekking/running with Snow shoes.


I did think if its like this during the event would they run it? The cut offs are OK but don’t really account for people travelling 1.5 mph. We reached the pub at Cray and I grabbed a cup of tea. I could tell stopping on the side of the road would mean getting cold so preferred the log fire in the pub.

The jog back to the car was uneventful but surreal – with no snow anywhere to be seen, farmers and walkers out enjoying the day it was hard to think that just 2km up on that hill was a world so very different.

It was an uphill walk to the car, feeling good and that I could keep going was hacked off to find blood sugar down at 4.6 – so had to sit it out for 15 mins and eat some food before I could drive and head home (needs to be at least 5).

A great day out – thanks to Angela, great company.

I’m planning to take on the last section of the Coast to Coast next Monday just 36 odd miles with a few hills.  If you fancy a full day out give us a shout – be leaving VERY early from Grasmere, will stay over on Sunday night.



Once again really happy with the Haglofs Gram25 rucksac, does a top job.
Haglofs puls running tights and puls zip Tee
TERREX windstopper jacket
TERREX gore active Shell jacket
Mountain Hardwear Epic waterproof trousers
Salomon XT shoes

Also carried Haglofs barrier insulated jacket.

Every 30 mins ate a mixture of Haribos / Malt loaf slice / booths rasberry crumble / clif gels / clif shotbloks / peanut butter rolls and a packet of ready salted crisps in the pub.

Movescount record from the day – shows heart rate / calories / distance


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