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10 TIPS FOR MAN VS MOUNTAIN WITH JAKE THOMPSETT
Here is Merrell Ambassador Jake Thompsett preparing for Man vs Mountan. If you are taking part in Man vs Mountain or participating in any uphill run, have a read of Jake's Top Ten tips when training.
"Maintaining momentum and motivation on an ‘endless’ uphill run is seriously hard."
Nothing tests your endurance and mental strength like running up a mountain. Adding hill reps to your run training is one thing, but you get a break every couple of minutes. What happens if the climb goes on and on? What tactics should you adopt to contend with an unrelenting 1,000m climb? This is the challenge that awaits at Outdoor Fitness’s Man vs Mountain event this September. Competitors must run to the summit of Mount Snowdon from sea level at Caernarfon Castle. When the ascent begins in earnest you’ll already have run the better part of eight hilly miles, with a further hour or two of endless upward gradient to face. It will sap your energy, fill your legs with lactic acid and cast doubt into the darkest recesses of your mind. Naturally, you should add some hills to your training runs, which is more enjoyable than doing hill reps. Then on the day itself, there are extra steps you can take to reach the top with a spring in your stride. Here are my top 10...
Jake wearing the All Out Rush to get the gear have a look at the All Out range- http://www.merrell.com/UK/en-GB/Product.mvc.aspx/34048M/84284/Mens/All-Out-Rush?QueryBreadCrumb=Shoes-Mens
1 Plan your nutrition strategy so you eat before the ascent starts. It’s tough to sustain your pace and breathe if you’re swallowing a snack.
2 Set off cold and bold. And take off layers at the start of your climb so you feel a bit chilly. You’ll soon warm up! Then put them on again as soon as you get to the top.
3 Tighten your rucksack straps so that it hugs your upper body.
4 Shorten your stride length. There’s no way you can maintain long strides running up a climb of Snowdon’s length. Aim to keep your legs moving like a metronome, with shorter, steady steps. You may even need to halve your normal stride length so your foot isn’t landing too far in front of your body, which would work your muscles too hard.
5 When the gradient is so steep that your pace slows to the same speed you could achieve by fast walking, start to walk, pushing hands on knees. It uses less energy and saves you from muscle burn.
6 If you’re walking, seize the chance to eat a snack. I like real food such as dried fruit and nuts and wafer bars. Nutrition can really help your morale, so choose snacks that make you feel happier. I keep gels for emergencies.
7 Try not to stop during the ascent, but if you pause to shed a layer or navigate, take the chance to rest.
8 Stick with your buddies even if you all run at slightly different speeds. You can support each other when the going gets tough.
9 If you’re really struggling, set easy targets: it could be reaching the next 20 yards, the next 20 and so on.
10 Sing to yourself to help the time pass. Chanting a simple mantra – “Come on Jake, man-up” – can sometimes help, too.
Man VS Mountain, Mt snowdon, 6 september 2014. Britain’s toughest outdoor event pits your fitness against the wild and rugged challenge posed by running up Mount Snowdon and then back down the other side to face a series of natural obstacles. These include the Merrell Vertical Kilometre, an abseil and an open-water swim. You’ll feel exhausted and elated as you cross the finishing line, having traversed about 20 mountainous miles. Fidn out more on the event -http://www.merrell.com/UK/en/ManVsMountain