Monthly Archives: March 2012

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New UK Ultra – Dusk ’til Dawn. 14:06 mins to complete 50 miles

On the stoke of sunset, you start running. Head Torches lit, there are 50 miles and 9300ft of challenging Peak District ahead of you. You have just 14 hours and 6 minutes before dawn, to reach the finish, all the while avoiding the Grim Sweeper! The event starts and finishes at Losehill Hall in Castleton.

Thera are only 90 places available. The event registrations opened on March 3rd and are already filling up, so don’t waste time getting your entry in to avoid disappointment.


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Ultramarathon Calendar – updated for Spain

Our Ultramarathon Calendar has been updated for 2012, and now includes around 50 Spanish ultras. There are over 650 worldwide ultra running events now featured. Use the calendar to find events for your ultramarathon schedule.

You can filter the calendar by country, as well as month and year. If you spot that any race is missing then please let us know and we’ll get the event added straight away.

Not all race directors have announced their race dates for mid to late 2012, so keep checking our Facebook page for updates to the Calendar, as well as ultra news and results. Everything up to the end of June is listed.

Happy running!

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Ultramarathon Races – GPS / Garmin

Tags : 


Ultramarathon Races and Routes

On the Beyond Marathon website, many of the popular ultramarathon races featured show a route map.  You’ve always been able to download and view these as a Google Earth .KML file, but we thought it might be useful to those of you with GPS devices to provide a link to GPSies which is a free online converter.  In a few clicks you can convert the .KML file to the GPS file format of your choice for use on your device.  Here’s how.

If we have an event route map, then the download link will automatically appear.  Right click “Download Route Map” and choose “Copy Shortcut” (or “copy link address” if you use Google Chrome).  Now click on “File Converter Garmin / GPS”, to be taken to the GPSies website conversion page.

On GPSies website Right Click and Paste the URL into the space, as shown below. Next choose the output File format, using the drop down “Convert To” box.  Once chosen just click convert and that’s it.  Upload to your GPS device and away you go. See below.

Remember you can find Ultramarathon Races on our global Ultramarathon Calendar.

GPSies supports and converts all of the following formats

Google Earth (KML, KMZ), PCX5 (tracks, waypoints), GPX (tracks, routes, waypoints), GPX Garmin Streetpilot, Garmin Course (CRS, TCX), Garmin FIT, MS Excel, CSV (Comma-Separated-Values), Falk IBEX Tour, CompeGPS, GeoRSS, Logbook, NMEA, OVL (ASCII), Fugawi, KOMPASS Verlag (Alpenverein), TrainingPeaks (PWX), Navigon Route, OziExplorer, qpeGps Track, MagicMaps IKT, TomTom ITN, Suunto SDF, Magellan Track, PathAway.





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Hoka OneOne Mafate Review

Hoka shoes have been around for over a year now.  I thought I’d let the dust settle and see what reviews emerged from the internet before trying some.  I bought a pair of Mafate’s, the trail shoe version; which essentially have more aggressive tread that their Bondi road version.  I tearfully handed over £117, the most I have ever paid for shoes +£40 and left the shop with a shoebox the size that you would normally expect to see hiking boots in.

The first thing you think of when you see them, is that they look hideous.  There’s no other word for them.  The super-size sole, their unique selling point, makes you look like either:

1)      Someone trying to correct a height deficiency

2)      A Goth/Emo wearing their trademark platforms

3)      A runner trying out the latest fad in shoes

4)      Someone wearing those ‘toning/fat burning’ (allegedly) MBT shoes

I’ll put myself forward for number 3.  Like every other runner on the planet it seems, I’ve also read Born to Run, which is essentially several hundred pages of Barefoot Running hard-sell.  The world has been carried along on that publicity wave, and Vibram (who make the 5-finger ‘barefoot’ shoes) getting very rich.  You are getting about 80% less shoe technology and materials, and paying about 30% more in cost.  Go figure that out?  As you can guess, I wasn’t sucked in by the barefoot revolution.  I know several ultra runners who broke fifth metatarsals as a result of wearing them.  That’s of course due to being over ambitious and doing too many miles too soon, not any issue with the Vibram’s.  I don’t have the time or the inclination to go back to running 1 mile, and building it up again, or relish the prospect of tapping out a fast cadence short-stride on asphalt/tarmac in an effort to minimise the impact from having no cushioning.  Even if I could get past all that, I can’t wear them, as I’ve an 8mm leg length difference which has to be corrected with an full shoe orthotic,  which don’t by design lend themselves to ‘toe-shoes’.  Anyway, I don’t want to turn this post into a barefoot running bash.  If they work for you, great, but my knees are asking  (well, creaking and screaming) for more cushioning, not less.

So, fast forward to the complete antithesis of barefoot running, the Hokas.  You view the shoes and assume they will be heavy.  They’re not, they are in fact lighter than many trail shoes.  The EVA they use in the sole is around 30% lighter that the type normally used, the advertising blurb will tell you.  You watch the promo videos and see the cushioning compress 2 or more centimetres as you run downhill, absorbing a lot of impact.  The shoes are very much sold on the downhill advantages I think.

Trying them on for the first time, you see that your feet do recess into the shoe further than you would think, and you are not perched on all of the externally visible cushioning.  This aid’s stability, as the first thing a trail runner would think is “these shoes are going to result in a turned ankle after 5 minutes” as the ride is so high.  The sizing comes out that you need about half a size larger than usual, especially because the toe box is too shallow.  This is a design flaw I think, and needs to be addressed in a future version.  After a marathon or ultra distance race, the top of couple of my toes gets sore, and this never happens with any other shoe. Another problem is the tongue is too short.  If you want to use the extra lace hole near the ankle, then the laces struggle to sit on the tongue and can even slip off!  They need to be an extra 0.5 to 1cm longer.

Now, to the performance.  They do feel very cushioned as you would expect, and when run down a hill a smile creeps across your face as you bounce down.  I bounced down a hill about 3 times the speed of a chap wearing Vibram’s in a race yesterday, somewhat smugly I’ll admit.  Running down a rocky trail you just have to trust the shoes.  The cushioning just soaks up and compresses on the rocks as you run down, so being confident is the key.  Running downhill slowly and gingerly would be a disadvantage; you would not put enough weight on the shoe to compress/wrap over the stones, and could suffer due to the higher ride height.  As it is, I descend very fast in them, and they really excel in this area.

The shoes are shaped a little like the MBT’s in that you roll forward as you run, reducing some knee movement.  This is noticeable and you use muscles that you don’t normally use.  The top of my quad’s are worked out harder than normal.  My feet and knees finish a race in great condition, so they are doing the job I bought them for.

As far as stability is concerned, are they are stable as traditional minimal cushioning trail shoe?  Simple answer is no.  I very rarely roll my ankle wearing traditional trail shoes anymore, but in Hoka’s on very rough uneven ground my ankles have sometimes just started to roll.  I’ve always caught it just in time, and not done any damage, but I’m aware of the possibility.  Furthermore contouring the side of steep hill, where both ankles and turned out one way or another is considerably more uncomfortable in Hokas if these is a reasonable distance to cover.   The overstrecthed tendon’s in the ankles start to complain.  Not that you’d ever consider these shoes for fell racing, but if you did, forget it.

The grip on the shoes is ok, but nothing special.  I ran up a very steep concrete track on a farm yesterday and struggled for grip, then side-stepped onto the grass and regained traction just fine, so it’s very much surface dependant.  So, there may be more sole-surface area in contact with the ground, because of the larger footprint, but the fairly tame tread pattern and small depth of the triangular rubber studs is a disadvantage, especially when climbing steeply on your toes.

So, in summary, these shoes do the job that I ask, which is to supply enough cushioning for my knees to avoid funding the lifestyle of more orthopaedic surgeons.  The grin factor of blazing (well, bouncing) down a hill is hugely entertaining.  The shoes need more room in the toe area, and an extra 2mm on the studs.  The overall stability because of the ride height is much better than you would expect, but nevertheless something you need to be aware of.  Styling – just be prepared to answer a lot of questions whenever you are racing, and don’t buy the bright green ones!

Cost UK: £117



Sent on: 8 August 2011, 6.22 pm BST
Posted By: Paul Bateson

Good review and your comments are what I suspected, (even the barefoot running ones). I just don’t see these as a trail shoe, maybe a marathon plus road shoe where pounding along on tarmac needs a bit of cushioning but as for trails, I would be worried about tripping up or getting jammed between rocks. They may be good for plodding across deserts though, they would probably work like a camels foot, maybe ok on snow as well, save you buying snow shoes.

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Silk Road Expedition – less than 1,000km to run!

Historic Silk Road Expedition – less than 1,000km to run.
Wuwei, China: 28th August 2011: After more than 130 days on the road, Running the Silk Road Expedition is within 1,000km of the finish line, Xi’an. This is the first expedition to attempt to run the length of the Silk Road.
2 runners, Kevin Lin Yi Chieh (Taiwan) and Bai Bin (Mainland China) have run more than 8,000km through Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and provinces of Xinjiang and Gansu in China. The runners are due to finish their epic journey in Xi’an on September 16th, where Jay Chou (one of the co-founders of the expedition) will perform a new song dedicated to the project.
The team is running to raise awareness of water shortages in the Silk Road region, which in particular will benefit the Mother’s Water Cellar project which has provided access to drinking water for 1.3m people in the past seven years in China.
Kevin Lin, is one of Asia’s best known distance runners. The former 4Deserts Champion has also previously run across the continent of Africa in aid of water relief, in a project backed by Matt Damon, and turned into the movie – Running the Sahara.
The runners have been supported by an international team which includes Expedition Director, Andrew Strachan (UK, based in Hong Kong), Sports Physiotherapist Stephen McNally (Ireland), Doctor Joe Ahn (US), Logistics Manager Chen Hong Po and Photographer Chen Ro Hsuan (Taiwan).
Apart from the punishing running schedule, Kevin and Bai Bin have faced extreme high temperatures in Turkmenistan and China, snow in Turkey and sandstorms in Xinjiang, China. They were hospitalized in Iran after, it is thought, their water was contaminated with an unknown substance and physiologically have had to deal with shin splints and gastroenteritis.
Richard Chang, CEO of The Home Expedition, organizers of Running the Silk Road quotes: “The aim of The Home Expedition is to promote a more harmonious relationship between human’s and the Earth, our home. Running the Silk Road is the first project in realizing our dream.”
Expedition Leader, Andrew Strachan quotes: “We have enjoyed tremendous warmth and hospitality throughout Central Asia and are delighted to be ahead of schedule in our penultimate province in China. Kevin and Bai Bin have shown unbelievable powers of endurance running and are still achieving an average of 70km per day, after more than 4 months on the road.”
Any media enquiries (English) please direct to Andrew Strachan:
Andy media enquiries (Chinese) please direct to Janet Tseng:

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Sports Bottle Holder – OMM-I-Gammy review

An efficient and comfortable hydration system are important during a long race.  If you’re taking part in an ultra when there may be 10k, 10 miles (or more) between a checkpoint then you have to be carrying some quantity of water.

Some people choose bladders/camelbacks but they don’t work for me for several reasons.

1) They are difficult to fill quickly at a checkpoint

2) You don’t really know how much water is left without taking off your pack and looking at it

3) They reduce the capacity of a backpack (important to multi-stage ultra runners who may be carrying a larger backpack)

4) They can split and you don’t realise until you’re empty and see a trail of water behind you for the last 5 miles 🙁

I’ve tried to use a bladder, and experienced all of the above at some point.  I gave up using them years ago.  Another option is to use a smart tube, perhaps just attached to the organisation supplied bottle of mineral water and not taking your own bottle.  Competitors in desert ultras sometimes do this.  I’ve did this myself in the MDS, and it works, but you end up with 1.5l swung across your chest/front pack and sometimes the smart tube screw cap doesn’t properly fit the mineral water bottle the organisers supply.  This results in loss of precious water; not what you want when it’s 50C and it’s 5 miles of dunes to the next checkpoint!

All of this lead me back to using sports bottle.  It’s funny because I started out with bottles at the beginning, but after a few short runs dismissed them.  Why?  the swing!  A shoulder strap holder for a 500-800ml sports bottle would invariably result in an annoying and sometimes painful (after a lot of miles) swaying motion when running anymore than about 4.5mph.  I do want a shoulder mounted bottle for convenience, and don’t want to be constantly reaching back for a bottle in a backpack side netting.

In the last year or so I used a OMM-I-Gamy holster.  The original was very lightweight (30g) but had several shortcomings in design, not least of which was that it still swayed.  I put up with it mainly because it was very light, and I was running long slow races and could just about keep it under control.  I read with interest that OMM had release a new version of the holster designed to be more stable.

I spoke to the nice guys, event organisers and ultra kit retailers at MightContainNuts, who’ve shaken up the UK Ultra event circuit in the last couple of years with some Challenging Ultras and low price promise on the kit they supply.

They had just received the new 2011 model in, and kindly sent me one to review, when I ordered a new OMM backpack from them.  The new model is far more substantial, but weighs about 25g more in fact.  It looks better quality, and fits onto a pack a lot easier.

I spent a couple of hours trying it out and event filming myself running with different configurations, checking how much or how little the bottle would sway at a steady ultra speed.  Eventually I settled on how it was best fitted, and went out yesterday and took it for a test drive, whilst doing a 25 mile event in the UK Peak District; so lots of steep hills involved but all very runable in between, so plenty of opportunity to get that ‘sway’ going.

I’ve done a quick critique on youtube video here, comparing it to the old model.

OMM-I-Gammy Review

The conclusion I came to after the event is that the new design is improved, and has indeed reduced the sway.  However you have to make a small modification (explained in the video) to further reduce the movement.  It’s a definite improvement on the old model.  It’s better quality, easier to fit and will hold a larger bottle if required (it comes supplied with a 500ml bottle).  If OMM really want to address this issue of sway, then the bottle needs to be anchored at the top, to reduce movement even more.  As it stands you have to make that modification yourself, and realistically have to use a bottle with a straw, so the bottle always stays in the holster between checkpoints, instead of the supplied push-cap bottle.

Another method I’ve seen are using two bottles at once (one on each shoulder), and tying a bungee cord between them to prevent movement. It works, but again it’s a custom mod.  Another bottle I’d like to try is the Salomon Custom Bottle Holder, which uses a traingular shaped bottle, in an effort to prevent a bottle rolling around.  It sounds a good principle but the bottle is larger, and I’ll remain unconvinced until I’ve seen it in action.  Until then, the modified OMM-I-Gammy, with a straw based bottle, is the best solution I’ve found so far.  For long races in hot conditions where organisers stipulate you must carry 1.5l to 3l then I normally carry a holstered bottle, and a 1l lightweight roll up platypus (30g empty) in the side netting of the backpack and use it to top up the holster bottle as required.

Thank you to Matt at for supplying the OMM-I-Gammy for review.


Sent on: 3 October 2011, 10.10 am BST.  Posted By: Paul Bateson

I have tried many chest harness bottle holders. The best is on the RaidLight Olmo 5 and 20, as they take 750ml bottles and they don’t sway. The Salomon SLab Skin pack also has totally stable bottle holders which will take a large bottle one side and a 500ml in the other. This pack comes with a good bladder but I don’t use bladders so the bottle pockets, which double as food or jacket pouches, are great for long races or training runs. I have also used the new OMM bottle holders which are a big improvement on the original but they could still be improved.

The OMM bottles fit well because they are tapered but they are a touch small at 500ml each so it is unfortunate that the holders are just too tight for a 750ml bottle. Many runners have a good collection of favourite bottles, such as the Camelback Podium bottles, but they won’t fit. The pouches still sway because they anchor too low down and although modifications can be made you shouldn’t need to do this when a product is in its second ‘improved’ production. OMM can really improve the pouches by altering the fixing so that it runs from the top edge, increase the size to take larger bottles and the best mod, sell them in pairs with an fitted external chest strap so they mimic the Olmo ones. The strap will immediately stabilise the bottles. You can add a strap yourself but when buying a product it should be good without needing mods.

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Scientific research results from runners in desert-based-environment ultra

Paul Bateson from Team Axarsport has been good enough to send us the results of a scientific study that some runners in last years Al Andalus Ultra Trail event took part in.  For those that don’t know, The AAUT is the premier Spanish multi-stage trail event, attracting leading ultra runners accross the world.  Last years winner was Lahcen Ahansal, multi-time Marathon Des Sables winner.  The AAUT is notoriously tough with temperatures equal to and even exceeding some popular desert race.  A team from Coventry University followed a sample of last year’s competitors thorugh their pre-race preperation and monitored them throughout the event.

If you are taking part in a desert hot-climate ultra, then these results will prove interesting reading.


Assessment of Nutritional & Hydration Habits of Ultra-Marathon Runners During a Semi Self-Sufficient Ultra-Marathon Competition in a Desert Based Environment:

2010 Al Andalus Ultra-trail (219km) 12-16th July 2010

Coventry University Applied Research Group: Overall Research Results

Feedback Team: Abigail Swancott, Lisa Hardy, Dr. Andrew Murray, Dr. Ricardo Costa.

Note: The following set of results reflects the overall average of the race outcomes. Dietary guidance and recommendations given only reflect a general approach to improving nutrition and hydration for ultra-marathon competition in a hot ambient environment.

Results presented are overall average from all stages.

Pre-ultra preparation:

Limited number of runners performed carbo-loading prior to the ultra.

Limited number of runners heat acclimatised prior to ultra.

  • Increasing total carbohydrate intake (food or fluid) while reducing training load at least three days prior to competition has been shown to substantially increase muscle glycogen
  • (carbohydrate stores in the muscle) content which will be used during competition, and promote a good starting base from a multi-stage race.
  • Performing a heat acclimation protocol (e.g. Costa et al., 2010; see attachment; x2 2h medium intensity runs during the week prior to ultra-competition in the heat (>30C) will assist the body to adapt to running in the heat; thus, improving hydration status, thermoregulation and reduce cardiovascular strain during competition.
  • Heat acclimation was evident (increases/retentions in body water- classical sign of heat

adaptations) in majority of runners during the first two days of competition only.

Main take home message: It is important to carbo-load and acclimatise to the race environment prior to multi-stage competition.

 Energy Balance:

Estimated energy expenditure lower limit: 3986Kcal

Estimated energy expenditure upper limit: 4786Kcal

Energy intake: 3324Kcal

Pre-ultra to post-ultra weight difference: 0.5kg weight loss.

  • A small weight loss was observed between pre-ultra and post-ultra weight in the majority of runners. This may be indicative of the small negative energy balance observed.
  • There were no differences in body fat or body lean tissue induced by the ultra, and hydration levels were maintained during the ultra in the majority of runner. Therefore, the small weight loss may possibly be due to daily fluctuations in muscle glycogen (muscle carbohydrate) level since sub-optimal daily carbohydrate intake was observed in the majority of runners.

Main take home message: Increase carbohydrate energy to meet exercising energy demands.

 Macronutrient intake:

1. Overall dietary intake

  • Carbohydrate intake: 529g/day; 8.0g/kgbw/day; 64% of energy intake.
  • Protein intake: 105g/day; 1.6g/kgbw/day; 12% of energy intake.
  • Fat intake: 88g/day; 1.3g/kgbw/day; 23% of energy intake.
  • Proportion of macronutrient intake for exercise optimal (64% carbohydrate; 12% protein, 24% fat).
  • Adequate protein intake for exercising needs in majority of runners.
  • Suboptimal carbohydrate intake for exercising on consecutive day in majority of runners.
  • Carbohydrates predominantly from sugars sources, such as carbohydrate rich drinks (e.g. soda, fruit juice, isotonic drinks, recovery drinks), energy bars, cereal bars, gels, and sweets.
  • Fat profile needs adjusting in majority of runners: 26g/day saturated fat; 24g/day
  • monounsaturated fat; 37g/day polyunsaturated fat (poor omega 3 intake); 1g/day Trans-fatty acids.
  • Reasonable fibre intake (18g/day) predominantly from fruit and cereal bars.

 Main take home message: Maintain protein intake; Increase carbohydrate rich foods within meals, snacks and carbohydrate rich fluids; Modify fat profile by focusing on predominantly monounsaturated based fats.

 2. Intake pre-stage (awakening until stage start):

Energy: 668Kcal

Protein: 22g (13%)

Carbohydrate: 102g (62%)

Fat: 19g (24%)

  •  Macronutrient energy distribution in accordance with exercising needs.
  •  Carbohydrate intake reasonable in majority of runners.
  •  Fat intake may be slightly high prior to exercise onset.

Main take home message: Increase carbohydrate rich foods and possibly decrease fatty food for the breakfast prior to the stage onset. This can be easily achieved by increasing the portion of carbohydrate rich breakfast foods or by including a carbohydrate rich drink with breakfast. Adding carbohydrate to drinks will also help with fluid replenishment.

 3. Intake during-stage:

Carbohydrate: 23g/hr of competition

  • Carbohydrate intake during exercise sub-optimal in all runners.

 Main take home message: Try to develop strategies during training (food or fluid based strategies) that will cater for at least 30g/hr of carbohydrate, with an overall aim of achieving intakes of ~60g/hr.

 4. Intake post-stage (<1hr post-stage):

Protein: 15g; 0.2g/kgbw

Carbohydrate: 118g; 1.8g/kgbw

  • Carbohydrate intake optimal for recovery in majority of runners.
  • Protein intake suboptimal for recovery in majority of runners.

 Main take home message: Try to develop strategies (food or fluid based strategies) that will cater for at least 1.2g/kgbw of carbohydrate and 0.4g/kgbw of protein immediately after exercise (e.g. fortified milk shake or recovery drink).

 Fluid intake:

  • Total daily fluid intake: 8134ml/day= of which carbohydrate rich fluids: 2422ml/day + of which plain water: 5712ml/day.
  • Fluid intake pre-stage (awakening until stage start): 856ml total= of which carbohydrate rich fluids: 233ml total + of which plain water: 623ml total.
  • Fluid intake during-stage: 730ml/hr of competition= of which carbohydrate rich fluids: 200ml/hr of competition + of which plain water: 530ml/hr of competition.
  • Fluid intake post-stage (<1hr post-stage): 1270ml total= of which carbohydrate rich fluids: 729ml total + of which plain water: 541ml total.


Main take home message: Ingestion of plain water should be avoided. Fluids consumed should contain some carbohydrate (e.g. 4-8%; 4-8g/100ml of fluid) and electrolytes (especially sodium and potassium).

 Hydration status:

Body weight loss pre to post-stage: 1.9kg = 2.7%

Urine specific gravity (hydrated: <1.020g/ml): pre= 1.031, post= 1.046

Urine Osmolality (hydrated normal range: <600mOsmol/kg): pre= 662, post= 896

Urine colour (hydrated normal range: <3): pre= 4, post= 6

Bodystat total body water (hydrated normal range: 41-48L): pre= 44, post= 46

Bodystat Extracellular water (hydrate normal range: ~19L): pre= 19, post= 19

Bodystat Intracellular water (hydrate normal range: ~25L): pre= 24, post= 26

  • Fluid losses during exercise: 908ml/hr of competition (includes sweat and urine losses).
  • In accordance with Bodystat BIA analysis- current total daily fluid intake + fluid intakes pre, during, and post-stage are sufficient to maintain hydration in the majority of runners.
  • The average 2.7% (1.9kg) body weight loss observed post-stage appears not to be related to loss in total body water through sweat; therefore are likely to reflect exercise induces losses in muscle glycogen (carbohydrate stores in the muscle) levels, and possibly water losses through urine.
  • Using urine measures of hydration during multi-stage ultra-marathon competition in the heat may be inappropriate and give an inaccurate measure of hydration status. This is primarily due to heat acclimatisation adaptation (e.g. the body will try to prevent inappropriate water losses. Therefore, constantly produce concentrated urine no matter what the body’s hydration status).
  • 98% of runners reported urinating at least once during stages. This is an indirect indicator of excess water intake being above sweat losses.

Main take home message: Current fluid ingesting (see fluid intake results) is sufficient to maintain hydration during multi-stage ultra-marathon competition in the heat. However,

focus should be on always including carbohydrates and increasing electrolyte concentration (especially sodium- e.g. a pinch of salt) of all fluids ingested, and avoiding the consumption of just plain water.

Electrolyte intake:

(note: sodium is the main extra-cellular electrolyte; while potassium is the main intra-cellular electrolyte. Both have important roles in maintaining hydration. However, sodium is the predominant nutrient involved in controlling water flow within the body, and it is also the main electrolyte which is significantly lost through sweat. Therefore, sodium needs replacing more frequently than other electrolytes. Other electrolyte (magnesium, calcium, phosphate, bicarbonate and chloride) are also important in hydration, however their turnover (storage, utilisation and losses) is slow and more long-term. Therefore, meeting daily dietary needs can easily meet the demands of these electrolytes even during periods of strenuous exercise in hot ambient environments (For more information refer to the literature provided in the eference list). 

  • Overall dietary intake: Adequate electrolyte intake (sodium intake= 3633mg/day; 466ml/L
  • fluid; salt equivalent= 9.1g/day; 1.1g/L fluid).
  • Pre-stage (awakening until stage start): Adequate electrolyte intake (sodium intake= 1180ml/L fluid; salt equivalent= 2.9g/L fluid).
  • During stage: Suboptimal electrolyte intake (especially sodium & potassium; sodium intake=219ml/L fluid; salt equivalent= 0.5g/L fluid)
  • Post-stage: Suboptimal electrolyte intake (especially sodium & potassium; sodium intake=
  • 371ml/L fluid; salt equivalent= 0.6g/L fluid)

 Main take home message: Increase electrolyte intake during and after exercise. Practical recommendations include: a) add a pinch of salt to all fluids consumed (e.g. a pinch of salt to a 500ml or 750ml water bottle; add two pinches to a 1000ml water bottle); b) use an electrolyte mixture and add an additional pinch of salt (all electrolyte mixtures contain relatively low amounts of sodium per portion used). Electrolyte mixtures do not contain sufficient sodium to replenish heat exercise sweat losses- they mainly focus on replacing all/selective electrolytes (e.g. disease based dehydration- losses of all electrolytes). During exercise in the heat a substantial amount of sodium is lost compared with other electrolytes.


General vitamin & mineral intake:

Vitamins: over UK recommended nutrient intake (RNI)

Minerals: over UK recommended nutrient intake (RNI).

Main take home message: Maintain intake of a variety of foods from different food groups.



American College of Sports Medicine (2009). Joint position statement: Nutrition and athletic performance.

Med.Sci.Sport Exerc.; 41(3): 709-731.

American College of Sports Medicine (2007). Exercise and fluid replacement. Med.Sci.Sport Exerc.; 337-390.

Broad, E.M., & Cox, G.R. (2008). What is the optimal composition of an athlete’s diet. Euro.J. Sports Sci.; 8: 57-65.

Costa, R.J.S., Moore, J.P., Walsh, N.P., (2010). Nutritional Practices of ultra-marathon runners competing in a hot ambient environment. ECSS conference proceedings, pp. 354.

Hew-Butler, T., Verbalis, J.G., Noakes, T.D., (2006). Update fluid recommendations: Position statement from the International Marathon Medical Directors Association (IMMDA). Clin.J.Sport Med., 16:283-292.

Hew-Butler, T., Ayus, J.C., Kipps, C., Maughan, R.J., Mettler, S., Meeuwisse, W.H., Page, A.J., Reid, S.A., Rehrer, N.J., Roberts, W.O., Rogers, I.R., Rosner, M.H., Siegel, A.J., Speedy, D.B., Stuempfle, K.J., Berbalis, J.G., Weschler, L.B., Wharam, P., (2008). Statement of the second International Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia Consensus

Development Conference, New Zealand, 2007. Clin.J.Sport Med., 18:111-121.

International Society of Sports Nutrition Position, (2008). Position Stand: Nutrient Timing. J.Int.Soc.Sports Nutr.; 5:17.

Jeukendrup, A.E., Jentjens, R., (2000). Oxidation of carbohydrate feedings during prolonged exercise. Sports Med.,29(6),407-424.

Noakes, T.D., (2007). Drinking guidelines for exercise: What evidence is there that athletes should drink”as much as tolerable”, “to replace the weight lost during exercise” or “ad libitum”? J.Sports Sci., 25(7):781-796.

Sawka, N., Burke, L.M., Eichner, E.R., Maughan, R.J., Montain, S.J., Stachenfeld, N.S., (2007). Exercise and fluid replacement. Med.Sci.Sport Exerc., 39(2):377-390.

Shanholzer, B.A., Patterson, S.M., (2003). Use of bioelectrical impedance in hydration status assessment: Reliability of a new tool in psychophysiology research. Int.J.Psychophysiol., 49:217-226.


Feedback comment posted by Adwin Gallant:

I participated in this study in 2011 and looking very much forward to see the research results.

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Running The Silk Road

Running The Silk Road is organised by The Home Expedition (THE) is an institute devoted to promoting a sustainable earth, long term solutions for deprived peoples/regions and a sense of responsibility among privileged groups by means of expeditions throughout the world. THE hopes to inspire everyone into taking action.

This is one of the most significant running events this year with Kevin Lin and 3 other ultra marathon runners raising awareness of the well water crisis along the route. Physiotherapy is paramount to the four ultra marathon runners at different points through the expedition. Although the only physiotherapist, Dr Stephen McNally (Ireland) will be part of a team of world wide experts that will assist the runners while they run approximately 70 Km per day for 150 days along the famous Silk Road. Nobody has previously run the Silk Road and part of this expedition will not only raise awareness for the well water crisis but will be life changing for all involved.

The expedition commences on April 20th and runs until September 17th, from Istanbul to China.  For more information visit

The organiser would be grateful if you could review this information and possibly report this on any websites, as ultimately it is to raise the issue of well water crisis in this part of the world.

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Ultra Trail GR10-Xtrem

See website for full details

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New UK Night Ultra – Dusk ’til Dawn

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On the stoke of sunset, you start running.  Head Torches lit, there are 50 miles and 9300ft of challenging Peak District ahead of you.  You have just 14 hours and 6 minutes before dawn, to reach the finish, all the while avoiding the Grim Sweeper!  The event starts and finishes at Losehill Hall in Castleton.

Thera are only 90 places available.  The event registrations opened on March 3rd and are already filling up, so don’t waste time getting your entry in to avoid disappointment.