Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Your questions answered (Part 2)

Thanks again to everyone who asked a question on the Run Geordie Run Facebook page and via Twitter recently. Here are the latest set of answers with more to come in the coming days.

Dave Shenton

What is the highest point you will reach? The highest point on the run from Lisbon to Istanbul is actually the highest paved point in Europe at 9088 ft (2770 m). The Col De L’Iseran in the French Alps (pictured below) is the 15th of 16 major climbs that I’ll run up. 

I’ll reach the summit on day 50 of the run across Europe. It will start with a category 5 climb in the first 4 miles. Then it’s an uphill marathon (26.2 miles) with 6213 ft (1894 m) of ascent to the Cold De L’Iseran. The day will end with 10k (6.2 miles) of running downhill. 

The total elevation for day 50 is 7851ft (2392m). It promises to be possibly the toughest day of running that I’ve ever done. 

No day that I ever ran in the USA comes close to what I will be facing on day 50 of the run across Europe. 

Have you done anything different with your training for this run? I haven’t ran as many miles in training as I did before the runs across the USA and Australia. While I'll be going into the run across Europe carrying the usual excess weight, I'm probably in the best mechanical shape that I've been in for a quite a while. That includes my feet too.

I’ve been going to Crossfit Northumbria a lot since July 2015. While it's very enjoyable I’ve really found myself way way out of my comfort zone. Yes it's very challenging but what an almighty buzz you get after a session. 

The quality of fellow attendees is very high indeed. While I look out of place, it's impossible to feel out of place with the encouragement offered from trainers and peers alike.

Not many people will know this, but the whole Crossfit Northumbria experience has helped me get the all important mental edge back that I had going in to the run across the USA. 

Having to dig deep when there is nothing left in the tank and attempting something that seems unachievable are two valuable lessons that I’ve had to re-learn after the tough times in Australia. This was evident recently when I ran 65 miles unsupported from Edinburgh to Wooler. I approached the event with a really positive mindset and finished a good few hours ahead of my predicted time. I got stuck into the many climbs that the Scottish borders offered with a quick finish on both of the days that the run spanned.

I'll get lighter, fitter and quicker in Europe during the 100 days. That's inevitable. Getting my mind and therefore my focus and determination attuned to a highly consistent level from day 1 is what will give me the best chance of success.   

How many calories do you think you will burn a day? Based on previous experience and recent stats I should burn between 6500 and 8000 calories per day. This is based on recent 30+ mile runs wearing a heart rate monitor and GPS watch. 

How many will you consume? Again, based on previous experience this will average between 3000 and 4000 calories. Some days will be much less as I always struggle to eat during the big events. I wish I had that problem in normal life!

Gary Phillipson

How many plasters will you go through? I have no idea. I can say that we have an extensive medical kit thanks to C&P Medical who once again have supplied everything that Sports Therapist Jason Stobbs and Podiatrist Alison Meldrum asked for.

Mark Wilson

Which country's food are you least looking forward to having on the route? Being the broad minded foodie that I am I can honestly say that almost anything goes in Europe. It's the finished cooked product from some of the less domesticated support team members that concerns me. 

The low point, in terms of food, in Australia was David Fairlamb's omelette offering where he used iced coffee as an ingredient. Oh how we laughed!

If the team can get anywhere near to the quality of John Dobby's bacon and egg sandwiches (pictured below during the run across Australia) then I'll be very happy. 

Sarah Doy-Banks

What will be your luxury item in your suitcase? I don't have a suitcase because I'll be fortunate enough to have everything that I need packed in the motorhome in Newcastle. The one luxury item that I do have is Cherry Active's cherries covered in dark chocolate. There are almost 1000 calories in a bag!

How many pairs of trainers will you go through? I have 8 pairs of Brooks Glycerin 13 shoes. That's a lot of shoes and once again I'm extremely grateful to Brooks for their continued support.

How much weight are you expecting to lose? If I start the run across Europe at 17 stone (108 kg or 238 pounds) and 25% body fat I would expect to finish at 12 stone (76 kg or 168 pounds)  and 11% body fat by the time I reach Istanbul. 

While this is pure guesswork, I was very close to the final figures in the USA and Australia. The image on the left below is me at 18 stone on day 4 of the run across the USA. The one on the right was taken 100 days later. I lost 20% body fat and 5.5 stones (35 kg or 77 pounds) of weight.

Which parts of Europe are you excited about running through and which parts of Europe are you dreading if any? I'm looking forward to running through the Pyrenees and The Alps most of all. The Pyrenees alone will see me run 60,000 ft uphill in 7 days. That's the same as sea level to the summit of Mount Everest twice.

I'm not dreading any particular country or region but some border crossings in Eastern Europe are a concern in terms of the delay they may cause.