Tuesday 29 August 2023

USA 2025 - Route planning finished

I've just finished session number five of the week and it’s only Tuesday. At 0645 this morning, a David Fairlamb Fitness Beach Bootcamp at Longsands saw a strong group put though our paces by Mark Fleming. Regular followers will know that Mark was an important member of the USA 2011 support team. 

Back to yesterday and I managed two double sessions. The first lot was back to back VersaClimber classes at 0630 at David Fairlamb Fitness. On a bank holiday too! At 1630, there were two back to back circuit classes with David. I’ve got to say that I hadn’t felt so strong coming out of that afternoon session for a very long time. It just goes to show what it possible with what is now two weeks of eating very healthy food. 

I’ve simply got to continue to eat in the way I have been, given how good I’m currently feeling. It feels like a fog has lifted. Oh, and there is the small matter that I’ve dropped 10 pounds of fat in that two weeks. That news from the weigh in yesterday with David was pleasantly surprising. I’m looking forward to the coming weeks and months as I build the workload up even further. As long as I continue to eat sensibly then I should be in great shape by the end of spring 2024. The summer of 2024 is a hugely important period in my preparation when I’ll start running the big miles. 

To say that I feel determined is a huge understatement. There’s nothing like plotting the USA route in detail (which I finished yesterday) to focus the mind! The feeling that I had at the end of the route planning was “there’s no way I can do that!”. I haven’t helped matters by watching a lot of YouTube coverage of people running through Death Valley. Death Valley, of course, is only 153 miles of the 3141 mile route from Coney Island, New York to Huntington Beach, California. It’s a tough section that could be an event in its own right. I'll speak more about the route in more detail in the coming weeks so please watch this space. 

There is a long way to go to convincing myself that running that considerable distance, over that unforgiving terrain in those harsh temperatures is actually possible. While running an average of 31.41 miles over 100 days is close to what I did in 2011, this route seems far more difficult however. 

I'm not surprised that with all of the route planning, I now possess a very healthy amount of fear and trepidation. Every action that I take over the next 611 days until the run starts on May 1st 2025 is going to contribute massively to the eventual outcome. What a journey it promises to be!

Tuesday 22 August 2023

USA 2025 - Detailed route planning going well

I established a 3100 mile high level route from Coney Island to Huntington Beach a few months ago. So far, I have chopped up the first 1860 miles into chunks spanning 59 days. That route to Walsenburg crosses 10 states, namely New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Colorado. There's 47,000ft of climbing to be done so far and I see Walsenburg as the final stop before I run across the San Juan mountains (part of the Rocky mountain range).

It's been a reasonably straightforward route so far. The only real difficulty has been plotting a route through the maze of roads west of St Louis in Missouri. It's not just a case of following the optimum route. I have to factor in whether the terrain is suitable for a motorhome. In many cases, that would not have been the case if I'd chosen the quickest route through this part of Missouri. Being in resonably close proximity to the support team in the motorhome is very important for our safety. Sections of the route where motorhome access isn't possible have been kept to a bare minimum. For example, I'll be spending a bit of time on parts of the Katy Trail in Missouri. This is a 240 mile route which will give me an opportunity to get away from the traffic. The longest unsupported section I'll be running there is 18 miles.

I think it will take this weekend to finish the remaining 1140 or so miles through the San Juan/Rocky mountains, Monument Valley, Death Valley then on to the finish line at Huntington Beach. In terms of states that's Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California. That's 66,000ft of climbing over the remaining 31 days.

The route through Death Valley will be quite straightforward. However, the plan and schedule in place to support it will take quite a few months to establish. I'll almost be treating this section as an event in its own right. I'll be in peak physical condition when I enter the park. I must have a plan in place that also takes into account the safety of the support team.   

Watch this space next week for details of the final route across the USA.

Thursday 17 August 2023

Top of the league (for now)

It’s almost as pointless as the first league table of the season (which Newcastle are top of incidentally) but I’m very pleased with the 4.5 pounds of weight lost this week. 

I’ve been at David Fairlamb Fitness at 0600 every morning so far as well as evening sessions. I won’t lie. It’s been tough. I’ve been under instructions from Dave to lessen the usual intensity levels. That has seen me able to train at the upper end of my fat burning zone. I’ve also noticed that I’m making a lot less noise in the gym. It’s still very tough though. 

After an 0600 session with Mark Fleming yesterday morning, I had a Versaclimber UK class with Dave at 1730. The outdoor bootcamp with Craig that followed immediately was just a case of getting through as best I could. If it was a boxing match then the referee would have stopped the fight. I’m pleased that I have a morning off today. 

I’ll have a double session with Dave at 1730 tonight though. It’s a good job that I’ve always enjoyed my sessions in the gym as they are coming thick and fast at the moment. In my mind, that hard work will probably account for 20% of my success. The other 80% is all down to food. I’m getting really good advice from Dave on that with fish, lean meat, certain vegetables and salad items the order of the day. I’m only 4 days in to eating like this but I can already feel a huge difference. One I expected, as I’ve eaten like this before. It’s like a fog has lifted. I don’t feel bloated at all, feel far less lethargic and have more energy going in to sessions. 

I should give a special mention to my sponsor Active Edge who for the 12th year running are supplying the miracle juice that is Cherry Active. I dilute a 30ml sachet in water after every gym session. I shouldn’t be surprised by now but to have zero aches and pains after such a busy workload is quite incredible. I make no apology for sounding like an evangelical salesman (I’m not on commission by the way). It’s such an amazing product. Long time followers will recall that I first used it during the run across the USA in 2011. 

So there’s some positive thoughts for this Thursday morning. Like that early league table, you’re only as good as your next result so I’ll be giving my best efforts in the gym and also from a nutrition point of view. I’m not thinking about the target weight and body fat that I want by the end of next spring. My sights are set firmly on the next meal and the next gym session. If I keep this up then targets and goals will take care of themselves.

Sunday 13 August 2023

David Fairlamb Fitness

I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the support of David Fairlamb Fitness for the last 15 years. We’ve been through an awful lot together. I doubt I would have finished the run across the USA in 2011 on time if it wasn’t for his two stints on the support team (along with Mark and Steve aka The Big Guns). I’ll be working with Dave for the run across the USA in 2025. The first official session for this campaign is tomorrow at 0630 where we’ll take some stats (weight, body fat etc) before I get started. 

The high level plan is to reach the “fighting weight” and desired body composition before summer 2024. This will give me a full 12 months of being able to run the high back to back miles in training in preparation for the run starting in May 2025. 

For a normal man in the street, I’ve always considered my training to be of a really high standard. The frequency, intensity and load that I’ve managed around work, family life, football and planning the epic runs has served me well so far. 

For the run in 2025, with the support of Dave, I feel the training will take care of itself. Not without considerable discipline, effort and sacrifice mind. What won’t take care of itself, however, is the all important food aspect of my preparation. In all these years, I have never once got that right. The image below is one I’ve looked at a lot over the years. The left side is me at 18.5 stone and 33% body fat on day three of the run across the USA in 2011. That picture was taken in the Outpost Cafe where I’ll be visiting (with a lot of luck) on day 97 in 2025. The right side is me at 88kg and 5.8% body fat after the run finished. 

As well as the usual superb guidance in training, I’ll be working much closer with Dave on nutrition. That’s all well and good, but it’s down to me to do something that I’ve never managed before. To eat the right food, in the right quantities with a large serving of discipline. What can possibly go wrong! 

A huge thank you to Dave (and trainer Mark Fleming too) for the support that is so important in the build up to running 3100 miles from New York to Death Valley to Huntington Beach, California in 100 days.

Thursday 10 August 2023

New sponsor for USA 2025 - D-Line

There has been a terrific start to the USA 2025 fundraising campaign in aid of St. Benedict's Hospice. At the time of writing £3075.88 has been raised. In addition to that, as part of the Promise to Donate scheme, there is a further £3000 in the pipeline for the hospice. That's the scheme that will pay out when the run gets the go ahead. i.e. all commercial sponsors are found and the scheme itself gets 25 contributors. 

The combined £6075.88 figure represents 10% of the fundraising target that I've set which is a really encouraging start. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far. Of course, the JustGiving page is always open for donations to St. Benedict's Hospice here should you wish to add to the total.

On the subject of commercial sponsors, I was delighted that Chapman Ventilation became my main sponsor last month. Their support can be traced back to 2011 and has seen tens of thousands of pounds raised as a result. 

The search now continues for the additional commercial sponsors that are needed to make the run across the USA a reality in 2025. On that very subject, I'm happy to report that Tyneside based D-Line have stepped up to be a "gold sponsor". Their logo will sit proudly on my sleeve on the kit I'll be wearing across the USA. There'll also be additional visibility across this site and all social media channels. That will be at its peak during the run itself where there is all kinds of new content planned. 

D-Line is a successful family run business that shares the same passion, enthusiasm and vision as myself. D-Line are no stranger to Run Geordie Run. In fact, this will be the 4th campaign that D-Line have been involved in since 2015. 

D-Line's website explains that they are "...a UK company, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, with a global reputation for innovative cable management products for use 'when time, safety and appearance matter’. D-Line patented the world’s fastest cable trunking system, in subtle shapes to blend with modern decor.  

These iconic D-shaped ½-round & ¼-round profiles are now popular in 30+ countries. D-Line also invented the first fire-rated cable supports that could be fitted in non-metallic trunking, preventing the potentially fatal consequences of cable entanglement… now our Safe-D family of cable supports includes 35+ unique offers

D-Line developed Cable Tidy Units to contain socket extensions and cable clutter, and pioneered linkable floor cable protectors to address another common requirement. We are continually designing solutions that satisfy common cable issues in homes & workplaces… including our unique Cable Tidy Shelf range; offering a stylish stand for popular devices, with a discrete cavity for hiding charger cables. 

Our dedicated teams are delighted that the popularity of D-Line products, and our commitment to innovative solutions, have been recognised by separate Queen's Awards both Export achievements Enterprise and Innovation.". 

I've been lucky enough to visit the D-Line premises a few times over recent years. I'm hugely looking forward to talking to the staff again both before and after the run. A huge thank you again to D-Line for their tremendously kind support.

If you're interested in becoming a sponsor or can offer support then please click on the image below to view the sponsorship prospectus. There are packages to suit different budgets.

If you have any question regarding sponsorship then please get in touch at sponsorship@rungeordierun.com.