Personal Best Sport Coaching
Ian has transformed me into a runner who is well-prepared with the confidence and courage to try and win some of the toughest races. He listens to what I say, hears what I don't say and understands the goal that we're working towards. His ability to read where I stand physically, emotionally and spiritually and then design an ideal program based on that and my current goal continually amazes me. After our success together in the past there is no doubt that I would continue working with Ian.
Hoka One One
Running shoes are a very personal choice and all runners have their preferences. I like a shoe that has a soft sole and provides sufficient cushioning for the miles I run in training and races. A lot of that running is with a heavy pack so additional support and cushion is very welcome. I added my first pair of Hokas to my running shoe rotation as a long run and recovery day shoe and I liked them so much that I used a pair to race KAEM. I have no doubt that for the type of racing I'm focused on and the training that I do to prepare for those races, Hoka provides the best shoe for me. I'm excited that through their Chilean distributor, Base Camp Outdoors run by Rodrigo Errazuriz, I'll have access to the complete range of Hoka shoes to support me this year.
[I used the Mafate 2 in KAEM as it is the most cushioned and has the widest base of all Hokas. This allowed me to feel fresh over the multiple days of running and provided excellent footing in the loose sand. I use the Bondi Speed for the majority of training as it is the softest and most comfortable shoe for me and even though it is a road show it handles all trails very well. I will also be using the Kailua for my faster training days to run intervals as it is a slightly lighter shoe with 1.5 times a normal shoe's cushioning rather than the 2.2 times of other Hoka models.]
|Hoka One One Bondi Speed (already looking much more worn than this!)
In any ultra-marathon race fueling and nutrition are vital. In multi-stage races there is an added complexity of recovery between stages and when these races are self-sufficient it becomes even more difficult as it is vital to ensure that all food for the race also weighs as little as possible! I have slowly been refining my food plans as I gain more experience and as you can see from this blog a lot of thought goes into this aspect of my running (running rations, food plans for Atacama Crossing 2012, 2013 and KAEM 2013). I do a lot of research and testing to find what is best for me and a vital source of information and a nutrition philosophy that I have been trying to follow is from Mark Wolff (fitness freak blog and @wolffmark).
Mark is a nutrition expert and also the owner of 32Gi. In 2014 I will be working with Mark to improve my stage racing food plan and 32Gi products will be the backbone of these plans as well as vital components of my training and preparation plans. I love the 32Gi products and their philosophy on endurance fueling so I believe this will be the start of a fantastic relationship.
|My first batch of 32Gi products.
[I used the Endure tabs and chews and found them to be excellent during the VUT mountain race. I particularly like the Endure products for in-race fueling, Recover drink for post-running recovery and Foodbar in between stages. However, I still have a lot to learn and a lot of testing to do to finalize my nutrition strategy using the 32Gi products to best support my racing.]
Multi-stage and ultra-marathon racing can be hard on your feet and in many multi-stage races infected blisters are the primary reason for dropping out of the race. I've written a blog post about this and there is even a book on the topic as it is so important to runners. Socks are the barrier and interface between shoe and foot and are vital in preventing blisters and keeping your feet happy. Injinji make some great socks with the key feature being individual toes to allow for the toes to splay and to prevent blisters between the toes. This year, thanks to Roger Zeino and Branded Footwear, the South African distributor for Injinji, I will be using Injinji socks to look after my feet and keep me performing at my best.
|Injinji Trail 2.0 socks.
[I used the Injinji Compression socks for my recovery during the Atacama Crossing 2013 and KAEM 2013 and I will be using those socks as well as the Trail 2.0 this year.]
I'm looking forward to some tough races in 2014 and I'm delighted to have the support of these people and products for the year. I'm still working on some relationships to help with my running costs and technical support, and I hope to be able to add to this list during the course of the year. If you have any questions about these products or want more specifics on what I use, please feel free to ask in the comments.