Imagine if a voucher could change someone’s life?

22 years ago I was 60lbs overweight with the occasional fad diet, no training and feeling down in the dumps – I was stuck in my own comfort zone.

Someone gave me a sports shop GIFT VOUCHER for my 40th birthday. Runners and kit were purchased and for some reason it didn’t stop there. The new kit, a bit of support and a challenge all added up to creating the kickstart that lead to completely changed my life.

22 years later I’ve run 36 Marathons, competed in charity cycle challenges all over the world plus a multitude of other stuff and more importantly I’m 10 times healthier and organise adventure challenges in Inishowen Donegal for a living.

Do you know someone who could do with that little push, that might prove to be the almighty step towards a healthier life?

Our gift vouchers starts at just €30. Book on line now and receive by post before Christmas. I’ll even give them a pep talk if you think they need it.

All the best.

Harold McGuinness

#running, #donegal, #Inishowen, # adventure, #wildatlanticway, #marathons

vouch2

 

Training for Ultra / Multi Marathon Running

Completed a number of marathons! what next? Many runners look to Multi Marathon and Ultra running for a new challenge. Completing an endurance race or ultra challenge is demanding on body and training regime. At this stage many will have identified the type of training schedule that suits them and adapted it using principals that have worked for them.

DSC_3383Itching to do an Ultra

Before entering this arena make it is best that you have ample marathon distances under your belt to avoid unnecessary injury. As was the rule for marathon training, weekly long runs are now an even more important part of your training regime. Adapt a slower pace for your long runs as these are all about getting your body used to distance / endurance, so save you faster pace / speed work for shorter mid week sessions.

Back 2 Back distance training

This is an excellent technique for multi marathon or Ultra’s in excess of 60k. This consists of – 3 days of shorter / speed training – 1 rest day – 1 long run – 1 long run – 1 rest day. The first day long run builds endurance and the second day, ideally about 15% shorter, acclimatizes the body to having to keep going even when tired.

Run / Walk

Venturing beyond marathon distance where the whole emphasis may have been keep running, now you must revisit that strategy as pacing is even more important and virtually all endurance runners adopt a run-walk strategy at some point during the race. It is important to train you body to be able to run again after a walking break, so build walk breaks into your distance runs and judge for yourself the correct ratio of run : walk

Listen to your body

Get to know your body and listen to it, while a group of runners may stick together during training your recovery is personal to you, no 2 bodies are the same, weight, physique, wellbeing, age etc. all play a part in your recovery. If your body hasn’t fully recovered from the previous long distance then shorten, or scrap, your next distance run to aid recovery. Running on a fatigued / over trained body leaves a high risk of injury.

Emulate your training to your race

Check out your race for elevation, road, trail, mountain, beach etc. and emulate your training to reflect the challenge that you are training for. Weather conditions, day light, running at darkness with headlamps etc are all factors and should be likewise adapted into you training schedule if applicable.

Race day looming

Most runners are tapering their training 2 – 3 weeks before the race, it is important that your body is starting the race rested to increase your chances of finishing. Proper hydration and a well fuelled body play a major part also to make sure to experiment with these factors during training so that your confident of what works and makes you most efficient on race day.

Set your GOAL and make your goal work for you

When you decide to take that “Leap of Faith” then get focused on your chosen challenge, register now if that helps to motivate and drive you towards your Goal, get a training plan in place that mimics most aspects of the challenge and get started. Choose an event that you can really look forward to for the challenge, camaraderie hospitality and something that will leave you going home fulfilled, with a smile and lasting memories. Donegal is an ideal venue to tick all those boxes, so check our Rocks N Rollin Ultra or the iconic Quadrathon when searching for your ideal challenge.

LIFE AFTER 10K -Venturing into Distance running or Adventure racing

Now that you have achieved your all-time Goal of completing a 10k, you are probably bitten by the adrenalin bug and wondering what’s possible?, whats’s next?. Remember one very important fact, regardless of how you “raise the bar” you’ll only have to give it “your all” the same as you had to do to get to 10k.

Getting all fired up by enthusiast sports mates over a few pints and signing up for Half Marathon, full Marathon or Adventure Race was the easy part. Now the real training begins and even the nip of the wintry Donegal air or the odd injury niggle will be overshadowed by the enormity of the challenge that you have commitment to and the ever looming start line that summons you in your minds horizon.

KEEP HEALTHY AND WELL

The first simple rule, you can’t train if your lethargic or ill and you want to avoid unnecessary injury. Make sure your suitably attired for the weather conditions, your muscles benefit from being kept warm during training and you want to avoid Flu’s and Colds.

A healthy balanced diet is essential in providing the extra energy you’ll need for training and bolstering your immune system. Because of the extra exposure many find it difficult to avoid the odd Flu / Virus so make sure your intake of vitamins is sufficient.

MANAGE YOUR TRAINING

Adopt a training plan that works for you and amount of time you can devote to training. It is important that you train consistently, week in week out as opposed to spurts of training which will be more injury prone. If you are introducing muscles that have been seldom used in the past then keep that part of training light initially to avoid injury.

LOOSING YOUR MOJO

Sometimes it just unavoidable, life as a habit of dictating the pace. Listen to your body and if your lethargic or have injury niggles then review your training plan / diet / lifestyle and adjust accordingly. Look back and celebrate how far you have come, don’t cling onto a training regime that’s not working, have a rethink and reschedule. Depending on where you are at in your training plan you could choose to still compete and drop your pace to a walk/run strategy or take extra breaks at transitions. Sometimes these races turn out to be the most enjoyable and race-day atmosphere will help get you through. Worst case scenario is there will always be another race coming along soon.

RACE DAY ON THE HORIZON

Tapering back your training before race day is essential and this varies but is mostly for a 2-3 week period. Cut out long training periods but continue with shorter, less frequent sessions. Your body will feel like it should be doing more but this period will help build a store of energy in your body for race-day. You may also feel like your losing your fitness level and inherited every niggle and pain possible, that OK, as those notions are all guaranteed to disappeared after race day.

Pre race nutrition for endurance events is as important as the training, make sure your body is properly fuelled and hydrated for the entire week leading up to race day. Get well rested during the week as your pre-race nerves will see to it that you only get a few hours sleep on the last night

ENJOY THE TRIP – REMEMBER, YOU GET TO DO IT – NOT – HAVE TO DO IT

TRAINING – Enjoy the whole process, make sure that your training regime is enduring but also enjoyable. Train with someone else as part of your weekly routine, even for just 1 day /week. Allow some variation / flexibility to suit moods or conditions on occasional days.

RACE-DAY – On race-day get your rest, nutrition and pace right and your guaranteed to enjoy the Event. If you go out too fast you’ll suffer and lose all enjoyment which is against every reason that you decided to sign up for the event in the first place.

THE NEW YOU

Now have a good look back and celebrate this major turnaround in your Health, wellbeing and general fitness that you have gained in this journey of a lifetime. You will probably go onto bigger and better achievement but the physiological and mental efforts and gains to get you here are the most important of your sporting career because if you hadn’t started you’d always have been a Couch Potato and unhealthy one at that.

SET YOUR GOALS

Depending on the individual, you may select goals that you identify as achievable or alternatively “push out the boat” which is good put not so far that you can’t achieve it. Extreme North events are structure to include all levels of fitness, which allows Adventure racers or Distance runners the opportunity to drop down a level, before race day, if training hasn’t gone to plan for one reason or another. Use your GOAL as your incentive, so set it and sign up TODAY which will help force you out training on those lazy days.

Best of Luck in your venture and make 2016 YOUR YEAR.

 

8 ways that Adventure Racing boosts wellbeing and promotes Tourism in Donegal

8 ways Adventure Races boosts wellbeing and promotes tourism in Donegal

  • Extreme North’s range of adventure races and challenges showcase the Donegal landscape with intense on & off road scenic routes creating a lasting impression, not experienced by the fleeting tourist.
  • Multiple course options and teamwork choice makes event accessible to all fitness levels. Rugged Peaks is taking place on the 26th September, and the mini adventure course is perfect for teams looking for a novice challenge.
  • Adventure offers a unique workout using different muscle groups as participants run, cycle, kayak and climb mountains. If you’ve completed a 5k or would like to try and adventure race, Rugged Peaks has the perfect mix.
  • The local hospitality and craic experienced by participants adds a vibrant cultural element to the sporting experience, and it’s a great boost to the local economy who directly
  • People are coming from all over the world to take part in adventure races in Donegal, our international visitors are growing with each event year on year. And when you see the size of the medals, you’ll see why.
  • Adventure racing welcomes teams to take part, so no matter what your level of ability is you can take part. Teams of 2-4 are a perfect for races like Rugged Peaks.
  • Adventure racing is a complete package – Overall workout / scenic alertness /cultural experience. It’s a great way to experience this part of Ireland.
  • The final result is an overwhelming sense of achievement, self-gratification and a shared camaraderie, banter & craic with likeminded achievers, everyone benefits!

 

With the diverse range of adventure races in Donegal like WAAR, Mulroy, The Race and our own races at Extreme North Donegal is fast becoming the fast becoming the hottest destination in Ireland for adventure racing and tourism!

 

“218 competitors competed the Quadrathon in August and around 210 of those stayed in Donegal for the entire weekend, that is a huge boost to the local economy, and we’re hoping to double that for 2016” – Harold Extreme North

 

RUGGED PEAKS CHALLENGE

Rugged Peaks is staged in Clonmany, Co Donegal and takes place on the 26th September and has a course for everyone from extreme to Novice, click here to sign up, you will love it!

The new Rugged Peaks Adventure challenge has it all as the event sprawls out around the base of Mamore offering course choices for all fitness levels.

67K Extreme incl. beach run and 1000ft climb on stage 1, cycle over Mamore on stage 2 and that’s just for starters

42k Sprint is an ideal course for solo or why not team-up in 2’s or 4’s a perfect option for novice adventurers

24k Mini, a flat course for the solo novice or anyone with 10k run under their belt.

Whatever your choice you are guaranteed to be challenged at your own level and experience an overwhelming sense of satisfaction and achievement as you cross that finish line.