Charlie running in the Lake District © Berghaus
1) Having volunteered at the 2012 Dragon's Back Race™ you have more knowledge than many of the 2015 competitors of the race, some would call it inside knowledge! Has this been useful in your preparations or daunting?
I was able to see how the event works, see what strategies people were using (in terms of finishing routines, eating habits) and chat to most of the runners and learn from their experiences which I think has been very useful in general.
2) You are a well established personal trainer, can you give us an insight into your preparation for the Berghaus Dragon's Back Race™?
I’ve been coaching and training people since 2010. The principles I’ve developed for training allow me to easily break down an up coming event and train effectively. The obvious long, back to back days across fairly hilly terrain of this race should be a good challenge. The bulk of my training for the 100 milers I’ve got this year will work quite well for the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ too! I tend to run in Snowdonia when I’m not racing at the weekends, in addition, I’ve tried to add in a bit more navigation practice, as it’s rare I actually need to get a compass out in most races I do.
3) What advice would you give to other competitors preparing for multi-day challenges like this?
My best advice to runners looking at multi day events would be to get a good understanding of what’s involved, the route, conditions, terrain etc. Then to build up to training multiple days in succession practicing with the kit you plan to use. Be honest about your current abilities and set some goals from there, if there will be a big variation in what you are used to running on compared to the race, allow for that and other potential issues. If all your training is fairly flat on nice trails it might be a shock once you get a couple of hours in to the first day. Practice, practice, practice!
4) You completed the Gobi Challenge in 2010 as one of your first running events. How do think this will compare to the Berghaus Dragon's Back Race?
My first running event was the Gobi Challenge in 2010 (about a marathon a day across the desert, self sufficient type thing) it’s going to be totally different to the Berghaus Dragons Back Race™ in many ways. I was literally aiming for a comfortable completion then, I had a walk and run strategy and was there for a once in a lifetime adventure (never expected to continue running after that) For the Berghaus Dragons Back Race™ I’m far more experienced in both running and being in the hills, I know that finishing sooner will give me more recovery time and I’ve become far more conditioned too. The days will be longer, the route and terrain tougher but I doubt it will be as warm. Although the Berghaus Dragons Back Race™ is much harder on paper I will be more comfortable going into that than I was the Gobi!
5) What will be your snack of choice during the race?
Breakfast 9bars! Higher in energy per gram than other bars out there and they taste great! I used the original 9bar back in 2010 for the Gobi as I wanted maximum calories to eat with minimum weight to carry.