WayOutside

Max and I  fulfilled our dream to move to the Scottish Highlands and now we embark on our next aventure; WayOutside

Screen Shot 2019-02-14 at 13.40.41WayOutside aims to bring together like minded people to swim, run and hike in the Scottish outdoors, from the seas and lochs to moors and mountains. WayOutside also wishes to introduce groups of people to the outdoors who may not necessarily see a space for themselves there. To these ends we will also provide online and face-to-face goal coaching.

Our first event is a week Saturday (23rd February), we have approached both the Outdoor Swimming Society and Ganavan Sands parkrun to form the Oban Sea and Loch Swimmers! This is our first community gathering of swimming and running. Please check out our Oban SeaLS facebook Group and feel free to come along!

The next event is a training weekend on the West Highland Way aiming to provide an informative, fun and practical weekend for ultra-runners to get some long days in, meet other runners and chat about kit prior to the summer races. In particular, West Highland Way Race. However, the camp will be suitable for trail runners wanting to run any distance and those wishing to step into ultra-running.

Why come to the WayOutside West Highland Way Training Weekend at By the Way Hostel, Tyndrum May 24th – 26th???

I mean you could just stay at home…

  1. It is in the beautiful and wild Scottish Highlands! 

(you could come running here!)

  1. We have people who have know-how coming to chat to you

  • Beta Running will be here with dedicated reps providing kit demos from Ultimate Direction, VJ Sports and LED Lenser. This will give you a chance to try products you could use on the race before you buy. Kit includes multiple sizes of Ultimate Direction hydration vests with women’s specific fit as well, trail running shoes from VJ and some of the best headtorches on the market from LED Lenser.
  • ‘Pop-up’ running shop by Retailer Achilles Heel (based out of Glasgow) who will be on hand with a range of brands and kit.
  • Yoga sessions structured specifically for runners with Kridaka Yoga by ironman triathlete and yoga instructor Mark Russel.
  • Guest speakers Saturday night
  • 1-2-1 sample goal setting workshop
  • Experienced runners as well as people there who have crewed before to give tips, advice and tell some stories.
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Yoga for runners with Kridaka Yoga – “Movement for the body, stillness for the mind.”

  1. Lots of running!

    Including night running, and we will look after you on your return with food and post run cake! With Monday as a bank holiday you will have time to recovery (or get home) prior to work on Tuesday.

Suggested running options…

Friday Night

  1. Post yoga group night run (WHWrace starts at 1am…)

Saturday

  1. Distance your choice, out and back in either direction on the West Highland Way from Tyndrum.
  2. Catch 8.30am (ish) 916 to Glencoe Mountain. Run up to top of the Devil’s staircase and then all the way back to Tyndrum: ~ 27miles, could make longer by running further towards Kinlochleven
  3. Run North, pick up bus approx. 14:48 from Glencoe back to Tyndrum

Sunday

  1. Distance your choice, out and back in either direction on the West Highland Way from Tyndrum.
  2. Group Recovery Run ~ 10km
  3. Tyndrum to Fort William, or train to Bridge of Orchy, or bus to Glencoe and run to Fort William. We can arrange baggage transfer to Fort William at an additional cost.

ALL BUSES SHOULD BE BOOKED IN ADVANCE TO ENSURE SEATING

  1. A chance to meet other like-minded runners and be a part of the friendly and welcoming Scottish Ultra-running community.

 

TICKETS TO GO ONSALE SOON!!

Van living Q&A

Every van dweller is different, we converted our van on a budget so skimped on certain things (no toilet, shower, fridge or built in heater) and we also work full time in London. We get asked the same questions about the practicalities of living in a van. I can tell you the answers are the obvious ones! But just incase you are still wondering here are some frequent questions we get asked and our answers!

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Post race blues

I came back to running about two weeks after the West Highland Way Race, racing for a sub 24min at the Cambridge parkrun and then the next day took part in a 2.5km river swim. Looking back on Strava, I came back to training far too quickly, despite 2 weeks off running I had been road cycling over 100km just 1 week post race. Open water swimming 2 weeks out from such a large ultramarthon was a huge mistake. My immune system would have taken an absolute beating from the race. Both Max and I caught a bug from the river and were subsequently ill for 2 weeks, all training stopped and I was wiped out.

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Connecting People and Nature

From our own gardens to the remote highland mountains, from city parks and forest schools to the coasts, and beyond to the islands, Scotland’s nature is that of a national pride and international wonder. The Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) aims to further conserve, facilitate enjoyment and advise on sustainable management of Scotland’s nature and land. The SNH vision is to establish Scotland as a recognised world leader for looking after and improving nature by 2030.

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West Highland Way Race 2018

I have given a full blow-by-blow race report on John Kynaston’s final podcast; you can find it here.

I completed the 96mile race in 33hrs and 5mins. I am under no assumptions, my finishing was part of a team effort. Without my crew, Neil Scott, Kristin and Jason Main, Susan Barley and my husband Max Holloway I could still be out there somewhere! I cannot thank each of them enough for helping me accomplish this goal, all were absolute heroes. Thank you also to everyone who supported me in the lead up including my family, but also a huge thank you to Liz Bennett. Liz sponsored me, keeping me injury free through my training and had my legs feeling their absolute best come race day. Thank you to the race organisers, volunteers, medics, marshels and supporters. You put on an immense race in every sense. I entered the race to understand myself better, to know how I would react come second sunset, and when the nausea and sleep deprivation hit. Here are some of my insights (the take away parts are in bold) as a first time West Highland Way Race runner and first time running an ultra distance past 53miles.

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The trouble with unfounded expectations

Now I am less than 3 weeks out from the the West Highland Way Race. The work, however much I managed, is done.

I have been thinking about this race for about a year, it has been in my mind daily since then. I started ‘pre-training’ in mid October, 1 month after the Ring of Steall Skyrace, and began 100 mile training the first week of January 2018.

I had a huge wobble. I had an amazing March where training was going perfectly to plan, then in April work and travel caused havoc for my schedule. In hindsight, Max being injured was also a factor. Without my running buddy I was skimping unintentionally on my long runs and back to backs. I missed spending time with him. The Fling had gone great, but I had tapered so lost out on WHW training. Then a brief injury post Fling meant the following 3 weeks were sub par seeing two thirds less running than was planned. I never completed a peak phase in my training as I was wiped out.

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Burnout…

I have never written on here about this, but in 2011 I had glandular fever, which in itself was not much of a big deal. Unfortunately, I was unaware at the time how close to burnout I was, which meant I never recovered from the post viral fatigue and developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E). I look back at this time in three parts, the acute post viral phase, the chronic M.E phase and the recovery phase. Recovery took me years, I would say I am recovered now, but the fear that should I forget myself, is ever present. I want to discuss a method I leant from my recovery that I still apply to daily life now as a healthy person. In particular, how to mitigate the risk of overtraining and injury through a holistic approach to viewing how we spend energy, pace ourselves and what stress is.

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Highland Fling 2018 Race Reflections

I had not intended to enter the 2018 Fling, with the West Highland Way race in the same year. Back in 2016 it took me 6 weeks to recover enough to even want to run again. I was scared I could not recover in time for the WHWrace, just 8 weeks later. Neil my Chief Crewman, however, advised I run the Fling as my longest training run for the WHWrace. Against my better judgment, I entered and got a ballot place. So the race was not a race, but a dress rehearsal for June 23rd. I am so glad I listened to Neil.

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Highland Fling 53 mile footrace!

My longest training run will be the Highland Fling on Saturday at 53miles (eep!). I will use the race to practise my WHW race pacing so it will not be a PB (must put my ego away and not race!!). Racing at WHWrace pace will allow me to estimate realistically my splits for my crew to meet me and work out what I will need from them at different stages and know where my low points might come. So now just about to pack and already seen the amazing Liz Bennet of Body Balance Sport massage who supporting me this year and has massaged my legs which now feel awesome and ready for fast hiking/slow running across Scotland!

The Fling is an unsupported race so here is my race plan!

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