Sunday 8th January 2012

Posted: January 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

Ultra Running in the Surrey Hills – 44.3 miles in 7 hr 16 mins

Here’s a quick report on last Sunday’s long hill run……

Last Sunday was my first hill run of the year, so far all of my training has been on flat ground so I knew it would be a big test of my current fitness level & stamina. I live in the town of Woking which is just outside the wonderful Surrey Hills and North Downs. This area offers the perfect mix of gradients & terrain similar to what I can expect in Australia so it’s the perfect training ground.  The plan was to follow one of my favourite MTB routes because not only would it be challenging due to the gradients and terrain but it also allowed me to change my plan, route or distance at any time depending on how I felt. I wanted to run at least 30 miles and because I’ve ridden the route countless times by bike I knew roughly where that distance would be

Setting off my OMM Adventure Light pack felt heavy. I was carrying 2.5 litres of water, some spare clothing and of course lots of food. There was only one place I knew I could refuel on route but that would mean taking a 2 mile detour so I decided to carry everything I would need for the day.  My ankles started to hurt almost immediately after I set off due to the weight but once my legs got warm the pain was gone. 6 miles on I came off the road and headed up along the The North Downs Way path that eventually takes you to the top of the North Downs that overlook  Guildford. The next few hours where spent running up & down some Surreys most famous hills like St Martha’s, Pitch Hill, Holmbury Hill and Leith Hill which has an elevation of 273 metres. Then it was down the other side of Leith Hill for a further few miles taking advantage of a fast & sandy green lane all the way to the bottom ahead of the final climb of the day of 220 metres. This took me back onto the North Downs Way path and then it was a straight, flat trail run back towards Guildford and then finally back home to Woking.


This run was a complete surprise to me because I had no idea I was at this level yet. To be honest I dont think I’ve ever enjoyed a run so much like I enjoyed this one, It was one of those days when I felt I could run forever. Throughout the day I was monitoring how I was feeling, I was a long way from home in a remote area so I kept the pace controlled, walked up the steepest of hills and made sure I was eating every hour to keep the energy levels up. I kick started the day with a large breakfast of muesli and toast then I consumed throughout the day 3 x Maxifuel Viper Active Bars, 3 x Maxifuel Viper Boost Bars & 3 x Maxifuel Viper Boost Gels. Nuun hydration tablets took care of my electrolyte replacement needs, check them out here.

One of the benefits of going out on an all-day run like this is you get a chance to check that everything works properly and to ensure you are wearing the correct shoes & clothing etc. I still have 4 months to go before the race so there is enough time to make changes if they are needed. What I learned today is that I wasn’t carrying enough food & water for such a long run. This won’t be a problem on race day because I will have a support person but it’s something I need to adjust for these long training runs.

You can check the full route and stats here.

  1. Dan says:

    Awesome Tim – puts me off riding with you now though haha!

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