Written by Andy Mouncey for RunUltra

It is just weeks now till the glorious 1300+ will be heading off to Morocco to get their feet nice and hot on the sand for the Marathon Des Sables 2016. Andy Mouncey, coach, speaker and writer on all things running, has some excellent last minute advice for everyone preparing to run.
Minimize The Faff Factor

Your personal organization during race week may be the difference between screaming and crying and happy-smiley. Kit choices should be tried and tested by now all in a variety of conditions and by you in a variety of conditions.

    Can you reach your bottles?
    Which side are your snacks?
    Nothing chafes and rubs, right?
    No irritating little details either?
    If you need to do running repairs on your feet (a) do you know what you’re doing (b) is the kit to hand?

Practise, practise, practise.
What You Do Between Stages

In my opinion and experience, it’s the things you do – or don’t do – between the finish line and the start line of the next stage that makes the biggest difference to how you last the week. Will you maximize your recovery through deliberate choices or just tag along with the rest of the folks in your tent?

Have a post-finish line and a pre-start line routine written down and rehearsed and be ruthless in its application. There’s still time to come up with one. Think of the stage finish line as AFTER you finish your post-stage routine. Sure, you want to socialize at the end of stage – and you can do that after you sort you out: the next stage depends on it.
Stay Off The Forums

Everyone has an opinion – usually just based on their own experience - and social media has these available in abundance. This is the last place you want to be on the eve of your big adventure. If you have even a hint of nerves it can be spectacularly unhelpful to view the helpfully posted pictures of meticulously organized Gucci-kit by buffed and ripped MdS wannabes, or read how much mileage they’ve clocked up.

Now is the time to focus on you and your stuff  because you know what they say: ‘When the flag drops, the bull**** stops.’
Feel The Heat

If you’re coming out of a northern hemisphere winter then April in the desert can be a big shock. Build confidence in your ability to handle the heat by allocating some of your runs: ‘Over-dressed.’

The budget version is to go all Rocky Balboa and head out with lots of layers to a point of being ridiculously overdressed. Build up duration and layers as you would with any progression. Or you can sit on a stationary cycle with the heat turned up. Or if you have time and money to burn you can put a treadmill into your spare room, close the windows, line the inside with plastic sheeting and turn on the free-standing burners. Bet there’s a YouTube for that…

Bikram yoga is also an option.
What If..?

Having a response planned in advance usually makes dealing with a setback much easier. So it is here. One of the most valuable coaching tools I have – and most used with my clients – is the Scenario Plan that does exactly what it says on the tin. It prompts us to come up with possible and probable situations the client may encounter, and it provides a framework to write down and rehearse responses.

So I assume by now you know what you will do if:

    Your flight is delayed
    You struggle to sleep pre-race
    You start way too fast on the first stage and blow up
    You want to kill your tent buddies

If you don’t, there’s still time to plan your responses so that if/when they happen for real you have already chosen how to respond in a way that is consistent with your race goals.

Enjoy – and may the sand always be outside your shoes!
- See more at: http://www.runultra.co.uk/Articles/February-2016/Marathon-Des-Sables-The-Final-Countdown-5-things-t#sthash.8VnA3SpO.dpuf

It is just weeks now till the glorious 1300+ will be heading off to Morocco to get their feet nice and hot on the sand for the Marathon Des Sables 2016. Andy Mouncey, coach, speaker and writer on all things running, has some excellent last minute advice for everyone preparing to run.

Minimize The Faff Factor

Your personal organization during race week may be the difference between screaming and crying and happy-smiley. Kit choices should be tried and tested by now all in a variety of conditions and by you in a variety of conditions.

  • Can you reach your bottles?
  • Which side are your snacks?
  • Nothing chafes and rubs, right?
  • No irritating little details either?
  • If you need to do running repairs on your feet (a) do you know what you’re doing (b) is the kit to hand?

Practise, practise, practise.

What You Do Between Stages

In my opinion and experience, it’s the things you do – or don’t do – between the finish line and the start line of the next stage that makes the biggest difference to how you last the week. Will you maximize your recovery through deliberate choices or just tag along with the rest of the folks in your tent?

Have a post-finish line and a pre-start line routine written down and rehearsed and be ruthless in its application. There’s still time to come up with one. Think of the stage finish line as AFTER you finish your post-stage routine. Sure, you want to socialize at the end of stage – and you can do that after you sort you out: the next stage depends on it.

Stay Off The Forums

Everyone has an opinion – usually just based on their own experience - and social media has these available in abundance. This is the last place you want to be on the eve of your big adventure. If you have even a hint of nerves it can be spectacularly unhelpful to view the helpfully posted pictures of meticulously organized Gucci-kit by buffed and ripped MdS wannabes, or read how much mileage they’ve clocked up.

Now is the time to focus on you and your stuff  because you know what they say: ‘When the flag drops, the bull**** stops.’

Feel The Heat

If you’re coming out of a northern hemisphere winter then April in the desert can be a big shock. Build confidence in your ability to handle the heat by allocating some of your runs: ‘Over-dressed.’

The budget version is to go all Rocky Balboa and head out with lots of layers to a point of being ridiculously overdressed. Build up duration and layers as you would with any progression. Or you can sit on a stationary cycle with the heat turned up. Or if you have time and money to burn you can put a treadmill into your spare room, close the windows, line the inside with plastic sheeting and turn on the free-standing burners. Bet there’s a YouTube for that…

Bikram yoga is also an option.

What If..?

Having a response planned in advance usually makes dealing with a setback much easier. So it is here. One of the most valuable coaching tools I have – and most used with my clients – is the Scenario Plan that does exactly what it says on the tin. It prompts us to come up with possible and probable situations the client may encounter, and it provides a framework to write down and rehearse responses.

So I assume by now you know what you will do if:

  • Your flight is delayed
  • You struggle to sleep pre-race
  • You start way too fast on the first stage and blow up
  • You want to kill your tent buddies

If you don’t, there’s still time to plan your responses so that if/when they happen for real you have already chosen how to respond in a way that is consistent with your race goals.

Enjoy – and may the sand always be outside your shoes!

- See more at: http://www.runultra.co.uk/Articles/February-2016/Marathon-Des-Sables-The-Final-Countdown-5-things-t#sthash.8VnA3SpO.dpuf

It is just weeks now till the glorious 1300+ will be heading off to Morocco to get their feet nice and hot on the sand for the Marathon Des Sables 2016. Andy Mouncey, coach, speaker and writer on all things running, has some excellent last minute advice for everyone preparing to run.

Minimize The Faff Factor

Your personal organization during race week may be the difference between screaming and crying and happy-smiley. Kit choices should be tried and tested by now all in a variety of conditions and by you in a variety of conditions.

  • Can you reach your bottles?
  • Which side are your snacks?
  • Nothing chafes and rubs, right?
  • No irritating little details either?
  • If you need to do running repairs on your feet (a) do you know what you’re doing (b) is the kit to hand?

Practise, practise, practise.

What You Do Between Stages

In my opinion and experience, it’s the things you do – or don’t do – between the finish line and the start line of the next stage that makes the biggest difference to how you last the week. Will you maximize your recovery through deliberate choices or just tag along with the rest of the folks in your tent?

Have a post-finish line and a pre-start line routine written down and rehearsed and be ruthless in its application. There’s still time to come up with one. Think of the stage finish line as AFTER you finish your post-stage routine. Sure, you want to socialize at the end of stage – and you can do that after you sort you out: the next stage depends on it.

Stay Off The Forums

Everyone has an opinion – usually just based on their own experience - and social media has these available in abundance. This is the last place you want to be on the eve of your big adventure. If you have even a hint of nerves it can be spectacularly unhelpful to view the helpfully posted pictures of meticulously organized Gucci-kit by buffed and ripped MdS wannabes, or read how much mileage they’ve clocked up.

Now is the time to focus on you and your stuff  because you know what they say: ‘When the flag drops, the bull**** stops.’

Feel The Heat

If you’re coming out of a northern hemisphere winter then April in the desert can be a big shock. Build confidence in your ability to handle the heat by allocating some of your runs: ‘Over-dressed.’

The budget version is to go all Rocky Balboa and head out with lots of layers to a point of being ridiculously overdressed. Build up duration and layers as you would with any progression. Or you can sit on a stationary cycle with the heat turned up. Or if you have time and money to burn you can put a treadmill into your spare room, close the windows, line the inside with plastic sheeting and turn on the free-standing burners. Bet there’s a YouTube for that…

Bikram yoga is also an option.

What If..?

Having a response planned in advance usually makes dealing with a setback much easier. So it is here. One of the most valuable coaching tools I have – and most used with my clients – is the Scenario Plan that does exactly what it says on the tin. It prompts us to come up with possible and probable situations the client may encounter, and it provides a framework to write down and rehearse responses.

So I assume by now you know what you will do if:

  • Your flight is delayed
  • You struggle to sleep pre-race
  • You start way too fast on the first stage and blow up
  • You want to kill your tent buddies

If you don’t, there’s still time to plan your responses so that if/when they happen for real you have already chosen how to respond in a way that is consistent with your race goals.

Enjoy – and may the sand always be outside your shoes!

- See more at: http://www.runultra.co.uk/Articles/February-2016/Marathon-Des-Sables-The-Final-Countdown-5-things-t#sthash.8VnA3SpO.dpuf

It is just weeks now till the glorious 1300+ will be heading off to Morocco to get their feet nice and hot on the sand for the Marathon Des Sables 2016. Andy Mouncey, coach, speaker and writer on all things running, has some excellent last minute advice for everyone preparing to run.

Minimize The Faff Factor

Your personal organization during race week may be the difference between screaming and crying and happy-smiley. Kit choices should be tried and tested by now all in a variety of conditions and by you in a variety of conditions.

  • Can you reach your bottles?
  • Which side are your snacks?
  • Nothing chafes and rubs, right?
  • No irritating little details either?
  • If you need to do running repairs on your feet (a) do you know what you’re doing (b) is the kit to hand?

Practise, practise, practise.

What You Do Between Stages

In my opinion and experience, it’s the things you do – or don’t do – between the finish line and the start line of the next stage that makes the biggest difference to how you last the week. Will you maximize your recovery through deliberate choices or just tag along with the rest of the folks in your tent?

Have a post-finish line and a pre-start line routine written down and rehearsed and be ruthless in its application. There’s still time to come up with one. Think of the stage finish line as AFTER you finish your post-stage routine. Sure, you want to socialize at the end of stage – and you can do that after you sort you out: the next stage depends on it.

Stay Off The Forums

Everyone has an opinion – usually just based on their own experience - and social media has these available in abundance. This is the last place you want to be on the eve of your big adventure. If you have even a hint of nerves it can be spectacularly unhelpful to view the helpfully posted pictures of meticulously organized Gucci-kit by buffed and ripped MdS wannabes, or read how much mileage they’ve clocked up.

Now is the time to focus on you and your stuff  because you know what they say: ‘When the flag drops, the bull**** stops.’

Feel The Heat

If you’re coming out of a northern hemisphere winter then April in the desert can be a big shock. Build confidence in your ability to handle the heat by allocating some of your runs: ‘Over-dressed.’

The budget version is to go all Rocky Balboa and head out with lots of layers to a point of being ridiculously overdressed. Build up duration and layers as you would with any progression. Or you can sit on a stationary cycle with the heat turned up. Or if you have time and money to burn you can put a treadmill into your spare room, close the windows, line the inside with plastic sheeting and turn on the free-standing burners. Bet there’s a YouTube for that…

Bikram yoga is also an option.

What If..?

Having a response planned in advance usually makes dealing with a setback much easier. So it is here. One of the most valuable coaching tools I have – and most used with my clients – is the Scenario Plan that does exactly what it says on the tin. It prompts us to come up with possible and probable situations the client may encounter, and it provides a framework to write down and rehearse responses.

So I assume by now you know what you will do if:

  • Your flight is delayed
  • You struggle to sleep pre-race
  • You start way too fast on the first stage and blow up
  • You want to kill your tent buddies

If you don’t, there’s still time to plan your responses so that if/when they happen for real you have already chosen how to respond in a way that is consistent with your race goals.

Enjoy – and may the sand always be outside your shoes!

- See more at: http://www.runultra.co.uk/Articles/February-2016/Marathon-Des-Sables-The-Final-Countdown-5-things-t#sthash.8VnA3SpO.dpuf

It is just weeks now till the glorious 1300+ will be heading off to Morocco to get their feet nice and hot on the sand for the Marathon Des Sables 2016. Andy Mouncey, coach, speaker and writer on all things running, has some excellent last minute advice for everyone preparing to run.

Minimize The Faff Factor

Your personal organization during race week may be the difference between screaming and crying and happy-smiley. Kit choices should be tried and tested by now all in a variety of conditions and by you in a variety of conditions.

  • Can you reach your bottles?
  • Which side are your snacks?
  • Nothing chafes and rubs, right?
  • No irritating little details either?
  • If you need to do running repairs on your feet (a) do you know what you’re doing (b) is the kit to hand?

Practise, practise, practise.

What You Do Between Stages

In my opinion and experience, it’s the things you do – or don’t do – between the finish line and the start line of the next stage that makes the biggest difference to how you last the week. Will you maximize your recovery through deliberate choices or just tag along with the rest of the folks in your tent?

Have a post-finish line and a pre-start line routine written down and rehearsed and be ruthless in its application. There’s still time to come up with one. Think of the stage finish line as AFTER you finish your post-stage routine. Sure, you want to socialize at the end of stage – and you can do that after you sort you out: the next stage depends on it.

Stay Off The Forums

Everyone has an opinion – usually just based on their own experience - and social media has these available in abundance. This is the last place you want to be on the eve of your big adventure. If you have even a hint of nerves it can be spectacularly unhelpful to view the helpfully posted pictures of meticulously organized Gucci-kit by buffed and ripped MdS wannabes, or read how much mileage they’ve clocked up.

Now is the time to focus on you and your stuff  because you know what they say: ‘When the flag drops, the bull**** stops.’

Feel The Heat

If you’re coming out of a northern hemisphere winter then April in the desert can be a big shock. Build confidence in your ability to handle the heat by allocating some of your runs: ‘Over-dressed.’

The budget version is to go all Rocky Balboa and head out with lots of layers to a point of being ridiculously overdressed. Build up duration and layers as you would with any progression. Or you can sit on a stationary cycle with the heat turned up. Or if you have time and money to burn you can put a treadmill into your spare room, close the windows, line the inside with plastic sheeting and turn on the free-standing burners. Bet there’s a YouTube for that…

Bikram yoga is also an option.

What If..?

Having a response planned in advance usually makes dealing with a setback much easier. So it is here. One of the most valuable coaching tools I have – and most used with my clients – is the Scenario Plan that does exactly what it says on the tin. It prompts us to come up with possible and probable situations the client may encounter, and it provides a framework to write down and rehearse responses.

So I assume by now you know what you will do if:

  • Your flight is delayed
  • You struggle to sleep pre-race
  • You start way too fast on the first stage and blow up
  • You want to kill your tent buddies

If you don’t, there’s still time to plan your responses so that if/when they happen for real you have already chosen how to respond in a way that is consistent with your race goals.

Enjoy – and may the sand always be outside your shoes!

- See more at: http://www.runultra.co.uk/Articles/February-2016/Marathon-Des-Sables-The-Final-Countdown-5-things-t#sthash.8VnA3SpO.dpuf

Montane VIA Gecko Vest

Montane VIA Gecko Vest

Written by Neil Bryant for the URC I feel very lucky to have got my hands on a Gecko race vest courtesy of Montane. My only previous experience with Montane vests...

Read more

La Sportiva Kaptiva

La Sportiva Kaptiva

Written by Neil Bryant for the URC *scroll to the bottom for update after 785km* Full disclosure. I was given this pair of Kaptiva shoes for free to review.  I first saw the Kaptiva when I was...

Read more

361˚ Sensation 3 Shoe Review

361˚ Sensation 3 Shoe Review

Written by Sim Benson www.jenandsimbenson.co.uk Price: £119.99 Weight per shoe: men’s UK11 335g women’s UK6.5 265g Find out more www.361europe.com/en Overview: The Sensation 3 is designed as a high mileage trainer with a good blend...

Read more

Thule Chariot Cross 2 Multisport Trailer

Thule Chariot Cross 2 Multisport Trailer

Written by Jen and Sim Benson www.wildrunning.net for the URC Price: From £850 (single) or £950 (double) Find out more at www.thule.com; available in the UK from www.runningbuggies.com Overview: Brand new from Swedish brand...

Read more

Scarpa Spin

Scarpa Spin

Written by Neil Bryant for the URC I recently tested the Neutron shoe from Scarpa. It is a good, but very solid shoe. I say, but, purely as I know this won't be...

Read more

Hoka One One Speed Instinct

Hoka One One Speed Instinct

Written by Neil Bryant for the URC A few years ago when I was doing some fairly high mileage, mostly on road or hard pack trail, I was suffering from very...

Read more

Salomon S-Lab XA Alpine

Salomon S-Lab XA Alpine

Written by Neil Bryant for the URC I recently got a chance to review the rather amazing Salomon X-Alp Carbon GTX and what an incredible shoe (boot?). It is basically a...

Read more

Scarpa Neutron

Scarpa Neutron

Written by Neil Bryant for the URC Scarpa are an Italian family run company that have a long heritage of producing some of the finest mountaineering boots in the world. They...

Read more

Scott Palani Road Men's

Scott Palani Road Men's

Written by Sim Benson www.wildrunning.net for the URC Price: £115 Weight: 340g per shoe Men’s UK 10.5 Eu 45.5. Find out more at www.scott-sports.com Overview: The Scott Palani is a new road shoe designed for...

Read more

Asics Gel-DS Men's

Asics Gel-DS Men's

Written by Sim Benson www.wildrunning.net for the URC Price: £115 Weight: 290g per shoe Men’s UK 11 Eu 46.5. Find out more at www.asics.com   Overview: The 21st version of the Asics DS-Trainer aims to continue...

Read more

La Sportiva Hail Jacket

La Sportiva Hail Jacket

Written by Neil Bryant for the URC La Sportiva make some fine footwear for mountaineering, ski mountaineering and of course trail running. For a few years they have also been producing...

Read more

inov-8 X-Claw 275

inov-8 X-Claw 275

Written by Jessica Williams for the URC The X-Claw is one of the latest additions to the Inov-8 trail shoe line-up and I purchased - so not a freebie - mine...

Read more

Salomon Sonic Pro

Salomon Sonic Pro

Written by Jen Benson www.wildrunning.net for the URC Price: £110 Weight: 230g per shoe women’s UK 7. Drop 8mm Find out more at www.salomon.com Overview: The Sonic Pro is one of Salomon’s range of lightweight road-suitable...

Read more

Saucony Triumph ISO 2

Saucony Triumph ISO 2

Written by Sim Benson www.wildrunning.net for the URC Price: £135 Weight: 340g per shoe Men’s UK 11. Find out more at www.saucony.com Overview: The Triumph ISO 2 is designed to be a plush and extremely...

Read more

Inov-8 Trail Talon 275

Inov-8 Trail Talon 275

Written by Jen & Sim Benson www.wildrunning.net for the URC Price: £110 Weight: 340g per shoe Men’s UK 11 or 290g per shoe Women’s UK 7. Find out more at www.inov-8.com Overview: Inov-8 designed the...

Read more

Salomon S-Lab X Alp Carbon GTX®

Salomon S-Lab X Alp Carbon GTX®

Written by Neil Bryant for the URC Salomon invited me to look at their website to choose a product that I would like to test for the URC, and without thinking...

Read more

Suunto Ambit3 Peak Sapphire Blue HR

Suunto Ambit3 Peak Sapphire Blue HR

Written by Neil Bryant for the URC I currently own an Ambit. It’s the original version which I got not long after it was released. It is a bit battered, as...

Read more

Dynafit Feline Vertical Pro

Dynafit Feline Vertical Pro

Written by Neil Bryant for the URC Before moving to the Alps and getting into ski touring, the company Dynafit had barely flickered on my radar. I had heard of their...

Read more

Share This

Follow Us