2 day mountain marathons.

(love the new forum, cheers RW)

Have possible place in this year's KIMM. How do you train for these events? Specifically:
1. Carrying packs, how many runs of what distance is necessary with full kit?
2. Do you need to train doing two long days on the trot as part of the preparation, or do you just wing the second day on the basis of overall endurance?
3. Any other training tips?


  • I'm about to go to bed as I'm completely shattered, but will post again when I get back from work tomorrow afternoon, but in the meantime,

    have you ever heard of "Crash Training"? If not, then I'm sure someone else will explain before tomorrow afty....
  • HillyHilly ✭✭✭
    Sounds like a Laura run!

    Can't give advice but will be following any given out of interest.

    When is the KIMM Laura?
  • Crash Training (according to British Runner) - once a month put together 2-3 days of very hard training, followed by the same number of easy days - This Crash Training is known to boost fitness remarkably and helps to improve endurance for multi-day events.

    HOWEVER, I don't know about the effectiveness of this for marathon distance racing, so....
  • Loads of days on the hills with a pack, you can walk those days as long as you keep up your running at least 5 X week.

    Make sure to invest in or borrow really good light weight gear that meets the requirements of KIMM. Remember in autumn the weather on the British hills can be absolute crap. A spare pair of socks in your sack is a luxury well worth the weight. Also, plastic bags to put over your socks at the camp coz your fell running shoes are likely to be soaking.
  • Is ther no help on the KIMM web site?
  • SeelaSeela ✭✭✭
    Laura, I've done about 6 KIMMS and 10 Saunders MMs and my usual training is to get so that I can conforatbly run about 19-20 miles on tarmac.

    A couple of weeks before the event I'll do a medium length run (12 ish) with a full pack to make sure nothing rubs.

    My partner and I did the second from bottom class in the Saunders this July and came 40/107 with 6 hours on day 1 and 5 on day 2. We didn't run much because the terrain (around Hellvellyn) was either too steep or too rough.

    Its stammina and navigation that counts not outright speed.

    Your pack shouldn't weigh more than about 15 pounds, 17 max. Its a good idea to have a trial run about a month before if you haven't done this kinf of thing. I went onto Dartmoor with the first every partner that I had for this kind of event and we dicovered the things you really need to know about.

    If you want any more advice either send me an email or make another post.
  • Thanks all, especially Mak/MJT, Congratulations on your Saunder's result by the way Mak, know what you mean about Helvellyn not being easily runnable, what was the route? 11 hrs over 2 days doesn't too overwhelming though the weather of course makes a huge difference as does the weight of the kit. It'll be my first if I do it, would have tried before but struggle to find partners who're interested in such events.

    I had guessed it was more about stamina and navigation, suits me as I never had the speed! Navigation I'm working on. Stamina is pretty good, but haven't tried carrying 15 lbs worth of kit in a long time.

    MJT, thanks for suggestions, I've been spoilt as I'm so used to running in the hills with just a bumbag. I'm sure I can borrow some of the kit, though I may invest in a backpack, what would you recommend?

    Thanks again for ideas.

  • SeelaSeela ✭✭✭
    I use a Kimm Sac (Order it off the kimm site) Its got just about everything you need. Also if you can't get all you kit in it then you have got too much!

    Helvellyn Day 1 started at Fornside Farm (off the B5322). First control was 600 metres horizontaly NW of the start and 450 up , then controls at Threlkeld Knotts, Wolfs Crags, Randerside Fold, 1k from Helvelellyn off the south edge of Striding edge, the Nab on Birkhouse moor and halfway camp at Glenridding.
    Day 2: White Stones (on greenside), Whelp side (1km south of Hellvelyn, Brown Crag, in the valley between Watson's Dodd and Little Dodd, the first control on day 1, and then manic descent down into Fornside.

    Day 1 was in low cloud with visibility of 50 to 100 metres for the most of the day. We had to search for only one control (Randerside Fold) but we were not far off and it took only 5 minutes or so.
    Day 2 was overcast but with reasonable visibility.

    Which course are you doing? I always enjoyed the score classes on the KIMM, its more navigational because there isn't a crocodile of runners to follow (unless the weather is bad, when you can't see anyone else!)
  • Laura, I personally find Lowe designs a better sack for women. I like the Lowe Alpine contour event 35 because it is wider at the hips and seems to suit my shape. It has all the bits you'd find in a KIMM sac. At the end of the day it depends on your body shape, as long as it's a sack designed for those events and preferably the female version, you'll be fine.

    Just try it on as carefully as you would new running shoes.

  • Um, Mak, know precious little except it isn't the elite class! As yet, this is an off-the-cuff offer from my running partner who's away so not had the chance to discuss the details. Will know for sure in a couple of weeks.

    The Saunders route sounds interesting, didn't you find the Dodds good for running? Was this in July? You were unlucky with the visibility as most of the summer's been great, it's frustrating to do the hard work of the ascents and then not get the views. Definitely on the list for next year, again assuming I can rope in a partner.

    Thank you both for suggestions on sacs, also spotted Salomon recommended elsewhere.
  • SeelaSeela ✭✭✭
    The only bit of the Dodds that was runnable was along the tops, before that was a huge climb from Browns cragthru Sticks Pass.

    I'll do a post in a weeks time with my equipment list, but Mrs Mak wants to leave to go to Scotland now.

    Good Luck!
  • SeelaSeela ✭✭✭
    Between both:

    Tent. We use a Millets 2 man tent, a bit heavy at 3kg but cheap and water proof
    Coleman single gas stove + 300g gas canister
    1 Billy can
    1 small square of a scouring pad.
    Inner of a wine box (washed out) to carry water.

    12 energy bars
    500g quick cook pasta
    2 stir in Dolmio sauces
    2 pot noodles/pasta things. We use ones that have strong containers and use them first, then you have a bowl to use.
    6 Golden syrup cake bars + 1 pkt instant custard (not low calorie!) for pudding
    2 hot chocolate sachets.
    powdered milk.

    Each carries:
    pen (red, because that colour isn't used much on maps) Note if you are doing the Karrimor then the pen should be an indelible marker since the maps are laminated)
    survival blanket
    Sleeping bag
    Sleep mat
    head torch

    Lycra leggings (don't use Tracksters, they take ages to dry)
    Helly Hansen thermal top
    lightweight fleece
    hat, gloves
    Waterproof jacket with hood
    Waterproof trousers
    dry pair of socks
    2 plastic bags to put on over dry socks at 1/2 way camp.

    Put a bin liner inside your ruc-sac to keep everyting dry.

    Can't think of any more, but it should all go in a 35 litre ruc-sac.
  • I am really keen on doing a KIMM or similar. I'm an OK runner (38min 10k, 90min 1/2M, 3.15 M), but I'm more concerned about the map reading and such like.

    A friend of mine is the opposite- not an especially strong runner but a seasoned climber/hill walker/general outdoor bod.

    Do you think that our stengths would even us out and make for a good team or do we need to get each other up to strength on our weaker areas before taking on the challenge?
  • SeelaSeela ✭✭✭
    You will have to combine yor talents, Its no good you being able to make fast progress if your friend can't. It is a team event, and you must combine yor strengths and weaknesses.

    If your friend is good at navigation then the KIMM class to aim for is one of the score classes where you get points for visiting controls. If you get back outside your time allowance then you start to loose points. You can adjust the distance covered by choosing an appropriate course. It is viatal to re-assess your course based on the progress made, and to know when to cut to the finish.

    If your friend isn't up to the 'C' class (which is about as tough as doing 2 consective 1/2 marathons on the flat - although you will probably be on your feet for 6 hours per day) then go for a score class.

    You must be confident about navigation in the mountains. (If you need more experience go orienteering).

  • I have been considering the KIMM for a while and never taken the plunge... this thread is excellent - thanks for all the advice Mak!

    All I can say is make sure that you get used to your rucsac and get your rucsac used to you. What seems comfy in the shop could be horrible when loaded. There are lots of options now, I use the Salomon Raid 35L which is a lightweight and popular adventure racing sac, but sacrifices padding for 'lightweightness', so make sure you know what you're buying
  • SeelaSeela ✭✭✭
    Whatever you use it shouldn be bigger than 35litres. If it is then you will end up carrying too much.

    Make sure the ruc-sac has:
    wide shoulder straps,
    waist and chest strap.
    accessable pockets in which to stick drinks and energy bars (or a platypus system)
    some lacing so that you can put lit all tight to stop the contents swaying.
  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭
    Laura L - Good luck with the KIMM. I have a couple of friends who did it last year and are doing it again this year.

    My advice to you would be to check you lace your fell shoes tight enough!! I did a 26m fell run in the summer which took in 11 peaks of 2000ft+. I had trained in my fell shoes for 7 months but on the day forgot to tighten them before we started and had bleeding blisters after 1 hour; It took us nearly 7 hrs to complete - 6hrs of raw bleeding heals!! I was part of a team of three and loved all the team stuff. I would have probably withdrawn if they hadn't been so supportive.
  • Hi Laura

    I did the Saunders for the first time this year. I loved it. I cant map read, but my partner could - we needed it on the first day, as Mak said, you couldnt see anything.

    For the training, I was a bit cautious as last year I did 2 days of running the West Highland Way, from Bridge of Orchy to Fort William and trained so much that when it came to it I had no energy left. This year I did far less training, the most I ran was a 2 1/2 hour run but I did try to run with the pack when I did most of the runs, but hardly loaded, just loading it a bit more each week. In the end, the pack wasnt a problem, but there was not too much running because of the terrain. I was surprised at how much of the route was over trackless ground and it was really hard, or rather too soft to run on easily as it wore my legs out.

    My husband is doing the KIMM, but I must admit that I dont fancy doing it, too wet and cold!

    Good point about the shoes, I couldnt believe how much my feet slipped about in my shoes once they had got wet. I had to stop and tighten them really hard and that helped. Take compeed in case. Also important to keep eating, even if you dont feel you need to. Energy gels are good too.

    I could go on forever, but Ill stop now.
  • SeelaSeela ✭✭✭
    Hi Saran,
    What class did you do. I was in Harterfell.

    I managed to get a blister on my heal before the first control of day 1! Going up steep slopes also causes your heel to rub.

    Thie year was one of the least 'runnable' Saunders I remember. It was either too soft, too steep or the grass was too long.

    Did you like the 1/2 camp? it was a bit 'softer' than previous years. The camp on the KIMM usually has a stream as the water supply, portaloos for the ladies, and the gents 'number twos' with a slit trench for the gents number ones!
  • Hi Friend of Mak

    I was in the Carrock Fell class. My friend is has been doing orienteering for a few years, so she picked the class to enter. We were 53rd, which I was pretty pleased about, seeing it was our first attempt at anything like that.

    I did like the camp, most civilised! I even had a shower, very nice, even if I did have to dry on a used top belonging to my friend (after she had used it first, fairs fair!) We had a nice stroll down to the village, which Im sure helped the stiffness in my legs, my friend is a physio, so she decided we should to that.

    I found it hard comming down some of the steep hills, in fact my knees are still hurting now.
    That hill to the first checkpoint and to the finish was a killer. Im glad that I wore Walsh shoes as I saw people falling over because their shoes didnt grip.

    We did go a bit out of our way a couple of times and I must admit that there were times when I felt a bit low, but there were times when we reached points that we were trying to get to when the joy was tremendous! I felt that the second day was a bit 'follow my leader'. We tried not to for the first 3 or 4 checkpoints, but got demoralised when people who we had left at the last checkpoint turned up in front of us all the time. We made a big mistake on the second day too, by casually strolling up at 8.25 to the start, only to find about 500 people in front of us! We then couldnt get past until the end of the path and then got in a queue to go up the rocky slope after the valley and that lost us a load of time. Still, you live and learn. We are both keen to enter it next year.

    What has it been like in the past, terrain wise?
  • I've been reading this thread with interest. Had heard about KIMM races but never been too sure what they entailed. I'm confident when orienteering and generally run a 9min mile on the road. Have done several hikes and expeditions in the lakes, Brecons, Snowdonia (each lasting 5+ days, carrying everything!!) I'd love to try something like KIMM (poss 2004/5)and wondered if anyone had any advice. I was looking at the C class or a score class?? Any advice?
  • SeelaSeela ✭✭✭
    I'd say that that area in the Lakes is the most difficult. The worst I have ever seen was a KIMM in Kielder, which was mostly knee high heather. Did you know one team got from the last control to the finish in 2:48? and we thought 15 minutes for was fast.

    The last KIMM I did was in 2000, 'C' class and we were out for a total of 13 hours and came 84th out of 220 teams. We jogged/walked most of it.

    If you do the score classes then you have a strict time limit.

    I like the score classes since you can make your own route up and there is less of a crocodile of runners (as Saran noted on the Saunders). Basically to compete you have to be fit enough to remain on your feet and moving for about 6 hours, and then be ready to do it all again the next day.
  • Put me on the list of 'potential first timers' :)
    Started (regular) offroad running and orienteering this year, doing well with the orienteering, experienced hillwalker. Boyfriend has done KIMMs in the past and may be persuaded to do LAMM next year (as it is a more civilised time of the year according to him :), but if he doesn't get fit fast enough I'll be back here to look for a partner!

  • I havent done kimm or lamm, but have done one of their nav courses and have plenty off road experience

    Will be looking for partners next year.
  • is anyone looking for a partner for the kimm still. Am doing MDS next year. 50 miles a week... 1 x 20 miler...but no navigational or ultras experience...havent got much of the kit either but Im still keen.
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