I have just finished my first year of training. It all started in Aug 2011 when I did my first Sprint Tri (without any training - just for a larf) in 2h 09 and started running in Oct 2011 with a local club and my pace was 12mim/mile!

I did 13 races this year and my fastest Sprint Tri this year was accomplished in 1h26min finishing the season with my firts Olympic at London in 3.09. Im also starting to run at sub 9mim mile,

I have improved much and signed up for the Coast to Coast in 2013 (run/bike/run/kayak/run/bike/etc etc) and although I did not feel the 'urge' or ready to to a Marathon I think it will help me greatly with stamina and endurance.

For this reason I plan to do my first Marathon (a xc one) in beginning of May.

Shall I run slower that I could possibly do to, just to train myself to keep going/train for stamina?? Or should I run at my race pace - to try my best/fastest time?

The event is mid September. Do you think that just one marathon would be enough or should I do at least a couple?

Do you have any other advice with regards to endurace training?



  • I've done it twice - its a great race.

    First run is only 10k so that's easy. Then it's about 50miles on road bike.

    Then its a little paddle on loch ness that's almost not worth bothering about.

    Then it's about 40 more miles on the bike. Half of it offroad.

    Then you ditch the bike and run 1/4 of the way up Ben Nevis before coming back down and heading off into the wilderness. That's the hard part. Lots of hills - and the terrain for the last few miles is just moorland.

    After that it's a mile to kayak across the loch scramble out of it and youve done it.

    Are you doing the one or two dayer ?

    I'd race your marathons as fast as you can. You want to get as fit and as fast as you can. When you get nearer to the race - practice running with your rucsac on.

    Tbh a lot of the last run for me was a yomp.

    What bike are you planning to ride ?
  • Thanks for your reply Cougie and well done for having done it twice!!

    Im doing the one day event.

    Ithink I have seen pics of that 'paddle'. How does it effect your feet, also for when you get off the kayak?? Do you just run/ cycle and remain with wet feet for the rest of the day? I saw people wearing neoprene (like diving) shoes.

    I have just bought a CX bike so I will be ok with that.I m going to buy a Camelbak Octane 18x.

    OK I will run as fast as I can! Will one Marathon do or more than one over the summer?
    And I expect I should also do a lot of long rides maybe a few 100miles??

    As much advice as possible is great especially as you have done it.

    Thanks again


  • Cougie - what are the split times needed for this? I have had a look, I've done long distances in running and Duathlon but I was hoping for a go at the one day in this one, and was concerned at the cut-off times. Also what kind of bike would be recommended. I did the Rob Roy challenge a couple of times and used a Ridgeback Hybrid


  • SC your feet do get wet in the kayak but the first year it rained all day anyway so it made no difference. Id not bother with special shoes. You'd need to carry them.

    The cx bike is perfect - I did see a couple on road bikes but they struggled offload. Not surprisingly.

    I'd definitely do some long rides too - the fitter you are there then the stronger you'll be for the last run.

    Ekgo the cut offs are quite tight. A lot of people didn't make the finish as it was dark.

    I think you need to be a fairly strong cyclist as that's most of the hours. And being able to run off road is useful.

    A cyclocross bike is the best. Its fast on road and tough enough to cope with the off road section.

    The RobRoy challenge looks fun too.

    This blog may give you more info.
  • Thanks, I fancy giving it a go I was dithering between road bike and hybrid for the Rob Roy Challenge which was 15 mile run then 42 on the bike, the last 20 or so being undulating hilly roads, but that's only as competitive as you choose to make it yourself and cut-offs don't apply.

    I have an old steel frame racer that I modified to put Cyclo tyres on, that would probably work for it, as it's still quite quick on the roads. 

  • The only problem you might have is clearance for your tyres. I put on soem Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres - 35mm I think - they were fine for the road and good enough for the offroad bits. Some bits were very muddy too - so you might have problems clogging up your brakes ?  

  • cougie wrote (see)
    SC your feet do get wet in the kayak but the first year it rained all day anyway so it made no difference. Id not bother with special shoes. You'd need to carry them.

    The cx bike is perfect - I did see a couple on road bikes but they struggled offload. Not surprisingly.

    I'd definitely do some long rides too - the fitter you are there then the stronger you'll be for the last run.

    Hi Cougie, I think I will just take my trainers off before getting on the kayak and string them to my Camelbak. There is 80m of riding there so I m going to put a lot of bike miles in and spin classes when cant ride.

    Really look forward to this event.

  • I really wouldn't bother taking the shoes off. There's a good chance you'll have wet feet by then anywayimage

    Yes lots of cycling will help and trail running won't go amiss either.
  • Having been redirected to this thread, I have also just signed up to do the Scotland Coast to Coast Challenge. What tips or advice for either training for the event or things to remember/forget about during the event? I'm personally doing the 2 day challenger. I've done a couple of marathons and an ultra (however I am painfully slow) but only just started cycling. What do people do over winter with regards to cycling? We've just had our first snow fall so I'm not confident I'll be able to do much (comfy to about 40 miles so far) Good to see people chatting about the event already! image

  • I completed the racer category this year and its a great event.  I didn't cycle before much tbh (but I come from a cycling background).  It was very windy on the day which we had to ride into for the first 50 miles.  The second half of the bike is off road but I wouldn't say its that technical and is easily covered on a x bike.  The last run leg is a real joy, it has a great wilderness feel once you get out of the forest.  The lasy kayak is just all out to the finish.  I think anyone with a fair level of fitness can complete this event in one day, although I would make sure you can cover distances on the bike otherwise you will suffer unnecessily.

  • Hi Donna. If you have snow then the only cycling I'd risk would be some off road mountain biking. The timings for the two day event are pretty generous so no need to be training too hard just yet.

    The last 12 mile run on day two are pretty tough and as Guv says you do feel as if you're out in the wilderness. I took almost three times as long as my half marathon pb to do this stage !
  • Hi cougie. Thanks for the tips. I had heard that the final run is a bit brutal. I'm lucky to live within reasonable driving distance of the cairngorm national park so will schedule some hilly runs there and basically try and get used to being out for most of the day (something my collie will appreciate). I'll leave the road cycing for now and work on that in the spring. With regards to kayaking, I have a wee inflatable one that I've been paddling about on the river with. It's good fun! 

  • That sounds like a good plan. You'll have to keep the nutrition going too - so find food that you like to eat after being out for hours on end. 

    The last leg starts at Fort William football ground (Claggan Park is it) and heads off up Ben Nevis. If you follow the path and then come back down the path for the Glen Nevis Youth Hostel - thats the first little bit of it done.

    Then it takes the fire road up through the forest, and then once you peel off that - its cross country to Loch Leven.

    Its worth a look at I'd say - I found the steps down to the Youth Hostel treacherous in the rain - I was like bambi on ice - so find good footwear or maybe even take walking poles with you. 

  • Hi, planning on doing the c2c this year with some mates, not booked it yet.

    Think we are going to do the 2 day as never done this distance before. ( 100+ miles in a day, crazy!!!)

    I've done triathlons and adventure racing in the past, but anyone got any good training tip, kit, food?

    All advise appreciated

    Anyone doing it on a mountain bike? If so what tyres? Also does anyone know of any promotion codes before I book it to get it cheaper??

    Thanks Gav
  • Plenty of people do it on mountain bikes.

    The first day is all road so I'd use slicks if you can. Then overnight you can change tyres. The offroad isn't that bad. My marathon plus narrow tyres coped on all but two muddy ramps. So I pushed up there.

    If you don't want to mess with changing tyres - I'd look for a tyre more suited to the road but with a bit of tread ?
  • I have bravely entered the one day event, sucker for punishment.  I have a very light hartail mountain bike and a road bike.  Thought I'd go on the MTB fitted with 1.8" tyres instead of its 2.3" mud cluggers.  Should reduce resistence significantly and a cross type tred.  Any recommendations out there?



  • What are the clearances on the road bike ? The route is more on road than off.

    If you can ride fairly lightly and get on some thicker tyres - I'd go for the road bike. Most of the people around me were on cross bikes rather than slower MTBs. I did even see one girl doing well on a road bike with slicks. Then again I did pass her on the off road section !
  • Think ill go and do my locl 22km circuit on both and see what the time differences are. Will let you know next week.
  • Ok tried my road route on the MTB (still with wide tyres and lots of mud on it), giving similar effort to my usual training ride (usually consistent).

    14.4 miles, Average speed was 1.9mph slower than the road bike, 7 minutes longer and top speed on the downhill reduced by about 5mph which mathmatically suggests around 40 minutes longer over 80 miles but I think that gap will increase significantly as it felt a lot more effort to keep moving.

    Problems noticed mainly was the riding position made it difficult to get down low to avoid wind.  Pro - A lot more stable and more braking power.

    My Road Bike is a Specialized Allez - not sure about the strength off road so may still change my tyres on MTB to go as narrow and free rolling as poss, may change the bars or add some clip on tri bars, I expect that would increase the average speed by over 1 mph to bridge the gap and give a good cross alternative.

  • Tribars will help if you can use them. A lot of people have them but can't stay in the aero tuck for long.

    Road bikes are pretty tough anyway - its the wheels that might be the weak point. Frames are strong.
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