Training for the Scotland Coast to Coast

Hi all,

New to RunnersWorld and kind of beginner runner, started jogging/running in March, but I have a challenge in front of me of the Scotland Coast to Coast in September this year.

My current training schedule is as follows:

Mon - gym (treadmill, x-trainer, step machine, swimming)

Tue - running on road

Wed - running at work on lunch hour & gym (same as above)

Thu - rest

Fri - cycling on road

Sat - golf & light gym session

Sun - rest


My primary goal at the moment is weight loss (i'm 6ft 2 & currently 119kg) whilst also getting as much running in as possible, the Coast to Coast has a 24km run/trail run on day 2 so I have about 4-5 months to build my distances up.  I havent quite managed 5km yet as with the extra weight I'm carrying its proving harder than I thought, but I know what lies ahead!!

Had a training session with my boss yeaterday and attempted interval training (running 1 min then jogging 2 mins) yesterday and my achilles are not great this morning but I feel I may be partly to blame as I never stretch before or after training.

So, does anyone have any tips on stretching and training overall or as a fat lad have I bitten off more than I can chew? haha


  • I'd bin the intervals - this is about endurance rather than speed. Speed work runs a higher risk of injury. You dont want to lose time.

    Day 1 has a 10k trail run and a longish road bike ride as the main features.

    Day 2 an hour or two off road biking and then another hour on road. Then its the 12 mile yomp ?

    Running and cycling are the keys.

    I'd also bin the golf and get in some decent hill walking instead. That last stage is tough. You go 1/4 of the way up Ben Nevis and then head off cross country. The last hill is hard - there's no path and its slippery and boggy.

    You also need to think of kit.

    Trail shoes.

    Bike - I'd get a cross bike if you can. Practice riding it off road.

    Rucksack. Practice runs with it.

    Food - what will you eat.

    Clothing - what to wear if it pours down ?

    Its very doable - I've done the single day twice but I trained a lot for it. It is a brilliant event. You'll enjoy it.
  • Cheers for the reply.

    The interval training was just my bosses way of showing off lol

    Not a chance of me binning golf, its my only way of relaxing, only put it in my schedule as its extra calories burned image I'd heard it was quite treacherous in parts but was also told trail shoes are not required?  I've just bought a brand new pair of Asics as I was fitted for shoes at a running shop and I over pronate, so shelling out on loads of kit cant happen at the moment.

    I've got a good mountain bike, nice & light, has plenty gears, disc brakes but i'm buying some slick road tyres to use day one and then i'm changing then to knobbly's for day 2.

    I plan on bringing training carrying all my kit into my regime once weight comes off and running gets "easier" so to speak?

    Food - i'm getting a load of carb gels, protein bars and pockets full of haribofor along the way, anymore tips?

    Clothing - I've got a full set of golf thermals for my base layer and also a set of golf waterproofs which are both light but very waterproof, these will suffice I take it?

    Enjoy it? I just want to finish it without collapsing lol

  • You don't need expensive shoes - all of my trail shoes are less than ??40.

    The last hill you'll find yourself knee deep in places. Grip is at a premium. Even coming off Ben Nevis I fell several times on the steps in the rain. Its treacherous.

    Your tyre plan sounds good. Practice doing it beforehand so you dont waste any recovery time faffing.

    Food sounds sorted - you can eat better on the bike - look for a bento box - sits on your top tube and you can shove flapjack or gingerbread men in there and scoff as you go.

    You might need to get a new rain jacket - I'm thinking you'll sweat more cycling and running than golfing ?

    If you can find time - have a go in a sit on top kayak. Its really only a small part of the weekend, but the last trip across the loch is hilarious to watch when people cant steer their kayak. So close to the finish and they're going round in circles. image
  • Point suly noted and I shall acquire some trail shoes definitely!

    Yeah I will practice that, going to take my bike for a service and get it all ready for the day but I plan on doing pretend puncture repairs and all other manner of things beforehand.

    Good shout about the bento, cheers image

    My jacket is quite breathable, i'll test it over the coming months and if its not suitable i'll get another one, cheers again.

    hahaha, cant wait for that bit, sounds fun.  I think my boss is planning for us to all have a go kayaking 1 weekend before the date.

    Cheers for the advice image

  • You'll find a lot of peoples hip flexors have gone by the time they try to kayak - half the field were having to lie down and paddle as they couldn't sit up. image

    If you're anywhere near Ben Nevis - a little walk up there will give you an idea of what Day 2 will be like and how tough its likely to be.
  • Now mild panic is setting in!!!

    I've given myself 11hrs to complete day 2, starting @ long as i cross the line no worse than 2nd last & alive, i'll be happy lol

  • Ben Nevis is a nightmare climb - especially the first half!   It is very steep, rocky and bendy.   If you have the time, definitely go up there and take a hike so that you are not surprised when you get to race day!


    Good luck with training!

  • I did it 2 years ago (the 2 day) and loved it, signed up for this year! Trail shoes are great advantage although my mate did run it in normal trainers. I did about 60k per week on the bike and run 20k in the 10 weeks b4 to get me fit enough. Im 5.6" and weighed about 13 stone so also carry 2 much weight! Some blokes that we met used walking poles on the last section and they speed walked as fast as I ran. Im going to use them this year as take alot of the strain off your legs and help grip. I found some carbon ones on ebay for £17. I had to lay down on the paddle as it gives you cramps to sit up so dont fight it. I used lots of gels and some cliff bars and water with energy powders mixed in it along with dried fruits/nuts. Deffo get out and do some running down hill, you use lots of muscles you didnt know you have. I Used slicks on the first day which in training gave me about another 4 mph for the same effort. Hope that helps

  • Thanks Paul image

  • Holy crap it sounds hard! I'm in with a friend for the single day. My main worries are reaching cut off at 4pm seems really hard to acheive. And I also normally run sockless in Merrell Trail Gloves and was planning on doing the running sections in these. Have bought some slightly more grippy Ascend gloves but they give me blisters so probably going to stick to trail gloves. Not sure they're going to cut it on last hill though. Wore them on RatRace 'The Wall' without any problems. Have done no-where near enough cycling so am panicking a little.

  • I'm not sure Trail Gloves are good for the rocky road bits ? I'd have thought hiking boots would be better !

    A few photos of the terrain here -

    I think the Ben Nevis climb is out this year though - so that will make things a bit easier for you.

    There is a lot of cycling - at least you can draft off your mate for that though.
  • Thanks Cougie, you certainly are a good resource for this event, much appreciated. The terrain does look tough but will probably stick to Trail Gloves will pop some socks on though. image   I'm not sure risking blisters with my new trainers is a good idea, should have bought them a while ago I know.

    Anyway thanks for the pics, really helpful although I hope we don't have the same weather!

  • I'm very tempted to come back again for it next year - the first year it was goddawful weather - the second year it was lovely all day.

    Its a very hard race but a lot of fun.
  • Great link Cougie.  Made a good read, great to help get focused on the main event.  Although I did finally decide to stick with the hard tail mtb, played with tyres, pressures and bar angles so it's rolling well now on 26x1.5's.  did 42 miles on it on Tuesday carrying kit including my trekking pole, in a respectable time which included 10 miles off road followed by a 7 miles run, all in hills (well as big as you get around here anyway).  Feeling better about the whole race now, One main worry though every report I have read involves someone going the wrong way, is this down to poor signs or exhaustion? Do you need to take map and directions Or just be very aware?

  • Sounds like you're preparing well then !

    I didn't have any problem with navigation - the signs were pretty good I thought - but I do seem to be OK at spotting them. There were marshalls at key points and signs the rest of the way. I'd take directions - but have a good idea of the main towns you're heading to in my head. Its really that last yomp that at times you cant see anyone or any buildings or roads as far as the eye can see. Fantastic route.

    Fingers crossed - there should be no need for map reading.
  • Might be useful to others, contact rat race about the mandatory kit and the initial run, response was:

      Rat Race Adventure Sports

    Hi Nick,

    That's great to hear, in answer to your question there is a mandated kit list for both the bike sections and the run sections. These mandated items must be carried with you on bike and on foot at all times. The only time you will not need your mandated kit will be the first 10k run section. After that your kit should remain with you and relatively unchanged (You can get rid of any bike kit in your bag for the final run section if not all attached to your bike etc)

    Hope that helps!

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