Scenic Trails - 9th-10th-11th June 2017 - Switzerland
Several different distances available 11km, 27km, 54km and 113km all with a lot of ascent and descent; it is Switzerland.
These races have been voted the most scenic in Switzerland so just imagine what the scenery must be like. Grab a cheap flight to Milan and then public transport to the event base in Switzerland. Ed passed on the 113km event and has signed up for the 54km so he has more time for beer drinking. More details on the event website
Legend Trails - various dates - Belgium
Legends Trails is a group of trail running enthusiasts on a mission to fill a gap in the current Benelux trail scene by organising long trail events. The shortest distance is 45km and the longest 250km, there is also the novel 'Another One Bites the Dust' where runners line up at the start of each hour to run a 5.959km loop. The race keeps going until there is only one runner on the start line, of course they must complete the loop to win. Full details of the events on the race website.
The Way of the Legends - 13th - 21st October 2017 - Northern Spain
The Way of Legends is a six day ultra stage race consisting of 5 successive stages longer than the legendary marathon distance of 42km followed by a final much shorter 6th stage along the historic pilgrimage path of Saint James to the finish line at the Cathedral of Burgos, a magnificent world heritage site. It is fully catered and the accommodation is mainly in hostels so you have a comfortable bed and access to showers. There is no need to carry anything while running except a day sack with the compulsory kit and a few snacks. The food provided is vegan with some suitable side dishes for carnivores, it is cooked by some of the staff from an organic restaurant and tastes amazing. Full details on the website. Ed will be on the support crew.
Creating training plans and revising them when things don't go to plan can be a pain so we were very pleased to discover a new online training platform called Mbition which helps busy runners stay on track with their race goal. It’s a really clever platform as it adapts your plan each week based on your progress, so if you’re behind in training it will make adjustments to your sessions to get you back on track safely.
Mbition creates a custom personal training plan which is built around your fitness, schedule and goal. Then each week it will review your progress to see if you’re under or over performing against your plan, and make adjustments to your future sessions including pacing and distance. It will even guide you to a new target time - it’s just like having a personal coach!
With one in five runners not making it to the start line of an event, it’s an interesting new take on addressing the challenges that we face as we countdown to race day. There are over 3,500 different sessions all designed to keep you motivated and improve your fitness. You can also add strength and conditioning sessions and Parkrun into your plan.
Mbition is free for 30 days so visit www.mbition.coach
and try it for yourselves.
We’ve also got 5 yearly subscriptions worth £25 to giveaway. To be in with a chance to win one, create a free Mbition plan within the next 7 days and then email us back saying you’d love a subscription. We’ll pick 5 lucky winners and let you know if you’ve won next week.
Although it is still officially spring the chances of getting a winter cold are still high if you let your guard down. Keeping your immune system in tip top condition will help fight off unwanted bugs. These foods will help.
Nuts are packed with health benefits – but research suggests that almonds are best at helping the body fight off viral infections, including the common cold and flu.
The skin of the nut contains naturally-occurring chemicals which help white blood cells to detect viruses and so prevent them from replicating and spreading inside the body.
While sweet potatoes may not be considered a traditional cold-fighting food, they’re a great source of Vitamin A, which plays a key role in maintaining the health of your mucosal surfaces. Not only are they full to the brim with anti-oxidising nutrients, but they’re also a great source of fibre and slow-release energy, keeping your blood sugar levels at a regular level and tackling fatigue head-on.
Mushrooms provide you with the mineral selenium and the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin which play a role in a healthy immune system. If you’re low on selenium, you may be more likely to a get severe cold, so eating mushrooms can help. As can eating a handful of Brazil nuts regularly.
Sweet potato and carrot soup
This month's recipe has been provided by nutritional therapist Eva Humphries, the mastermind behind Whole Food Warrior.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 small or 1 large sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
500ml good quality vegetable stock
1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
1-2cm piece of ginger, peeled and sliced (the ginger adds a spicy note so only use a 1cm piece if you aren't a fan of spice)
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to season
1 teaspoon of coconut oil
Fresh herbs and seeds to garnish (optional)
Heat a pan on a medium heat, add the cumin seeds and toast for a minute until fragrant. Tip the seeds into a bowl and set aside.
Put the pan back on the heat, add the coconut oil and onions and cook until the onions have softened (5 minutes approximately).
Stir in the garlic, ginger, turmeric, salt, toasted cumin seed, season well with black pepper and cook for a further minute.
Throw in the carrots and sweet potato and pour in the stock. Stir well.
Pop a lid on the pan, turn down the heat to low and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.
Take the pan off the heat and blend to the desired texture.
To serve, divide the soup between two bowls and top with fresh herbs and seeds.
No book review this month as there has been no time for reading, although Ed did get a chance to scan through Sidetracked
, an awesome magazine full of stories of people having adventures. Next month we will be reviewing Tobias Mews's latest book GO
due out on the 6th April 2017. You may remember that we reviewed his previous book 50 Races to Run Before You Die
B12 Oral Spray
Not quite gear, but still an essential piece of kit if you are vegan or living in a polluted city. New research has recommended that those living in heavily polluted cities such as London, could benefit by supplementing B vitamins. A study published by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences highlighted that taking a supplement containing B12 could offer some protection against the impacts of air pollution.
Vitamin B12 is specifically known for its role in producing healthy amounts of red blood cells required to deliver oxygen to the body's cells and tissues. B12 has been proven to help reduce tiredness and fatigue as well as aiding concentration and memory. Our daily required intake for health maintenance is relatively small, however few foods are rich sources and more restricted diets omit these. In addition, B12 is a very difficult vitamin to absorb and our digestive efficiency is reducing rapidly. By taking it orally in spray form the vitamin is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. This delivery mechanism benefits from the super absorbent soft tissue of the mucosal membrane within the mouth and the proximity of a rich vascular system.
Available in health food stores and from Amazon.
Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and some snacks before you settle down to watch this video
of Ed being interviewed by Anja Kersten.
See you next month.