Matt Davis is off to compete in the epic Dragon's Back race and he'll be blogging it on OM - this week he's tackled the Lakeland 100 as a training run...
Matt Davis is an outdoor enthusiast as well as being an Associate at W.L. Gore based at their new product development department in Livingston, Scotland.
Matt began ultra racing just over five years ago after a friend encouraged him to put some of his energy to better use. Since then he's done a variety of events at home and abroad. This year he's completed; the High Peak Marathon, the Fellsman, a solo Bob Graham as well as travelling to Italy for the The North Face Lavaredo Ultra Trail.
Matt's next challenge is the Dragon’s Back race taking place this September and over the coming weeks he'll be sharing his training, product experiences and giving us a real person’s insight into how to balance life, work and getting race fit.
And to kick things off, here's part one, where Matt explains how a 100-mile ultra-running race through the Lakes fits into his training.
Over to you, Matt...
So it’s now four weeks to go to The Dragon’s Back race and as I sit here writing this I have mixed thoughts. Last weekend saw me complete the Lakeland 100 event. I was hoping to get a few things out of it; mainly time on my feet, building on my endurance and seeing how I recovered.
What I didn’t bank on was picking up a mild chest infection as a result.
So this week has been a bit frustrating having to sit twiddling my thumbs whie it clears up. The rest and recovery will hopefully have done me good, as the 100 will undoubtedly have taken something out of my reserves regardless of how good I felt afterwards. The positives though are I felt pretty strong throughout the event and my legs haven’t been sore or anything after, so it seems some of the training is paying off.
From a gear point of view, Dragon's Back competitors have just been sent their complimentary Berghaus Vapour Storm jackets. A new design that's just won design awards at the Friedrichshafen OutDoor show for the clever venting they’ve incorporated.
I’ve been using GORE-TEX® Active Shell in many forms since its first development and as a product for high aerobic activities it’s my default shell. I’d heard about the Berghaus design and seen proto’s - as you do working for Gore - but up to now have not had a chance to use one, so I'm looking forward to putting it to the test.
Also just ordered a new pair of Inov8 MudClaws to give me time to bed them in before the race. As we don’t know the actual course yet, we can only guess at the terrain it'll cover. But I reckon a lot of the route is going to be pretty hard-core fell running country where grip and faith in your footwear will be essential. I’ll be taking a few options anyhow in case.
Next week will be some easy training to gauge my recovery from the infection and a chance to check out a couple more bits of gear. But it’s getting to that stage now where I just want to get on with it and do the event.
Although I’ve been entered a while now, it’s not really registered on my radar yet as as it felt so far off in the calendar. Part of the reason for that is that I’ve learned from previous events that, for me, it helps to plan in a series of races that maintains your focus and motivation leading up to the big one - hence my taking part in the Lakeland 100.
And then, suddenly you're there, it’s the next one and it doesn’t feel like you’ve been brooding over it for nine months...
Click here for part two