Gear Review: Ultimate Direction Race Vests
Ultimate Direction started back in 1985, designing a waist pack specifically to carry water bottles…
Training’s been generally going well, with a few ups and downs. I managed some good solid high-mileage weeks, followed by a lot of travelling which made getting any sort of distance in tricky. For the past two weeks I’ve been running around in the Lake District mountains – great training but not that specific to the terrain I’ll find on the day… But that’s the thing with juggling training, work and family life – you have to make the balance work. Now I’m just a week away from the first of my three races I’m focussing on recovering and avoiding injury. My last long run is in the bag and there’s nothing more I can do other than look after my body, get enough sleep and try not to worry too much.
For anyone who’s approaching a big race, now’s a good opportunity to look back over the miles you’ve logged and the effort you have made to get here. I find it helpful to remind myself that I’ve worked hard and done the best I can to be ready. Then it’s important – mentally as well as physically – to have a really good taper. I’ll be dropping my mileage right down, just heading out for a few short sessions to keep my body moving. I’ll also be thinking about how I’ll deal with the time and distance on race day and working through some strategies to help me through when things get tough, such as my motivations for taking part in the race and how happy I’ll feel once I’ve completed the series. This should see me to the start of Race to the Tower as prepared and rested as possible. Then I’ll have to see how I react to the first race and work hard to recover for the next one.
At this stage I like to have all my kit and a nutrition plan sorted. I did my last long run in race kit, with as near as possible the food and drink I’ll be using on the day. Everything’s together so that I don’t have any last minute missing socks, broken buckles etc. I make sure my shoes are clean so that they are absolutely dry on race day morning and double check the rules to make sure I have the compulsory kit.
Although my race day kit is decided, if it’s wet or cold I’ll carry some extra clothes and a waterproof rather than a lightweight windproof. If it’s warm and settled I’ll be as minimalist as I can with everything. All three races are very well supported so I won’t need to carry much food or water.
If it’s cold or wet I’ll also take:
If you are racing any of these races and haven’t already then now is the time to check your start times and book your parking and transfer buses. I’m on the earliest start for each of the three races and I’ll be using the transfer buses at each race, it’s part of the experience and I’ll see you there!