Lakeland 100 update

I’m not long home after another amazing experience at the Lakeland 100 race in Coniston.

Full report and video diary to come but the basic details …

I finished in 60th place (out of 302 who started – 209 finished) in a time of 29hrs 36mins 25secs.

Thanks to Dave Troman for the photo

I was very happy as sub 30hrs was my goal.


Congratulations to Hugh Cook whose guess of 29:37:00 was the closet. Hugh also ran the Lakeland 100 finishing in 32:39:43. A new pair of Hoka’s and the all important key ring will be on the way to you soon!

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Guess My Time Entries

The Lakeland 100 race is now 35hrs away! I’ve packed all my gear into various bags (race kit, general clothes, post race kit) etc. It always feels a bit strange this close to a big race. It is constantly on my thoughts but everyone else are busy getting on with their lives.

It will be good to chat with Jonny on the way down and then chill out with Dave & Tracey tonight. By the time we get to Coniston tomorrow and the atmosphere builds I’ll be raring to go …. then I’ll need to reign it in as I don’t want to go off too quick!!

Thank you for everyone who has sent in a guess.  I have 67 entries and here is the full list. If I missed anyone please let me know!GMT 1GMY 2

This is how they break down …

  • sub 28hrs – 6 guesses
  • 28-29hrs – 17 guesses
  • 29-30hrs – 27 guesses
  • 30hrs and over – 16 guesses
  • DNF – 1 guess (thanks Neal!!)

Fastest guess 27:13:00 (now that would be amazing!!) to slowest guess 35:37:39 (it would still be a finish!!)

I really am looking forward to seeing how it all goes. I know it is going to hurt but that’s part of the fun somehow. How you deal with the setbacks, the pain, the low points is what makes ultra running so fascinating to me.

I would like to wish everyone involved with the race – runners, marshals, supporters etc a great weekend. I look forward to meeting up with old friends and making new friends.

Next post …. the result!!

As you would hopefully expect there will be a full race report whatever happens and I do plan to do a video diary throughout the race.

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Food and pacing plan for the Lakeland 100

At lunch time today I went for my final run before Friday’s Lakeland 100. I have recently moved office so I’m now based at a secondary school on the other side of Pollok Park. I can still do a similar loop but from a different place.

Today I ran 5.76 miles nice and easy. I ran off road as much as I could. I spent the time thinking about the race and the fact that it will be my next run. I’ve had this race in the back of my mind for 3 years since I struggled to finish in 2012. Now it is less than 48hrs away.

The Lakeland 100 is an unsupported race so the organisers provide food at the checkpoints. This makes preparation and planning easier but also is challenging because you have to take what’s on offer. Thankfully there is lots of soup and good food so I’ll be fine.

The race publishes what will be available at each checkpoint so I’ve looked through it and worked out what I plan to take at each checkpoint. I find this is the best as otherwise you can waste a lot of time trying to decided what to take. Whether I take all I plan we’ll see but at least I have a plan.

I’m going to alternate between my Matrix Energy Boost drink and Tailwind. At each checkpoint I’ll aim to eat something and then maybe take something to nibble between checkpoints. So here is my plan.L100 food

The other thing I like to do in my preparation is to have my mini-splits for the race. 105 miles is a long way so I find it really helpful to break it down into bite sized chunks.

In this race I’ll be aiming to keep my heart rate around 125.  So I’m not going to be too worried about the times but I’m going to have a look at the plan after I’ve reached the mini-split to give me an idea of how I’m doing. The good thing about running to HR is it is what it is. If I’m in good shape then I’ll be able to run faster with that HR. If I’m not as fit then I’ll run slower. Simple!

I have cut up the sheet into each leg and laminated it so I can easily carry it. On the back I’ve written what I plan to eat at the checkpoint. I also have a card for each leg which has the profile for that leg so I’m reminded what’s coming.


If you are interested in what I’m aiming for then have a look at the complete spreadsheet.

If you would like to follow the race then here is the link you will need ….

Follow the Lakeland 100 at

I’m number 172.

I have also signed up for updates to be posted on my Twitter account after I’ve gone through each checkpoint so if you want my to see my progress follow me @jkynaston

SIEntries who organise all this have not been able to get agreement with Facebook to publish the updates directly to our Facebook page so I’ve asked my friend Steven Hill to post my updates on my Facebook page instead. So again if you are my ‘friend’ on Facebook you will be able to follow my progress.

Finally I’m not taking my iPhone. I have a cheap phone which is lighter and lasts for ever. If you would like to send me a text to encourage me along the way then the number is 07798 881124.  I won’t be able to reply until after the race but it would great to get some messages throughout the race!

Final finally … My Guess My Time Competition is now closed. I will post all the guesses in the morning.

Right I’m off to finish my packing for the weekend. Jonny & I are leaving tomorrow afternoon after work. We are staying with Dave & Tracey in Keswick before driving down to Coniston on Friday morning in time to register, relax and get ready for the race starting at 6pm.

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Dress rehearsal run for Lakeland 100

I arrived home safely yesterday afternoon. I reckon the journey took me as long as the Lakeland 100 will take me over the weekend! I went to bed at 9.30pm and slept soundly until about 5am so I think I’ll be fine sleep wise.

My plan for this week before the big race on Friday is two runs, today and Wednesday. Today I wanted to do a full dress rehearsal with all my kit for the race. So I drove up to Robertson’s Car Park on the Braes and ran part of my large loop.  It was almost 7 miles but very easy. I stopped for a few photos and took my time. I met a local fell runner Dave so we stopped for a chat.

One of the things about the Lakeland 100 is there is a set amount of compulsory kit you have to carry. It always amuses me how difficult some people seem to find this but it’s pretty straight forward really.  Every year there are posts about what kit is acceptable etc. Here is my compulsory kit.

L100 kit 1

I’m not going to carry too much else but I have a few extra things including my energy drinks, camera and re-charger for my Suunto.L100 kit 2

The race organisers allow you to have a drop bag at Dalemain so here is what I plan to put in that. I may add one or two things before Friday!L100 kit 3

I don’t plan to change shorts but I’ve put them in as a back up. I will probably change my top and socks. Not sure about shoes. I’ll see how my feet feel. I may add my Hoka Stinsons in case I feel I need the extra support for the second half of the race.

I’ll be wearing my tried and tested kit. If it looks like it is going to be a warm night I will wear a short sleeved top.L100 kit 4

I really like the North Face Enduro pack as once it is on it doesn’t catch my arms as I run. It weights 2.5kg without water.L100 kit 5

I try and prepare the best I can but the one thing we can’t control is the weather. It is looking quite promising a few days out.

weather ambleside

I have 52 guesses for my ‘Guess My Time’ competition. If you want to enter you have until 6pm on Wednesday evening to send me you guess.

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Final run in Malang

My three weeks visiting Emma, Yonas and Noah is almost up. I fly home this afternoon. I have a flight from Surabaya to Jakarata (90mins), 5 hours in Jakarta airport, flight to Doha (8hrs), 3 hours in Doha airport, flight to Edinburgh (7hrs) arriving 1:05pm on Sunday afternoon. Hopefully I’ll be home in time to watch the final round of the Open from St. Andrews!! Katrina is staying two more weeks.

For my final run I went on the same route as Thursday. Again I kept my HR around 125 though I did let it go up to 135 on the final hill. I was feeling good and just went with it.

As I type it is 7:45am in Indonesia so that is 1:45am in UK. So a week today The Lakeland 100 race will have been going for 7:45. If I’m going to plan I’ll have left Buttermere and climbing up the hill. I have given Katrina a rough plan so she can follow me next weekend. I’ve signed up for Facebook updates so hopefully friends can follow my progress.


Final photo of Emma, Yonas and Noah.  

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Question about my training for Lakeland 100

This morning I was up and out by 6.10am for my latest easy run. I cut down the route by a couple of miles from Tuesday’s run which included missing a big climb at the start. It all felt so much easier. I ran with the same average HR of 123 but my average pace was 40secs per minute faster.  It didn’t feel quite so hot today so maybe that helped too. 

 Yesterday I received this message from Mike Churchyard who is also running the Lakeland 100:-

Morning John, I’m Interested to know if you’ve done anything different for your training for this years L100 compared to your 2012 race. I know you’ve focused on HR with great success. Pics from Indonesia look fabulous by the way. Safe journey back and see you at Coniston

I thought instead of answering personally I would answer on this blog post.  Btw Mike was happy with that! 

As I was running this morning I thought about my answer and came up with 6 things.  

1. Weight

I can’t remember what I weighed in 2012 but I do remember my good friend Dave Troman looking at the scale and wincing!!  I must have been well over 12st maybe closer to 13st. Over the past few years I’ve made a real effort to get my weight down.  I’ve not got access to a scale here in Indonesia but I was 11st 5lbs before we left. Hopefully I’ll be around that weight for race day. I have found that it has made a tremendous difference to my running. One full water bottle weighs just over a pound so losing over a stone is like having 12 full water bottles less to carry.  It must make a difference!! 

2. Hill runs

Dave had a great Lakeland 100 race in 2012 finishing under 26 hrs. One of the things Dave identified before the race was that if you can run the downhills on the second half of the race then you will make up a lot of time and places on the field. A key part of Dave’s preparation was his weekly runs up and down Skiddaw which is right on his door step.

After the 2012 race I have been running up and down Ben Lomond weekly. It has become a key part of my training and preparation for ultra races. I basically walk/run up the Ptarmigsn ridge then run down the tourist path. The 40mins or so it takes me to run down is great for thrashing the quads. The idea is they repair stronger and doing it week by week will strengthen them. I even do a double one fairly close to the race to make sure they are well and truly thrashed. 

I’m hoping that it will have a big positive effect this year. So if you see me running down the hills after Mardale head you know the weekly Ben Lomond runs have paid off!! 

3. Speed work

I’ve always done speed work in the winter but this year I have carried it on once my ultra season has started. I’ve been doing tempo runs and going along to our club Fartlek sessions on a Monday night when I can.  I feel this has helped me get fitter and keep my fitness. The idea is that if I can run at 7min per mile then when I run at 10min per mile or slower in an ultra it will feel easy! 

4.  Heart Rate runs

After my tough races in 2011 (West Highland Way) and 2012 (Lakeland 100) I decided I needed to have a different strategy.  I didn’t want to put myself through a death march just to finish. I wanted to be able to enjoy these challenges and be able to finish with a smile on my face. I realised to do that I needed to start more conservatively. To do that I felt running by HR would keep my intensity level more even.

Over the last couple of years with help from Robert Osfield I’ve been able to work out what my optimum HR should be for races ranging from 3 hrs to 30 hrs.  Last year when I did the Hardmoors Grand Slam including the 110 I experimented with running to HR and I found it really helped me to be able to finish well with a smile on my face.

For the Hardmoors 55 in March this year I took it to another level and ran a very disciplined race with a HR of 135 and keeping it 5 beats either side of that. It worked really well and I ran 35 mins faster than last year. The thing that really encouraged me was at half way I was the same time as 2014 which meant I ran the second half 35 mins faster! 

I have found that it takes a lot of discipline to run to HR so I have been practising both in races and training runs. I’m feeling more confident with it now and take the fact that I will be further down the field early on as a positive thing. If all goes to plan then I’ll be working my way through the field as the race progresses which is a very uplifting!! 

6. Socks/feet

Besides being a bit heavy and not doing enough training for my quads in 2012 the other major factor in my struggle getting to the finish was my feet. Here is a photo of them at the end of the race.  Not a pretty sight!!

 Over the years before the 2012 race I had worked on a pattern of covering my feet in Sudocrem, then wearing a thin pair of ankle cotton socks and a cheap pair of sports socks. They worked well for me in several ultras without any major feet problems. But those races were in the dry. 
The problem I had in 2012 was that my feet (and everyone elses) got soaked in the leg from Boot to Wasdale. Mine didn’t recover and by the time I changed my socks and shoes at Dalemain it was too late. From Kentmere onwards they were soooo sore. I could just about run if the ground was even but on the Lakeland course it rarely is! 

Since 2012 I have been using Drymax socks to great effect. I love the fact that I can get my feet wet and within a few minutes they feel dry again.  I don’t know how the technology works but I’m glad it does. 

I will have a spare pair of Drymax socks at Dalemain and will change my socks if I feel I need to. I’m hoping that my feet won’t let me down this year.

6. Confidence

I’m going into the race this year with a lot more confidence than 2012. I’ve finished the race then so I know I can do it. I’m not cocky. I fully respect the distance, the course and what it takes to finish but I have a confidence that I’m in good shape, have trained hard and I can do this!! 

I have reccied the whole course again over 2 weekends. I’ve tried and tested all my kit and food. I’m being sensible on my two week taper.  I feel I’ve prepared as best as I could. 

As I type the race is just over a week away. I leave Indonesia on Saturday arriving home on Sunday afternoon. I’ll have 5 days to get over any jet lag and hopefully be as ready as I can be at 6pm on Friday 24th July. I can’t wait! 

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Cycle ride in Indonesia

Mike, a teacher friend of Emma’s, invited me to join him and his Dad, John, on one of their cycle rides. They were able to borrow a mountain bike for me to use.

We set off just after 7am after a photo!   

Mike had a rough plan in mind for our route. Basically we were heading to a place called Batu but there were various options. In the end we did a loop ending up at Java Dancer for a drink and pancake. 

Cycling around here is similar to the running. It’s either up hill or down hill so the profile tells the story. 

 I really enjoyed the ride and took some photos along the way. 

The loop was 21.6 miles and it took us just over 3hrs which included a 20min stop for a drink and well earned pancake.  I was also able to get some good advice on being a distance granddad from John! 

Thanks Mike and John for inviting me. I really enjoyed it.   

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