Guess My Time Competition for Brecon Beacons 10 peaks

My penultimate ultra for 2016 is on Saturday 10th September 2016 (5am start) so it is time to open my traditional ‘Guess My Time’ competition.

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There are 10 peaks to climb …

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I’ve not done this race before or seen much of the course so it’s hard to know what sort of time I’m capable of.

I like to have a bronze, silver and gold and normally they would be fairly close to each other but this time I’m going to spread out the times!

So to give you some sort of idea of the time I’m hoping for …

  • Bronze – sub 18hrs
  • Silver – sub 17hrs
  • Gold – sub 16hrs

My good friends at have once again provided at excellent prize for the person who guesses the closest to my finishing time.

This time the prize is one of the new Speedgoat twin bottle waists packs ….

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All you have to do to have a chance to win this prize PLUS a limited edition John Kynaston winners key ring!! and a place on my hall of fame is guess how long you think it will take me to run the 89km (55miles) in hours, minutes and seconds. You can send you guess by leaving a ….

  • comment on this post
  • posting on my Facebook page
  • guess on Twitter – @jkynaston
  • by text – 07905 218162
  • by whatapp
  •  email –
  • in person
  • any other method!!

Please send you guess by 6pm on Thursday 8th September 2016.  Please note that there can only be one guess per time so if someone has taken you’ll guess I’ll ask you to guess again!!

For the Hardmoors 160 Guess My Time winner James Hemmingsley won with his 3rd attempt as the first two times had been taken!!

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Double Ben Lomond Run

I wanted to do one more quality week of training cumulating in a double Ben Lomond run on Saturday. Then I have a two week taper building up to the Brecon Beacons 10 peaks on Saturday 10th September.

Monday – Club Fartlek Session

There was only 3 of us for the session as a good number of club runners had ran the Paisley 10k the day before. After the warm up Donald decided his legs hadn’t recovered from his orienteering races from the weekend so it left just me and Robert S to do the session.

Robert is still  recovering from his ultra races this year so we were at a similar pace which was good. We pushed each hard and I was more than happy with my evenings run.

fartlek 08-22

Wednesday – Steady Run after work

I had a busy day at work so couldn’t run at lunchtime or early evening so I went out after tea. A good steady run at 8:08 pace.

Thursday – Lunchtime off Road Run

I had time for a lunchtime runoff Thursday and decided to wear my off road shoes and do my loop around Pollok Park which means I can do the vast majority of it off road. Another good solid run.

Saturday – Double Ben Lomond Run

I left home just after 7am and started my first loop at 8.10am from Rowardennan. I was feeling good so wanted to push pretty hard on the first ascent but also be aware I was going to do it again!

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I have a mini-split about a third of the way up and I was encouraged to see I was making good progress. The Ben was covered in cloud so no views on the first ascent but there was no wind or rain so really good conditions for the run.

With about 20mins to the top a runner pass me heading down so he must have set off quite early.

I thought anywhere under 1:20 for the ascent would be good so when I arrived in 1:17:42 I was happy with that. I was on my own at the top. Quick photo and then I set off for the descent.

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I have not done this run on a Saturday as I normally do it after work midweek so it was great to see how many people were climbing the Munro. I didn’t count but I must have gone past at least 50 people. I wondered how many of them I would see again on my 2nd loop.

I was feeling strong on the way down and starting to loop forward to the 2nd climb. I had decided to use Jonny’s poles and see what difference they would make. If I could climb in a similar time or even quicker then I could measure the difference they make.

I finished the 1st loop in 2:08:05 which is one of my quickest over the last few weeks. I spent a few minutes at my car eating a youghat and refilling my Tailwind. I took the poles and set off for my 2nd loop. I also changed my top to a short sleeved one and put on  my visor as the sun was breaking through the cloud.

After a few minutes I got the poles out and started to use them. Straight away I could feel the difference. I was looking forward to getting to my mini-split gate to see if I was going as well as the 1st loop.

The 1st loop took me 32:02 so I was really pleased to see that the 2nd loop took me 31:51 so 11 secs faster!! It me a boost for the rest of the climb. I overtook a few people who were going up the same path and saw a couple of guys heading down.

I kept using the poles all the way up and reached the top in 1:17:58 so I was just 16secs slower.  I was really happy with that as I didn’t slow down.

There were a lot more people on the top for my 2nd visit and thankfully for everyone the cloud had mostly lifted and the views were so much better.

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I put the poles away and set off for my 2nd descent. When I have done the double before I often struggle on the 2nd descent but my legs felt good and I was hopeful to be able to keep it going.

I passed loads more people climbing up. I think some of them recognised me from my 1st descent and I could imagine a few conversations as they tried to work out what I was doing!

I was able to tell them that the cloud was lifting and the views should make the climb worthwhile.

When I reached my mini-split gate on the way down I was really surprised and happy to see I was 93 secs faster on the 2nd descent. I pushed on and got back to the car in 48:49 which was 2min faster than the 1st descent.

I reckon one of the reasons was using the poles saved my legs so I didn’t thrash them as much on the ascent.

Whatever the reason I was really happy with my mornings effort.

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Here is a summary of my two loops ….

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My plan for this week is to run on Monday night with the club, an easy run on Wednesday and then do the parkrun at Linwood on Saturday. Then the following week easy runs on Monday and Wednesday before the ultra on Saturday.

I feel I have prepared as well as I could of. have offered a great prize for the latest ‘Guess My Time’ Competition so I’ll launch that in the next day or so.



Posted in Ben Lomond run, Fartlek, Pollok Park Loop, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Arrochar Alps Run

I had a really good day yesterday despite the rain and wind on the tops. Instead of a written report I have out together a short video of my run ….

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Fartlek, Ben Lomond and Tempo

Another key week in my build up to the Brecon Beacons 10 peaks race. Three different session this week …

Monday – Club Fartlek session

We had a better turn out this week including a new runner who is keen to improve his 10k and half marathon times. The session was 2min (1min recovery), 4min (2min) x 5.

I was working hard throughout the session and felt pretty good. The stats for the session showed a consistent run.

fartlek 08-15

Wednesday – Ben Lomond Run

I had initially planned to do this on Thursday but I was keen to watch the Triathlon today so decided to run on Wednesday evening instead. It was a good move as the weather was superb. In stark contrast to last week when strong winds and cloud covered the top this week we had stunning views all round.

Grant S from Kilbarchan was keen to join Cammie and I and he really enjoyed it. Grant & I led the way to the top and I kept expecting Cammie to catch us up on the way down but he didn’t.

When he arrived he explained he had done a open water swim at 6am and hadn’t eaten any lunch at work so no wonder he lacked a bit of energy.

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Grant enjoying the views from the top

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Photo thanks to Grant

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Three happy runners at the end of our run

Thursday – Tempo Run

Once I watched Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee finish 1st & 2nd in the Olympic Triathlon I headed out for a run. I had enough time for a 5mile run before tea would be ready.

I wanted to do some sort of Tempo so decided to do a warm up of half a mile then 4 miles at tempo pace and finish with a half mile or so to cool down.

It was a really warm close evening and even though I worked as hard as I could the pace wasn’t too quick …. I reckon around 7:20 pace for the 4 miles. I’m sure I had the Ben Lomond effort still in my legs …. well that’s my excuse for a poor run anyway!

I’m looking forward to my long run on Saturday. The plan is to run the Arrocher Alps loop which will give me lots of ascent and descent which will be good preparation for Brecon Beacons race.

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Key week in my training plan

With my next ultra four weeks away this week and next will be key weeks in my build up to the race. Next Saturday I’m planning a run around the Arrocher Alps route which will give me four Munros.

This week it was good to be back at the club for a Fartlek session which I mentioned in my last post. On Wednesday I was out early before work and ran a Tempo run. I decided to do an easy warm up mile then two miles at Tempo pace, followed by a recovery mile before another two miles at Tempo pace.

I was aiming to run the Tempo effort at under 7min per mile. I always find it harder to get going on a run like this straight from waking up but I had a meeting over lunch time and wanted to watch the Olympics after work so this was the only time I could fit it in!

I was happy with my effort. Here are my stats ….

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The first mile of the first effort has the biggest ascent so is often a little slower. Strava very helpfully compares all your runs on the same route. I do this route a lot so I found it interesting to see how this run compared to all the previous ones.

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I was pretty happy with my effort and feel as though I’m running well at the moment.

On Thursday night I was back to Ben Lomond for another trip up and down the Ben. I was on my own this time. The weather was pretty grim at the top with very high winds and rain.

Last week with Cammie it took us 1hr 26mins to reach the top via the Ptarmigan Ridge so I was keen to push a bit harder and see how much quicker I could go. Despite the strong winds at the top I was 10mins faster which was encouraging!

I was hoping to be quicker on the way down as well but the rocks were very wet so I decided to be a bit more cautious especially as I’d only got the stitches out of my hand the day before!

So I was down in 55mins compared to 52mins last week. But I didn’t fall so that was the good thing! I went down the new path they are making on the bottom third of the route. It feels very similar to the new they built over Conic Hill.

There is a new path up the tourist track which is not actually open yet but as it was nearer 7pm when I descended I decided to see what it was like. The alternative path is on grass and I figured it would be very slippy.

It is a very good path and feels very similar to the new path over Conic hill. It is quite slippy still but like the Conic Hill one will take a few months to bed in.

I was very wet and quite cold when I got back to the car so it was good to be able to have a quick change before driving home for a shower and some food.

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On Saturday I was up on the Gleniffer Braes for an off road run. On my Ben Lomond run I noticed that the sole of my left shoe was coming away so I got out a new pair of Skechers Go Run Ultras.

Sketchers Go Run Ultra (Blue)

I wanted to do at least 16 miles so I did my 12 mile loop and instead of adding on another smaller loop I decided to do a couple of hill reps.

I felt pretty strong on the large loop and felt ready for the couple of hill reps. It was 0.72 miles up with 177ft of climb. The first rep took me 6:32 up and 5:47 down. For the second rep I was up in 6:40 and down in 5:25 so felt it was a good effort.

Braes selfie 08-13

Here is a photo of the profile for the run.

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On Sunday I did a steady run on Sunday afternoon. I would normally do my run before church but I’d been up until 4am watching the Athletics from Rio so decided to go after watching the Women’s Marathon.

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Summary of runs over the last week

The latest update on my hand is that it is getting better and I had the stitches out today which was good news. It is looking a lot better now but will leave a spectacular scar!

I didn’t run on the Monday after I did it but by Tuesday I decided I’d be okay to run. So here is a summary of my runs for the last week.

Tuesday – easy run after work

I had a lunchtime team meeting so couldn’t get out during work. I ran my Paisley loop and felt okay. The trickiest part is having a shower without getting my bandage wet!

Wednesday – lunchtime run

I had a bit longer time available for a lunchtime run so I ran just over 7 miles and again felt okay.

Thursday – Ben Lomond Run

I know this wasn’t probably the best idea with 8 stitches in my hand but whenever do ultra runners do the sensible! I decided if I took it steady especially on the down run I’d be okay. Thankfully my friend Cammie wanted to come with me so I had company if anything went wrong!

We set off at 4.30pm in lovely weather and we had a great time. We didn’t push too hard getting up in 1hr 26mins and descending in 52mins so 2hrs 19mins for the run. That will give me a benchmark as I plan to run up and down each week.

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It was my first run up Ben Lomond this year. I would normally have done a number of Ben trips by now but the way things have worked out I’ve not had the chance to do it. The next two races I have coming up are all about going over lots of tops so these weekly runs up Ben Lomond will be a key part of my training.

Saturday – Marshalling Devil o’ the Highlands Race

I didn’t get a chance to run on Saturday as I was helping John D with the race. My role was to coordinate the timing for the race and I really enjoyed organising and coordinating the timing. I think we got it about right!

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Sunday – run from Alness

Hollie, our daughter, has moved to Alness near Inverness as she has a teaching post in Tain. After the Devils race I drove up to Alness and Katrina and I went for a run on Sunday morning. We did an out and back along the Alness River. It was a lovely run with the wind behind us on the way out and then against us on the way back.

Katrina stopped after 5 miles but I wanted to do a bit more so I did another out and back along the river but heading the other way.  I’m looking forward to exploring the area a bit more when we visit Hollie.

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Monday – Club Fartlek session

I was keen to get back on a Monday for the session. A number of our group had run the Dunoon half marathon on Sunday so only Donald and myself were doing the session. It worked out really well as we were able to push each other.

The session was 6 x 5mins with 2min recovery. It was good to chat about Donald’s recent holiday to Canada where he did a number of orienteering races as well as sight-seeing.

For the first three 5min efforts I was leading and Donald was hanging on to me. Then the final three efforts it was me hanging on to Donald. Here are the stats for the session.

fartlek 08-08

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Review of July

In July I ran 188.85 miles which included the 71 mile Great Glen Ultra at the start of the month. I should be have had another 18 miles which would have taken me over 200 miles for the month but my hand injury cut short, literally, that!

Full list of runs in July ….

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In graph form …..

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Diary of all runs and cycles ….

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Summary of all my runs so far this year ….

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