From Pelham Bridge to the Pennine Barrier…

On 23rd June, one of our physiotherapists, Jack, will be embarking on a particularly tough challenge – the Pennine Barrier Ultra marathon.


This 50 mile race fuses together Malham Cove, Ings Scar, Malham Tarn, the Pennine Way and the wonderful Yorkshire Three Peaks; Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.

Training correctly for such an event is of vital importance, Jack shares his tips on how to appropriately train for a long endurance challenge:


1.Train in similar conditions to those that will be on race day.


This includes getting familiar with the route and the terrain. Study the route map and if possible try to run the course prior to race-day. This will allow you to plan in advance for the particularly challenging elements of the course, and make it easier to focus.

This week’s practice covered a lot of the possible eventualities for race day – hot weather, strong winds, steep inclines (and declines) and breathtaking scenery!


2.Consider the equipment you will use.


If the race requires the use of equipment it is best to familiarise yourself with it prior to the event. For example, if you’re going to need a backpack, rain jacket, sun hat or even a head-torch come race-day, then ensure you’ve practised running with them beforehand. Equally, think about your clothing & shoes, ensure your shoes are not brand new, but not worn out either and that you’re comfortable in your clothes.

The ultra marathon requires the use of a ultra vest for fluids and nutrition,  practise wearing it during training so you are used to it on the day.


3.Consider race day nutrition and hydration well in advance.


Practise eating and drinking the same foods and liquids you will be consuming in the race during your training. If you want to try out any new supplements ensure you do so before the race so you can see if they work for you or not, do not try things out for the first time on the big day.

Take in energy/carbs in the form of gels, and electrolytes to add to fluids on race day. This helps replenish electrolytes lost through prolonged sweating and reduces the risk of hyponatremia (low sodium level in the blood), which can be very dangerous in long distance running.


4.Practice your pace and rhythm.


Focus on maintaining a manageable pace – there is a real risk of not being able to finish at all if you go too hard to begin with in an endurance event. Tied into pace is finding a rhythm which works for you, practice a few different walk/run patterns and use the optimum one on race day.


5.Weave in some training races.


Training races could be official events organised by the race host, or just group runs undertaken by endurance runners, either way look up whether there are any you can join, as they challenge you to perform at a threshold pace prior to the real thing, you can then adjust your plan accordingly and such preparation is great for developing your efficiency and endurance.



Lastly endurance running is as much about the mind as it is about the body and so managing stress is vital. The tips above can help immeasurably with this as knowing as much as you can about the race in advance helps you focus and reduces anxiety of being taken by surprise on the day.


Jack is competing in this fantastic challenge in order to raise funds for When You Wish Upon a Star – if you would like to donate please visit his justgiving page.

To find out how Jack got on visit our next blog – Don’t ignore inner ankle pain!

Our highly qualified team of experienced physiotherapists at the Lincolnshire Physiotherapy & Sports Injuries Clinics are here to provide a caring and confidential healthcare service. Our aim is to exceed expectations and work with patients to build personalised treatment programmes. Our skilled physiotherapists have extensive knowledge and understanding to help facilitate an effective return to improved function and the ability to maintain and prevent further injury and pain. With a wide range of research and evidence based procedures and exercise programmes, we are here to monitor and aid recovery giving you the confidence to return to your everyday lifestyle and improve your quality of life.”

If you have any questions about endurance training or are in need of treatment please do not hesitate to contact us on or visit one of our clinics.