Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Training for Pikes Peak and CurraNZ!

Following the great result at the Celtman, I was selected to represent Northern Ireland at the WMRA Long distance championships at Pikes Peak, Colorado. This race has 13.2 miles of uphill running with 2382m (7815ft) of ascent. The sting in the tail is that the race finishes at 4302m (14115ft) above sea level.  At this sort of height there is around 40% less oxygen than at sea level so some extra factors to deal with as well as lots of uphill running! It was at this time I came across and started using CurranNZ as a supplement.

Lots of supplements claim to give results but I can honestly say I have never experienced the results that CurraNZ gave in such a short space of time, IE the first session! To also add that this is a totally natural supplement made from the skins of special blackcurrants is a huge plus for me. As an international athlete I have to be very careful of what I put into my body and try to eat as clean and healthy as possible. This can actually be quite hard at times in these days of processed, additive rich food but is made easy with CurraNZ.
After Celtman I had around 5 weeks to recover and prepare for the Pikes Peak race. This was going to take some care, management and attention to detail. I am so glad I came across CurraNZ when I did as I know it has been one of those little extras that give massive benefits.
Training for pikes peak has revolved around three basic but key sessions. Hill Reps, Tempo Running and a long 2-3.30hr run in the mountains.
To train for the massive amounts of ascent at Pikes Peak lots of hill rep sessions have been key workouts. I have kept the reps longer and just below/at my lactate threshold, ranging from 5mins to 45mins. With all the up, we must have down, which can be a major cause of muscle soreness/DOMS that can affect training for up to 1 week if severe.  Using CurraNZ I found I could sustain my efforts for longer and at higher a heart rate. The heavy legged fatigue that normally sets in was delayed, I felt great aerobically and DOMS in the coming days was eliminated. Sure I felt tired after the sessions but had worked harder for longer so this was to be expected.
Links to the sessions can be found here-

 I noticed the same shifts in my tempo runs, which were done on road as hilly as possible. I try to get around 20-40mins of quality work in these sessions and the whole run usually lasts 1-1hr30mins including cool down and warm up. I split the efforts into blocks as I find this allows me keep the quality high and also trains lactate removal and changes in pace, so it’s realistic to racing. It’s the only session I do on the road so it counts as my speed work too.
Links to the sessions can be found here-

My long runs are the favourite piece of the training puzzle. It gives me a chance to get out into the mountains for a long time, enjoy the environment, covering lots of ground and see where the other sessions have left my fitness. It’s great to feel stronger each time you go out and for sure I have been, despite some super-hot weather lately. I don’t usually wear a heart rate monitor for these runs, preferring to practice pacing by feel and just enjoy efficient movement in the hills. Recovery from these runs can be slow due to the up and down nature and the rough ground on the tops of the mountains but with CurraNZ I found I was recovering quicker and feeling great aerobically.

Mixed in with Mountain bike rides, easy runs and swims my total weekly training volume can be up to 20hrs, on top of working a 40hr week as a sales assistant. CurranNZ has helped me to prepare for Pikes Peak as best I can, I will be winding down from now till race day, freshening up the legs but remaining sharp at the same time. Cannot wait to get out to Colorado, it’s a dream race that’s been on my bucket list and the chance to represent my country against some of the best mountain runners in the world is so exciting.
I am also looking forward to seeing how CurraNZ helps me deal with the sting in the tale of this race, Altitude! It’s my secret weapon, without access to the funds or facilities needed for proper altitude training. I will be reporting back on this in the post-race blog. It will also be accompanying me on the long haul flight as it is also great for giving the immune system a boost when combined with some good old vitamin c. 

Its great to be working with CurraNZ as an ambassador, they are a young company with passion for there product and real belief in its benefits. The research shows this as well as my experience using the product.

 www.healthcurrancy.co.uk - natural NZ Blackcurrant antioxidant sports supplement


  1. Good luck Chris! Looking forward to hearing how you get on.

  2. Thanks Fozie, it was an experience :) stay tuned!