Running the Bob Graham Round
The Bob Graham Round. It is a local round. It is one of the big three rounds in the UK and it goes 66 miles. It is about 8000 meters and climbs 42 Wainwrights. It often gets described as the best days mountain running in the Lake District. However now that I have had time to absorb just how amazing the run is. I wanted to just put something out there that give people a little bit of an idea of sort of my training and my sort of build up to the round; things I put in place things that I did, and also just some helpful tips and things that I wish I sort of known beforehand.
Just before we get into this, I just wanted identify a couple of important points, and the first one is that am not a personal trainer, I am not a mountain running coach in any way. My experience comes from running previous rounds here in the lakes and across from the UK. From living and walking, climbing in the Lake District mountains and from working alongside and knowing some amazing local runners here and across the country as well.
There are some great running coaches especially here in the lakes and I will leave a few links at the bottom of those I would recommend that if you are thinking about get a coach these people will add great value to you training.
Any brands that I have mentioned, I am not endorsed by them, not sponsored by them and if I think they should I’m probably going to express that and if I don’t think it is, I’ll equally express that as well. But am not in any way sponsored by these guys. So just get that clarified before the start.
RUNNING THE BOB GRAHAM ROUND VIDEO
Sharing my thoughts, tips and experiences of the Lake Districts best mountain run !
TIP 1 ) TRAIN ON THE BOB GRAHAM ROUTE
Going into my experiences, my build-up, and my training for Running the Bob Graham, I think that probably the best advice I could give to anybody would be to train and learn the route, train on it, learn the route and love it !
There is so many advantages to doing that. You know the lines to take up and down each hill, you gonna know which one to the summit, you going to know where you can add time, where you going to know where you lose time. There are so many advantages and a little more complex because it is in each place when you can lose a little bit time in that.
You also going to be able to sort of condition yourself to the environment on which you going to go and test yourself on. So, definitely, every opportunity for your training, go and get on the hills that you are running on, okay. It is a just a simple replica of what you are doing, okay? It is definitely you’re worth doing that.
TIP 2 ) TRAIN YOUR MIND FOR THE BOB GRAHAM.
The other top tip, I think a lot of people underestimate, is the mental side to it. We always think about the physical demands on our body when we are doing something like this. And actual fact, a lot of it, I believe, is to do with your mental robustness and how you can deal with being uncomfortable because at some point during this process you’re going to be super uncomfortable for me I had a wobble on Scafell Pike. It just occurred to me I had a fucking long way to go and just, for a couple of seconds it just blew my mind. But my training and sort of the days I have had, I think just had to deal with that a lot better. Don’t underestimate the sort of importance of mental training, okay, and how important that is.
I consider myself to be a mentally robust person and I definitely had moments when I was a little bit uncomfortable, I was a little bit tired, you know. I was sick of going uphill, my feet where hurting and I just a little trough but that is okay
It is about pulling yourself out of that. So just figure out a way which you can do that. For me a little more training runs were out, pretty meaning conditions and I absolutely was ultimately, I was going to do what I set out to do regardless of how difficult maybe that training round was or route I was taking. That definitely attributed to the fact that when I set off, I was ultimately, I was always going to finish Running the Bob Graham round. It is easy to say, isn’t it? When you are sitting on the sofa and those words building but when you are out and cold and you’ve been running for 18 odd hours. That can be difficult, there is plenty of recorded blogs and videos that talk about more depth. I think that is probably really big important thing for Running the Bob Graham round.
TIP3 ) – YOU CAN NOT TRAIN IN THE GYM FOR THE BOB.
I don’t believe that you can train for the Bob Graham in the gym. And I guess that links into my first point, the only way you can train and replicate going uphill is to go up hill. The stress on your body, the way that you move, the impact on running on soft grass to hard trails you just can’t replicate it.
So, again, if you are training just go and get out on the mountains Running the Bob graham round in the gym is not the same as running in the mountains. It’s just nowhere near it. And I would challenge any personal trainer, running coach, or athlete to come and convince me, otherwise, you just can’t.
TIP 4 ) GET AN AMAZING SUPPORT CREW TO HELP YOU RUN THE BOB GRAHAM ROUND
Probably just as important part of running the Bob Graham round, I guess, is the impact and importance of an unreal amazing support group and for me I that. I had some of the most amazing people who know me really well and they just did everything they could. For them, the round was just as important as it was for me and I can’t thank them enough. I know that they’d be reading this and I would put in on record that they were absolutely brilliant. So, you are having a really good support group that know you round because there are going to be points where you just want to follow somebody and they’ll make all the decisions for you. So, they must know the round but also, they also need to know you and you know them.
I’ll touch based on this in a minute. But a lot of my support group at some point just took away the option of me when I wanted to eat. Just for 20 minutes, eat, drink, and I did what they said, whatever it was, get a mars bar it in you. They just didn’t give me that choice and you need those people that know you well enough to know that you won’t take offence to that. That’s what you need, and then they are looking out for you. So, having a really good support group, not just on the mountains as well but also at checkpoints, for me I had my girlfriend Kirsty who bless her had finish work the night before. And then spend the whole day just driving from carpark to carpark to meet me. And having that setup, having your chair out and having your food ready, having your back and stuff like that. Those obvious little things, that are happening behind the scenes that we probably don’t know about, that make such a massive difference. So, getting a really good support group, people that want to be there, notably they are going to encourage you and help you out and is probably just as important as any other stuff as well.
TIP 5) – FOOD AND FUEL TO TAKE ON THE BOB GRAHAM ROUND
Something that I didn’t do and I probably will learn from for the rest of my running days is to have some variety of food and mix it up. I just went to Audi and bought a lot of stuff and worked it in between four or five bags and I was like wicked I’ll be okay with and by the time I’ve got to leg four I was sick of Alpine bars So, definitely having some variety in your food and particularly your hydration.
I think mountain fuel, trail wind, and active rood. These three sorts of key electrolyte drinks, I drank are really good and sits well with my stomach and I just found the real quite tasty which is a massive part. I would highly recommend that you go and look into that. Don’t just go and buy them and not try and just take them out and make sure that it works. because everybody is different. I’ll put a link in the description to those three that I have mentioned because it is really good stuff and for me it certainly helped, but yeah. Variety in your food.
I had something to eat, every 20 minutes after the first hour, I suppose I would pretty much eat something a really good friend James told me a great tip and hopefully this would be handy for you guys which is to eat nothing bigger than your hand. For example, a snack bar, something you can just get into you. When I got into the check points, that’s where I had my meals. I prepared a big tub of pasta and had some spicy sauce and that was really nice, but even then, by the end of the 3rd leg I was sick of that so, don’t underestimate the importance of your foo. And you’re going to need to utilize that, and have a good strategy for it. I think it is really important.
This can sound pretty selfish but remember you are not carrying the stuff but your support group are. So, you know fuel is really important, okay? It really, really is important. Certainly, for me a highlight of the whole Bob Graham round apart from finishing, actually, was a good friend came out meet me on Bowfell and brought me a Greg’s sausage roll for fuck’s sake. It probably was one of the most amazing tasty things I have ever had in my entire life and it was just amazing to eat it was just the substance my body needed.
TIP 6 ) ENJOY RUNNING THE BOB GRAHAM ROUND !
The last thing, for me just to sort of like finish up on this, the importance of enjoying the the round. You are going to train and you going to commit a lot of your time to doing the Bob Graham and I can’t underestimate how important it is for you to enjoy it because it is epic.
If you asked me what was my favourite part of the round I would be lying if I said a particular part because there were so many favourite parts but now that I’ve sort of sat down and observed what happened and I can’t really define a single point because there were lots of little bits but I loved it.
I absolutely loved it. Don’t get me wrong. I thrived it was over. I really was. Touching that wall, wow! Brilliant feeling, but at the same time a little piece of me was pretty stunned, and yeah am grateful that I enjoyed it, I can’t remember a moment when I didn’t. Apart from that little wobble on Scafell Pike even then it is important to remember that this is what I’d gone for, that’s what you are going to go for. You going to put yourself against some pretty big scary mountains and put yourself in a place where you are going to hurt and you’re going to be uncomfortable so just enjoy that moment equally as much, as the rest of the day.
I had a beautiful day, a gorgeous sunrise, a gorgeous sunset. I couldn’t have asked for a better weather window and again, that was just really emphasized on the whole experience. And I think that everything was in the right place at the right time and everything was done as it should be because that whole day for not just me but hopefully for the supporters was a really cool experience.
I know that a lot of people on my round particular are looking at doing other rounds or doing the round themselves. It’s great to chat to them about it and it’s fantastic to be able to sort of go through what my experience was.
If you are thinking about Running the Bob Graham round, please feel free to get in touch with me via my Contact Us page or hit the whats app button. I can send you my schedule, I can send you a little bit more information.
For training advice, programs and more – Visit Mountain Fit