Endurancelife Coastal Trail Series – Dorset Preview

24 miles to go

24 miles to go

The Dorset round of Endurancelife’s Coastal Trail Series, CTS, looks to be the toughest so far with over 6000ft of climbing on the marathon and a rating of 5-Extreme. All courses cover a significant amount of coastal path on the stunning Jurassic Coast of Dorset, with the start, finish and event HQ based in Lulworth Cove. My raceday preparation has started already, read on to find out more and pick up some tips. I will be taking part in the marathon, as usual, and am seeking to learn on the mistakes that I’ve made in the Pembrokeshire and Gower rounds. Click on their names to check out my reviews and find out what I mean. They also feature more background about the Endurancelife Coastal Trail Series events.

As you will all know, the temperature has plummeted in the last few weeks and the country is littered with minor shunts and dramatic slides every morning as the regular commuters find their routes paved with ice. My original plan was to leave Ivybridge at 6am on race day and drive straight to Lulworth Cove, but if this weather persists I run the risk of getting caught out on ice, so I’ve booked a night of accommodation on Friday at East Burton House. I’ve never stayed there before, but it is only 5 miles from Lulworth Cove, so I’ll get a bit of a lay-in and wont have to rush 🙂 I’d suggest you all to think about the same if you have far to travel, as it would be a shame to miss the start because you are parked in a hedge on a country lane in the middle of nowhere.

My race prep began on Monday where I halved my usual number of training sessions for the week, so that I do a small taper for the marathon. Most of my training this week has centred on short, easy sessions in the pool and on the turbo. Tonight I’m going for a run, but I’ll be aiming just to stretch my legs and make sure that all of my limbs are functioning for Saturday. Yesterday I visited Mick Smirthwaite for some sports massage to loosen up the stiff muscles from my crash on ice last week. He worked his usual magic and I’m feeling pretty good today.

This morning I started drinking beetroot juice with breakfast. I’ll also drink some tomorrow and on Saturday to ensure that the nutrients in the juice can do their magic to help aid my red blood cells to carry the oxygen around my system more efficiently. I am going to eat and drink very carefully today and tomorrow to ensure that my stomach is at 100% for the race and ready for the trauma that I will be putting it through. My race day plan will be similar to normal, but with a few small changes:

  1. The two litres of drink in my Camelbak will contain only Elete Electrolyte and a small amount of high juice for flavour. This is to keep it simple, so that I don’t end up in the same situation as in the Gower e.g. if my stomach does kick off then I can still hydrate effectively.
  2. I wont be carrying any solid food and will be carrying 4 x gel bottles filled with SiS Isotonic Gels to keep me fuelled up, plus a couple of extras wherever I can squeeze them in.
As usual I wont be taking any food or water from the checkpoints and will be totally self-sufficient, unless something goes wrong of course.
Due to the low temperature I will also be making a couple of changes to my gear as follows:
  • Winter running tights instead of shorts or Ronhill Tracksters.
  • Buff wrapped around my wrist.
  • Ultra lightweight Ronhill gloves
  • Ear warmer or lightweight beanie
  • Gore windproof jacket instead of my usual pertex affair. it is a bit heavier, but if I get cold and have to walk then the extra warmth will be more than worth it.
I’ll also be aiming to finish in around six+ hours. This is the first race that I haven’t got someone coming with me and I’m planning  on taking it fairly easy right from the start. We’ll see how that goes.
If you are running on Saturday then I wish you the best of luck, whatever the course and hopefully you will find some of the above useful.



  1. […] events then there are links below to my other reviews below. The preview for the Dorset event is here. Ultimately they are very tough events of slightly more than standard distance in some amazing […]

  2. […] events then there are links below to my other reviews below. The preview for the Dorset event is here. Ultimately they are very tough events of slightly more than standard distance in some amazing […]

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