Preparation is underway in the Chamonix valley for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc 2014 - just 10 days to go! The race always creates a unique buzz around the whole Mt Blanc massif, not just in France - but also along the winding trails in Italy and Switzerland. Clare Abram of ultrarunning.com has written a good intro article on preparing to run this epic race - to read it click here
Ailsa and Jamie's garden at Lavacchio in the Garfagnana of Tuscany is truly stunning! The grounds of the agriturismo are a wonder at that this time of year, with olive trees, vines, lavender, fig and plum trees. These last few days we've enjoyed gorgeous weather, making for a really relaxing time. We'll be back in autumn for some amazing hiking here in the Apuane Alps, just before the olive harvest. Read more on our Wild Tuscany trips in September-October here.
Gretchen Reynolds has a good piece out today in the New York Times 'Well' section in which she interviews Mark Verstegen, the team fitness trainer for Germany's World Cup winning football team. Interestingly, his appointment was initially met with scepticism, but the results obviously speak for themselves. Here's a taster of his insight into improving your fitness:
Tracks and Trails caught up with lucky Torq competition winner Emma Attwood after returning from a week's trail running with us in the Chamonix valley to find out how it all went...
Kirsty Reade, Run247 columnist and Berghaus Trail Running Team member, reports from the team's training camp in Chamonix - guided by our very own Julia Tregaskis-Allen. Read more on Kirsty's week in the Chamonix valley here.
Interested in improving your performance on a trail camp in the Chamonix valley - the new Mecca for trail running? Click here for for more info.
Tonight it's the World Cup Final in Rio, bringing to a close a month of frantic footballing action. Interestingly, aside from the skills and tactics, the finals have shown how sports medicine and, in particular, on the field advances in treatment, continue to push forward athletes' performance. A common injury amongst the players (and other athletes that high-speed stride, such as in basketball, baseball, marathons or even brisk walking) are hamstring strains and tears.
Thus news from Denmark on the advent of the Nordic hamstring exercise proves welcome. The New York Times has recently published a good article on the development of this stretching regime and a study of its benefits by the Sports Orthopaedic Research Centre in Copenhagen. Read more here.
Training at altitude over 1,800m has the ability to boost oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Even if you've only just a week to spare, training in the mountains can provide both physical and mental benefits that will last for several weeks after you return to a lower altitude. There's a good article on how altitude training can boost performance on the Runner's World site - click here to read more.
Wow, what a start to the summer season
450km's / 14,250m of Ascent and Descent
That's my training log and 'office diary' for the past five weeks! Some people's idea of hell maybe, but for a keen trail runner and mountain leader I guess you could say it's 'living the dream'. I'm lucky to be able to say that everyday the view from my office changes.