Last year I pulled out because of a knee issue that I did not want to aggravate before UTCT 100km. This year, however, there were no concerns – apart from a foot pain, jaaaa that foot. Anyway this was not going to be a race per say, more like an adventure and a great opportunity to train for the 3 Peak Challenge. So no Stress.

Lining up with some fellow awesome trail buddies; PJ and Jamo, I go some great advice and some comfort knowing that I could follow someone if I got lost. There were a great bunch of peeps, just a small group, almost as if this was merely a little get together training run. Which it was.

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Foot Pain

Phillip Gibb  —  September 28, 2017 — Leave a comment

The journey has been downhill for the last few weeks after TMC, agggg. A callus had developed, albeit small, under the ball of my right foot. It was rather insignificant until I feared the worst after a tough up and down training run. Initially I though STRESS FRACTURE, then when the panic subsided and calm returned I realised that it was nothing more then a possible pinched nerve. The pinched nerve is most likely a symptom of my job that required a lot of sitting.

After a consultation at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa it was suggested that I adjust my sitting habits. Sitting all day with my feet pulled up was most likely the cause. So lets see what happens.

As Murphy’s Law would have it, I repeated that same run and  caused a different pain in the ball of my left foot. HA HA HA. So I have been resting a little and it seems to have abated. Let us hope that the Hout Bay Triple Trouble is just over a week will be A OK.


until then …


[Photo Credit: paulaltobelli]

This was going to be the race where I was going to apply all that I had learned about banting and ketosis. I got it wrong again. I do know where I went wrong, so next time there will be a few adjustments, that next time being the Hout Bay Triple Trouble.

The week before I ran the start and end parts of the race to get a feel for what the reverse route would be like. That was a truly eye opening experience because it was hard and because I suffered for a few days after that with DOMS; completely unexpected considering that I was accustomed to that kind of elevation gain. One thing was for sure was that I was not under any false illusions, or was I?

At registration I asked to be placed in A batch because I thought I has a shot a the vets podium, ha ha ha ha. Continue Reading…

Soooooo, taking all the lessons I had learned from my previous experience with the One Tonner, I bombed again. Again I tried to go without any carbs, again I go to a point where I just could not any more. Truth is, I used it as an excuse downgrade to the 30km, ha ha ha

Anyway, the Beast is a great run that is extremely difficult because of the technical terrain and the amount of elevation gain, I thing that Trevor from Energy Events is a sadist – lol, but it make for an epic challenge.

My strategy was to attempt to keep my Heart Rate down in the Aerobic zone which was near impossible because even walking up the steep inclines was already taxing. Maybe I can keep my HR down if I train more with that in mind. The MAF method is something that can teach you, over time, to run at faster and faster efforts while keeping the Heart Rate in the Aerobic zone. Up to now I had not even tried it out, so my body was not even ready for such an attempt.

Once again I ran without any carbs, in future the plan will be more balanced so that I can have a small portion in my system that I can use on demand when there is no way to stay aerobic.

There is a point in the race where you can slip down Platteklip and change from a 50km to a 30km, it is too bad that they have that because it became a easy decision for me to opt out. Arrrrg, but that in itself is another lesson.

Next up for me is the 2017 Table Mountain Challenge where I feel that I am better prepared physically and nutritionally. I plan to follow a more balance approach that I document once I have completed the experience.

A few months after I started the whole banting thing in 2015, I decided that it was time for me to put this to the test. So why not try it out in a race? I mean really, where was my mind?  Anyway, it was not like I was going to win; banting or not. Who has ever tried something new in a race? And blown? Catastrophically? The nutritional plan that I was going to follow was not thought out at all. Here is what happened…

Mistake Number 1

Up to that point my nutrition was up to scratch, so I had thought. Right now I am watching my macros meticulously, back then I really had no idea. The bad stuff was off the plate; sugar, cakes etc, but without knowing it I was never in ketosis. Never was I going to reap the benifits of fat burning, even though that was the plan.

Remedy : I should have been tracking my food and making sure that I was sticking to my plan. When you are trying to cut out carbs, it is not easy because there are so many things that have carbs without you knowing it.

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On first look I am thinking, what? I can’t run in those, I’ll trip over my own feet. To be honest, I still think that is what will happen if I use their trail shoes on technical terrain. Take that with a pinch of salt because it is come from me, a very strong proponent on ‘barefoot’ shoes like Vivobarefoot. That is what you must bear in mind when you read the rest of this entry.

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Who has not heard about Banting and ketosis? Who has actually applying it successfully in training and in races? I know I have not, but I am trying again. Twice before I tried and twice I failed, dismally. So, over the last few weeks I have been seriously strict about my diet and over the next while I will continue to test my limits while in ketosis. Actually I have no way to test if I am in ketosis, currently. Over the next few post I am going to detail where I went wrong before and how I believe that I am going to get it right for the Table Mountain Challenge in less than a month.

First, what is ketosis and why be concerned about it? Continue Reading…

Ultra Trail Cape Town is this really insane event that has 35km, 65km and 100km route options. Do not left the 35km fool you; the amount of elevation gain packed in this mini monster can reduce you to tears. The 100km was focus for a long time, I had volunteered the year before so I could get a discount on the entry. It is seriously challenging technically as well as distance wise, but most of all (because of SANPARKS restrictions) the cut-offs are more insane. It actually make for a really worth while challenge. If you happen to get under 15 hours, well then, you are special.

The race takes place early December, a great way to finish the year and set you up for a well earned rest over the Christmas time. This year it takes place on the 2nd December. If you decide to run, then definitely join the Recce runs; it is quite amazing that they organize those runs. If you decide on the 100km then don’t believe the 50km per week minimum, I think it should be 75 with a whack load of climbing more than once a week for at least 6 months, scary stuff, respect!

Ok, down to my experience …

Spending pretty much of the year with the 100km UTCT as my one and only focus, I was naturally scared, excited and utterly delusional. It is quite possible that I had invested too much in this one race, especially emotionally. This was going to be almost double my average mileage and my longest run, but that was not going to deter me, in fact it seemed to me that a weekly mileage of 50kms was pretty much acceptable since I had supplemented that with a little bit of cycling and regular gym sessions; not to mention that I was couched weekly and followed a plan. Granted, I twisted my ankle quite badly 4 weeks before, so I did not follow the plan perfectly.  And ….. I failed.

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I previously had a blog where I detailed my journey to Ironman SA called Journey to Iron, which I completed, yayyy. Last year I endevoured to continue a new journey to Ultra Trail Cape Town 100km, which I detailed in a blog by the same name as journeytoultra. Unfortunately I failed, completly only (albeit greatly respectable) 65km. Today, marks the start of a new journey, not the UTCT (although I hope to finish that in 2018) but the Ultra Trail Drakensburg.


It is only a start, there is much to be decided upon, and agreed upon – especially from my family because ultimately they will be supporting me.


So welcome, and I hope we can learn from each other.