6633 Arctic Ultra: January training update


Screen Shot 2019 01 31 at 11.17.26

As we enter February, the training for the 6633 Arctic Ultra is really picking up pace, with some serious mileage getting clocked! Here's January's update and some notes on the next training block and decisions that have been made (still some more need to be made) before setting off to Canada on the 3rd March.     

January's training hours break down as:

  • Running (pure running): 1hr 
  • Hiking: 92hr 
  • Strength: 8hr
  • Misc (research, testing equipment, planning food): 15hr 30mins

From the training stats you can see that compared to last month the pure running has dropped to almost nothing, the hiking specific training has increased from just over 52 hours to 92 hours and the strength training has increased from 2 hours in December to over 8 hours this month. From this you can see that the main focus is now on the long hikes (whilst testing and using different clothing, food & equipemnt), trying to simulate long days and lots of 'time on feet'. Some of the key fitness training sessions have been:

  • Bigger back-to-back training days
  • A 24-hour training day, covering 56 miles of hiking over 8 distinct periods during the day (followed by bivvying out straight after the session)
  • Strength training has changed to more core and single legs movements

I've also spent quite a bit of time finalising my systems and strategies for the event, especially surrounding choices of food, hydration, clothing and equpiment. Here's a very quick snapshot of the decisions made and a few reasons why: 

  • Food: I'll be doing a separate blog on the food I'll be using whilst in the Arctic (with a full breakdown of calories), but I have tested most foods and I will definitly be using FirePot dehydrated meals, Primal Pantry bars, Huel, jelly sweets (Haribo, jelly babies, etc), nuts & chocolate, Pringles, cheese, cold meats (salami, jerky, biltong, etc) and Skittles. Yes, I need to get loads of calories down my neck! 
  • Hydration: I'll mention hydration in more depth in the 'food blog' (mentioned above) but essentially my hydration will be made up of electrolyte and energy drinks (if they don't freeze), Huel, coffee and hot chocolate. 
  • Clothing: I've now tried and tested all of my clothing and I'm very happy with the range of clothing that I've got available to me. For the extreme and variable  conditons I need lots of different layers, from base layers to mid layers to outer jackets, but also lots of layers of gloves (up to 3 layers), socks (up to 3 layers) hats, balaclavas and trousers; I have it all and am really pleased with the combinations available to me. 
  • Equipment: I've tested my cooking equipment, footwear, nanospikes (small spikes that fit on my hiking boots), goggles, headtorches, etc and am really pleased with those items, the one area I need to work on is my pulk (my sled). I need to pack it (and repack it) and make sure I know exactly where everything is (my food, my medical kit, cooking equipment, sleep system, spare clothes, emergency items, etc) as I can't be faffing around at -40'c trying to find something, I need to be able to put my hand on that item straight away. I will do this many times, over and over to practise in the next 3 or 4 weeks, so I have this nailed before heading out to Canada. 

Screen Shot 2019 01 31 at 11.17.03I met up with Simon Webb (from All or Nothing Events) last week to talk about medical considerations and the medical equipment I might need for the Arctic environment. Simon is ex-Army and teaches First Aid courses, so is perfectly placed to brief me on potential emergency sitautions and how to reslove them; he even provided me with a complete medical pack providing all the neccessary first aid equipment I will need when in the Arctic. Many thanks Simon.   

I have a few things left to purchase, but these are mainly duplicate items (for some items I will need several of the same thing) and some more food care supplies (Fixomull tape, KT tape and 2 Toms blister powder) but I'm almost ready to go. The only thing left is another 3 weeks of 'big' training, plus more practise on my systems and lots of packing and repacking my pulk. 

If you missed the first few blog posts in this 6633 Arctic Ultra series, check out the blog post "6633 Arctic Ultra.....setting the scene" (you can check it out HERE) this post lets you know what I'm doing and why. In the meantime, watch this space for the next 6633 Arctic Ultra training update (there will be one or two more before I leave for the Arctic) and if you have any questions about the 6633 Arctic Ultra, the training required for such an epic event or the specialist equipment required, please send them over to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.