Interview With Udo’s Sponsored Neil Bryant Winner of the 9 Bar JOGLE Ultra race 2010

From: David Gunning
Subject: Udo’s Sponsored Neil Bryant wins the 9 Bar JOGLE Ultra race 2010

Some of you may not have heard of “Ultrarunning” – less of you would feel inclined to don your trainers and take up the sport! In fact this is, it seems, less a sport and more an adventure through dark valleys of painful limbs and powerful mental challenges. Ultrarunning is extreme! Ultrarunning is long….. long…… long distance running!

neil bryant Jogle winner 2010
Neil Bryant courtesy of Ultra Race

The latest feat of one of Britain’s best Ultrarunners has been to complete the “9Bar JOGLE Ultra” (not a dance but a run the length of the UK from John O’Groats to Lands End). The distance is covered in just 16 Days – that’s 860 miles running an average of 54 miles per day, EVERY day!

For such an endurance event, training and the right foundation of nutrients becomes even more critical than for regular running. That is why Neil Bryant – winner of this year’s race and one of Britain’s foremost Ultrarunners insists on including Udo’s Choice Ultimate Oil Blend in his diet.

After his success in completing this phenomenal achievement we interviewed Neil about his motivation, nutrition and training:

Have you always been a running enthusiast?
NB: Only relatively recently. I first took up running in 2006, my first race being the Cardiff marathon. My time was 2hrs 55mins which gave me a lot of confidence in my ability to run and drove me on to look for other challenges.

When did you do your first “Ultrarun”?
NB: My first Ultra was the Thames Ultra in February 2007 – a 50 mile run from Oxford to Henley which I completed in a time of 8hrs 13mins which put me 24th out of the 112 that finished.

Why do you push your body and mind so far when many people feel a “mere” marathon is a fabulous achievement?
I think I enjoy (usually!) pushing myself the way I do as I find that anything up to a marathon length seems to be very clinical and you tend to be chasing time and often being let down by under performance, whereas in an ultra, time is less important and each race is more of an adventure.

How often do you run, how many hours a week and how far every week do you run – do you have a set programme?
I usually run around 5-6 times a week and every three weeks I’d take the whole week off from running. I have a loose schedule to follow but firmly believe that the real talent is listening to your body. If I have a big day planned and I don’t feel I’ve recovered properly then I’ll cut the mileage accordingly. Mileage will be between 40 and 150 miles per week.

How do you prepare for something like the 9Bar JOGLE Ultra?
My approach was to get as much time on my feet without picking up injuries. A very fine balance indeed, but made lots easier by having my week off every 3 weeks. For the 3 weeks preceding the event I also did no training so my body was ready and rested for the challenge ahead.

What were the most difficult days during the 9Bar JOGLE Ultra? How did you overcome/fight through them?
Day 4 was the first day where it started to be extremely painful. Crawling out of bed every morning after this became increasingly difficult, both physically and mentally. The further I got though, the more intense my drive became to complete it. Definitely a case of mind over matter!

What were the lowest and highest points for you during the race?
I think the lowest point was probably the penultimate day. I think I knew that I’d done it and that nothing could now stop me, so my body seemed to close down taking with it all motivation. It was a long tough day! The high point obviously and without a doubt was the final short stage. 10 miles! It felt great to finish such a monster of a race and of course to win it, though all three of us that finished the race were winners.

How important is nutrition for the Ultrarunner?
Nutrition is key to the Ultrarunner as such a high volume of training is done so everything needs to be perfect, as, if you are lacking in any nutritional area, Ultrarunning will bring it to the forefront very quickly.

You include Udo’s Choice Ultimate Oil Blend in your diet. When did you first come across it?
I first came across Udo’s Oil after reading Udo’s book, ‘Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill’ at the end of 2009.

Udos choiceWhat impact has Udo’s Choice had on your training and competition?
I’ve especially noticed that I can add more volume to my training as it helps me to recover more quickly. I also seem to suffer less from colds which is a definite bonus for any athlete. Competition wise, I’ve noticed an improvement in my strength on hills too which again is so important for these types of races.

Now you’ve won the 9Bar JOGLE Ultra, what is your next race/challenge?
This year, I’m entered into the Lakeland 100 and Spartathlon in Greece which is a 246 km race. In 2012 there will be a Trans-Europe race – 4,000km in 64 days……!! I need to think about this one…!

Is the 9Bar JOGLE Ultra the toughest test you have put yourself through? If not, what is?
I have to say that the JOGLE is the toughest thing I have ever done. I didn’t believe that I’d finish ‘til I’d finished the penultimate day! The home of multiday running news and events.

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