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We recently caught up with James and Tonya our 2 winners of the 0 to 30 in 10 months competition. James and Tonya, who were both new to Ultra running (Tonya was new to running!) have been reflecting on their progress so far.

We ( Ian Loombe and Dave Taylor from the Dig Deep team) are very privileged to be a part of their journey with them and wish them all the best in their preparations!


After a rocky start to the year, due to illness and injury, my training is getting better, phew! Being a non-runner I feel like I’m on a huge learning curve, runners make it look so easy and it really isn’t! I have the mental attitude of an Olympic athlete, ready to get out there and go for it, but unfortunately that message doesn’t quite make it to the rest of my body and I’m still searching for the paramedics after a 5km Park Run!

I’m making sure I’m doing a mix of running and gym sessions throughout the week. I have a fab personal trainer at the gym I go to, who really puts me through my paces, helping me with my strength and stamina building. I’m having a whole new experience with food, its great trying new things out and I have a much more healthier food plan now. My hubby John sorts all my meals and snacks for me, he’s taken on the unofficial role of being my nutritionist and is brilliant! On the super plus side I’ve lost 10lbs in weight so far and have never felt healthier.

I’m trying not to freak out that the Intro is only 4 months away, eek! Both Dave Taylor and Ian Loombe have been really great and supportive and Dave’s training plan is keeping me focused, which is a huge help. I only seem to shop in sports stores now, my wardrobe is slowly getting full of running gear, never in my days would I have ever imagined that!


The training journey has been going well and I seem to be on the other side of a injury to my right leg, thanks to following some great advice from these guys and their 30 day program.

My longest run to date was out on Cannock Chase at the end of February, which was 11 miles and 1,600ft accent approx. The weather was terrible and I had to contend with gale force winds and blizzard conditions! Not pleasant, but good fun!! Happy to finish in 1hr 36mins! I had to navigate the route as well, having not been out in the area before.

I running on average 20-25 miles per week and starting to build on this now and soon expect to be running 30+ miles per week. Sure Dave will keep me in check with the mileage!

Now that I am running for longer distances I have started experimenting with different fuels on my runs. Not one for gels so have tried Cliff Bars and some real food alternatives such as flapjacks, but think these are more suited for a re-fuel post run. I am looking at alternatives now and will keep experimenting. Have mainly been drinking water, but also need to find a suitable sports drink to use during my runs and get used to fuelling with this.

I’ve achieved my faster ever 10k time on a local trail race, finishing in 40:05. Really pleased with this and is about 2 mins faster than my previous best time on a very similar course. So feel that the training is having a positive impact! My next challenge is the Cader Idris fell race on 16th May – I’m targeting under 2 hours for my finish time and if I manage this I will be very pleased!

Feel like I am on track for the race in August. Lots more miles to do, but with Dave’s plan and your support (Ian) I am confident that I will get a respectable finish time in the race! Enjoying my Salomon Speedcross 3’s, but I am still on the hunt for the shoes that I will wear for the race!