Deciding to run the Kepler Challenge or Luxmore Grunt can be quite a daunting feeling! For some of you it's a once in a lifetime experience. For others it's one of many events you plan to run. You are all unique and have different ways of preparing yourself for your own personal Challenge. But whatever your experience of mountain running, there are some common things for all runners to consider. Here are some tips that we've gathered from over 30 years of organising these events.
The most important tip for making the most of your own personal challenge is to have FUN. Have fun training for the event and have fun completing your challenge!
What should I wear?
Running the Kepler Challenge is not about making a fashion statement! It's about making sure that you have the appropriate gear for all the conditions the Kepler Track can throw at you. For your safety, we have put together a list of compulsory gear for both the Kepler Challenge and the Luxmore Grunt which must be carried at all times during the event. Our partner Montane is able to supply all of your clothing needs for the event.
Given the changing terrain along the track, layers are important for flexibility. Wear clothing that fits well but doesn’t chaff will make you feel more comfortable on race day. The same goes for your running pack. Work out how to put your compulsory gear, food and hydration in your pack so you always know where it is and can be ready to have your gear checked at Luxmore Hut. Our partner Ultraspire has a range of packs for mountain running.
We recommend that you train in the same gear that you intend to wear for the event. Trying out those nice new trail running shoes on race day is probably not a good idea! With so many different trail running shoes on the market we suggest you seek out specialist advice on the best footwear for you. We have teamed up with Altra to provide good deals on footwear.
Whether you plan to complete your Kepler Challenge in five hours or over ten hours, you will need to give careful consideration to sustaining your energy levels throughout the event. It is important to learn to eat and drink at the same time as running and to work out what food and hydration products work best for you. Click here to get more information on satisfying your nutrition needs whilst training and running the event. And check out the products available from our nutrition sponsors - Pure Sports Nutrition and Em's Power Cookies.
There are eleven check points around the course, including the finish line providing hydration and nutrition.
The running terrain
The Kepler Track is a well-used and well-maintained track with long gravelled sections as well as more challenging steep, rocky sections. Parts of the track wind through mature beech forests with tree roots to trip up the unsuspecting runner. After rain, or in snow, the track can become slippery and it's not uncommon for runners to take a tumble. We recommend that you do some of your training off-road so that you are better prepared for the conditions on the Kepler Track.
Given the nature of the events and the training schedule for most runners, there is always a risk of sustaining an injury. The most common injuries are twisted ankles or knees. Muscle strains and cramps are also not uncommon so we cannot stress enough the importance of good stretching (before and after running) and training as a good way to minimise injuries. If you do sustain an injury and need to withdraw from the event, please email us as soon as possible - someone on the waitlist will be grateful for the place!
Kepler Challenge Training
Running 60km is not something you undertake lightly. It's not the sort of event you can just turn up for and knock off on the day without having done some kind of training. Click here to get more information specific to the Kepler Challenge.
Luxmore Grunt Training
Some of you may well just turn up on the day to grunt your way up to Luxmore Hut and back, but to improve your chances of a good time and reduce your potential for injuries we do recommend that you do some training. Click here for more information specific to the Luxmore Grunt.