Dan Lawson Intro – Ultra-Running

Dan Lawson Spartathlon Team - Reflex Nutrition

I am going to use this blog to introduce myself and especially my sport to those people who may not know too much about Ultra Running. Basically Ultra Running is any race or distance over a marathon and is growing rapidly in popularity all over the world.

Some of the most iconic races such as the Comrades Marathon in South Africa (89k) or the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in France (161k including 10,000 metres of ascent) attract thousands of runners each year not everyone makes it to the finish though!

I tend to specialise in distances a little bit further than the 26.2 mile marathon, concentrating on races around 150 miles in duration as well as 24 hour races and it’s within this discipline that I am lucky enough to represent Great Britain.

With most of my races taking between 20 – 28 hours there really is no place to hide. You need to get everything right training, diet, mental state, race nutrition, rest … the list goes on and if you have not quite managed to nail all of these, at some point in the race you are going to get found out. I call it a zonk ! You can be running quite smoothly till 18 hours in and then all of a sudden your body will kind of give up, maybe you haven’t taken enough fuel on board or you trained too hard before the race whatever it is the next 6 hours if the race become hellish.

Over the next few months I will be looking at each of these variables in more depth, starting with my diet and sharing with you, after a lot of experimenting what I find works for me. Enabling me to cope with a training week of around 140 to 160 miles and to perform in races.

This season I have focused on two A races I suppose you could call them. The first was the 24 hour World Championships in Turin held in April. My build up to this involved a winters warm weather training in India where I ran and won all my training races a 24 hour, 100k and then a 100 miler across the salt desert in Western Gujurat.

The World Champs themselves were both successful and unsuccessful for me. Our team won both the World and European Gold Medals, the first time Great Britain

had ever achieved this feat, however in my own race I had a zonk! I managed 242 km in the 24 hours and that placed me 22nd, all good though, I know next year in the European’s I can go much further.

I am now building towards my next  A race, the 153 mile Spartathlon from Athens to Sparta in Greece. I am already feeling much stronger having put more work into getting the variables right. Two weeks ago I ran the 145 mile Grand Union Canal Race from Birmingham to London fuelled predominantly by the Reflex Nutrition Edge drink. Hoping to just duck under 24 hours I managed to complete it in 22.16 shaving 3 ½ hours of the previous course record.

It’s going to be hot and humid in Greece and I am still waiting for the summer to kick in here, so next month I will travel to Barcelona for four weeks of hot and hilly training in preparation.

During my training month and sun tanning on the beach I will pen another short blog about my diet, how I eat completely raw for a year and a half, then turned vegan before quite recently switching to the amazing Paleo diet of which I am currently reaping the benefits of.

May the joy be with you and happy training.


James Phillips

Founder of Reflex Nutrition in 1996. James Phillips has arguably more first-hand knowledge with regard to the manufacture and design of whey protein and sports nutrition products than anyone in the industry today. There is little this man does not know about supplements during his 20 years in the business.

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