We caught up with George Rendall, ultra runner, London running community pioneer and new SOAR Ambassador to find out a bit more about him, his running and his UTMB dream.
George, tell us a bit about you and your running?
I started running more seriously in 2013 when I started training for Al Andalus Ultimate Trail (AAUT), a hot (>45 degrees) 5 day ultra in the Andalucian mountains. I finished 6th in the race, came home thoroughly dehydrated and ended up in hospital on a drip, but quickly recovered with a bug for trail running! Since then I've raced in more ultras around the UK, most recently a top-15 at Race to the Stones, and have started a run club called Mile 27 Run Collective in London, which is a lot of fun and also helps me get the miles in during the week.
So what does a typical training week look like at the minute?
Up until last week I was hitting 60-65 miles per week in preparation for Frankfurt marathon. Most of that was on roads and the Regent's Canal with some on softer ground. One session during the week was a speed session on the track & one a tempo session.
And how does this change when gearing up for an ultra?
I actually can't wait to get back to training for longer distances on the trails. The mileage will stay the same with a progressive increase, but the terrain and the weekend sessions will change. I'll load the weekend a bit more heavily with back to back runs on Sat and Sun - for example a minimum 15 miler on the Sat and then a 10 miler on the Sunday to get used to running on tired legs. Then the key for me is specificity of terrain, particularly on those longer weekend runs, so I'll try and get out of London when I can and recce race routes if possible. I've got my sights on next year being a big one and dedicating more time to training so I'm excited to get cracking - Transvulcania in May is a target race so I'll aim to get out to Spain in Feb/March for some training weeks out there.
Do you have a favourite race or one that particularly sticks in the memory?
The final 20km of AAUT were pretty memorable & probably the hardest thing I've ever done. It was the heat of the day, my legs were cramping having run 210km over the last 4 days with pretty tough elevation; crossing the line was pretty epic and an emotional moment given I was doing the event for charity! Some of the views across the mountains in the early mornings were superb as well.
What about a dream race, are there any in particular on your ‘bucket list’?
My dream race has to be UTMB [100 miles around Mont Blanc]. At 25yo I still harbour ambitions to do well at that race one day if I can string a good couple of years of training together..we shall see!
What’s your go-to pre-race meal?
I'll usually have a porridge with banana, maybe some jam on toast and a black coffee.
What about post-race, what’s your recovery or celebratory meal of choice?
I was driving back from Race to the Stones with my friend and fellow trail runner Jack Atkinson who was crewing me, we stopped off at a petrol station to pick up around 8 jam doughnuts and those went down very well. Sorry for the crumbs Jack.
Lastly, what’s your favourite bit of SOAR kit and why?
The Dual Fabric Tights are fantastic with the Base Layer a close second. The tights fit very well compared to other tights I've worn, the pocket is neatly positioned and they perform really well in wet and windy conditions.
Thanks George, see you soon and all the best with your training!