Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Brooks Ghost 7 London Marathon - Running Shoe - REVIEW

 I was lucky enough to Win a pair of Brooks Ghost 7 London Marathon Running Shoe's a while back, this is how I've got on with these distinctive shoes.

First Impressions

Nice shoe out the box the fact covered in red telephone box's for a pattern is a bit of fun, the shoes when put on are as they say for neutral runners. I have low arches so I did stick an insole with high arch support in and found them comfortable enough.

Field Test

These are a road shoe and I've used them on a few runs now and run/circuit sessions comfortable shoe and reasonable cushioning in them too, I have run in shoes that have felt 'faster' but these are good as a mileage shoe and the cushioning is good so those who have problems with impact in their running might like them as they absorb shock well.


I do like these shoes and personally I'd use them as training shoe rather than for say short distance events where its all about speed, although if the distance of an event was high (marathon) they would provide a comfortable ride.

Gareth (TheTryAth)

Brooks specs

Product Details

Best For:

  • Surface: Road Running
  • Category: Neutral Running Shoe ideal for runners with normal pronation
  • Arch Height: Ideal for medium to high arches

Benefits Include:

  • BioMoGo DNA Midsole provides adaptive cushioning
  • Heel-to-midfoot Segmented Crash Pad allows smooth transitions
  • Omega Flex Grooves provide flexibility while maintaining cushioning
  • Moisture-management mesh upper helps feet stay cooler and dryer


  • Weight: 10.4 oz
  • Heel-to-Toe Offset: 12 mm
  • Style: 1101681D413

Monday, 29 June 2015

Staying safe on the trails and Mountains -Lifesystems - Gear Review

 This post is a mix of a Gear review and also a gentle reminder to stay safe on the trails and mountains, this time of year lots of people get out there many for first time. It is nice to have all the new shiny, flash gear of new running shoes/boots, waterproofs and warmers and Hydration gear but its worth spending a little money on gear for if anything goes wrong not just for you but maybe you might come across someone else who needs it!

I'm not going write a full list here of what I carry (that's for another post) but 2 things if your out for any length of time especially in remote conditions are an emergency Blanket/Bag and a first aid kit. I've just updated mine so thought I'd write this post.

First Aid Kit

I've just updated my small first aid kit I carry on long runs or on the mountains to a Lifesystems Pocket first aid kit it costs £10.99. I chose this as has most bits you'll need in emergency in a sturdy case plus enough space in the case to pop in and other bits I may want add.
 I'm very pleased with the kit, size is what I wanted and the contents seems quality not cheap stuff going fail when you need it! some of the cheaper kits out there the actual contents are useless!. the contents list from Lifesystems is


  • 1 x Primary Care Leaflet
  • 1 x Tweezers
  • 1 x Scissors (5.5cm Blade)
  • 6 x Safety Pins


  • 1 x White Open Woven Bandage 7.5cm x 5m
  • 1 x Crepe Bandage 5cm x 4.5m

Preparations, Disposables & Tapes

  • 1 x Savlon Antiseptic Cream (15g Tube)
  • 5 x 4-Ply Gauze Swabs 5 x 5cm
  • 1 x Micropore Tape 1.25cm x 5m
  • 3 x Hygienic Cleansing Wipes


  • 1 x Low Adherent Dressing 5 x 5cm
  • 1 x Pack of Assorted Plasters.

Light & Dry Bivvy Bag

Next up is the Light and Dry Bivvy Bag, now this basically a reusable emergency thermal blanket but its been pre sealed into a bag form to give you a waterproof emergency shelter that retains body heat, I've used the more basic type thermal blankets in the past(space blankets as a lot call them), but I've decided to upgrade to one that can be reused and provide better cover as if things do go wrong with this you just get yourself in rather than trying mess about if in windy conditions and blanket blowing off you!

once arrived got it out and gave it once over, its large enough for me (6ft 14.7 stone) and although light weight seems robust enough as and emergency cover until help arrives. It comes in carry sack too.the Light and Dry Bivvy Bag bag costs £14.99, but again I have seen some of the cheap emergency blankets pretty much rip apart first time someone unfolds them, or if your cold the last thing you want do is try wrap a blanket around your self and try keep it there when blowing about in the wind!

In this country we are lucky to have some great emergency services and mountain rescue etc but you still need give yourself and maybe someone else a chance for them to get to you if things go wrong, and sometimes just make yourself more comfortable is you have a minor scrape or cut etc.

if you want more info both products and lots more choices a can be found at the Folks at Lifesystems Website: https://www.lifesystems.co.uk/

enjoy yourselves out there but stay safe!

Gareth (TheTryAth)

Friday, 26 June 2015

Runfest wales late entry! (I forgot) UPDATE

 guess what I totally forgot there is a local half marathon! so going turn up on the day and run it as long as get a place. will be ideal distance with marathon build up...

will let you know how I get on!

Gareth (TheTryAth)


Well due to not feeling great all day and few other problems did not make it to the events, tried a smaller run in the evening and felt terrible during run made it 6 miles and could hold in no longer and threw up in a hedge! the a 2 mile walk home feeling horrible....not feeling great tonight hope feel better tomorrow and next run :(


Thursday, 25 June 2015

New Competiton - Camelbak Podium Bottle - Guess my Time!

 With it being about a month till the Snowdonia Trail Marathon, I have decided to try running a fun little competition to Win a Camelbak Podium Bottle. The competition is going till the evening before the race 23:59 pm 25/07/2015 you can enter through the Gleam app.

<a class="e-widget" href="https://gleam.io/t4IeR/thetryath-get-some-bottle" rel="nofollow">TheTryAth get some Bottle!</a>
<script type="text/javascript" src="https://js.gleam.io/e.js" async="true"></script>

If anyone wants comment and try guess my time feel free, you do not have to guess to enter the competition though. :)

this is the prize.

good luck all

Gareth (TheTryAth)

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Double day - circuits VIPR,TRX and running

Hey folks
Well after hardly any sleep last night 2-3 hours down to anxiety and stuff kicking in, I decided work hard today on exercise to try get some feel good inputs, so went to circuits (VIPR &TRX) this morning and we got pushed really hard, luckily some of it was outdoor otherwise I'd have melted to the gym floor! so after cycling home I tried get myself together and I got out later for a 6 miler run ok not as long as I'd have liked but seriously I had nothing in the tank and my legs had no strength from all the mornings work...it felt a very long 6 miles and took me 51.49.

but I've really enjoyed the double I actually enjoyed both sessions and think at least once a week this will be something I'll do.

hope this finds everyone well, and run happy!
or do whatever but do it happy I hope :)

Gareth (TheTryAth)

Dragons Back Race 2015 I'm a fan!

I've been really hooked on the Dragons Back Race, the Race runs follows the mountainous spine of Wales from Conwy Castle to Carreg Cennen Castle, that's  approximately 300 kilometres long with 16,000 metres of ascent. It runs over 5 days  from 22/26 of June...its an awesome event and achievement and something I would love to do in the future.

Get involved I have! its been great to be a fan this year as they have a live feed update with map positions, race position and lots more. I've found it really motivating and an inspiration to watch these folks work hard out there.

You can catch all the action( and want to run it yourself next time like me!) at:

thanks all, I'm off to enjoy the sunshine :)

Gareth (TheTryAth)

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Suns out, Run out!

 Last week was better run wise I managed a couple of longer runs, and 8 miler and took it up to a 10 miler with trail running pack on Sunday. My pace is slower than I was running before injury but really not worried about that at moment just happy to be completing the miles.

Today was first run of this week and to be honest I did not feel good today mood was really down, so decided a shorter run(5mile) and alongside the River as it was a sunny day might help improve things....it did I am feeling a lot better, I've said it before but getting out around nature might not solve all problems but it DOES help! lots of people walking, jogging and cycling there too today and although its not chatting with people(anxiety is bad at moment so social contact has dropped too...easier to write here than actually talk to people) it just felt better to be part of something others are doing too.

Hope this finds all well, and hope you all can get out and enjoy nature too, does wonders for mental health :)

Gareth (TheTryAth)

Platypus SoftBottle (0.5 Litre) Review

 I recently received a Platypus SoftBottle and this is how I've got on with it :)

First impressions

The Platypus SoftBottle, is reusable Bladder/Bottle Hybrid design so you get the easier access to fill and access to water but the benefit of a bladder means it can be rolled up for storage in a pack or pocket after use or to carry as water container on the go when you need it. The SoftBottle I have is  0.5 Litre but its does come in a larger 1. Litre unit. There are options for a drink tube etc available as separate products.

Field Test

I decided to test this out first on a run, its easy to fill as once you take the drink cap off the opening is a reasonable size, once it is filled the bottle is very comfortable to carry as due to design moulds to your hand, also sat well in a pocket for same reason more comfortable than a standard bottle I found. The Bottle push pull cap is easy enough to drink from and thanks to the soft body you get the liquid very easy with a quick squeeze. Once the SoftBottle is empty I found it easy to roll up and stick in my pocket, one tip for this is carry an elastic band to keep it rolled tighter.


Great little bottle for Runners or those who want carry water without having to use a large Sports type noticeable Bottle. the option to roll up after or before use for storage is a winner.

Thanks for reading
Gareth (TheTryAth)

Full Product Info available at :Platypus

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Summer Fitness Challenge 'Puma Points' with The Running Bug and Puma

 spoke before about using social media to help get support and motivation if like me your not part of a running club (just not something I'm ready for with social anxiety issues), or then again even if your part of a club some extra support is always nice...

So this Summer the folks at +The Running Bug  are running fitness challenge with Puma called 'Puma Points', a chance to log work outs and they are going give out some prizes too. I have joined up and I'm in Team Energy .

Here is a LINK to the Running Bug site :)

The Running Bug site states

P.S I've just posted about my joining up these are my views, I am in No way affiliated with this challenge, so if your thinking of entering check terms and conditions and details at the Running Bug site.

Thanks for reading
Gareth (TheTryAth)

The Ultimate Direction Wasp Running Vest - Review

Hi as I'm moving into more trail/hill/mountain running and upping distance I finally purchased a Trail running vest/pack this is my thoughts on the Ultimate Direction Wasp Running vest/pack.

First Impressions

So firstly some reasons why I chose this pack, it is a fairly minimal design so less  body coverage by the pack, this is personal preference, also the front pockets on the straps are open type and positioned so could fit water bottle in them only bad point of the pack the pockets are smaller than some others and means you could fit maybe a 300ml bottle but not a 600ml :( (the problem with having to mail order) but its not too much of a problem buy I would have preferred the option for full size bottle storage.

You get the pack and it come with a 2 Litre water bladder, the pack carried this easy with plenty of storage as its volume is 8.9 Litre capacity. It has a main zip compartment which has separation for the water bladder. It has a small compartment on the top of the main pack which is zipped for secure storage(keys emergency items etc) and a large open pocket on the pack for quick storage of items like a jacket. on the straps each has an open pocket and underneath a secure pocket the left side is a stretch pocket great for a phone the right a more roomy pocket suitable for gels or quick access gear.

Field Test

I took the pack out today for first longish run a 10 miler on the Hills, I filled the water bladder to see how it carried the weight along with some bits of kit I take (waterproof jacket, first aid etc), one note is the Bladder it is easy enough to fill but takes a while as its a top seal bag and is sealed like a dry bag, not too much of an issue but for quick refilling I might replace the bladder for Race/Event conditions. The pack sits well and was very secure during my run, I did not have keep messing with fit once fitted comfortably it stayed in position and no hindrance on my natural running action from straps/pockets etc. The water access was easy enough the bite valve worked well and it can be stored either side for preference do to holding loops on both straps. The Pack gets big points for design it was a hot day yet did not feel any additional heating as to running without a pack.


The fit was excellent and pack storage is ideal, is has secure storage and can easily fit enough trail running gear to keep you safe and comfortable, drawbacks front pockets could have been slightly bigger and given the option of large bottle storage, and water bladder takes time to fill (but can easy be replaced with a quicker fill option)

4/5* down to the front pockets or would have been a 5*

I purchased my Wasp Pack for £80.99 from http://www.floodies.co.uk


Ultimate Direction

The Ultimate Direction Wasp Running Vest

For longer distance running, or when the forecast is changeable, you're going to need a slightly bigger running vest like the Wasp from Ultimate Direction. The 8.9 litre main back compartment holds an extra couple of layers, plenty of food and includes a 2 litre bladder. Pockets up front give fast access to small items, snacks and gels and are compatible with Body Bottles. Cool Wick Air Mesh fabric is used on all areas that may contact the body, for supreme chafe-free comfort. 
  • Weight: 460g
  • Capacity: 8.9 litres
  • Seamless back panel prevents abrasion and discomfort
  • Rear stretch mesh pocket and bungee
  • Height-adjustable, top sternum strap
  • 2 front multi-use stretch mesh pockets
  • 2 larger, front-zippered security pockets are phone compatible
  • 2-litre reservoir included:
    • The reservoir can removed and filled while leaving the hose threaded through the pack
    • Reservoir can be turned inside-out for easy cleaning
    • The opening automatically shuts off when the hose is removed
    • Smooth inside, for easier cleaning
    • Slightly smoother outside, to slip in and out of packs
    • BPA Free
    • Top closure is fold-over and slide-closed resulting in never leaking and opens fully for cleaning
    • Utilizes a Hypervalve Hose which incorporates an on/off bitevalve

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Montane Minimus Smock - Waterproof - Review

 In this this review I look at a recent purchase I treated myself too, as I want to spend more time on the mountains not just walking but moving more into trail and mountain running. I have needed to get some of the essential gear first up was new waterproof, I needed a light and breathable one suitable for trail running. I read various reviews on a number of brands and finally settled on the Montane Minimus Smock, I had also seen one of these in use and had been impressed at its weight and build quality.

First Impressions

Out the pack the Smock looks good I liked the brighter blue colour as easier visibility if folks need spot you, it comes with a stretchy mesh type bag/stuff sack for storage in a pack too. I ordered this in the size XL as that's my normal size and it fits fine although its worth noting the Smock is quite fitted. The fit is for movement though and no problems in moving arms around does not effect the Smocks fit.

Field Test

have taken the Minimus Smock out a few times now as living in Wales never a shortage of rain, I've used it running, on walks and also out on my bike, the Smock packs down to such a small size and its weight is so light its great in a pack. It was comfortable to run in as well no restriction in movement and its breathability was excellent so did not overheat the zip from the hood does come far down and the large front pocket acts as a vent if need expel a bit of heat build up. The big question of course the waterproof and this Smock really does perform keeps everything out and the hood fit stops anything getting in. I used it in some very wet area's (rainy day along the coast) and dry and comfortable the whole way.  This smock does come in jacket form but I preferred the Smock as from past experience I found the less zip the better when it comes to a waterproof.



The Smock is pricey I paid roughly £100 from Amazon (May, 2015) but it lives up to its requirements, if you want a very light small pack space waterproof its ideal.

thanks for reading

official spec available at :http://www.montane.co.uk/range/men/shell/minimus-smock
  • PERTEX® Shield + provides exceptionally high fabric breathability at 25,000 MVTR with a 20,000mm hydrostatic head
  • Micro-taped seams throughout increase breathable surface area
  • Articulated arms for reach high movement and tailored specifically to reduce hem lift
  • Stretch bound hood ensures a snug fit around the face and a low profile underneath a climbing helmet
  • Pre-elasticated rear hood gives a close fit for swift, effective weather protection
  • Mesh lined front bib pocket sized to fit large maps and featuring a YKK AquaGuard® zip
  • ½ length YKK AquaGuard® front zip with internal storm flap
  • Stretch bound cuffs and hem to prevent weather entry and heat loss
  • VIA reflective logo details
  • MONTANE® stuff sac perfect for storage on the move

Sunday, 14 June 2015

6 weeks to marathon day!

Hello world
 I managed run again today although I got twinge again in calf so stopped at 4 miles and rested it as calf not feeling right so rest day at least tomorrow. I have only 6 weeks to the Snowdonia Trail Marathon now! so really need be careful I need get stamina better and strengthen calf but not push its recovery as really want to run in the event...so steady it is...I'm not worried about finish time for Snowdonia as I do not have enough time to train properly to get best time I'm capable of I just want finish it ok!

Also going drop a few reviews on the blog soon including a waterproof jacket I treated myself too and a running pack I've saved for :)

The sunshine really does help with mood when I mange get myself out for a run and feeling low, if anyone thinking about starting now is a great time its light in the morning if you want run at quiet times too, if starting out its not how far or how fast so try not judge your self, its just about being out there and enjoying it :)

Hope everyone is out there enjoying the sun,
Gareth :)

Friday, 12 June 2015

6 a day...miles that is

Just thought I'd post as managed run again today only had a slight twinge in my calf (so resting tomorrow) but managed do a comfortable 6 miler was not worried about pace which came in at 0:50:55, just happy to up the miles need work on stamina if hope to complete Snowdonia trail marathon....but I am feeling batter for running:)

hope finds all well

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

4 miles of fun, recovering from injury :)

Hi all
 This last week my calf injury had eased off and last few days was walking pain free, so waited a few days and risked an easy run, got myself for a 4 miler today the calf was ok although my running gait felt awful but I think a lot of that was psychological as I was waiting for the injury to kick in again and waiting for calf pain...which did not happen!

I feel so much better today, mood and depression have been all over the place last few weeks and being injured and unable to run has really not helped, just being out for 32:51 for my 4 miler made such a difference I feel so much better and more positive today and grateful I could be out there running.

hopefully recover enough and in time to get some good events run soon.

wishing all well

Friday, 5 June 2015

Depression is like walking on trapdoors!

Hi all
 Had a bad night and feeling bad today, leg is still painful so cannot run need rest it, and personal Life not feeling great. So as struggling face things today decided write a blog post see if that helps get some things off my mind.

So the post title 'Depression is like walking on trapdoors' that's how it feels sometimes you get your self feeling a bit better but always scared trapdoor will open up and drop you down. And sometimes they do :( . I spoke to a therapist about this and they said being aware of the things that drop you down is one stage eventually you walk around the trapdoors...I think sometimes I do now but some days and today they still catch me. It can be a thought about myself or my future...a memory of the past all these things can get me.

I'm going to spend the rest of today mentally trying climb back out, spend some time reading the therapy self help and some of the athletes and positive people I follow on social media.

Fighting depression is tiring and frustrating, but at least now I do have better days so things are getting better...hell I've spent months not leaving the house in the past!

this is an honest post...this blog is not just about gear reviews, the main reason is I want to feel better to see more positives in life and running and exercise does help that, hope my leg fully heals soon.

wish you all well, if anyone reading this is feeling bad too then there are people you can speak too the Folks at MIND and other charities are very helpful, and sometimes easier I've found to start speaking to someone outside your normal family/friends circle if find it hard to let people know how you feel.

thanks for reading

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Divoom Voombox Travel Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker - GEAR REVIEW

 In this review I slightly different piece of Gear from my items I normally review, but as you guys are aware I do like my outdoors gear and I do like entering competitions and for once the two came together and paid off! :) I was lucky enough to win a Divoom Voombox Travel Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker from the kind folks at +Maplin Electronics Ltd and this is my review.

First Impressions

Ok so first of the Speaker is about the size of a large donut,health and safety warning do not try to eat it! as would be very bad for your health and I doubt it would be very tasty...the speaker has a robust loop you can attach to your gear the loop is a Karabiner type so can be snapped onto bag straps etc

The speaker has 4 buttons Power and Call Buttons and Volume Up/Down (if held down these skip a track forwards or backwards), power is micro USB so easy to connect up.

Set up is quick and easy standard Bluetooth hold till light flashes and find with your music device.
The volume is impressive and as the speaker is double sided to provide a separate Bass you really get a lot from a small unit, power will hold for up to 6 hours use from a full charge too.

I tried the Speaker connected to a phone and a Laptop and the sound quality was impressive from both, the clip is a great idea too as makes the speaker more versatile in using outdoors. final note is build quality this speaker is really meant for outdoors and that shows in its build its the most solid outdoor speaker I've seen and used, so great as an indoor speaker for us clumsy types too!

price is £39.99 at Maplin at the moment and although mine was a prize must admit if I lost it I would replace with same unit out my own pocket.

thanks for reading


Product details

Divoom Voombox Travel Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker

• Wirelessly stream audio to the speaker from any Bluetooth-equipped device
• A passive radiator generates impressive bass for its size
• Rugged design, splash resistant, and built for the outdoors
• Built-in Li-ion battery provides up to 6-hours of playback time
• Powerful Built-in microphone for hands-free calls

Rugged portable wireless speaker

Divoom Voombox-Travel is an ultra- portable wireless Bluetooth speaker with microphone for wireless calls. Rugged,splash resistant design makes it a good choice for the outdoors. Latest 4.0 Bluetooth technology lets you wirelessly stream audio from tablets smart phones and other Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Driver size: 2" full rang x 2" passive radiator
Output power: 4W
Signal to noise ratio: =75dB
Battery Capacity: 550 mAh
Battery Voltage: 3.7 V
Battery Charge Time: 2-2.5h hours
Wireless Range: Up to 10 meters
Bluetooth compliant: Bluetooth V4.0
Bluetooth profile support: A2DP Stereo
Talk Time: Up to 6 hours
Microphone sensitivity: -40 db

Monday, 1 June 2015

Tough Mudder Midlands - 2015 - Event Review

 Well I made it to the Tough Mudder Midlands event, and me and my injured calf managed to jog  and walk/limp my way around, thanks to the family members I was running with kindly slowing their pace for me.

So time to review it! on arrival your through pretty quick after I.D checks (you DO need photo I.D) then its time to put on the multitude of sticker/wristband/chest running numbers which you lose most of in the first one or two obstacles..the  finally just to complete the look write your number on your face...now feeling part of the event wait to get in a running block.

the running blocks are timed every 20 minutes so do not have to wait too long, then a warm up, and your off...to a wall obstacle and then stop for a health and safety talk..then the Tough Mudder proper begins.The run itself is not too bad I managed jog most even with a painful calf, its not about time its about getting around and enjoying the course.


The Obstacles vary and as per the name you can expect Mud, Water and climbing, I'll not go through every Obstacle but some of the main ones:
  • Walls! plenty of them but everyone helps each other (strangers give each other a lift here too) so do not worry too much.
  • Arctic Enema! there are plenty of water Obstacles wading/swimming across or falling of floating pads to cross but the Arctic Enema is special filled with Ice you go in off a slide so a rapid entry(expect possible Ice-cream headache!) then have to duck back under...you'll come out cold but soon feel warm on the jog.
  • Mud Mile- a slippery series of trench's filled with water but more fun as the mud is clay..plenty of slips slides struggling up the banks, watch out the though few sharp stones stick out so expect some scratches/cuts.
  • monkey bars basically you'll fall off and get wet..few make it as bars are so coated in wet slippery mud its easy to miss a grip. lots look and just jump in the water :)
  • Electroshock a run through a tangle of wires giving you some nice zaps! made more fun as the ground is boggy mud.
I'll probably update with some more Obstacles there were over 20! if anyone wants to ask about a specific one let me know.


On the finish you get your Legendary Orange headband, a t-shirt, a Flannel(towel) a snackbar, water and a bottle of Cider. then time to scrape off the Mud there are some cold hosepipes arranged to rinse off and plenty of other stuff to do(heated hot tubs etc)


We all agreed we would do it again, and I'd love to run again with a pain free leg and really enjoy it all.


Images coming soon as I get them from the Spectators who watched us! :)

thanks for reading