/ General Welsh 3000s advice

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philluu on 05 Jul 2018

I would love to be a position where I have a solid chance of completing the Welsh 3000s next summer.

I currently only really do Parkruns and the odd run 4/5miles into work, but cycle a lot and like to think I have decent overall fitness.

If you were me what would you concentrate most on? Follow one of the road marathon plans here in London or really concentrate on 'fell'-type running experience even if this means less running overall?

I can't get back as much as I would like but would completing a run of each of the three sections over the next year be enough mountain specific running for example?

Thanks for any advice...

ianstevens - on 05 Jul 2018
In reply to philluu:

a) Do you want to "complete" them or do in a certain time? If its the former, just rock up and walk. It's really not that hard if you have a decent overall level of fitness. Some people take one day, some two, some 3.

b) Get out in the hills and go running. If you can't, roads are better than doing nothing but time in the hills is invaluable. If you don't live near big hills like those in Snowdonia, get yourself to your local lump and do laps, laps and more laps of it.

c) No, you would need to do more if you wanted a decent/fast time. But better than nothing!

philluu on 05 Jul 2018
In reply to ianstevens:


Well I would like to run them within the usual 24 hour limit - which unless you are a slow runner I guess is more about the completing part than the time limit.

OK, so instead of a set distance flat run try to get as much ascending/descending time in as possible.

steveriley - on 05 Jul 2018
In reply to philluu:

Hill time. Parkrun is pretty much the polar opposite of the strengths you’ll need

Find your nearest hills and lap them. Find your nearest trails that are difficult underfoot and do them. I wouldn’t think you’d need to recce it to death but time in Snowdonia will definitely pay off. I did it in 2 halves (ish) first. Ogwen out and back of the Carneddau and Snowdon, Elidir Fawr and the Glyders back to Pen y Pass. 3 week’s apart and full winter conditions and then boiling sun, coincidentally. Nothing will prepare you for the misery of the flog up Elidir Fawr, maybe stare at a white wall for an hour, wearing a nettle shirt? Get your nutrition sorted - that will make or break, so do some long events or other stuff where you need to manage yourself and work out how your stomach works. Enjoy, it’s a massive tick and such a natural, challenging round.

Post edited at 13:37
birdie num num - on 05 Jul 2018
In reply to philluu:

No need to run in order to complete it within 24 hours.

Travel light but don't skimp on hydration

ben b - on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to philluu:

Agree no need to run if going for sub 24. We walked all but the last few (trotted a bit in the end as getting dark). Just don’t stop much and keep eating and drinking (several lunches needed).

Ron Turnbull's book is excellent reading. Have fun - a great mountain day



Mr Fuller on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to philluu:

It's a long day out and that affects how much clothing you need. First time I did the 3000s I got heat exhaustion and couldn't see straight and was a total mess. The second time I was running in appalling conditions and got hypothermia worse than I've ever had before or since and it took me about a week to feel normal again. So make sure you've got the kit you need.


Also, if going south to north, summit Yr Elen before Carnedd Llewelyn by traversing round. That saves about twenty minutes. There's a small trod to follow.

philluu on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to ben b:

I got brought that book actually which is where this kind of started.

I am keen to run it as the guy who wants to join me is a runner (albeit never in the mountains). If you were a very average runner would you walk up the steep parts or is it best to keep running as much as possible?

Heard Elidir Fawr is not pleasant, which is why I want to definitely run that before as they never seem quite as bad the second time round!

Thanks for the advice, managing my stomach in particular is something I had not thought of at all.

Michael Hood - on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to philluu:

Walk uphills and jog the level and downhill bits as much or as little as you feel comfortable with.

But, get lots of practice in at running downhill otherwise your quads will get trashed (my legs were jelly coming off Drum) and you will have to come down the stairs the next day facing inwards

That's my experience from many years ago when my running was doing the occasional half marathon in under 1:35 pace, peak to peak was 10:30.

It's a long way, it's a long day.

Marek - on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to philluu:

Unless you're a strong endurance fell-runner, trying to run the uphills on the route like this is probably counter-productive (except where there's a nice path). You're better off walking fast on the uphills (that's hard enough on some bits) and saving your legs and concentration for the flats and downhills. I don't recall Elidir Fawr being particularly unpleasant - in fact it's a good runable bit - but perhaps you're taking a different route. For me (going north to south, crossing the roads at Ogwen Cottage and Pen-y-Pass) it was just a quick side excursion from the Glyders. 

Oh and don't underestimate the difficulty of finding water on this route (assuming you have no support), especially in this weather. I only know of one spring (top of Glyders) that doesn't require a big detour.

Y Gribin - on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to philluu:

> Heard Elidir Fawr is not pleasant, which is why I want to definitely run that before as they never seem quite as bad the second time round!

I've done it three times, and failed twice (weather, both times): always walking and always in comfortably under 18hrs. I think the ascent of Elidir Fawr has improved a lot. 10yrs ago there was virtually no path but now there's a pretty decent line all the way. It's never too steep and, if anything, eases as you approach the summit. I now think the 'worst' bits are the slog up Glyder Fawr after Y Garn, and then the descent off Glyder Fach to Bwlch Tryfan....both because of the erosion. I would also add the ascent of Pen y Ole Wen from Ogwen but no sane person would take that! Follow the east ridge from Glan Dena instead.

Post edited at 23:21
Wainers44 - on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to philluu:

Pick your start time carefully. For reasons I can't recall we started on Snowdon at sunset. Upside, you get to Ogwen for breakfast, downside...well loads of them inc night Nav, sleep deprivation etc!

As others have said, no need to run for sub 24 hours. Just look carefully at the route as there are some easy ways to save chunks of time. Eat loads!

ben b - on 07 Jul 2018
In reply to philluu:

No need to run uphill but we have a very slow trot (known as “the shamble” as it can’t really be called running under the trades description act) that be kept up for long periods on mountain marathons etc, that was deployed late in the day as we raced the dying sun out across the Irish Sea. 

The Big Elidir goes on a bit but is fine (we had a fox accompanying us from there to Y Garn, about 10m ahead and plainly enjoying herself). The steep couloir descent from Tryfan to the A5 is very quick and very hard on the knees but once up Pen Yr Ole Wen again it’s easy. Enjoy  


Ghastlyrabbitfat on 07 Jul 2018
In reply to philluu:

Ease into the hill running gradually and listen to your legs.  As I learned retrospectively, do not go to flatter fell type shoes, start running uphill and run all the time on the balls of your feet to preserve the knees.  Now troubled by Achilles problems and have stopped running for the meantime. ( Not new to running, always done a bit to top up training and did The Highland Cross some years back.)

As per the advice above, probably best training for how you will complete the route, i.e. fast walking uphill and "shambling" the flats and downhills.  Good luck with it.

static266 - on 07 Jul 2018
In reply to philluu:

No need to run unless you’re looking to do it in less than 12 hours. I trained by doing 2 out of the 3 ranges together a few times beforehand (I.e. Snowdon & Glyderau or Carneddau & Glyderau) and that also gets your nav and route choice nailed. 

mbh - on 07 Jul 2018
In reply to philluu:

Get your head screwed on and get out there for hours at a time. It's a long way ,a long day and you're not really prepared for that by running short distances. However it is doable in a day, just by walking if you just keep going. 

My wife and I walked it in 17 hours NS. Before that we'd failed it twice on two stays in N Wales, but in the process had done pretty much all of it before in long 12-14 hour days, including the hard bits such as Crib Goch and the nice stuff (North Ridge of Tryffan followed by Bristly Ridge)  that I wouldn't do on an actual proper attempt hoping for a quick time, and the horrible stuff (getting off and on the Glyderau by the scree routes). We also had done several 15 m+ walks on the coast path in Cornwall where we live, plus one of nearly 30m.

My wife was the mentally tougher. On reaching the road at Nant Peris, I could easily have given up, even though we'd have come all that way and got no further than we had the previous year. Her look made it clear that that was not an option. 


philluu on 09 Jul 2018
In reply to philluu:

I am glad to hear most do a fast walk uphill, as I tried to keep running up one of the steeper Clwydian hills recently and did have a great time!

Would be surprised if I couldn't twist some family into being support so hopefully water/food should be OK to manage.

Yeah my friend is mentally very strong so I am hoping that a combination of being distracted by looking after the navigation and him pushing on will drag me through.

Thanks again for all the advice.

Wonrek - on 11 Jul 2018
In reply to philluu:

There's a race that covers the Welsh 3000s. It happened a couple of weeks ago in brutal sun. Ideally they's want you to finish in <17hrs but you're fully supported with water and feed stations along the way. It's called the V3K (the Vegan Welsh 3000s) and they do ask that you become vegan for the duration of the race but it's no bother at all because they feed you lots of yummy food! (and I'm not vegan)

Brilliant event although I have to admit my quads were pretty mashed up after it!

I'd certainly recommend it as an option, great race, great atmosphere and all the logistics taken care of for you.

In terms of training, get into the hills. You can build the strongest legs running, cycling or the gym but that's no replacement for the getting into the hills and conditioning your legs for the pressure on your knees and quads of the long descents.

philluu on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to Wonrek:

Interesting, thanks for the tip.

Can't say I mind what type of food it is if someone else is cooking!

At the very least I may use their Half route as a training run.

benp1 - on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to philluu:

I did the Welsh 3000s very recently, in fact partly on the same day as the vegan 3k.

I did N-S and camped on top of Foel Fras. I then camped at the bottom of Elidir Fawr on night 2 having done N ridge of Tryfan and Bristly. I finished with the Snowdon Horseshoe. 

Great walk, it was brutally hot when I did it. I would say it's definitely doable in a day but I wanted to do the scrambling in the light so did it over 2 days. Would have been quicker without tent etc. S to N with a dawn start would be easier in 24 hours so that the scrambling is done in the light.

My legs were battered though, couldn't walk properly for the next couple of days! My quads had taken a real hammering from the descents

mbh - on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to Wonrek:

Through a friend, I thought of doing it with Climb South West a couple of weeks ago, with a view to running it, having only, up to now, walked it. But I didn't.

Apart from the cost, what put me off was the realisation that solving the logistical challenges had been a huge part of the satisfaction of doing it successfully, given a couple of years of major screw-ups, amusing only in retrospect, and that wouldn't be there if it were done as part of an event.

Whether succeeding or failing, in all the times I tried it I never imagined it as an event, but as a challenge, to be overcome by one's own efforts, logistics included. In fact, it is only in the last few years (through Strava) that I have realised that for many people, running means, mainly, running in events.

On the other hand, I can see that some might think that not having those logistical challenges is a plus!


Jim Nevill - on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to philluu:

Do it south-north, rocky start, grassy finish, which on tired legs is a blessing. I dropped down from Clogwyn station (I think, long time ago) to Nant Peris. Elidr Fawr is a long slog, but not as dispiriting as feeling you can touch Tryfan from the Glyders then dropping so far to the col. There's a short scramble down the west side of Tryfan just north of the summit that delivers you onto grass quickly, worth a recce.  Do Pen yr Ole Wen from Glan Dena as suggested, much gentler. Arrange support or cache food & drinks in Nant Peris and Ogwen. But get up and down hill experience, or your legs will dissolve! Easy to get off route in poor visibility in the Carnedds. Enjoy and good luck.

Wonrek - on 18 Jul 2018
In reply to mbh:

Oh yes, I totally agree, there's a different element of adventure added when doing these routes self supported. I try to have two or three solo adventures a year and they do stand out as being the best running experiences by far.


However for me it's just the ease of logistics (and the bling!) that draws me to events as well. I can do an event every weekend if I chose but trying to do that self supported would take a huge amount of planning time which I simply just don't have all the time.


Call me lazy ;-)

mbh - on 18 Jul 2018
In reply to Wonrek:

> Call me lazy ;-)

No, I won't. I followed your awesome dot in the Spine earlier this year


Wonrek - on 19 Jul 2018
In reply to mbh:

Why thank you

It'll be my Lakeland dot and then my PTL dot soon........VERY excited to be doing the PTL!!!!

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