Archive for NEWS

Race Letter – Hair of the Dog Trail Run

It’s time for the Hair of the Dog Trail Race! Monday 3rd January 2022 sees the us back in Chippenham for this awesome event.

Please click and read your the race information HERE. The race line-up and live result pages are available HERE.

Please check your details very carefully and email your Race Timer here, if there are any errors. Please note, this is very important as if you race with incorrect details (gender, category, club), you may be disqualified.


We must all follow the Government guidelines that will be in place on the day. We currently know the same information as you and are not sure if there will be new restrictions before race day. In the event of any new restrictions you will be emailed with the details of what we need to do, whether it be staggered starts as we have done previously or anything else the Government deem necessary.

Things to remember for race day:

  • Please park in one of the car parks detailed in the race information.
  • Dress appropriately for the conditions on the day.

That’s all for now. Good luck with your final race preparations and we look forward to seeing you on Monday 3rd January.



Black Friday Offers from DB Max

We have some great offers for you this Black Friday DB Maxers..!

First up, you can enter the Hair of the Dog Trail Run on 3rd January 2022 for just £20. This price won’t be around for long, and nor will the spaces as we are limiting entries to just 180 this year, so to secure your place click HERE. This offer runs to Midnight on Friday 26th November.

Next up is Escape Lockdown on Sunday 20th March 2022. An epic 7 mile run on some of the muddiest and hilliest terrain around. Grab an entry for just £20 by clicking HERE. This offer runs to Midnight on Friday 26th November.

We also have on offer available on the February edition of the Castle Combe ‘Chilly’ 10k and ‘Chilly’ Sprint Duathlon. The 10k will be registered with Run Britain for the first time in 2022 meaning that you will be able too submit the results to the Power of 10. The duathlon promises to be a little different in February with a proper sprint distance event taking place. The event will start with a 5k run, followed by a 7 lap, 20k bike and then a final 3k run. All the events at Castle Combe are traffic-free and super-speedy. So if you are looking for that new PB, Castle Combe is the place to be.

The ‘Chilly’ 10k is discounted to just £20 from 8am on Friday 26th November to Midnight on Monday 29th November, entries are available HERE and the ‘Chilly’ Sprint Duathlon is available for only £35 within the same time frame, entries are available HERE.

Our last offer is a cracker. The Battle of Lansdown OCR (Obstacle Course Race) is a firm favourite on the mud run calendar and we are excited to announce that the 2022 event will be taking place on Sunday 16th October. And, we have gone crazy with the price, from 8am on Friday 26th November to Midnight on Monday 29th November entries are available for just £34… That is over £30 less than past years price!!! So don’t miss out, get your friends and family together and come join the muddy fun. Enter HERE.

The 2021 Race Season – Your Questions Answered


July 19th onwards.

With the news that Covid restrictions have now been relaxed, we thought we would give you an update on what DB Max are doing to keep you safe. We are now in a position where are events could return to normal with mass starts, result print outs and also race presenations, but, we want to make sure that everyone feels safe coming to an event. So from 19th July onwards we will:

  • Use rolling starts for our running events. We successfully trialled these at Castle Combe Midweek 10k recently and they worked fantastically. This type of start is almost like a mass start, but it allows us to make sure that everyone is well spread out. We will have a long start chute and sort people into it based on estimated finish times. This will be done using our awesome #dbmaxpaceteam and we will call runners forward as per their expected finish times. Those running sub 40 will be called to the start line first, then 40 to 44 minutes, 45 to 49 minutes and so on. This theme will continue down to our final 75 minute runners, all being called forward alongside the relevant DB Max pacer. For those who are uncomfortable starting in any sort of group, we will provide a start slot at the very end in your own space.
  • At triathlons we will continue to use staggered starts.
  • At our TT events we will offer people the opportunity to have a proper TT start, but this is not compulsory.
  • We will continue to ensure that there is hand sanitiser available at certain areas around the event village, including registration, any water stations, outside toilets as well as inside and at the race finish.
  • We will ask all competitors to respect those that wish to continue to socially distance and wear a mask.
  • We will continue to offer our #cashsafecovidpromise which means if you develop symptoms of Covid before a race or are pinged by the NHS test and trace app we will defer your race or credit your entry fee paid so you can use against any other race. If you are affected by this, all you need to do is send your request to along with a screenshot of your ‘ping’.
  • Where we provide facilities such as bag drops, we will ask that you only use these if absolutely necessary. At events where parking is close by and in private grounds we ask you keep bags in cars (hidden from view).
  • We are committed to making sure everyone feels safe and welcome to every one of our events.

We really do look forward to seeing you all back on the start line, and fingers crossed we will be back to running events completely as normal in the very near future.





So with the news that restrictions are being lifted from 29th March, racing with DB Max is set to resume. All of our events from this date forward will be going ahead, subject to any further restrictions imposed by the Government.

So what does this mean for your race..?

Well, check out our roadmap on events up to the end of June 2021. This document will be updated as and when there are changes from governing bodies and the DCMS (Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport).


Escape Lockdown – Sunday 4th April
Chilly 10k and Chilly Duathlon – Sunday 11th April
Hair of the Dog Trail Run – Sunday 18th April

Everyone who has entered previously has been automatically transferred to the new event and we’ve given entrants time to transfer to an alternative event if the new date does not suit.

How will the events run?

  • Participants will be emailed your start time in advance of race day.
  • Participants will start in groups of no more than 6. You will start with people of a similar ability or people from your own household.
  • Participants will be expected to wear a mask when in certain areas, e.g. the start area, when queueing to collect your chip.
  • All necessary race briefings where will be done via video and will be emailed to participants in advance of race day.
  • No spectators will be permitted.
  • Participants will not be able to to watch others race/finish after they’ve raced. There will be time to recover, but everyone is expected to have left the venue no more than 40 minutes after finishing their race.
  • There will be no bag drop available at any events.


#51fiver Cotswold Standard Triathlon – Sunday 16th May
Westonbirt Sprint Triathlon – Monday 31st May

Everyone who has entered previously has been automatically transferred to the new event and we’ve given entrants time to transfer to an alternative event if the new date does not suit.

How will the events run?

  • Race bibs and bike/helmet numbers will be posted out in advance of race day. Timing chips will be collected in transition. There will be no registration at the event.
  • #51fiver starts will be in a time trial fashion with 1 or 2 people starting every 10 seconds.
  • #51fiver will give the option of doing a shorter swim of approximately 400 metres. This does not have to be chosen in advance of race day and there will be different start pens for this on race day. There will also be an option of competing in a bike/run event only if any participant does not feel confident with the swim.
  • Westonbirt starts will be done via drop ins, you will queue outside the pool and be called in when it is your turn to start.
  • Start times will be emailed for both events in advance of race day.
  • All briefings will be done via video and will be emailed in advance of race day.
  • #51fiver and Westonbirt will have a neutralised (dead-zone) transition.
  • #51fiver participants will not be able to to watch others finish after racing. Everyone will be expected to recover, collect their bike from transition and leave the venue within approximately 40 to 50 minutes of finishing. If rules have been relaxed before Westonbirt Tri we may be able to permit a little more leniency with this rule but this will be reviewed closer to race day.
  • Spectators: We will take guidance from governing bodies and make an announcement on this before race day. It is anticipated spectators will not be permitted at #51fiver.


Titan Brecon Middle Distance, 19th June 2021
Chippenham Longest Day 10k, 23rd June 2021

Everyone who has entered previously has been automatically transferred to the new event and we’ve given entrants time to transfer to an alternative event if the new date does not suit.

How the events will run:

  • Titan Brecon. The roadmap set out by the Welsh Assembly is somewhat different to the English Government and we are taking advice from the relevant authorities. It is expected that the event will have a maximum limit of 500.
  • From 17th May onwards there could be a relaxation in the number of people who are allowed to mix freely outside, though this number is capped at 30. With this in mind, there will still be time trial starts at events but this could be with groups of 30 starting together.
  • Titan Brecon will potentially have a time-trial Start of 30 competitors at one time.
  • Chippenham Longest Day 10k starts are likely to be in a time-trial fashion of no more than 30 people every 1 minute. Even though the event is after the forecasted date of restrictions being lifted entirely, with it being so close to this date, we have to plan as if they will still be in place.
  • Titan Brecon will have an alternative swim distance option available of approximately 400 metres. This does not have to be chosen in advance of race day and there will be different start pens for this on race day. There will also be an option of competing in a bike/run event only if any participant does not feel confident with the swim.
  • All briefings will be done via video and will be emailed to you in advance of race day.
  • It is likely there will be no bag drop at Chippenham Longest Day 10k.
  • Both events in June will have race packs posted to participants. Timing chips will be collected on race day from transition at Titan Brecon. A decision on whether timing chips will be posted out for Chippenham Longest Day 10k will be made on or around 17th May and will depend on whether the government road map is being followed or has been pushed back.

That’s it for now DB Maxers.  We hope that answers a few questions. If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us. Also, please note that in terms of the relaxation of restrictions, we only know as much as you do and adjust our plans as and when public announcements are made. All dates set out by the Government are subject to change and are currently the earliest dates possible. You can view the government road map in full HERE.


Covid-19: How our events work and how we keep you Covid-safe.

The Covid-19 pandemic naturally generates a level of uncertainty for activities such as those that DB Max regularly organise. The most common questions we hear at the moment are:

  • “How do DB Max make their events Covid-secure?”
  • “What happens to my entry fee in the event of a local or national lockdown which causes a postponement of my event?”

Both these issues can cause apprehension and even reluctance in entering the events you normally love. Hopefully the explanation below can allay any concerns and instil the confidence we want you to have.

How do DB Max make their events Covid-secure?

  • For running events held on private grounds, we offer an optional service to print your own bib and then participants are provided a timing chip that they wear on their ankle. Participants receive and remove their timing chip without direct contact with DB Max staff. All timing chips and straps are disinfected after each event before being used again.
  • For triathlon or duathlon events, we now post out race numbers to avoid the need for any collection point on the day. Participants then collect their timing chip from their racking space in transition on race day.
  • Entrants are given an allotted start time and start in socially distanced groups of no more than 6 for running events. For triathlon events and most duathlon events participants start individually. On occasion, a duathlon event may also start in socially distanced groups of no more than 6.
  • Start areas are kept significantly large so that social distancing can be maintained at all times and this is monitored by marshals.
  • When queueing to collect timing chips or to get into a transition area, all competitors are required to wear face masks/face coverings.
  • Hand sanitisers are located at various locations around our events, including the car park, toilets, timing chip collection, start and finish.
  •  We do not permit groups of more than 6 mixing at any time at our events as per the government’s ‘rule of 6’.
  • When finishing an event, participants are encouraged to return to their car and leave the venue after a short recovery period.
  • In the event that spectators are permitted, a substantial zone is designated and marked for their use. Spectators do not interact with competitors.
  • We collect everyone’s details for track and trace purposes, including spectators.
  • We have now introduced temperature checking for participants prior to racing.
  • DB Max utilise video briefings which are sent to spectators in advance of the event, to avoid gatherings on race day.
  •  Our Covid risk assessments must pass scrutiny from our permitting insurance partners, local authorities and PHE before our events can proceed.

What happens to my entry fee in the event of a local or national lockdown which causes a postponement of my event?

In the event of a postponement you are protected by our #CashSafeCovidPromise. This ensures that your entry fee is protected but we do not provide refunds. Please ensure that you understand what this means before entering. You will never lose your money in real terms, because you can use your entry fee for any DB Max event for two years following the original planned date. But please understand that as a small business, it is impossible for us to plan an event and then offer refunds if it has to be postponed due to circumstances that we cannot control.

So how does it work..?

  • Initially if a postponement is necessary, all entrants will automatically be transferred to the rescheduled event.
  • If this does not suit your plans, you can use our transfer service to change to any available event on our calendar.
  • If you are not sure which event you wish to transfer to at this time, the credit for the entry fee paid remains on your account to use against any other DB Max event for a period of two years.

So in simple terms, your entry fee is 100% safe.

With these systems in place, DB Max are robust enough to weather the storms that Covid-19 throws at us, or indeed any other issue that causes a rescheduling at short notice. We were the first event company to reintroduce our high-quality racing this summer and indeed with our virtual races during lockdown, we never really stopped providing the motivational events you love.

We are all aware that the situation can change at short notice in the current environment. DB Max utilise ‘tried and tested’ systems to notify our entrants via text, email and social media within minutes in the unlikely event of a last-minute postponement. In addition, we will always endeavour to inform our entrants of any developments with any of our events, should they arise from day to day.

Thanks to our robust systems and your continued support, DB Max have already organised over twenty Covid-secure events this summer, including triathlons, running events, cycling events and an OCR. DB Max also provide services and consultation support for our event organising partners.

We hope this provides a level of reassurance and confidence DB Maxers and we hope to see you on a start-line with us soon!

5 sessions to boost time trial fitness

We’re SO happy to be organising Time Trials up at the cracking Castle Combe Race Circuit again. It must be one of the best venues for TT racing in the country. A relatively short circuit – about 2-miles – with smooth tarmac, traffic-free and mostly flat. Whether you’re a first-timer or seasoned pro, you’re very welcome to join us this summer and put that training into practice!

To help you on your journey, here’s 5 sessions to boost your time trial fitness:

  1. Aero drills: You don’t have to use a time trial bike for this session (or indeed for our TTs at Castle Combe) but this session is all about practicing your most aerodynamic position on the bike. After a 20-minutes warm up, spend 60 seconds in the most aero position you can hold – think crunched shoulders, low head, strong core etc – before taking 60 seconds to relax in a more comfortable cycling position. Do this 10 times before 10-minutes recovery before another 10 reps of these drills.
  2. Sweetspot power: You don’t need a power meter for this session, but the term Sweetspot (SS) derives from training with power. SS i approximately 90% of your threshold effort – the power / speed / heart rate which you could hold for an hours max effort – so it’s that ‘comfortably uncomfortable’ zone. It’s a great zone in which to develop TT fitness, however, so intervals where you spend an increasing duration in this zone is handy. After a solid warm up with some strides, start with just 5-minutes in SS with 5-minutes off, gradually extending the interval and reducing the rest until you reach 3 x 20-minutes SS on 5-minutes rest. That’ll pinch!
  3. Cadence work: Being able to generate power and speed at a range of cadences is important because you’ll changes in gradient will require you do this anyway. Head downhill and cadence increases. Up and it decreases. Being able to churn out a relatively even effort throughout will take you from A-B in the shortest time. So, for this session, complete a solid warm up and then – in your best TT position – spend 60 seconds at high cadence (90rpm+) before 60 seconds at low cadence (65rpm max). Repeat this 5 times before 10-minutes easy spinnning. Then repeat the set two or three more times.
  4. Strength set: To develop the power and strength of your legs (but also your core) and improve cycling efficiency, time spent cycling at low cadence can work wonders. This session is simple – simple spend an easy ride in as hard a gear as possible. The trick here is not to grunt through the pedals – after all, the effort should remain relatively easy – but focus on a smooth pedal stroke, applying pressure to as much of the circle as possible.
  5. HIIT intervals: While a well-paced time trial shouldn’t involve sprints, this type of training is still useful to boost your threshold power at which races are often completed. This short, intense session requires a good warm up with some leg-openers to get the blood flowing. When you’re ready, start the main set: 10 x 30-seconds sprint, 90-seconds rest. 10 minutes easy and then repeat the set again. Aim for the highest sustainable power for all reps!

So, once you’ve nailed the training, come and put your progress to the test with one of our friendly, professionally organised time trials at Castle Combe Race Circuit. We look forward to seeing you up there!

How to train in the heat

The UK has been blessed with some pretty incredible weather of late (having said  that, typically as I write this it’s chucking it down!) but regardless of this interlude, the weather’s been great. With that, more of us are getting outside to exercise, particularly with the ease in lockdown restrictions. So we thought it a prudent moment to share tips and coping mechanisms for training in the heat.

Choose your timing
If you are able to select the time at which you train, either go for early in the morning or late in the evening.  Training in the mid-day heat can be really hard and will impact your ability to perform and get the best from that session (plus, it’s likely to leave you like a zombie for the rest of the day).

Dress appropriately
It’s a given that when you  exercise you will sweat, especially if temperatures outside are high. Sweating is our bodies cooling mechanism so training in the correct clothing will allow the process to be a lot more efficient. Avoid clothing made from cotton as this will trap the sweat and heat against the body. Instead, opt for synthetics such as nylon – they are breathable, light-weight and sweat-wicking.

For the body to function properly hydration is a very important. If you are exercising for a long period of time you should aim to consume around 500ml of fluids every hour (depending on your size, sweat rate and temperature). It’s important to be hydrated prior to the day of training too. So, if you know you have a big training day coming up, start hydrating 24-36 hours prior. Trying to hydrate on the day isn’t enough if you’re waking up in an already slightly dehydrated state. Post-session, make sure you consume to help replace not just energy and water but also electrolytes lost through sweating.

Listen to your body
Typically the fitter you are, the better your body can tolerate the heat (especially if you often train in higher temperatures or live outside the UK ;). However, if you are new to training and perhaps haven’t experienced training in the heat before, this can have a real affect on your performance and ability.

You may find that your training is well below your ‘normal’ levels completed in cooler climes. Don’t worry, this is totally normal and it’s just a case of building slowly and listening to your body. With your first few sessions in the heat, start off slowly and see how you feel and build with each session. It’s said to take around 10-14 days to acclimatise to heat. The human body adapts with each time you will train in it so it’s important to go on feel and monitor as you go.

Top tips to improving your 5k & 10k times when races resume

As we start to see a slight shift in the easing of lockdown and a potential light at the end of the tunnel, we can’t help but get a little excited about what races might be able to take place towards the end of the year. Regardless of the outcome, we want to share some of our top tips to running a faster 5 / 10k race so that when we are given the green light to race again, we can all start to work towards smashing those PB’s.

  1. Keep the easy days easy. This is really important. It’s all too easy to push the pace and try to hit every session as hard as possible thinking it will help you improve faster. It’s also hard to rein it in when you feel good whilst on a supposed ‘easy’ run. However, we must ensure easy days remain easy in order for our bodies to recover. Pushing too hard on these days can have a real impact when it comes to the days where you want or should be training hard because you haven’t given the your body the rest it needs to perform on that day. You’ll thus never reach those peak paces and sessions. Don’t be scared to take the easy days easy, they will pay off massively and allow you to push hard when you really need to.
  2. Include strength and explosive power. Although 5 and 10k are deemed as endurance events, they also requires a lot of top end speed. From the off the pace is fast – especially in a 5k – and its unusual to build up pace in such a short distance, so strength training and elements of power need to be included in your training programmes. This isn’t to say the weights you lift have to be heavy – it’s more about the movement patterns and controls around them such as a single-leg deadlift. Squat jumps are another great exercise to build this. Explosive training helps activate the fast-twitch muscles but also reduce the chances of injuries and niggles occurring too.
  3. Track/ interval sessions. When it comes to building speed over shorter distances, track or interval sessions should be included each week. The aim of these sessions is to reduce the overall run volume but the intensity on each interval. You’ll need to give yourself longer recoveries between the reps to ensure the quality is there and ensure that you warm up and cool down properly before these type of sessions.
  4. Hill sprints. Hill sprints are fundamental and should be included weekly throughout training for a race such as 5/10k. They are a fantastic way to develop overall strength whilst doing real-time running. Sprinting uphill forces you to activate your glutes, which I’m sure any runners who have vistited a physio would have been told they aren’t activating properly! Hill sprints open up the hips and force you to push down on the ground more effectively and bring in the upper body too for stabilisation and force generation. Adding them into your training will improve your running form on the flats greatly.

Competitor Stories: Mark Robson

Mark Robson is an endurance enthusiast, to put it lightly. He’s taken part in a huge number of events but has really cranked things up a notch during lockdown. He’s gone one step further and is currently smashing it out the park, from the comfort of his own home! Here’s Mark:

I have completed 69 Marathons, 87 Halves, Ironman UK back in 2006 and 3 Ironman 70.3 at Wimbleball Lake.

This is my 50th year and the goal this year was to get to 100 Halves and complete the London Duathlon. When the lockdown hit I started running Half Marathons and then saw the DB Max Duathlon and 10K series. Since then I have completed 13 of the Duathlons, 25 of the 10K events and 3 of the 5K.

In total since start of lockdown I have now completed 22 Halves, 52 10K, 14 Duathlons and a monthly cycling 300K Challenge (400K this month). I started doing these events to take my mind off the crazy virus and have become addicted to Virtual Events.

My inspiration is my 6 year old daughter. I want her to be inspired and proud of her old Dad. One of my new dreams is to run the real Chilly/ Longest Day 10K one day“.

What. A. Man.

If one thing’s clear: be more like Mark!

Now is not the time to peak your training

If everything was “normal” right now, a lot of us would be well into our 2020 race season and coming into top form before tapering for our A races.

The hard work and prep for this season would have already started way back in the winter months of 2019, big training blocks would have been banked way before the dreaded COVID-19 reared its ugly face, and all race plans would have been put into place and tapering segments laid out all ready to crush this season.

Sadly, this wasn’t to be and it’s affected us all in different ways. A lot have taken their foot off the pedal and accepted that their time will come one day, but right now the training can be eased and the focus can be shifted elsewhere. Others have gone the opposite way and continued to ramp up the training and race “virtually” and use the extra time they now have to smash out hard training blocks where perhaps they may not of had time to of done so if “normal” was still happening.

Now, neither of these are right nor wrong, everyone has to find their own coping mechanisms. However, we’d advise those that have continued to train hard and “race” hard to remember that this isn’t the finish outcome. Who knows, there’s still a chance some races could still go ahead towards the end of the season so we suggest playing on the side of caution and being sensible with the training. We don’t really want to be breaking PB’s and crushing hard blocks back to back in training. After all, if we were in normal situations right now, we wouldn’t go straight into a hard block after just finishing another one would we? We would always take time to recover after a big race – the same should apply now.

The last thing you want to do now is burnout or risk injury.

Be smart, keep the consistency and training in place each week for sure, but strip it back a little. Save some of that hard work you put in over those winter months, play around with the training and mix it up a little to keep the fire alight. Ultimately, do it because you want to. Don’t feel like you have to push yourself every day because others are. If you don’t feel up for training one day and would rather sit in the sun with a good book, go for it! Right now is not the time to be “winning” at training.

How to maximise time in lockdown

Another 3 weeks of quarantine has been forced upon us. You may have settled into a routine of work, rest and play each day but if you haven’t here are 8 things to help you find some traction in your day.

1. A little goes a long way:
Research shows just some activity will help minimise the loss of fitness. Whilst improvement requires larger doses of training that progress from one week to the next, maintaining fitness doesn’t need nearly as much: just the odd nudge to remind the body that the demand for fitness is still there. Small volumes of regular exercise can reduce or even prevent loses entirely.

2. Find your spark:
Enjoy the lack of training structure and have fun. Join in any one of the plethora of YouTube or live online classes at your disposal. Get creative and set up your own challenge. Or, if you are not sure where to begin, there are any number of core, speed, strength and crazy challenges to get involved with.

3. Get back to basics:
You read a lot about ‘knowing your WHY’ in training and competing. It is useful to keep you motivated day on day. Not everyone has a really clear idea of their ‘why’. But there’s proof that it is a very useful tool. It would be a valuable investment in the metal side of your training to unpick your ‘why’. Use the time to take a step back and unpick why you love it, what is it you love and what is your motivation for hitting your target. Read why you should train through covid-19.

4. Training focus:
Think about your training and, when normal routines resume, how can you optimise your time and do more of what you love.

5. Prioritise your strength:
Do you get a repeated niggle or feel that your core could be stronger? Now is a great time to focus on that valuable and oft neglected area of your training. Here’s 6 top exercises to get you started.

6. Strength from within:
Your immunity needs to be firing on all cylinders at the moment. Relentless bouts of hard training will reduce this and leave you susceptible to illness. The message is work hard which will help you to maintain fitness but not so hard that you are leaving yourself fatigued. Sleep, good food, exercise and a healthy dose of positivity is the balance we are aiming for.

7. Review your wardrobe.
Take a stock check. Piff the old t-shirts that aren’t serving you and the trainers that have done so many miles the soles are worn thin. This is a great website which recycles sports clothing.

8. Read, research, think and learn.
Use this time wisely to develop your understanding of optimal training, recovery and nutrition. Think about you as an athlete, what are you good at, what needs development and then start building ideas of how you are going to optimise your training and yourself.

Kerry Sutton is head coach at Perpetual Motion Coaching