In this interview we speak to ultra runner Andy Tyerman. We discuss how our Organic Relief CBD helped him run the Montane Spine Race. In this interview, we hope you’ll find insightful information on the use of CBD for ultra runners.

The Montane Spine Race is a 268 miles non-stop race along the most iconic national trail in Britain. It is known as the toughest race in the Uk for endurance athletes.  With no real aid stations just manned checkpoints, race day is definatley one where plenty of trail running and other training has been achieved. Andy ran the Montane Spine Race twice in the past 12-months, the first without our CBD products,   In this interview we discuss the differences between the two races when using our full spectrum CBD. As well as the impacts CBD had on his recovery after the races.

First, a massive congratulations are in order for completing your second Montane Spine race in 12 months.  As well as cycling from Lands’ end to John O Groats that is a serious achievement in one year.

Before we go into the finer details of your achievements, can you give a little background into your ultra running history. As I know you’ve not been running that long?  Where did at all start?

I have always been interested in endurance events such as Devizes to Westminster Canoe Marathon (125miles non-stop). I have kayaked across the channel from Normandy to Portsmouth (87miles of open sea). When I retired from the Royal Navy in 2015 I started getting fat so started a bit of running.

This was a bit sporadic as I didn’t have any goals so in 2018 I decided to have a go at an ultra-marathon (a marathon just seemed a bit tame). I signed up for Lakes in a Day, which is 50 miles from top to of the lake district to the bottom. I did a little bit of training and just went for it, my philosophy being you don’t know if you can do it until you try.  Guess what I did it! It took me 18 hours but I felt fine at the end so the search was on to find something that I might not be able to complete, the Montane Spine Race looked to be just the ticket.

Love your attitude to just getting out there and having a go.  The purpose of this interview is to try and get your honest opinion on the benefits you discovered whilst using CBD during the spine races in 2021.

Can you give us a bit of an understanding of how you felt during the 2021 Summer Spine the state you were in at the end?

In a word Broken! I started to develop some pain in my shins after checkpoint 1 which got worse as the race progressed. I started to see a lot of swelling in my ankles and fee. By checkpoint 3 found walking downhill extremely painful. By Checkpoint 4, I had developed crepitus where every movement of my foot sounded like two pieces of polystyrene being rubbed together! At this point I was seriously considering dropping out of the race however the medics are brilliant and assured me that there would be no lasting problems if I carried on.

I spent 4 hours at the checkpoint with my legs elevated with ice packs wrapped around my shins and took as many pain killers as the medics would allow, then set off once more towards Bellingham.

By the end of the race, I could hardly walk my ankles were now “cankles” and my feet had swollen so much that I could only just get my feet into a pair of size 10.5 trainers with the laces out (I am normally a size 7.5).

I know you used CBD for your recovery time after the Summer Spine. How did that help your recovery, did you notice any difference?

After the race I struggled to walk for the first week and still suffered with tendinosis in my shins for a couple of months afterwards. The first few days were spent with ice packs on my legs and maxed out doses of ibuprofen and co-codamol for pain relief. After a few days I managed to get booked in with a physio who did some ultrasound and massage. 

I wasn’t really improving as fast as I would have liked.  A good friend of mine owns Organic Relief CBD Brand and recommended CBD so I gave that a go as well.  I’d heard of CBD before and the anti inflammatory benefits.  I trusted my friend to make sure the products were legal as we have drug tests at work for banned substances.  I started with a few drops of 5% oil in the morning and at night.  I also massaged my shins with CBD infused massage oil. It wasn’t long before I was starting to feel better, so I stopped taking the CBD.  I did do a little research of CBD for Ultrarunners though which was very interesting.

I have recently started using a Whoop band to monitor my health and fitness, this gives you a weekly and monthly performance assessment which is based on real time data from the device which captures heart rate data, sleep patterns etc. It also asks you to record your daily habits, one of which was CBD usage. A couple of days after stopping taking the CBD the App flagged up that when I reported CBD usage my resting heart rate was 3.2% lower and that my deep sleep recorded (restorative sleep) was up by nearly 6%. This really surprised me as I wasn’t entirely sure if the CBD did anything at all.

Fast forward 6 months and you’re ready to start the winter spine, fully loaded with CBD Gummies and muscle Balms, how did it go?

I entered the winter spine race with a certain amount of trepidation as I really didn’t want to end up in the same state that I had been after the summer race. About a month prior to the race, I started taking CBD religiously using 15% oil twice a day, just a few drops.

I then discovered CBD gummies, they are for winners! Let’s face it who doesn’t like fizzy cola bottles! I decided to take a pot with me on the race, I also brought a tub of the CBD Thai balm. I didn’t really change much in terms of race strategy, I maybe went a little bit slower at the start. The difference at the end was like night and day. I really could not believe how much better I was at the end of the race I literally had no swelling whatsoever, my feet were like normal my shins were as skinny as ever, the only issue I had was a niggle with my right Achilles.  It was crazy the amount the products helped reduce inflammation.

CBD Gummies

So what was your CBD strategy?

I decided to take a couple of CBD Cola Bottles at each checkpoint to help with any swelling.  I also took 5 minutes to myself to massage my feet, ankles and calves with the Thai balm. I did this religiously through the race. 

Checkpoint 1:

I was fine no issues.

Checkpoint 2

I started to get a niggle in my Achilles when I took my socks off my right Achilles was visibly swollen and red. This lead to me being concerned as I didn’t want the to get any worse. I gave it a good massage with the balm and had a couple of hours sleep. When I woke up the redness and swelling was completely gone.

Checkpoint 3:

The swelling and redness had started to creep back in. However I kept to my routine and had another couple of hours sleep. It wasn’t perfect when I woke up but I gave it a good massage before I put my socks back on and headed off. 

Checkpoint 4:

Same routine I was starting to feel pleased as the Achilles wasn’t really getting any worse. I just kept on with the CBD massage and gummies, I was really surprised at this point though how little swelling I had in my feet and ankle. By this time in the summer my feet were already forcing me to put bigger shoes on. 

Checkpoint 5:

Wow I’m nearly there and I couldn’t believe how well my legs/feet were doing. More gummies more massage, this really works!

4.5 miles to Kirk Yetholm at this stage during the summer I was reduced to a 1mph hobble. It took me nearly 5hrs of pain to make my way to the finish. Not today I ran, yes I actually ran the last 4.5miles of a 268mile race! When I got to the finish line instead of collapsing in a broken heap I went for a pint, well actually a rum and coke. I just couldn’t believe I had made it and wasn’t broken in any way. 

I finished the race 17 hours quicker than in the summer in much worse conditions! This has given me no doubts about the benefits of CBD. I really can’t attribute the change to anything else especially as I had done hardly any training due to recovering from the summer race.  

I am now a big convert to CBD and would highly recommend Organic Relief products; I trust them and have seen and felt the benefits first-hand.

CBD for ultrarunners

CBD User Guide