Thriva Journal: Grant takes on the Rebellion

The Thriva journal tells the stories of the Thriva community’s quest to challenge themselves, push boundaries and experiment with new ways to stay on top of their health. In each entry we will dive into the details, preparations, challenges, results, successes and stumbles along the way.

Today’s entry is from Grant Vernon, who is tackling the Rebellion Ultra-Marathon this November.

The ‘race’, which is being organised by Up Hill Down Dale, is 135 miles (217Km) and has 25,000ft (7700m) total ascent. The route takes in the entire length of the Glyndŵr's Way National Trail in mid-Wales. It’s a self-navigation single stage race starting at 7pm and has a cut-off of 72 hours. It’s Wales, in November, starting at night, what could possibly go wrong!

I’ve been running marathons since 2011 and have completed in excess of 25 marathons and ultramarathons up to 100 miles. Despite my experience the Rebellion will be the most epic challenge to date.

To help motivate me to test my limits and to inspire others, I like to use the fitness I’ve gained from running to benefit causes that are close to my heart. Action breeds inspiration, it’s quite infectious. When other people see what’s possible it plants the seed in their mind and before they know it they end up doing things they never dreamed of. I’ve experienced it personally and seen it happen time and time again. With that in mind, I’ll be supporting Forest Holme hospice in Dorset. Their mission is “To enhance the lives of adults in Dorset with life limiting illness through clinical excellence, exceptional service and compassionate care” My mission, to put to good use my years of running, by raising awareness and funds for an organisation whose support was integral to close friends during an unimaginably difficult time.

It goes without saying that training is an important aspect of my preparations however I also see health and wellbeing as key to ensuring I make it to the start line fresh and uninjured. There are only a finite amount of hours you can commit to physical exercise each day so with that in mind I also see sleep, diet and health monitoring as essential to complement my training. I use various specialist systems to help give me the best chance of success.

My training plan is organised by an award winning system which uses artificial intelligence to configure a plan based on my own data.

I also use an app from to allow me to measure trends in my physiological state and adjust my training accordingly.

Thriva provides the blood analysis to complement these tools. I use their home blood testing kits to help me to keep track of blood biomarkers and ensure my endurance training isn’t having a detrimental effect on my health. It provides me with peace of mind and acts as an early warning indicator of health changes that could have a negative impact on my goal. I’ve specifically taken a keen interest in maintaining adequate Vitamin D levels since this plays a vital role in overall health especially when adding the additional physiological stress from running. Having days or weeks of training interrupted by conditions caused by reduced immune system is something I hope to avoid by paying attention to my Thriva results.

So between now and November, alongside my training and monitoring, I’ve got several marathons planned in preparation for the Rebellion, to stay up to date with my progress be sure to like my facebook page, I’ll also be checking in with Thriva in the lead up to the big day so stay tuned.