With 11 weeks remaining until I attempt the 82 mile ultra race called The Oner it's time to reflect on the build up so far.
The South West Coast Path presents a challenging route, especially when a timeline is placed on completing the course. In this session it's 24 hours. That's 3.4 mph if it were to be walked non stop. Over 7000ft of hills, various surface conditions and a good proportion spent in the dark makes the 3.4 mph average required somewhat more stressful to accomplish.
I have been increasing miles and time spent. However I have also remained intent on increasing speed endurance over 5k, 10 miles and beyond. Cruising at 5-6 mph for a prolonged period of time will be possible with a body that is stronger. So weight training has been sustained, hill intervals, upper body and back just as important. There are some back breaking climbs towards the 65 mile marker. Strong hips and back will come into their own at these points.
The purbecks provides the perfect backdrop for training sessions as it simulates the highest climbs and stairs that will be taken in during the challenge.
Strapping a 12kg wall ball to my back and climbing the Ulwell stairs has begun in earnest. Taking it off and flying up afterwards makes it worthwhile!
The big dog training sessions are coming. A build of cross country sets including a 40 mile steady overnight hike from Weymouth to the finish line at Sandbanks. Also an 82km "fun run" on 24th Feb to help raise more monies for my chosen charity Royal Marines Association. 10 laps of an 8.2km flat n fast loop by the prom near Bournemouth. Come and run with me for as many laps as you please. £5 donation as a minimum per lap. Message me to confirm a slot and approx start time.
When tired, I often imagine myself running with clients and friends where they set the pace and I am running off their shoulder. Gets the body through some dark patches.
Going into session without music as frequently as I dare. Take in the surrounding noise, zone in to what I'm doing and practice self motivation methods. Music is great for the interval sets at high intensity.
Nutrition is the critical factor that allows me to wake the next day without too much discomfort. Varied proteins, plenty fats, stimulating greens and a selective group of carbs. The odd beer and fulfilling desserts. Simple.
11 weeks. Plenty of living to do before then. There lies the most obvious training lesson. The training is stimulated by the purpose ahead. For sure I'm visualising myself on the course. After a while though, each training session provides a sense of purpose added to each day.
That is good.