I’ll be the first to admit, based on my last run, I am confident I have what is needed to achieve this next challenge. I have that experience to provide an understanding of what’s about to occur.
There is a lot more to running multi-day ultramarathons than just physical ability. To be frank, I don’t even love running. I do it because I can and for health. If it wasn’t for this challenge, I’d probably only run a couple of kilometres a day or even a week with little to no guilt. I am not a gym-junkie and have little interest in sport at all. Any of them. Sure, the nightly highlights of some sports is interesting, but the whole match?.. Not for me, I have better things to do.
So what does my training regime look like?
Well, there’s running, obviously, slowly building up to maybe 30kms regularly … and maybe a bit of stretching and rolling – but not foam rolling. It’s not that foam rolling isn’t good, I just look like a beached whale groaning and rolling around on the floor. I use an adhoc hand-roller – in this case, a rolling pin. This allows me to roll the affected muscles with ease. Also consider, since I’ll be camping a lot, the various ground areas (uneven ground, rocks and scrub) won’t be adequate, and the tent is definitely not large enough. I might also do a bit of stretching, but I know it will be sporadic and half-hearted at best.
So that’s the physical side of things, now there’s the mental aspect.
I read so much about how running – and exercise in general – is very good for mental health. Many running blogs have this over and over again, and I have absolutely no doubt it is true. Get those endorphins going, I say.
Maybe I’m stubborn – or just plain crazy?? – but it takes the right mindset to push through running for hours, each day for almost a year.
Maybe my time in the Navy helped? Military life isn’t easy. I mean following ridiculous orders (my personal opinion only), certainly takes a bit of mental fortitude, as does being away from home for months on end, working 12 hours a day for 5 weeks straight, living in cramped, hot, noisy conditions on a platform that is bouncing through the high seas … It isn’t for everyone. Maybe it’s simply ‘discipline’.
So, in a nutshell, my training is like nothing you’d expect. I am not training for a race. I do not have to be at my peak on-the-day. I will walk a bit. I will stop and chat and I will take pictures. I can’t afford to push myself too much because I have to do it all again the next day and the next …. and there’s no one following to pick up the pieces.