With Christmas now well behind me, there are no more excuses not to be training for the big ultra race. There are now only 12 weeks to go and the last few weeks need to be dedicated to the “taper down” period, which gives the body time to rest and recover, ready for the big marathon des sables ultra.
The plan over the next 2 months is to do a couple more “biggie” ultra races at the weekend – I have a 45 mile race on Saturday, the “Country to Capital” race, and a back-to-back 33/33 mile ultra race in the South Downs in February. Maybe more importantly than that, I’ve allocated some weekends to training in the sand (managed a full MILE in the sand over Christmas – exhausting), and just getting out of the city to go hiking with a big pack for a few days.
I’m hoping the long walks will also give my poor joints a chance to recover as well as they are taking a fair beating at the moment.
Also, I’ve been advised by Karen Weir to focus a little more on quality short, fast runs. Now that I like the sound of! So I’ll be spending some time in the gym on the treadmill doing speed and hill reps too.
Finally, I’ll be doing more yogic stretching and core work and sitting a lot in the sauna (my favourite way to pass some time, though possibly without the fat, hairy male mascot who generally is seen hanging out in most saunas near you).
I'll be updating my training page shortly to hopefully help others who stumble across this random chat about marathon des sables training. I'll also update it post race to tell you what worked and what did not.
To be honest, it’s actually great fun doing all this. I just wish I could give up work for the next few months and concentrate on training for the marathon des sables only, but alas that will never happen!