Sunday, 21 December 2008

Back to base(ics)

By Darren Roberts

It's 14 weeks until we fly to Namibia. That in running training terms means 'not much time'. Every training schedule I look at on the Tinternet only confirms that fact. Despite this, it goes without saying that we just need to get as many miles under our belt as possible. It's just got to be done. So, what training schedule do we need?

Well the honest answer is - 'I don't know'. I've not done this sort of distance before and desperately need the advice of people who have - be that via the Net, books, videos or TV. Fortunately, we're not alone. Men's Fitness magazine are supporting us.

In January we officially start our year as Team MF and 2 weeks ago we met the MF staff at Dennis Publishing (known to them as MF Towers) to meet the team.

The meeting went well and it was reassuring to know that not only do we get the support we need, we are very much part of the team. This is going to be a good year.

It's 2 weeks until we see them again and really talk training and logistics but there's a lot of miles to be run in between then and now. I've decided to draw on various sources and take some simple advice - build a base to work from.

What that means is simple; even though I'm now regularly turning out 15 mile runs, I'm going to reverse my training regime and reduce the distance by half whilst increasing the frequency to 6 times a week. At the same time, I'll take the opportunity to improve my technique. This will mean running slower too. That's the focus for the Christmas break.

We've also got to train for the desert heat. Marathon Des Sable runners say that additional layers of clothing help this if you don't have access to the odd desert or two. Mike Stroud, the polar explorer and sports science expert also supports that in his book Survival of the Fittest. More on that book when I've finished reading it again.

Until my next entry I'll end with this simple question which someone may be able to answer:-

How many layers of clothing would simulate the temperature of a desert environment when running in 10 degree UK weather?

Tough one.

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