Sunday, 29 October 2017

What's next?

A month has passed since I crossed the line of the best staged race ever - Grand 2 Grand.  A day doesn't pass without me thinking about the race, the conditions, the daily challenges and the friends I made with the amazing volunteers and the competitors.  I've followed my coaches advice of no training for a month and during that time I've been to the chiropractor, physio and sports massage therapist.  My back has a couple of niggles but I expected that due to the weight of my rucksack (25lbs + 1.5 litres of water) and the fact I couldn't load my rucksack in training due to my foot injury.
The question I keep getting asked is what next?  Before the race I had deliberately not given any thought to the next race because with my foot injury, this could have been my last race!  However my foot was fine during the race and it obviously likes the heat - it's been grumbling since coming home.
But a competitor planted an idea in my head before leaving the USA.  He suggested a race in 2019, the Tahoe 200 (  205.5 miles in the mountains around Lake Tahoe. 35,117 ft of climbing and the same in descent.  The cut off is 100 hours which means very little sleep during the race which will be completely new to me both physically and mentally.  Registration isn't for a year and is limited to 250 competitors.  My training for this started today and once again it's about getting to the startline in the best shape possible for a race completely different to any I've done before.
Today I started my training with a light session in the pool.  1,100m was enough for me and I've got the physio tomorrow who will sort out the muscular discomfort in my back.  To help with my swimming I am going on a full day course on Saturday.  Robert Hamilton is running a Total Immersion course and I really want to become a more effecient swimmer as this will help me enjoy it more.  The strength and breathing benefit I get from swimming makes it an important part of my training.  It also takes some of the pressure off my body from my running.
As far as the 2018 season I've decided my "A race" will be the Great Glen Ultra which is a 71 mile ultra to be completed in 22 hours or less.  It's on 7 July and my training schedule will be designed around it.  71 miles will be my longest run in a single stage and ideal preparation for the Tahoe 200.  I'm looking for at least one 70.3 IM to encourage my cross training but will discuss the timing of it with my coach.
Looking forward to reintroducing my bum to the bike saddle as I will be starting some light turbo training.  I'll leave my running until my back is ok.
I have TRX bands arriving at the house tomorrow so that will be a key part to building my core strength.  I'm back and looking forward to some different training over the winter to set me up for 2018.  Remember a goal without a plan is just a wish.  I'm back and will be blogging on a fortnightly basis if you want to follow my journey.

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