MdS Training Update – Block 5

It’s been a while since I’ve done a training update, so here goes.

Block 5 is done! (Well at least it will be in the morning)

If you look back on my training plan, you’ll see that I’ve split my Marathon Des Sables training into 10 blocks. I’m now just finishing block 5 which means I’m now officially over half way there. So, s#$t that means MdS is coming up quick.

This last block has been a building phase with over 300km of running

Goal for this Block – Build  MON  TUE  WED  THU  FRI  SAT  SUN  TOTAL
2/11/15 15 Pilates/Strength 14.4 8 11.2 Rest 38.4 8 80
9/11/15 16 Pilates/Strength 11.2 8 11.2 Rest 28.8 16 75.2
16/11/15 17 Pilates/Strength 9.6 6.4 9.6 Rest 22.4 16 64
23/11/15 18 Pilates/Strength 16 8 11.2 Rest 38.4 8 81.6
Block Total 300.8

but this probably only tells half the story. Whilst Wk1: 80km, Wk2: 75.2km, Wk3: 64km, Wk4: 81.6km doesn’t seem too onerous, when you add around 10-12km per day of walking/climbing in my day job (building a house) the overall km covered is getting a bit on the exhausting side.

ie Wk 1: 130km, Wk2: 125km, Wk3: 114km, Wk4: 131km

Total KM for the past 4 weeks: 500km…..

And therein lies a bit of a tradeoff. I’ve found that by the time I get to do my run after doing a long day of physical labour, I’m pretty much done in, so the quality of run training has definitely suffered, with a resulting drop in overall run speed. However on the flip side my overall stamina/endurance has increased markedly, which when you’re attempting to run a marathon everyday (plus a double+ marathon), is a good thing. So I’ve pretty much determined that for the MdS, I’m not really going to be very fast at all. Which is probably ok as most of the reading I’ve done suggest that most runners complain that they hadn’t done enough walking training. So at least on that score I’ve no problems.

The biggest challenge though is knowing when to back off a bit. Last weekend was case in point. I was due to to a 22.4km session backed up with a 16km session. But on the first day it was obvious after a couple of kilometres that the legs wouldn’t go, the mind was screwed and that I shouldn’t be out there. So whilst I did still manage to put in 10km, I cut the session short and banked a bit of rest from running and worked on the house instead. I still put in a physical day, but without the pressure of running.  Or more aptly I gave my mind a break.

And that’s the thing I’m learning about all this training, building and running. It isn’t really a physical exercise, yes you have to be reasonably physically fit, but it more about your mindset, being able to push your body when you want to stop, being able to keep putting one foot in front of the other when everything hurts, being able to keep going when all the other mental distractions of life are getting in the way. Being utterly focussed on completing a goal when everything is telling you to stop.

Rock on Block 6…………