St Helier, Jersey, Channel Isles

5 Months To Go..

Yesterday was the Jersey Half Marathon. Over the last few weeks I have been training twice weekly with the Jersey Spartans Athletics Club and have noticed real positive changes in both my speed and endurance. Yesterday was a chance to measure this in real terms and I felt I did ok. The course is challenging with a 2 mile hill at the start which certainly takes it out of you. I intended to run the course in 1 hours 24 ish and came away with 1 hour 27 which I was pleased with. Last year I ran the same course in 1 hour 34 so a definite improvement from then which is promising.. 

The conditions were great, sunny, no wind and a really nice vibe. Alot of people from our training group did well and placed highly so it shows that the speed training has been paying off!
I had a week and a half away in which I visited Barry Island in Wales which is my home, and was lucky enough to have a consultation with Rory Coleman who has completed the MDS 9 times. It was an informative session, we did tests to establish my VO2 max and then Rory gave me a strengthening program to improve my muscular endurance. We then spent the afternoon going through the various kit options that I could take to the MDS to optimise the weight carried in my rucksack. It looks like some tough decisions are to be made re carrying a cooking stove or not to minimise weight and maximise speed, non essential luxuries are out the window such as cameras, phones and hair dryers! 🙂
The optimal weight it appears is 6.5 kg to carry with some people carrying as much as 11 kg, with a kilo adding as much as 25 minutes onto your marathon time. The 6.5 Kg is including food, sleeping bag, mandatory equipment  and misc stuff.. It looks like I will be wearing one set of running gear for the whole week so will be smelling lovely by the end of the race!
Rory was also kind enough to provide me with a make me as tough as nails program which entails me running an average of 80 miles per week for the next few months, hello fitness goodbye life I think! I do hope that come March that I will possess the endurance and strength to withstand the rigours of the race. 
All in all the time with Rory was great, my lasting recollection of the day being doing lady press-ups in the gym whilst two muscle heads nearby bench pressed each other more or less and Rory valiantly not laughing at my pathetic upper body strength!! Anyway this will change over the forthcoming months and I hope to do the program justice..
Next up is the Endurancelife CTS Dorset Ultra Marathon on December 8th which is a 33 mile ultra marathon along my old friend the Jurassic Coast. There are a few of us competing from Jersey so will be a good outing and hopefully we will represent the island well.

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