No Turning Back….

I have just made the final instalment payment for the 2013 Marathon Des Sables…

So this means there is now no going back, I am signed up for the race in April next year and there is nothing I can do!! Time is galloping away now, in just over 3 (yes 3!) months I will be on the start line of the race, my knees knocking my heart palpitating and my legs raring to go in the “toughest footrace on earth”

After the Dorset Ultra I felt pretty decent, I took part in a track night at the local athletics club in Jersey on the Tuesday, felt too good in fact! It wasnt long after that that I picked up the dreaded tummy bug thats been going round Jersey, with a few xmas do’s on the go over the last week the bug has been most inconvenient as I haven’t been up to going out and letting off a bit of steam, but its all on the mend now and hope to get some decent mileage in over the following week..

So to equipment for the MDS…

Over the last few weeks my attention has switched to what equipment I will take with me to the desert, as vital a part of the prep for the race as the training itself, so I am now the proud owner of a very light very warm (i hope!) very expensive sleeping bag; the Raidlight Combi, which conveniently doubles as a puffa jacket for those chilly evenings in the desert.. It weighs just under 600 grams so am really pleased to have got this major bit of kit sorted..

So as it was xmas I have also treated myself to another major bit of kit, a new rucksack. Presenting the Raidlight Olmo 20L + 4L, a lovely looking bit of kit that I have just taken delivery of yesterday. Its new out in the last month and specifically designed for the MDS, it has a front pack, 2 bottles and lots of handy pockets and pouches which is ideal to me for a long race.. It is quite small however and I am a little concerned how I will fit in a weeks worth of food and other stuff, although I have been informed that I need to be ruthless when packing! I had a quick try of it today and it feels great on, I dont think it will move much much when running which is great, I will be trying it in the near future so hope that it is ideal for the job.. 
As far as other equipment it is all coming together, I am 99% certain on the shoes I will take, the sand gaiters I will use and the clothing I will wear for the week. Weight is the main consideration and I need to really ensure that I take the minimum of equipment and try and keep the pack weight down to 6.5kg (or as close as possible) Over the coming months I will be looking at and testing the various hydrated food options I can take with me as well as the other nutritional aspects. Again I am looking for highest calorific value against least weight whilst also being half decent tasting!! Could be quite a tough thing to satisfy these issues..
So it is now christmas time and training has dialled down slightly.. I am looking forward to getting back into it come new year, 3 months of hard training ahead in which intend to get used to back to back days, build strength and endurance and get used to heat and running with weight.. Phew! Makes me tired just thinking about it.. As far as the heat acclimation I am hoping to adopt a sauna training strategy. I will be building up time spent in the sauna and then introducing light exercise such as step ups to raise my core temp slowly..
Lots to do and lots to look forward to! Have a great xmas and an amazing new year.

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