Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Challenge66 and Cross Training

Hi, welcome back.

Thanks to those of you that have used the new "Email Your Question" button and e-mailed me a question.  I will incorporate my responses to these questions within future blog posts over the coming weeks.  Please keep the questions coming.  Before I respond to the first question, which is to do with 'Cross Training' I would like to draw your attention to an amazing Ultra Running Challenge that starts tomorrow, on the 16th March.

The challenge is titled Challenge66.  The following is taken directly from the website.

Challenge66 will see Andy McMenemy, the son of a former soldier establish a new Guinness World Record for consecutive ultra marathons (50km) with no rest days. During Challenge66 Andy will run 66 Ultra Marathons in 66 Days, one from each of the 66 official Cities in the United Kingdom.

As Andy runs an ultra marathon in the 66 official cities across the United Kingdom over 66 days, he will be raising money for ABF The Soldiers Charity.  If you go to the website http://www.challenge66.org/ you can see how to get involved, by either running with him or volunteering to help with the organisation of a run in one or more of the cities. 

I have just signed up to run 50 kilometres with him on Saturday 2nd April in Brighton.  So if any of you are near Brighton on the 2nd of April, it would be great if you could come along and join us.  The 50km route is going to be a real challenge!  Not your usual ultra trail route along bridleways and footpaths, or over the Downs, but multiple laps (probably around 30!) of Hove Park!!!  I'm not sure how I will respond to this challenge, but it should be quite an experience.

On the website there are links to how you can donate money to this very worthy charity.  If you click on Schedule you can see when Andy is in a city close to where you are.  While on the Schedule page if you then click the 66 logo next to Brighton, you can donate money to the charity, which will help boost the donations specifically from the Brighton City Challenge66 50km run.  Alternatively click the 66 logo next to your preferred city.

How somebody prepares for such a challenge is obviously interesting, as is the motivation behind the Challenge.  Andy McMenemy discusses these aspects as well as other 'bits and pieces' during an interesting discussion with Julia Armstrong in this week's podcast, which is linked to from the Running Free website.

Now onto a follower's question, which comes all the way from Istanbul, Turkey.  Aykut e-mailed me stating how he had just recently improved his road marathon time from 4 hours to 3 hours 27 minutes, and that he felt that my blog had helped him achieve his goal.  (Which is reassuring and nice to know!)

Your "run fast while you can" motto was very intriguing for me. And the other thing is the "always think positive" attitude that you constantly mention.  I decided I'd start with a sub 3:30 pace and try to keep that pace for 30K and then see what happens. Whenever negative thoughts emerged during the race, I'd remind myself about your thinking positive approach and it worked well.  So I can safely say that your blog really helped me.
Hi, I am very sorry but for some strange reason the remainder of Aykut's question and my response has just disappeared!!!  This is the first time this has happened to me, but I guess this is a good lesson in that I should type my posts into say a word document and then frequently save when I choose to, rather that relying on the blog site to save the post.  As although the blog site saves it frequently, I must have somehow deleted the bottom half of the post and then it automatically saved it!!!  So frustrating!!!

During last summer I read a sociological PhD on endurance running.  The author found it quite contradictory how endurance runners who were inspired and motivated by the outdoors would then spend hours indoors on computers writing and reading blogs!  The two activities appeared to him to be quite opposing.  Well after tonight's frustrating experience, I definitely know what I prefer doing, so it may well be a wee while before I respond to the half commenced question above.

All the best with the blogging!


Just to finish off, remember to take a look at the Challenge66 website.



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