The Road to the North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc: Motivation

Gail Edmans
running 300x225 The Road to the North Face Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc: Motivation

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This weekend’s training felt like a hard slog and merely a means to an end. It involved a three-hour crisscrossing of Richmond Park in the rain and I didn’t really enjoy it.

Part of the problem was the run came so soon after the excitement of taking part in last weekend’s two day ultra. I felt I deserved to be resting, eating chocolate, and watching TV. But I’m also aware that Ultra Trail Mont Blanc – my ultimate goal in all this – looms and August will come round all too quickly. And when the weather is miserable it doesn’t matter how hi tech your wet weather running gear is, you’re still going to get soaked.

You’re never going to know what conditions are like ahead of any big event. The Alps in August could be anything from baking hot and cloudless skies to freezing cold and lashing with rain – as UTMB 2012 was. That’s why it’s important – as far as possible – your training outings have got you acclimatised to anything that could be thrown at you on the big day.

I learnt this lesson the hard way when I took part in an Ironman triathlon in Germany a few years ago and it poured all day. During training, whenever it rained, all my cycling was done on a turbo trainer indoors – mind-numbingly boring but cosy, warm and offering the chance to catch up on the Hollyoaks omnibus. On race day, I spent the whole of the 2.4 mile canal swim, dreading getting out the water onto the bike leg of the Ironman because I simply never cycled in the rain. But I had no choice and since then, I never let the unpredictable weather get in the way of training outdoors and to be honest, it can all be part of the fun and sense of achievement.

Base building at this time of year forms the crucial components of strength and endurance and you have to start now if you’re to achieve your big summer goal. So don’t let weekend opportunities pass you by or be put off by the British obsession with the weather – embrace both and you will certainly reap the rewards in a few months’ time. I saw enough missed opportunities this weekend with my beloved Manchester City dropping even further behind United in the Premiership title race, to add to my woes and let a valuable UTMB training opportunity slip.

I’d love to hear what training you got up to this weekend, please let me know!

Follow me on Twitter @Norsemouse

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