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Marathon de Sables: 6 bitesize tips

Image by Pierre Vierdy


Be totally honest with yourself and do not be hoodwinked into what others are doing. If you can run 4 days a week every week you are going to get 90% of the benefits of training 7 days a week. 100% more benefit than someone who runs 2 days one week, 3 the next and none the next. Consistency is crucial to improvement.

Take rest days seriously:

It’s not when you are out on the trails that the gains are made but when you are resting, sleeping and recovering. Do not neglect sleep and rest.

Increase the mileage gradually:

Do not be lulled into a false sense of security when you feel great and increase your running mileage. You may feel invincible that week but it’ll catch up with you and you won’t know until its too late that you are over doing it.

Stay on the trail as much as possible:

Keep on the soft stuff as much as possible, pavements damage your tendons ligaments and muscles. Not only that, running on an unstable surface is race specific mimicking the instability of sand and rocky surfaces.

Condition your whole body:

Keep your upper body toned for carrying weight and your core strong to keep your form over the long haul. Pilates, yoga, climbing and Strength and conditioning are all great for toning and developing strength.

Tackle doubt head on:

A very valuable tool in your armoury is visualisation. Another one is to identify your ‘why’. The reason you want to do this challenge. The clearer you are about your ‘Why’ the more likely you will succeed. Learn also to identify when the little devil on your shoulder is speaking telling you to stop or not go for a run and learn how to put him back in his box!


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