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Understanding the mental and physical challenges of training for an ultra marathon: A Peek Into Ciara Davies' Race to the King Training Diary (part II)

Strength training all part of my training plan

So far, my training plan has blended in nicely with those training for Bath and/or London and (glossing over the week I just lost to nursing the family’s consecutive tummy bugs) I have definitely ridden the wave of collective enthusiasm. The challenge now is to keep my momentum going as distances ramp up, muscles get sore and motivation sometimes proves elusive.

This is what I have learned so far.

Have a plan you believe in

One of my key motivators is “If I can do this session today, I am where I need to be to complete the Race to the King”. My programme is tailored by Kerry from week to week, but here is a snapshot for this week (obviously the plan is to build up the length of the runs!)

Monday - Circuits for strength with Kerry

Tuesday - Run 90 mins

Wednesday - Yoga/Recovery

Thursday - Hills with Kerry’s group (45 mins – exact details a lovely surprise on the day!)

Friday - Run 150 mins

Saturday - Run 60 mins

Sunday - Recovery

Get some decent shoes

I was very fortunate to be given a pair of shoes, together with some moulded inserts and some top-notch advice on my gait by Profeet. A few issues with achy toes that I had been having disappeared almost immediately.

Redefine “fun”

Doing an obstacle mud run with a big group of friends a few weeks ago was honestly the most fun I have had in public in ages and it counted as a training session. Childhood recaptured. Just brilliant.

Be honest with yourself

If you are going to persuade yourself to train on the days when the rain is bucketing down and you have formed an unbreakable spiritual bond with the sofa, you are going to have to understand your true reason for entering the Race to the King in the first place. It doesn’t need to be a reason worthy of Miss World; it doesn’t have to be laudable, respectable or even printable; it just has to be the thing you whisper to yourself that will make you get up and move.

Apart form the occasional bout of vanity, I struggle to give a rat’s patootie about the world’s perception of me. On the one hand, this is a true gift as I have no issue with hyperventilating my way around the pavements of Bath looking like a beleaguered rhinoceros. On the other, it leaves me with enormous leeway to let myself off the hook from going there in the first place. However, I do care deeply about whether James’ school can afford a new minibus and the thought of helping with that through sponsorship is enough motivation to get me moving every time. I also wish for world peace.


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