With Kyoto Marathon now over, I have to prepare my body and mind for an upcoming challenge in April.
As previously mentioned - Kyoto Marathon was a lot of fun for me. I enjoyed the day, and managed to run the event, enjoying the atmosphere and taking photo's without too much stress.
But this next event will be totally different! ;-)
In truth - I wanted to use Kyoto Marathon as 'forced training' for this April event, and to guage how my body felt. By 'forced training', I am referring to the fact that it is very difficult to motivate oneself to run 42.195km on a training run, but by entering a marathon and turning up on the day, you are essentially guaranteeing yourself of running the distance and are able to give your body and mind a sort of self assessment to see how it felt.
I was able to enjoy the event, and despite a strange and rare bout of cramp in my hamstring 7km from the end, I managed to finish in 4 hours. Whilst not being an incredible time (it is one of my slowest marathons) it is respectable given the circumstances, and after crossing the finish line I was feeling fresh and back to 100% within 10-15 minutes. This is exactly what I had hoped for and has given me the confidence that body is where it needs to be for April.
On April 22nd I will be attempting the Fuji 5 Lakes Ultramarathon, which will be 71km around the lakes surrounding Mt.Fuji. Whilst I do not really know what to expect, I know that I have not been training anywhere near as hard as back in the UK, due to work commitments, lack of my own gym (I have my own studio back in London), and also constant travelling. I have also read that this event is extremely tough!
I have competed with good success in ultra marathons for the past few years, and have even achieved 4th place in a 161km (100mile) race. This was one of my proudest moments, and took a lot of physical and mental training to attain this state.
But this will be different! Despite being only 71km compared with 161km, I am feeling slightly more pressure due to my current circumstances, lack of equipment (I left all of my ultra running gear back in London!), language barrier, and being in a new location. But to be honest I am EXTREMELY EXCITED, and I cannot wait!
I know that come April 22nd, I will be ready in mind and body for this challenge.
I am always very systematic with my approach to training - understanding that MORE is not necessarily better, that QUALITY should be emphasised over QUANTITY, and that rest and recovery are also a vitaly important facet to any training programme.
Once again - it all comes down to BALANCE, and this is a subject I like to say that I have been studying since birth!
Have a perfectly balanced day everyone :-)