March was all about my attempt to walk non-stop around the M25 motorway, and when I say ‘All’ I mean that I only did three walks in March!
I went in to the month with a minor knee injury which meant I avoided doing any training in the lead-up to the M25 walk except for a 5km parkrun the weekend beforehand.
I’ve written a report about my M25 circumnavigation here. It didn’t go to plan but I completed it.
My knee injury held up but I am still suffering some discomfort and have only done one walk since – which was ten miles last weekend.
I’m still having physio on the knee and have also joined a gym in attempt to strengthen my right quadriceps as the physio thinks a weakness here is contributing to my knee problems. Unfortunately, having joined the gym on the Thursday before Easter, I overdid the exercises and now have a minor right hip injury as well!
The Paris-Alsace race is an ‘invitation only’ 425km (265 mile) multi-day walking race through France (from Paris to Alsace), and I have been invited to compete in this years event!
I’m the first New Zealander to have ever been invited to compete but unfortunately I won’t be accepting my invitation this year.
After thinking about it for the last 24 hours I have decided that the race is just too hard for me to do without dedicating a year to training specifically for the event.
The race consists of four stages as follows –
- Stage 1: 15km starting at 6:30pm on day 1 (I can do this easily enough)
- Stage 2: 203km starting 2 ½ hours after finishing stage 1. Time limit on this stage is 30 to 31 hours depending on how long stage 1 takes. I should be capable of doing this.
- Stage 3: 165km starting exactly 2 hours after finishing stage 2. So after walking within 2 or 3 hours of my best time for 200km I can have a 2 hour break and then I have to walk 100 miles – and depending on how long stage 2 takes me, I have between 25 ½ and maybe 27 ½ hours to do that. I don’t think I am capable of backing up from a 200km stage and then walking another 100 miles, let alone completing it within that time.
- Stage 4: Only 57km which, if I only just finished within the cutoff time for stage 3 would start only 3 hours after I finish stage 3. The organisers allow a generous 11 to 12 hours for this stage depending on your start time, but this is the ‘mountain’ stage.
I’m proud to have been invited to do this race but I’m also realistic, and I can’t see myself finishing it. At least not this year. But never say never. I’m thinking of targeting this as my big race for 2018 (if I can earn an invitation again).
My healthy eating diet continues although one of the highlights of the M25 walk was the opportunity to eat anything I wanted for a weekend. Coke, chocolate bars, crisps, cereal bars, etc. All the things I have been avoiding since changing my diet at the beginning of the year.
Having completed the walk I have now returned to my healthy eating diet and when I weighed myself for the first time since July I found that I have lost 5kg and am the lighted I have been since I can’t remember when – probably since the 90’s.
I suspect that the majority of that weight loss as been due to me stopping drinking Coke back in September last year. I recently calculated that at an average of 2 litres of Coke per day, I was consuming 6kg of sugar per month! Can’t that out is guaranteed to reduce weight.
I have also started eating a minimum of 2 bananas per day. In the past, if I was hungry between meals I used to eat a chocolate bar, justifying that I needed the calories due to all the exercise I did. Since changing my diet and eating porridge for breakfast, rather than cornflakes, I have found that I’m not so hungry between meals in the morning, but I’m often hungry in the afternoon. So now I include a banana with my lunch and when commuting home from work I eat another banana rather than the chocolate bar that I would have eaten in the past.
In January I set myself a target of stretching for 30 minutes three times per week. In January and February I managed to average just half of that but this month I did nine stretching sessions – 4 ½ hours in total. This was obviously made easier due to the fact that I haven’t been training so have had extra time, but it is something that I still need to work on.
Thanks to my M25 walk my March mileage was 194 miles (312km). I had planned on taking a complete break for two weeks after the M25 walk but it is time to resume training now as I had planned a high mileage month in April before the two long distance races I have in May – the Continental Centurions Race and the Grand Union Canal Race (24 hours and 145 miles respectively).
With the two minor (hopefully) injury problems I currently have though (right knee and right hip) I don’t know how my April will go.
The good news is that the other aches and pains/injuries I was carrying earlier this year are now gone. Neither the right hamstring nor the discomfort/tightness in the arches of my feet have bothered me during March. So perhaps this demonstrates that it is possible to train through minor injuries and they will eventually disappear. Let’s hope so.
Year To Date Mileage:
|Year To Date||582 miles||936lm|
Total hours: 132
Longest walk: 120 miles (194km) – being the first 34 ½ hours of the M25 circumnavigation.
None. My first race of 2016 is the Dutch Centurions race (24 hours) in mid May and I will follow that up with the 145 mile Grand Union Canal Race at the end of May.
Plans for April:
This is very much dependent on my knee and hip, but I would like to build up to finish the month with either one or two 100 mile weeks and then I will have two easy weeks before the Centurions race in mid May.
And why am I writing all this?
I have huge plans for 2016. Everything is focused around the 6 jours de france (Privas 6 day race) in October, and I am breaking my preparation down in to individual months – March was month three and was all about doing a big ‘non-stop’ walk around the M25.
I have plans for each individual month (April was supposed to be a high mileage training month, and will still hopefully be a quality training month) as I build up towards the race, and at the end of each month I intend to write a review and set my goals/plans for the next month.
Writing this blog post helps me to focus on what I need to do.