When one challenge is never enough.

Greetings dear reader. I hope today finds you well, and if you are reading this in early May in the UK, I hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather as much as I am.

Despite deciding in my last blog post that I would run every other day, in a controversial and unconventional twist to usual marathon and running training, I have not been doing any running what so ever. The main reason for this is that in the time that I would usually devote to running I have been trying to improve my golf instead, as I recently joined a golf club.

The good news about trying to improve my golf is, I find it equally as hard as I find trying to improve my running. It is like trying to improve skills is difficult. Like you don’t instantly become good at things after giving them a go for a while.

Now of course, I am aware that building skills takes time. The problem with this is, I have played golf for well over 20 years, and been running for almost 10. You would have thought this would have been enough time to build up some reasonable skill in both, and if I am being honest and fair to myself, I think I probably have.

I can play a competitive round of golf, absolutely love playing and am probably about average in terms of skill. (photos below from a recent round at Hindhead, where I am not a member, but would dearly love to be).

I am probably also an average runner. I plod along at about 10min/mile pace on shorter runs, which I reckon is about average. Maybe a bit slower than average, but never the less, somewhere very much in the middle.

Also, this birthday I am 44. And it is hard to improve your skills in your 40’s. The prime of my life is really behind me at this point. But just cause something is hard, does not mean it should not be attempted. On the contrary, the harder or more challenging something is the more it makes me want to do it.

This finally brings me onto the point of this blog post. What do you do when one marathon is not enough? Well you book another one. Then, just to double down, you also book a slightly different but equally big challenge around the same time and bingo, you have suddenly made something that is hard an awful lot harder.

Challenge number 1 take place on the 3rd/4th September and is the South Coast Challenge, a 100km hike from Eastbourne to Arundel. This challenge is courtesy of my wife, who decided to take this on to raise some money in memory of a friend of ours who died far too young, leaving behind too young kids and a wife. I love walking and my favourite person to walk with is my wife, so I thought I would join her and keep her company. Rather than me tell you about it, check out her blog to see what it is all about. And before you say it, I know what you are thinking. Yes my wife and I both have blogs. That is just how fecking cool we are. Don’t be too jealous. Haters gonna hate 🙂

Challenge number 2 will be London Marathon on the 2nd October. This is a marathon. In London. The big one. Probably the most famous marathon in the world. The one I am already VERY nervous about, despite it being 20 weeks away.

Challenge number 3 will be the Beachy Head Marathon on the 22nd October. Another marathon. Starting in Eastbourne. I have run this one before a few times. It is tough. Very tough. All marathons are tough, but this is rather hilly. And usually very windy. And often very rainy. It’s a great event.

Beachy Head Marathon. Quite Hilly!

So those are my three events for 2022. Nothing until September, then it all kicks right off! It’s going to be interesting for me, as training for a 100km hike is going to be a bit different to a training for a marathon. I have never trained up for a long hike before. Looking forward to it.

The biggest challenge in all of this will be recovery. In marathon training, your hardest week of training is 3 weeks before the event. You then “taper” (which is when you reduce your training load), to reach the start line at the marathon in peak condition. A two week taper allows your body to recover from the training load and you lose very little fitness during this time.

I am going to complete the two day hike with my wife the weekend before my longest training week. This could easily result in too much training load and that risks injury, which is the last thing I need just before the London Maraton. Fingers crossed that I will be in good shape by then and find it easier than I imagine it being.

Speaking of shape, so far so good on Project 80. Weigh in again tomorrow to see if I can continue the downwards trend.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings. Wherever you are reading this I hope you have a great day/evening and if anybody fancies a round of golf, let me know.

TTFN

Snooky

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