Thursday, 25 October 2012

Its more of a mental battle.....

It more of a mental battle.......

As part of the preparation for next years event, i want to put down on paper so to speak what i consider the most important part of the preparation for next years 100, preparing the old noggin for the rather testing task of travelling under my own steam for 100+ miles.

Whether or not this will help i have no idea, ill know at the end of July next year.

You can prepare completely physically, but if the minds not fully prepared, then the task will be all the more the difficult, Stuart mills talks about this in his blog, follow the link for an interesting post concerning ultra peformance and positivity.
I agree with the premise, any negative thoughts can grow and if they take over you're fighting two battles, from my own experience I can say that I have never set out on a challenge thinking I can't do it, my wife calls me stubborn, and I guess I am, sometimes it's a good trait to have sometimes its not,
I think we are programmed with these traits or we are not, it's inherently woven into who we are, thats why only a very small percentage of the population enter these events.

The drop out rate for the Lakeland 100 this year was so im told greater than normal within the first few checkpoints, looking at the results on, of the 262 that started in Coniston 136 finished, so pretty much a 50% drop out rate overall. Around 50 of those that dropped out for whatever reason and dropped out within the first 10-12 hours or at or before Checkpoint 6. Running through the night could have taken its toll and to the uninitiated is a tough experience, the darkness is claustrophobic not really allowing the mind to wander only concentrating on a few metres in front of you making time pass more slowly. Add to that tiredness and fatigue from physical exertion and your on the road to negativity setting in. The challenge is to try to keep the mind positive and strong when the body is sending overwhelming signals that it wants to stop, i.e. pain.

I havent done the 100 yet,  but I have done a fair few night runs, paced BGR legs from dusk util dawn and spent many a night yomping through the night on exercise in the army, and endured sustained periods of sleep deprivation. What I haven't done straight after the nights exertion is then continuing for another 60 - 70 miles, this is the reason for this post, ill be a new experience for me and i think the mental preparation required for such an event is an important thing to think about. That's why over the next 9 months or so a long mental excercise will consume my thoughts, I'm already doing it, on the drive to work, during quiet periods, and last thing at night, focusing on what i will be feeling, thinking and what will keep me going.

Some extremely capable and experienced ultra athletes havent finished the L100 finding it too far and too hard, again something to consider but not to dwell for too long on.

Below are some of what i think are important factors, im sure there are more but these are the ones that have jumped out at me in the first instance.


Physical Preparation.



Mental training.

I aim to develop this post up until and after the 100, and continue adding to it as my training and experience develops.

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