Training On No Fuel Day 2 & 3 РPreparing For The Reality Of Running Europe #RunE1Trail @Pledgesports @trailrunningmag 

 

Day 2 involved the same rule…

500 calories in total for the day and a 50km run, but I made it slightly more difficult by picking a flat and unchanging trail to run along.

 

Simply put it was mentally difficult.  Physically my legs felt tired but they didn’t ache.  I stuck to that one simple principle of being ruled by your heart, and it seemed to work.  I slept for 5 minutes at 21km and realised that I seemed to be struggling to stay warm, but that’s why I had extra layers in my pack.

There’s not really much else to it…

I welcomed the rain that started with around 12km to go, I admired the misty views the rain created and felt that sense of achievement that I did during the summer month as I reached the end of my 50km.

The simple side of this is that my body was generating glucose using fat stores as well as some muscle.  Using fat is a good thing and generally happens under low intensities.  All that needed to happen was to have enough oxygen getting in to my body, and by keeping the intensity down, walking when I needed to and even that little nap I had, I managed to supply enough oxygen to my cells to carryout the magical process of gluconeogenesis.

So, so far it’s day three, my cold is still here, I’m not dead yet, I feel ok (other than the cold) and I do want to eat!

The reality is that on the run I will be taking on board around 500 calories during the run and then a 500 calorie meal at the end of the day and I wouldn’t really expect to maintain this for more than 5-6 days at a time. The other part of this is that this is preparation for a worse case scenario, but the likely hood is running on a calorie deficit for quite some time. The trick will be to manage the route schedule is to know where they are so I can prepare for them with some big feeds a couple of days before.  The other thing that is important is having food to hand that are high fat, so I can get the best calorie/gram amounts and having some basic knowledge of what I can forage as food.  

For now, I’m gonna start eating properly so I can be rid of my cold sooner, rather than depress my immune system and stay I’ll for ages.

Who would have thought that planning such a long trip would be so technical ūüėČ

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Couch to #E1Run – The Story So Far… – #GetOutside @Pledgesports @OrdnanceSurvey @TrailRunningMag

Join the support and pledge for adventure -> #E1Run

I decided that I should put some words down to explain a few things.  Why is it I keep saying ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things?

Some already know my journey to this point… ¬†Preparing to run the length of Europe, self supported, but others are new to the journey so it seems right to share the story and explain why I really do believe that anyone can do what I do and that I am in no way anything other than ordinary. ¬†I have no special gifts and seek recognition for any form of prowess. ¬†I simply try to inspire others through the simple act of being nothing other than ordinary. ¬†So here it is… ¬†The beginning and story so far…

My lungs burn, my muscles scream at me to stop and I feel like I’m fighting gravity and the ground with each step. ¬†BEEP!

That’s my signal to stop. ¬†I double over, feeling sick, out of breath and head spinning from the exertion. ¬†“How on Earth am I going to do another 7 of these??”

Truth is, I’d jogged… ¬†I hate this term! ¬†I’d ran for no more than 30s and I was already feeling like death! ¬†“Why on Earth would anyone do this for fun?”

The odd thing is that the C25K app I downloaded quickly changed to the 10k version, then the half marathon and finally the marathon version, something I never thought I would describe when talking about my past, present and future!!

This was July 2102 and the start of a year which led me close to (and I admit this with great reluctance and a the bitter taste of what I experienced) taking my own life on several occasions, only to turn to running for a moments escape from the bitterness that I felt.  The thing is, I am now living in a way I need thought possible, never imagined I would be capable of and that seems to have allowed me to let go of so much anger, pain and blame.

I was unfit, I was overweight, the world I’d created for myself and the dreams I’d nurtured were falling apart around me and although I didn’t know it at the time, I was taking slow and deliberate step into the pit of depression, unable to stop myself and unaware of what was happening to those I cared for. ¬†The result was living along in a flat, in a town where I knew few people and having to live off ¬£80 a week. ¬†Those were dark¬†times, but my decisions had led me there and I refused (I refuse to this day) to change my decisions and all the way through I continued to run, discovered the joy of running in the Peak District and developed a love for the peace and clarity it gave me.

All the while I research running.  It felt instinctively wrong.  I was fighting the ground, I was putting in lots of effort for little gains in speed, giving me the sensation of being inefficient, until I chanced on the concept of barefoot running and correct running form.  It all made perfect sense!  Each step was a use of energy and if we run poorly, we need more energy to sustain that particular motion forwards.  I began to change my running.  My running began to change me.  I skipped the marathon distance, and with 20 miles of run walking I entered a 50 miles ultra!

3 weeks I trained for it. ¬†I finished. ¬†I didn’t understand how, but I finished.

The switch had been flicked and now I was looking for challenges, running the same hill rep 652 times back to back, covering 75 miles and gaining the same amount of ascent as Mt Fuji was the start of running barefoot from Land’s End to John O’Groats, which became the catalyst to preparing to run the 4750 mile long E1 trail.

The point is simple…

It takes little more than persistence to change our view point from ‘Running Sucks” to “Love to run”, no more. ¬†It’s the same principle with any thing we can’t do and find challenging, but we are all made to take on these challenges if we can just remove the blinkers that we self apply through our pursuit of comfort and ease.

Ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things.

Join the support and pledge for adventure -> #E1Run

#GetOutside, #PushYourLimits & Become More Than Before

I’ve written something about the mentality the allows someone to push on when others would stop and spent long tired hours contemplating how it is that we can keep moving when really, by the popular consensus we should have quit, stopped and returned.

Earlier in the year I wrote a post about a moment of realisation that seemed to changed my whole approach and outlook to getting myself outside my comfort zone. ¬†The below is a small section of it, and probably the most important sections…

“Yet, at some point I made the conscious decision to go in. ¬†It is easier to be in a dark place and stare up at the light than it is to stand out of reach of the dark and wander what demons lurk within.

Gradually, this dark place began to fill with light.  Where once there were undefined shapes of forbidding, there now stands figures of encouraging challenge.  The way out is easy to find, no longer a distant star, but more a beaming beacon.  The euphoria of reaching a stop point was simply the realisation that it is possible to sink lower than you imagined and then rise out.  I am no longer ashamed or fearful of this dark place. 

It is easier to crawl out of the pit of despair than it is to avoid falling in.”

Here’s something I’ve recently clocked on to, without being nebulous…

I tweeted that I was likely to fail in my next challenge (a winter BGR in sandals), but since its for a good cause I’d take it on. ¬†It’s been something I’ve wanted to try for the last 2 years and after supporting a friend on the route in summer, I’ve become slightly obsessed with it, or more accurately fallen in love with the stupidity of the UK rounds.

For those that don’t know, the UK rounds involve long distances, lots of peaks and the main national parks of the UK. ¬†All of them have ridiculous amounts of ascent, are ultra distances, involved as many peaks as you can grab and require lots of navigation and outdoor skills. ¬†This is all before you consider the fitness needed and the mentality that goes hand in hand with these challenges. ¬†There are¬†3 big rounds in the UK¬†that I’m fascinated by, mostly because of the mental aspect. ¬†How does a person cope mentally with such a challenge?

This is where the tweet reply from Ricky comes in….

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At some point along the way, I seem to have embraced the philosophy that I was so interested in when I was at the end of my university degree, and even more interested in when I went back to college to try my hand at photography.

It’s a simple concept.

When faced with adversity you should embrace failure before you even begin. ¬†But this seems to completely counter what we are told about positive mental attitude. ¬†Think about it happening, see yourself being successful and you will be. ¬†The thing is, it’s an oddly peaceful mental state to get into. ¬†As soon as you acknowledge the failure and embrace it, a sense of indifference seems to roll over you. ¬†You aren’t worried about failing. ¬†It’s almost as though the failure doesn’t exist. ¬†The same happens with the thoughts of success. ¬†They seem to disintegrate as you develop the same sense of indifference to the idea of finishing successfully.

What is there left if your indifferent to it all?  Well, its an odd sense of nothingness, where you simply act as is needed.   You develop a strange sense of purpose that drives you forwards, regardless of pain, tiredness or injury.  Most importantly, you act as you need to act, freed from the usual constraints that inform or shape our decisions when involved in challenges.

I am a fan of the phrase “endeavour to cultivate stupidity” because for me it embodies this attitude to challenges. ¬†I will be starting a whole new part of my little adventure, and it will be interesting to see what happens, but for now, I’m going to focus on getting in the right frame of mind to complete probably the hardest physical challenge of my life…

The Bob Graham round, and I will do it to raise awareness of the fundraising that the Cumbrian Foundation are doing. So, if you wish to help you can get involved in one of the following ways:

 

Why Do You Run? Revisit The Age Old Question

I’ve revisited this so often I’m not even sure if my reasons are changing in any way.  I run to feel human.

To get in touch with that part of me that exists but can truly be on show when I’m out and running. 

I run so I can be myself and not a version of me that is socially acceptable. 

 

You only know if it’s doable if you try. ive looked at the collapsed face of Mam Tor many a time and wandered if i can go up it. i guess the answer is yes

 
    
  

Im a little shocked by the difference in foot position between me and the guy behind!

  

 

I stopped after 2 miles and took off my shoes. Running just didnt feel as light and easy with them on.

 

The Mam Tor, Loose hill ridge. A glorious running place.

  

A quick bask in the sheer awesomeness of running up a gorge.

 

Shoes Optional ‚Äď A barefoot runner‚Äôs journey along the length of Britain ‚Äď Introduction

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Within these posts you will find no hidden secrets, no magical formulae and no recipes for adventure.  Instead you will read about one person’s journey and their realization that there are no limits other than the ones we set ourselves and it is these limits that hold us back.  We pander to the softer side of our nature, seeking the easiest route through life’s.  At some point we must realise that this is not the way to be true to our nature.  It is as important to embrace and invite discomfort, as it is to invite challenge.   Without these, how are we to grow?

 

An Unexpected Post From LeJog

 

"It's a long road to wisdom and a short one to being ignored" The Lumineers

“It’s a long road to wisdom and a short one to being ignored” The Lumineers

At some point along running the length of the UK I typed this. ¬†It was on Day 24 apparently, but I have no real recollection of where I was or why I didn’t post it. ¬†I only happened to find it because I peaked at the draft posts I have to see if I could finish any of them and reduce the backlog of typing. ¬†So instead of reducing the backlog, I’m sharing a random and typically philosophical set of words.

DAY 24

At some point, we all realise what we are supposed to have done long ago. ¬†It doesn’t matter that you didn’t do it earlier and it doesn’t matter that you have nothing to say or no way to express what it is that you are experiencing. ¬†If only the lack of words¬†was because I’d reached that fabled place called wisdom.

“A wise man speaks little and says lots. A foolish man speaks lots and says little.”

The Secret To Barefoot Toughness

It’s all in the training ūüėú

 

Joking aside…

Picking the toughest terrain to run across and doing this consistently is probably the only secret to making tough terrain easy and learning to relax as you move across it.  

I’ve got a long way to go before being an expert but then again, I have 1206 miles to practice on starting this Sunday (26th of July)!!

Stepping Out Of The Suck

3:45am and the alarm sets off.  I awake to the sound of music, but motivation is distinctly lacking.  It’s windy, rainy, cold and I’m up before the sun!

Sometimes you just have to embrace the internal dulldrum and step out, and small things provide just enough of a nudge to get you moving.  This morning I’m glad I did for two reasons…

 

Reason 1 – Rain doesn’t always suck

  

Reason 2 – Even a dull field is interesting with magnificent skies


Have great Tuesday! 

The Love Hate Relatioship With Hotel BareFootLeJog 

 
That little red tent is going to be my home in 10 weeks time, abd I’ve already Christine’s it ‘Hotel BareFoot Lejog’.  It’ll be a place fir relaxing, refuelling and sleep for the maximum of 6 whole weeks, and this morning, having camped out after a day of running, BBQ and birthday cake with good company, I realised something.

This little red thing is going to be were I relax, loving the fact that I have it with me in the evenings as I go to sleep.  In the mornings I will fondly say goodbye as I pack it way, having reluctantly left its warm and glowing interior, but as I begin to get tired, I am going to be cursing its existence!

Right now however, I’m looking forward to seeing lots of these each evening.