6633 Arctic Ultra: October training update
October has been a strange month for training for the 6633 Arctic Ultra, I was away with a friend/coached athlete working on a TV documentary for 2 weeks (documentary to be aired in December on BBC Wales), then we hiked/ran from Prestatyn to south Wales, then had a week VERY easy to recover from that trip, then got back into training, so this month isn't what I'd call a 'normal' month. Anyway, the training hours break down as:
- Running (pure running): 9hr 40mins
- Walk/hike/run (mixture of all): 41hr 5mins
- Strength: 6hr 45mins
- Misc (cycling): 1hr
My training for the 6633 Arctic Ultra will be a lot about having 'time on feet', getting used to being out in the mountains, getting strong and not so much about pure running, hence the reason why you'll see from my training log (above) lots of walking and hiking (weighted hikes and tyre pulls too) and not so much just normal running.
The way training and training progression should work is that you start training in a more 'general' manner then as we progress closer to the event itself the training becomes more specific, so as the months progress I'll be spending more time on feet, more time pulling the sled/tyre, more back-to-back training days, with some sessions at night to simulate the continuous nature of the 6633 Arctic Ultra. During these periods I'll also be testing out some of the equipment required for the Arctic, such as my clothing, sleep systems (sleeping bag & bivvy bag/tent) and cooking systems (gas burner, dehydrated foods, water & snacks).
I've also been back to Likeys to try, test and buy some new equipment, I went up to Brecon with an eye on buying some new hiking boots for the Arctic. I was looking at the HOKA range and tried a few pairs (with 2 pairs and 3 pairs of socks on, like I will be in the Arctic) but couldn't quite find the right fit, so I'll be back next month to try some new models (it makes it so much easier being able to try on multiple pairs and find the right one for me). Instead I ended up walking away with a new Ortovox long sleeved baselayer and a pair of Patagonia power stretch fleec bottoms; these things aren't cheap but will be essential in my layering system to keep me warm on the coldest of days. You can't scrimp on quality when the temperatures are going to be -40'c.
Going forwards, November should be a solid month of training. I have no events planned for November but I do have a training weekend planned with the team at Likeys where we'll be learning about training for the event, race strategy, route description, clothing & equipment selection, medical & emergency matters, sleeping systems and strategy, eating & hydration, hygiene, wildlife encounters and race itinerary. This training weekend will be vital to the success/failure of the race.