So here I am in my "uniform" about to represent Sheffield Assay Office at the Sheffield Hallam University Conferment Dinner last week.
And every night during the week means gym followed by run - or occasionally cross-trainer if either the weather is simply awful or I'm simply awful.
I then do my long running at the weekend.
Many "experts" will tell you this is wrong. Too much. Not enough rest. But this so called "expertise" is pseudo-science. In that it isn't fact - and my evidence for this is that it changes. Sometimes from one extreme to the other. So all we ever have is the latest thinking.
As an example we've had heat as the treatment for pulls, strains, swelling etc. And we've had ice baths. And now there's a marginal but significant switch from out and out ice bath! Incidentally I've tried both and nothing!
- Committed ice-bathing during the 10in10 with huge amounts of physio.
- Committed lovely hot steaming baths during a 4in4
- Nothing at all - no ice, no heat, no physio during 30in30
And so there is no manual for extreme challenges. No experts who've done 10in10, 30in30, 100 miles in one go. So you have to use a mix of common sense, feel, progress checking - and be prepared to change your approach.
Common sense says you can't complete these things unless you can endure huge stress for a long time.
To enable you to do this you've got to gradually put yourself through more and more.
Common sense says that you need strength to endure. It's not just your legs. Once your body gets tired you start swaying - lateral movement which is a waste of energy. Also injures you as your legs begin to have to work differently.
Feel stops you over-doing it. You have to develop an acute awareness of when you're developing a problem - rather than just a tiredness-induced stress that will recover when you stop.
Feel must also be connected to your brain - you have to make the right decisions.
And you have to check that it's working with tests along the way. If it isn't then analyse and change.
- Last week saw me training every day except Thursday.
- With 25 miles on Saturday followed by 10 on Sunday.
- I'm gradually getting my "extreme training" body back - that's 4 weekends in succession around or over 25 miles. But I'm lacking consistency. Sometimes I feel okay - others I don't. Sometimes I'm tiring - others I'm not.
- I need that base back before I can push on to the next level.