How to run the fastest 268 mile Pennine Way ever.
Firstly you have to have a large portion of self belief, a high pain threshold and a knowledge of applied science, I nearly forgot to mention a small portion of craziness as well always helps .
But seriously how do you prepare to run the fastest 268 mile Pennine way in history? When most contemplate spreading the Pennine way over a couple of weeks with overnight stays in campsites and hostels yet the realisation to chase the record is geared towards less than 65hrs maximal effort and trackside support along the route from #Team268 keeping me fuelled and on pace.
268 miles the equivalent of running 10 marathons back to back across some of the most breath taking and hostile territory the UK can throw at me all whilst maintaining a consistent record pace.
My approach to running 268miles is exactly the same as running any other distance.
A gradual build up and tolerance of volume over the weeks and months prior to the event to become accustomed to long hours in the mountains and on my feet.
In direct relation to the increase in volume/miles over the weeks and months is the underlying factor of speed or in this case speed endurance, the ability to maintain a constant record breaking pace across the full distance of the event taking into account natural fatigue, geography/elevation of the route etc.
Having came from an elite marathon background in 2009 I know the requirements and expectations required to produce the end result and the training package has already began.
I’m currently running 100-135 miles each week, across various terrains and utilising various “energy systems”. Training for an ultra endurance event is about maintaining an aerobic training state as opposed to frequently dipping into an anaerobic zone like a conventional marathon when you can redline for small periods of time.
Between now and Christmas my training goals are to gradually increase quality mileage up to around 140 miles with a number of shorter races thrown into the mix of around 30-50miles including the Round Rotherham Run 50mile Ultra this weekend. A block of training in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco climbing Mt Toubkal will also assist me with being at altitude and becoming more “mountain fit” and an efficient climber.
The main goal is to take ownership of my body and an acceptance that this challenge is on the limit of human capability, there’s a reason the record hasn’t been broken since 1989 , but then I’ve never been afraid to push the limits.