Endurance (and planning) addict!

I have outlined my ‘Project Road Runner’ plans in a previous post but I thought I’d expand on my future plans in this post. What comes after Project Road Runner and my trip to India in May 2018?

I am a committed (some might say addicted) planner and organiser! I love to plan things, schedule things and diarise them – not just at work but in my life too and particularly when it comes to my racing and endurance life. I like to have goals to work towards and planning and scheduling helps to set up the processes to hopefully achieve those goals. As you may have noticed if you follow my social media pages, I recently decided to take up triathlon and other multi-sport events to bridge the gap between finishing Lakeland 50 and my break from ultras, and the start of my Project Road Runner sub-3 hour marathon training which begins in earnest on December 11th!

Finishing my first triathlon, September 3rd 2017. (2nd AG – 36th OA)

I say I took up triathlon to bridge the gap but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for many years. Indeed, when this blog started out back in August 2012 it was initially called ‘Trials, Tribulations & Triathlons’ but this name fell by the wayside about a month into writing as I realised at the time I couldn’t afford a bike or a wetsuit and so decided to focus solely on running as a means to engage with my inner self, improve my health, wellbeing and drive my life in a direction worth going!

Triathlon has been in the background ever since – in 2014 when I suddenly found myself with a reasonable salary and an option to purchase a bike I toyed for nearly three months with the idea of getting a road bike and throwing myself into it but by this point I had my eye on trails and ultras and was heading towards them in a big way, so in the end I opted for a mountain bike and fulfilled a childhood dream by purchasing a brand new Giant with Rock Shox…only to sell this 8 months later to fund a trip to the Frankfurt Marathon, followed immediately by a holiday on the island of Fuerteventura! But, I digress, planning – that’s what this post is about. Specifically long range planning.

Bridging the gap between crossing the line at Lakeland and Brighton Marathon training starting led me to think further ahead. Where do I want to go with my endurance life? What do I want to achieve? More importantly, how do I get there?! After some thought I came up with a few goals taking me from finishing the Brighton Marathon on April 15th 2018 (hopefully with a PR) all the way to finishing the TDS 2020 (hopefully in 24 hours and some minutes)!

That’s a pretty long range plan and in the middle of it I’d like to explore my triathlon and cycling potential some more – middle distance and Ironman UK is calling! I would also like to wring out a little more speed on the road and hopefully translate the endurance learning from triathlon and cycling, and the speed from road racing onto the trail.

So, the 26.2 & Beyond 2018-2020 Long Range Plan looks a little something like this:

Orange = A-Race. Blue = TDS Qualifier

Orange = A-Race. Blue = TDS Qualifier

Orange = A-Race. Blue = TDS

Some people say I put too much pressure on myself when it comes to setting goals and planning ahead and in some ways those people are right – it can be very stressful in the middle of a race where I may have set a goal and that goal is fading from underneath me but it can also be very rewarding training to try and reach that goal. It is also very satisfying attaining the goals I set for myself. Even when I fall short it is almost equally satisfying to see the thing out and cross the line in one way or another. I’ll close this post, aptly, with a quote from Chrissie Wellington:

“Pressure is a necessary evil if you want to achieve. It brings with it great stress, but you deal with it, and the redemption comes when you achieve things as a result. On a day to day level pressure can sometimes feel debilitating, especially if its benefits are illusory. The trick is to understand which pressures are necessary and which ones are the dangerous decoys, the ones that suck the life from you for no reward.”

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