What is achievable in the space of 10 weeks?
I'll cut straight to it - I've decided to enter a 100km (62.5miles) trail run at the start of May. This in itself is not particularly extreme. There are many, many people who can (and do) run this sort of distance with relative ease. I however, am not currently one of those people. In fact, in the last 3 years, I've rarely run further than 15km in one session. The last time I did any running with a purpose I had an Olympic Torch and a six-month beard to keep me company. By way of a somewhat feeble excuse, I can only offer that I have spent a lot of my last few years either cycling, trekking, or cart-pulling (or resting inbetween said exertions!)
All considered though, I now have quite a challenge ahead of me to get ready for this race. The idea of trying to run 100 kilometres in a single day (or rather, in 10-15 hours) is rather a terrifying one. But, as a strong believer that fear should never be given license to take hold of us, I have decided to cast aside doubts and commit to it.
Online training plans I've found recommend between 16 and 26 weeks for the competitive runner to take on a 100km. As a lackadaisical runner, I have 10 (including this one...)
I've also given myself the same deadline to finish a book that I am currently writing about my cycling journey in 2010. I'm lucky in that I work from home, but I do have to fit in both running training and book-writing around regular working-week hours of other admin and work to pay my bills!
I offer up these details to you, the public, so that you may chastise me should I not come good on my promises, but also to suggest that you too may fancy setting yourself a 10 week target. It might require a sacrifice in terms of your evenings and weekends, but surely that's a small price to pay if you can achieve something you have always wanted to do. How about entering a race? Writing a book? Getting to grips with a language? Learning how to dance like Sam Rockwell?
Think what it is you'd like to do. Commit. Begin.
For those interested, here is my training plan for Week 1.
Monday - 12.5km, gym
Tuesday - 10km
Wednesday - 5km, cross training, gym
Thursday - 10km and gym
Friday - rest
Saturday - long run (roughly 20km)
Sunday - rest
Total distance = 57.5km