So here it is, my training plan for the 96 mile West Highland Way Race on 23-24th June! On the WHWrace podcast I mentioned how prior to this race I had never created an excel spreadsheet for my training. I am not good at schedules, fixed plans or fixed times to do things. With this in mind, and to take into account that my day-to-day and week-to-week life has little to no routine, I came up with a plan!
I went on my first Long Distance Walking Association walk a few weeks ago (for more info). The walk was 20 miles from Radlett to St. Albans Abbey, but by a very indirect route following, what I assume was, the Hertfordshire Way. The walk was great, I met some amazing people. One was a lady in her 70s and had represented GB in ultra walking! She has walked over 50 100mile races, several 200-300 mile races and a couple handfuls of other events, including winning the womens’ category of the Grand Union Canal race, despite it being a running race. She gave me some excellent advice on eating and reassured me that having walking as a large component of my 100mile training was not ridiculous, but essential. Nearly everyone in the group had walked 100miles at least once, and many do this distance every year. When you consider walking 100miles can take up to 48 hours, it is incredible and shifted my perspective of this distance from extraordinary to a sort of, sub-ordinary. It also gave me an insight into how much individual experiences vary, some people did not find sleep deprivation an issue at all, whereas others said this was the greatest challenge. I will not know know what will be hard for me, until I try myself, and I can only mentally prepare for the worst. My planned 96mile attempt was not seen as a drop in ocean amongst the seasoned ultra-distancers, or an impossible and pointless dream. Everyone was so excited about my goal and training and celebrated it. I appreciated this so much.