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Steps in the Sand: My Marathon des Sables Journey - July

Steps in the Sand: My Marathon des Sables Journey - July

31 July 2023

I'm on a daring quest. I’ve set myself the goal of competing in the Marathon des Sables in 2024, and I’m inviting you to join me on my journey. As I navigate my training and preparation for this daunting task, I aim to raise funds for three incredible local charities; Autism Guernsey, Jersey Hospice Care and Guernsey Society for Cancer Relief. You could also lend a hand by checking out my Amazon wishlist, where you can contribute towards my big day. The links to all are conveniently located in my Instagram bio - your support is greatly appreciated.

Reflecting on the first month of training, it has been a thrilling and challenging experience. With eight months to go until the main event, I'm slowly racking up the distance with 174 kilometers (that's about 108 miles) of training under my belt. This took a significant investment of 25 hours on my feet, covering an elevation of 3,323 meters. Returning to these kinds of distances after considerable time off has been grueling, but it’s only going to intensify. By the end of the summer, I'm planning to hit monthly distances exceeding 300 kilometers - a feat I've never achieved before.

This past month has been more than just running. It's been a time of meticulous planning, rigorous research, and developing a comprehensive training program to get me through the 42 weeks of training. This plan is diverse, encompassing everything from running to gym sessions, sauna sessions, and even podiatry appointments. I’m particularly excited about some trail running in South America in the new year, combined with the renowned Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu. This experience should provide valuable altitude training!

In terms of fitness, I'm progressing well, consistently averaging weeks of 40+km. However, this is just the starting line. My peak target in the new year is a daunting 120km (I've never surpassed 60km in a week).

Participation in a few ATC races marked a departure and tricky milestone in my training, something I wanted off my running bucket list but I wasn't at the right stage of my training for it. I'm all set to take part in the GSY HALF in September, followed by my second attempt at Guernsey’s nighttime ultra, the GUN31 in November. At that point, my first training block focused on endurance and strength will culminate. December will then herald the commencement of my second block, dedicated to pack training. Don't be surprised if you spot me in full kit trudging around the island as if I'm off to Mordor on a quest to destroy the One Ring.

My ambitious plans for August involve a total of approximately 200KM for the month, including a long run in Jersey (a first for me!), participation in the Donkey Drop Out, and a spin around the beautiful city of Copenhagen (another first!).

I’m here to share my journey and learn from others. If you have any questions, suggestions or even some firsthand experience with the MDS, please don't hesitate to reach out on Instagram @fromtidestotrails. Every bit of advice and encouragement is invaluable to me!

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