Ever thought about doing a Marathon? How about one every day for 6 days (and two on one day?). Now, how about doing that in 40+ C heat, over sand dunes, on open roads and carrying all your clothing and food?
That’s is just what Kim is doing in a week’s time!
Kim made the decision a year ago to sing up to the Marathon Des Sables, a 250km race across the Sahara over 6 days. While Kim has funded her participation herself, she is choosing the race to raise funds and awareness for Hector’s House – a local charity that provides contact to support for young adults who are facing depression and suicidal thoughts. Please have a look at their website www.hectorshouse.org.uk
Kim is a keen ultra-marathoner and no stranger to long-distance races, however the MDS is as much of a mental as physical challenge. Together, Kim and I devised a training plan to prepare gradually over 3 months.
Now, living in the UK it’s pretty hard to train in an environment to acclimatise to the heat of the Sahara in April. So Kim’s training has consisted of gradually longer walks – usually with the fittest dog in Tring, Finn, in tow – whilst carrying the EXACT weight on her back that she will be carrying around in the desert.
Kim has been averaging 100-150 miles per week, with speed walking.
The benefits of taking longer to prepare are:
- less chance of injury, not only in the race, but during training. The body is not pushed too far, too quickly
- mentally, what once was difficult becomes easier, and what once seemed impossible – becomes possible!
Over time, the body and mind can adapt well, but it takes will-power and determination, something Kim has buckets of!
On top of the race-specific training, Kim has been attending regular spinning sessions at the local gym for cardio conditioning, as well as working with me with resistance sessions which:
- maintain total body strength,
- ensure that the supporting tissues around the joints are stable to minimise injury
- improve stamina
Kim also is a fan of yoga to stretch the muscles out, and maintain core strength – which is essential to protect the back, hips, knees and will help her carry that backpack over 250km!
NUTRITION AND HYDRATION
Kim has been staying hydrated and eating nutritious, energy-rich foods which provide slow-releases as well as instant peaks of energy when flagging. Kim will need to consume a MINIMUM of 2000kcal each day of the race. Recommended foods for endurance events, are dates, bars such as CLIF, 9 BAR, TREK, ‘Bounce’ balls and other such snacks. Some also choose to take energy gels, which are light but some do not like the taste!
55% of Kim’s diet in the event needs to be carbohydrates for the essential energy to keep going.
Water consumption will be rationed, but along with salt tablets, should be enough. And Kim will need to drink 6-7litres a day. (3x the recommended intake of an average person going about their everyday business!)
With BE Fitness and PT, you can train for specific events like Kim, or simply for your own fitness, weight loss and everyday wellbeing.
We wish Kim the best of luck! Can’t wait to see the pictures!!