Anna and I passed another important milestone in our training journey for the GHT. Five months ago we were looking for new ways to train and change our routine. Something different from the 30-60 km Trail that we do regularly and the 250km multi-day races.
We do not like non-stop races mainly because that implies running many hours in the dark without being able to enjoy the scenery that we are looking for. We also miss the friendly atmosphere that we have on the bivouac of multi-day races. That also means deep fatigue and long recovery which are an issue when we try to stay in top shape in multi-sports all year round. Five months ago I decided to participate to two non-stop races anyway, both among the toughest in their kind to get out of my comfort zone and to test myself.
The first one was the Spine Challenger, a 174km winter race in UK that I won and the second one was the Ultra Trail Mt Fuji (UTMF), even less my type of race but I finished anyway in a descent time. Anna had the same approach in participating to the STY (non-stop 84.7km) and finished 7th women out of 90.
In all these races we have ups and downs, and the Spine and UTMF were no exceptions. I had some stomach problem at the UTMF, I could not drink and eat as much as I should have and almost retire half way as I felt so weak that I could barely walk. I realized at this point that we took a risk in doing these “out of comfort races”, especially mentally because failing would have put serious doubts in our minds in our ability to succeed the GHT. In these challenges, mental is everything, so if we fail 160km, how could we do 10 times more? Yes, that’s the funny things about the UTMF, that’s exactly 10% of the GHT both in term of distance and elevation gain.
Fortunately we both succeeded. Now we have a few weeks to recover and then we will resume the intense training for another 8 weeks and rest before leaving for the Ultimate Trail. In the meantime we have tons of things to do on the logistics.
These 2 races gave us another opportunity to test the new kit and once again we have been very pleased with the results.
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