TRAINING!…to run 250km’s

So the crazy decision to do this…now where to begin…

So 3/4 months ago I began running again…when I say this I mean started taking it a tad more seriously – I was very unfit and out of shape after spending 6 months in Melbourne where I was in a very poor routine with my nutrition and training.

…Consistency…this was non-existent. 

I eased back into my running by doing about 4 runs a week of 5-12km’s and after about 3 weeks I had once again caught the running bug. I amped up my training pretty quickly and was doing 50k+ a week within no time…although I was pretty slow.

Although I was training again I was still feeling a little lost and knew that if I didn’t set myself some goals I had no chance of staying on track with my own health and fitness. Running was working wonders for me not only physically but most importantly mentally.

Deciding to do The 4 Deserts?

I was googling my next big event when I stumbled across The Big Red Run – 250km’s over 6 days across the Simpson Desert in Australia and I told my Mum I was going to do this and she responded with ‘great that’s awesome’…
Mum and Dad went away for a week and when they returned I told them I was going to one up it and do The 4 Deserts across the Hottest, Driest, Windiest and Coldest Deserts in the World… this didn’t go down too well at first. They thought I was absolutely mad and the scary thing for them was they know when I set my mind on something there is no changing it.
They took some time to accept my crazy undertaking but are now on board – especially Dad he is definitely my biggest supporter!

So if I was going to have any chance at completing the 4 Deserts I was going to need to seek some professional assistance. My Dad was chatting to Adam Scott the Director of the White Cloud Foundation (family friend) and he had some great recommendations when it came to sourcing out a Running Coach, Podiatrist, Strength Coach and Dietitian.

Getting every aspect of my training sorted…
running technique, shoes, different types of training runs and also making sure I am loving my running and assuring that it doesn’t become a chore.

Anytime I am looking for a little sympathy or just sooking about being tired, sore or hungry my family just respond with ‘well good-luck running across the Sahara Deserts’… so this makes me suck it up. 

So it is now over 3 months back into running and I am on a solid 70km’s per week and looking to slowly increase this up to over 100km’s by the end of Jan 2018. I have my first big hit out on December 10th at the Gold Coast in a 50km run to make sure I am well on track for the first event across the Sahara in April.

So far I have been very lucky to avoid any injuries, I think this comes down to prioritizing my recovery by stretching, foam rolling, trigger pointing, yoga and seeing a massage therapist. I have also been seeing a Podiatrist (Nick Sprenger) who has sorted out my feet, calves and lower extremities as they definitely were being neglected. I was running in joggers from 2012 and some Nikes I picked up for $15 in Bali… he was not impressed…woops.
To add to this it was only 18 months ago that I broke my left foot and 12 months ago that I had an accident coming off a scooter which left me with a cankle as a right ankle for over 1 month… I did a great deal of damage to it to say the least.

I have found the key thing is to really listen to my body – if I wakeup one day feeling absolutely spent I will just go swimming instead or do something light and then can crack back into training again the following day feeling better than ever. Along with running I am also doing a great deal of cross-training. I have been doing about 3 sessions of boxing per week, 1-2 swimming sessions and 1-2 weights sessions. I am now looking at taking the next step to see a Strength and Conditioning Coach/Exercise Scientist to get a program to compliment my running program.

So now that I have my Running Coach, Podiatrist and Gym work underway I was still missing a MAJOR piece of the pie (well I’m not allowed pie anymore) haha…. a Dietitian!
Ali Disher from The Work Well in Paddington has set me up on a plan to help with training, performance and recovery. I love going to see Ali – she really listens to how I am feeling, my energy levels and how I am coping with the training/work balance. Ali has also played a vital role in helping me find a healthy relationship with food as I have always really struggled with my nutrition in regards to not eating enough and then over eating so it is great to be finding a happy medium.
A great strategy that I have found works wonders is logging everyday my food, training and how I feel physically and emotionally.

The last 3-4 months have been super consistent and I am so thankful to the supportive team of people I have around me. I am looking forward to the next few months of training to come.

J Bell.