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I have been accepted for MDS 2010.
Im findng it hard to locate a decent training schedule specifically for MDS. One that suits someone based in the UK....ANy suggestions from anyone? Ideas where to look?
Quoted from the MDS site
"Physical preparation for the MARATHON DES SABLES, long distance free style race, should start at least six months before the event. Each participant should adapt his/her training program to his or her goal: finish among the first or simply finish the race. Follow a progressive training: for the long distance runner, weekly runs should average one hundred to 125 miles. For more modest objectives, the goal should be 30 or 50 miles weekly. Increase your mileage progressively. We advise you to train with a backpack from time to time, with a backpack weighing 3 - 10 kg, also increasing the weight gradually, so that you get adjusted to running while bearing weight. Drink during your training, it is a must ! Do not wait until you’re in the middle of the desert to get used to drinking, you must drink what you need when you need it. Do not forget that training is the best way to improve your chances and your endurance. Long runs allow you to test energy foods and drinks. If you have never run or if you are not used to training at least three times a week for several months, it would not be reasonable to consider entering the MARATHON DES SABLES. So put your running shoes on, and good luck!"
Not sure how you managed acceptance for 2010? Dont they open entries well in advance? (like a couple of years or more?)
ANyhoo, although I have never (and will never) done MdS (cost is stupid IMO) - best way to train is to go uot and do long back to back runs with a small pack.
You could do this yourself by getting an OS map and making up a route - or enter proper ultras. Thames MEander is one that specifiically caters for MdS as also has a seminar post race or something like that.
oo, thanks guys. yes, i saw the tips on the site but i thought maybe there would be something more meaty - like: should i be running up sand dunes? should i be walk/running with a pack as often as possible? Wondering really if anyone had run it and had followed a particularly good training schedule.
Maybe Monique, Zuppy etc will see this and be able to suggest more? But i do appreciate your replies.
Thanks for tip on Thames Meander - thats really useful - will look in to that.
I got in through French entry as a team. I can hardly believe it but chuffed to bits about it. Should be quite an experience?! Although, there is an equally tough challenge ahead of me besides the training, and that is the fundraising!
My own advice would be to do more (fast) walking than you think you need to. Chances are you'll walk a large amount of the event, and walking at a decent pace taxes the muscles differently to running. It also appears that many of the foot problems people have are because they do lots of running and no walking, and the motion of walking causes their shoes to rub.
I'd suggest doing quite long run/walks for many of your long training sessions (25+ miles ideally off-road, with a mixture of easy-paced running and fast-ish walking). This is a great time to practice wearing a light pack, and it builds up time on your feet which is vital. I don't think sand dunes are essential, but getting off road would be best; and the pack needn't be heavy most of the time.
Of course you still need to build up the running as well, but don't neglect the importance of getting properly used to walking.
Good luck, and enjoy it!
thats good advice, thank you!!
hello- as nick the greek said, lots of walking is probably sensible, unless you're an excellent runner. i'd try a couple of long walks up to 30/35 miles, this is actually pretty hard cos it screws your feet more than running if you're not used ot it.
http://www.ldwa.org.uk/ is an excellent site for finding long walk/runs to do
back to back run/walks are a good idea as NickL suggested, 20 milers on sat and sun for example
definitely train with your pack, but build up slowly.
i would also advise doing an ultra of up to about 50 miles first, as this will be a confidence booster for the long day. http://www.hmarston.co.uk/rhac/trail/rrr.htm is an excellent alternative to the thames meander and is mostly off road which is ideal
and when you come to choose your kit http://www.likeys.com/ will have everything you will need, when you are selecting what to take be as brutal as possible, there is nio need for your pack to weigh more than 10kg when fully loaded but before water.