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My 12 week Endurance Body Transformation, Hell of A Hill 5 Marathon Challenge & The Beginning of My Year Long Journey…

I am currently halfway through the first phase of  my year long journey of mind & body transformation. Over the next year I plan to completely transform my body, form a rock solid mindset, gain lots of knowledge & acquire many new skills that I will then be able to pass on to my clients to guide them through their own transformations. My year long journey will cover four separate back to back transformations, each one covering a different area that I am interested in pursuing.

The first, of which I am currently 6 weeks through, is an endurance training based transformation with a 5 marathons over 5 day challenge up & down hills next week with the last stage of the transformation culminating in an self imposed Ironman distance triathlon which will be a 2.5 miles swim, 112 mile bike & 26.2 mile run. My main goal for this transformation is to achieve 10% body fat & build a strong aerobic base which I can continue building upon throughout the year with the end goal of running 100 miles in one 24 hour sitting.

The second transformation will move primarily to weight training to build a strong physique. I will be focusing on hypertrophy here with the goal of gaining as much muscle mass as possible during the 12 week period.

The third 12 week transformation will move into powerlifting & be primarily strength based as I will have hopefully gained a good amount of mass from the previous transformation to then strengthen (just because a muscle is big does not necessarily mean that it is strong). Because of the demanding nature of strength training I will most likely be training just 3 times a week & starting a yoga practice yoga to aid recovery & improve body awareness.

The fourth 12 week transformation will move into calisthenics & bodyweight training with more of an emphasis on a yoga practice to become strong but also highly mobile, functional, more aware of my body & generally more supple with the ultimate goal of performing a backflip.

My current 12 week endurance challenge:

I found myself becoming stale within my training & unhappy with weight that I had put on towards the start of the year so decided to book a mad goal for the end of the year to get me back into training & motivated again. This led me onto the “Hell of a hill” challenge in Bolton which entails 5 marathons over 5 days covering 5000ft+ with each marathon which will be very close to running from sea level to the top of Everest over 5 days totalling 131 miles which will be a personal best (Previous PB 100 miles over 8 days climbing 3 mountains around Mexico City). I am also interested to find out my new Ironman time after 2 years of improvement training wise so will be finishing my transformation with this distance. I am also looking to shed a considerable amount of fat, which will lead well into the next phase whereby I will be in a good place weight wise to begin upping the calories to train for muscle mass.

What is involved with training for 5 marathons in a row?

The training for this is slightly different to that of a marathon whereby speed is the objective. 5 b2b marathons is placing a considerable amount of strain on the body so I have been emulating this during training by running a marathon followed by an ever increasing long run the following day once every two weeks & prioritising rehab & strength work on the legs in the time in between. As i’ve been clocking up the distance my legs have been getting incredibly tight which caused knee pain on a couple of the runs due to a tight thigh pulling my knee out of alignment & causing pain. The key has been frequently mashing my legs with a trigger point ball which has been very painful but completely essential. I have also had neurological therapy for inhibited muscles which are now functioning correctly.

It is also important to keep the running light – the challenge is not about finishing in a time, it is about surviving to the end of the 5 days injury free & smiling. Because of this my training runs have been at a speed of around 5 hours per marathon. It has been very enjoyable as I have been taking the opportunities to listen to informative & inspiring podcasts to learn as I run. Once the challenge is complete I intend to keep up my marathon every 2 weeks habit to aid with fat burning & to not lose the endurance gained during this challenge without over stressing the body.

I have been putting in hill training as well as each marathon involves going up & down the hill 8 times, each time ascending about 800ft.

When I started 6 weeks ago I was 19.2% body fat & I am now 15%. Going at that rate I will nearly reach the 10% goal but not quite, however I will be re evaluating this post challenge as I will be burning approx 5000 calories a day for 5 days which should bring me on track for this 10% goal!

Challenge gameplan:

Day 1 will be fine, day 2 will be tough, day 3 will be extremely tough as i’ll be in uncharted territory due to never having ran that far before but it’s my birthday so it’ll be ok! I think day 4 will be the most mentally challenging as there will still be a long way to go so will begin the day with some serious mindset exercises which will keep the mind running even though the body will want to stop. I think the last day will be ok as the end will be well & truly in sight. The key will be to stay really hot on the rehab & trigger pointing to guard against the knee pain. Also I will need to be eating a hell of a lot of food otherwise fatigue will set in & I will struggle with recovery. I will burn around 5000 calories per run & around 3000 in the rest of the day resting, recovering & rehabbing. If I do not replace at least 6000 of these calories with good nutritious food then I will struggle a lot next day which will have a knock on effect for the other days. Carbohydrates will be important but I have also found that my body reacts well to fats so I will be loading up on fats in the mornings & carbs in the evening to prepare for the next day. I will also be carb loading in the 3 days up to the first race. During the race I will be continually eating as well. I am not a great fan of energy gels as they taste gross & slosh around in the gut so will be munching lots of nut bars for a good supply of fats & carbs during the run.

Once recovered post challenge I will flash train for the Ironman for 2 weeks by getting my bike legs back on a couple of long rides & by working on my swim technique. I won’t need to worry about running as it will take a long time to lose the run fitness gained from the 5 marathon challenge.

I am feeling confident at the moment a week out but know that I still need to do some serious preparation to get my legs to a good state whereby they will not be injured.

I am running this challenge to raise money for the Gambian Maternity Foundation. We are raising money to send a shipping container to The Gambia early next year to ease the equipment shortage there. If you’ve got any spare coppers then it would be awesome if you could donate to my page here in support: https://www.gofundme.com/GMFhillrunner

For health & wellbeing advice & training contact me on 07971730269

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