I can’t believe it is June already, which means we are less than 5 short months away from boarding a plane to NZ. Yikes! So how is the training and planning going? Good...I think!
Following Buffalo Stampede, I have kicked into full on Te Araroa training mode. My weekly kilometres cranked up to 90 – 110kms a week, with a lot more elevation. For the first few weeks, I really noticed the difference and was tired. But slowly my body has adapted and after a 102kms this week, I feel really strong and not the slightest bit tired.
My training has also featured some more adventure specific sessions, such as 2 x 20 min hiking efforts with poles and a 7kg back pack. These sessions are tough but they are also fun – a little different from the normal.
Thankfully I've been niggle free until this point. A few weeks back I started to get pain in my left hip. I promptly visited my physio who confirm it was due to weakness and have been prescribed strength exercises which I have been following religiously. My hip has since strengthened up considerably. I still have a small amount of pain but it doesn’t impact my running and I am confident it will go away after another week or two of strengthening. Moral of this story – do your physio exercises folks. They actually work.
Shoes, glorious shoes
The other thing I have been doing is trailing different shoes. My feet are going to be pretty darn important during this trip. I have historically worn minimalist shoes but have found that after several days of big kms or hard sessions, my feet are left a bit battered.
After reading rave reviews online, I invested in a pair of Hoka One One Challengers. When I took them out for their first spin, they felt weird! I felt so far away from the ground. But after a couple of runs, I am a total convert. They are amazing for trails that aren’t too technical, like fire roads or flowing easy, single track. My legs and feet are definitely more protected and less sore after a long run. I think I am onto a winner.
It has to be said – if there is one area where I could greatly improve, it is my nutrition. To be honest, until a few weeks ago, I wasn’t really looking at what I was eating. When you are running big kms, you can kinda get away with eating whatever you like. However that doesn’t mean you are performing to your best.
Tommy and I go into the city for work for three days each fortnight. These trips throw a spanner into our routine. Living out of a bag and crashing with friends meant we would often eat out for breaky, lunch and dinner for the three days. We also got a bit lazy when at home and were getting takeaway a couple of times a week. Basically my diet was pretty crap.
I had a little incident on the trails a few weeks back which shook me to the core and has made me realise it is time to take my diet seriously. Food is fuel. If I put crappy fuel in, then I can expect crappy results.
Since then, we have made a huge effort to stock our fridge full of vege, fruit and quality meat. Post run, I’m no long guzzling down a choccie milk and pringles. Instead I am prioritised eating a quality meal to replenish my body – often an omelette jam packed with veggies. I have also started experimenting with making my own bars or slices from scratch as snacks. It has only been a week but boy do I feel better!
As soon as we decide to do this trip, we knocked out a big chunk of the planning early on to save ourselves stress later on. This means we are in a good spot.
We have developed an initial daily schedule outlining start and end points for each day, including number of kms, elevation and details on terrain. We have a number of friends who are coming along to support and we have scheduled them in so they don’t overlap.
We’ve acquired 90% of the items on the kit list. Flights are booked. Campervan should be sorted in the coming weeks. I have confirmed coverage of the adventure with few different publications and am in conversations with a couple of brands about coming onboard as official partners. Exciting times!
Tommy’s filming is coming along amazingly well. He is slowly accumulating all the fun camera toys and is out filming most weekends. You can check out some of his content on his youtube channel. I might be biased but I think it is pretty great.
The next big things to tick off are:
- Organising live tracking
- Confirming kayak hire for Whanganui River section
- Researching hut passes