MdS Training Blog: Kit Check!

Team RW's Marathon des Sables blogger

This week my attention turned to kit – whilst I’m busying myself covering weekly mileage it’s dawned on me that something’s missing – a back pack filled with a week’s supply of calories and sleeping equipment!
 
Our friends at Salomon have provided me with a robust rucksack that will be my best friend for the duration of the race. The great thing about this pack, the Sky 30+10, is that it expands and shrinks depending on the space required, so as the race goes on and I consume the food I bring I can shrink the bag down to reduce the awkward bouncing… in the words of Charlie Sheen – winning!
 
However, my first road test with the pack didn’t go exactly to plan – my speed dipped and fatigue set in fairly early, and the 18 miles I run to and from the tube station seemed to take forever. It’s a very different experience running with a backpack, and my shoulders ached for a good couple of days afterwards, but it’s all good practice and I can kill two birds with one stone, save some petrol money and increase my midweek mileage. It would be a win-win situation if only it would stop raining and warm up.
 
Having bombarded the editor of triathletesworld.co.uk Alison Hamlett, who ran last year's MdS, with questions specifically about which sleeping bag to purchase she kindly let me borrow her sleeping bag. I tested it on for size – see picture, right. It’s as light as a feather and as you can see fits perfectly!
 
For the first time since I started training for the MdS in October I decreased my weekend long run, partly through forgetting my watch and partly due to the fact that the training has starting to take its toll. I feel fully refreshed for doing a 14 miler last Saturday instead of 21 and really enjoyed my long run this weekend (22 miles).
 
So lesson learnt – don’t forget your watch, utilise rest days to the max, get enough sleep and drop down your weekly mileage occasionally. It’s more important that you stay fit in the build up, than just getting the miles in and risking serious injury. I want to reach the start line of MdS knowing I’m ready for it but most importantly, I want to feel ready for it and not half-asleep.

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