Time to start training

I first met Daniel on January 11th, 2017 for a general meeting to discuss potential training for the forthcoming Sahara event. After talking with Daniel, I quickly came to the realisation that this was a serious undertaking, which requires tremendous levels of stamina, endurance and mental fortitude.

The race consists of 250km in 7 days, broken down into 6 stages. 4 stages of 40km, 1 stage of 80km and lastly a 20km stage which is considered a sprint! These distances have to be completed in harsh terrain and we will have to contend with 35 degree heat and elevation points as high as 600m carrying all supplies such as food, water and equipment in a back pack. Approximately 9000 calories of energy per day will be expended whilst on the race.

A race such as this takes months of physical preparation. From our first meeting, we had 109 days to go before Namibia. The minimum amount of training required is 3 – 5 months but for a test such as this; a year’s training is not uncommon, so we needed to start ASAP to hit that minimum requirement. I’ve got a history of good fitness and ultra events but due to commitments and injuries had taken time out. I had to get up to strength and quickly and as safety as possible.

In order to do this, Daniel coaches using ‘Quantum Diagnostics’. Measurements and fitness tests are taken at the beginning of a training program and every 4 weeks. Measurements include height, weight, body fat percentage, chest, waist, arms and calf circumference, maximum heart rate and resting heart rate. Fitness tests include upper body strength/endurance, core stability, balance, heart rate recovery, flexibility, lower body strength/endurance and muscular power.

During sessions, a heart rate monitor is used so training sessions are maximised in efficiency. Daniel can see in real time what my heart rate is doing. These readings also tell him average heart rate through the session, calories burned, percentage of calories burned through fat. He can also measure GPS markers, so factors such as speed, cadence, distance and elevation.