Feeling like a Turtle…

Originally posted on http://www.thememoryjogger.com.au/feeling-like-a-turtle/ on 30 Nov 2014.

In this blog my aim is to provide some insight into the training program that I am applying in preparation for MDS2015 and some insights into the purpose – raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s Australia.  That said, if all I do is record my training from every day – you’ll soon get sick of it as there’ a fair amount of repeating prior training days – after all, practice makes perfect.

But don’t worry; I won’t be boring you with every minute detail from every program, but providing sufficient insight about the training – just in case you’re interested ;)

Today – it’s back to the gym for a solid workout. More core work and upper body – why upper body when my focus is running? Well the MDS requires me to be self sufficient for the entire 250km+ journey carrying everything I will need except water – which is rationed out by the race organisers.

The MDS organisers are very specific in regards to the mandatory gear that I have to carry, plus a list of recommended gear. All up, I’m expecting my backpack to be around 10kgs or so at the start of the race – as I consume my food – it will get lighter! Here is the mandatory list and items provided by the organisers:

Mandatory equipment:
• backpack MDS or equivalent
• sleeping bag,
• head torch with spare batteries,
• 10 safety pins,
• compass, with 1° or 2° precision,
• lighter,
• a whistle,
• knife with metal blade,
• tropical disinfectant,
• anti-venom pump,
• a signalling mirror,
• one aluminium survival sheet,
• one tube of sun cream,
• 200 euros or equivalent in foreign currency.

Marathon Kit:
It is supplied by the organisation and will include the following:

• a road-book issued on 03 April,
• a distress beacon,
• an electronic transponder,
• salt tablets,
• sachets for the toilets
• ID marks

So as you can see there’s a lot to cart around with me  in my backpack – so much so that I’ll be looking like a turtle – so long as I’m not as slow as one!!!

If you’ve ever run with a backpack for any period of time, you will know that it places additional demands on the body. For a race of this length and difficulty, I will need to ensure that my shoulders, upper and lower back, arms and core are conditioned to enable me to carry the weight and hold form.

The MDS Ultra-bag is much bigger than a normal running backpack and the weight I will be carrying is more than double what I am used to carrying on some of my bigger runs. I know I’m not yet conditioned so there will be plenty of work to do in the gym and with the backpack to get me ready for MDS2015.


The other reason for working the upper body is that running burns a lot of energy. Not investing time and effort into creating a balanced program that works all the muscle groups can create imbalance in the body.

I’m not exactly built like a whippet, but I’m not a big build either. When I was in heavy training mode for some longer runs last year, I copped a lot of criticism and comments that I was too thin. So I’m trying to keep a better balance and ensure I don’t waste away!

My MDS backpack is on order and I’m expecting it to arrive in January for some solid training runs to condition me for running with it for six days in a row. It’s both daunting and exciting :)

Happy Running!

This entry was posted in Fight Dementia, Fitness, Fund Raising, Marathon Training, Running and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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