Thursday, 10 October 2013 01:07

How to Train for a Marathon in Antarctica?

That's the million dollar question...-20°C (and possibly lower temperatures) and snow conditions aren't what I'm used to and I've been trying to figure out the best way to prepare for the race. Short of running in a giant freezer (which some participants have apparently done so previously), I can only hope that the multiple layers on my legs, body and face would help to mitigate the freezing cold.

As for the underfoot conditions, both the race organisers and a previous participant had advised me to run on sand to train myself to run on snow. With the nearest beach located about a 2-hour one-way journey from where I stay, the training runs on sand have been unfortunately less frequent than what I'd have preferred.

Once on the beach, I had to get used to running on the unstable surface, some parts with hard-packed sand and other parts with loose sand. Running on sand isn't easy given the need to push off from an unstable surface. The ankles, hips, calves etc are engaged more so than when one's running on a stable road surface so it takes more energy to do so. At the same time, I had to be careful not to twist my ankle while running on the loose sand.

All that said and done, running freely on the huge expanses of beach actually allowed me to unwind and was liberating, even coming close to a cathartic experience. I'm a convert :) 

 

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