Hi! Welcome to my very first blog!
For those of you that don't know me, I first got into long distance walking and race walking just over 5 years ago when I entered the 2010 Isle of Man End to End walk, a race distance of 39.22 miles from the most northerly point of the Island to the most southerly.
With only around 10 weeks training in my legs I completed the race in 08:37:52, and despite having to take the Monday and Tuesday as emergency holidays from work, (due to numerous blisters and a general inability to walk), I was hooked and haven't looked back.
Over the years my training has been cyclical, starting in October with the Winter Walking League and gradually building the distance over the next 7-8 months in preparation for the Parish Walk in June.
After the Parish Walk my motivation drops for 3 months until the Winter Walking League starts again, and it almost feels like I'm starting from scratch again, and a fair few pounds piled back on!
In addition to entering the 2016 Parish Walk I have also entered the USA Centurion event in New York. This will be held just 12 weeks later in September, so it's even more important that I keep my motivation up between these 2 events.
I was thinking about this while I was out walking (or more like swimming due to torrential rain) around one of my regular Baldwin loops on Boxing Day. I decided I needed to set myself a challenge for 2016 to ensure that I keep motivated.
With that in mind my personal challenge is to walk a total of 2016 kilometres (1,253 miles) in 2016 through a combination of training and races.
This averages out at 104 miles per month, or 24 mile per week which may sound easy, but I need to ensure I focus on quality training over quantity, while also allowing sufficient recovery time between training days, as well as sufficient tapering before and longer recovery time after the bigger races.
If I subtract a few extra weeks for holidays, extreme weather conditions and any illness/injury then the challenge becomes, err, challenging !!
My only "rule" is that only official training will count towards my target, so any leisurely strolls, dog walks or any jogging/running will not be included.
All training distances will be taken from my Garmin, and all race distances from the official race details.
To ensure I don't just quit the challenge early I decided to write this blog so I could publicise my progress.
This decision led to the second part of the challenge to try and raise a minimum of £2,016 for charity, and once again I have chosen local Manx Charity Finley's Tracks.
I hope to raise the majority of this amount through sponsorship of the Parish Walk and USA Centurion, but I also hope to raise some money from the overall 2016 kilometre challenge itself.
I will try to provide regular weekly updates of my progress on both the distance and the money raised, but I will also post some more about why I entered that first race in 2010 and what I have learned from the various races I have taken part in since then.
And that's about it for my first ever blog post!