Motivation is unreliable
It comes and goes...
What do I focus on? Practice, habit and repetition, along with a system of planning and preparation. Action comes before motivation...
It was almost a year since my last ultra running and I signed up for 'The Great Himalayan Running Festival' just 6 weeks before the event. Now, that's not something I would advice anyone to do, start training 6 weeks for an high altitude race, ha ha, ha. As a coach, I would say, It takes at least 3 weeks of base building and another 4-6 weeks of training for miles and working on strength, this should take you to the start line strong and injury free.
Being a firm believer of habits and routines, all I did was step up game, take it a notch above, the running milage, streamline my nutrition and for better recovery and strength train along with yoga.
This race organized by The Hell Race brings in a slim set of runners to the mountains to test their limits in endurance. Its a 7 days running festival in the Himalayas with varied distance of 50K to 135 miles and multi day racing from Manali to Leh. Its not for the weak of the will.
What did the six weeks preceding to the race looked like? Running - 5 days of running, some morning, some evenings and many night running too. Lots of speed walking, climbing floors of my 11 storey apartment.
Nutrition - Aced my food with small 4 meals a day, complex carbohydrates and proteins & fats. Stuck to fish, eggs and tofu for protein, brown rice and ragi for carbs and plenty of fruits and fresh vegetables. Sweet potato drizzled with home-made peanut butter & topped with seeds was my go to pre and most workout meals. If you haven't tried them, its amazing! Rest and Recovery - With 5 days of running, strength and yoga too, it left me with just one rest day but I owned by 8 hours of sleep every single day to wake up fresh each morning and get my workout DONE. Honestly, its these systems, the environment, the processes and routines that help you to act, the more you can do. This goal-oriented planning, and less on in-the moment decision-making took me to finish line of the Rohtang EPIC -50K high altitude night running race. The race starts at 12:30am at Gulaba and takes you through Rohtang Pass with an elevation gain of 2267m An uphill ultra for some shredded calf muscles, and in the worst cases an extra pair of lungs!
This is how it started - Start line - Positive and energetic
Eight hours later
More on the race and why this race is a base for something epic, but for now, I continue to thank myself for the routines and habits that drive me in continuum.