Why would anyone want to run 135 miles in 3 days in North Wales around the Isle of Anglesey?
Well the Ring O Fire is actually that and it's what I've signed up for starting on 2nd September 2022 and hopefully finish at some point on the 4th September (in the same year!).
Well, its a good question. I always love asking 'why?'
Not like an annoying child (hopefully not) but more as a chance to explore deeper our thoughts and our motivations to do things to push ourselves.
As you can imagine the reason for me is multifaceted And interestingly as time has gone on and training and continued there seems to be appearing more and more reasons why I want to do it. I hope by sharing some of the reasons will give you a little insight to not just my mindset and mantra around training and life but also help you explore your own 'why' questions!
So very simply at the start, this was quite simply having done a marathon last year (October 2021) for the first time (blog here about how I train for it unconventionally) I couldn't have run another marathon the next day. I had two simple rules for my first marathon; don't walk and enjoy it. Both of which I happily succeeded with.
In the video below which is from a training run, I explain a little bit about the 'why' and what the Ring O Fire actually is!
I had no desire to run a marathon again with the goal of just doing it faster. That didn't excite or motivate me. But, could you get up again the next morning Jacko and run another marathon? For whatever weird reason about my mindset, that was something that really challenged me but excited me.
It's a different type of challenge than going faster... going longer. It means you have to be running within yourself. You have to be able to recover. You have to look after yourself. You have to be efficient. Something that I've been learning about and putting into practise with nasal breathing the last few years.
That actually first marathon was technically an ultra marathon because it turned out to be 27 miles from 26.2! So effectively I've already done an 'ultra' but we all know it doesn't really count and the challenge for me is about being able to do it the next day.
You therefore can't be broken. You have to run 35 miles on day one starting at 1pm and finishing anywhere between realistically 8pm and 10pm. Get up at 5am the next morning and run 67 miles, and that's only two days. You have another 32 miles to bring us home on the third and final day.
So I've taken the training mantra of finishing every training run whether its 5, 10, 20, 30 or 40km and feel like 'you can do it all again'. Quite simply because I'm going to have too.
Why the Ring O Fire in Anglesey. Well, both my parent are from North Wales and my sister lives on Anglesey. We love the mountains and they feel like home. My father sadly passed about in April 2022 and the mountains have been calling me back. Training runs on Snowdon are a kind of therapy for me, I feel close to dad there.
I've always preferred off-road and trail events and the ideas of running around the whole of Anglesey coastal path in North Wales what feels like home, just seems to be perfect ultra marathon for me. A bit jump from a one day 27 miles in October last year. But a challenge I was excited to train for.
Another reason for signing up to the event was I found like many people have an event, a set date in the dairy massively helps me get out on more runs than if I didn't. It's simple but effective. Signing up for something is the easy thing. Doing the thing is the hard bit. The better you do your training the easier the 'hard bit' it!
Why all the training though? Why so much running. We could talk about the fact we are designed to move and specifically run and run long distances. But actually for me it's not about the running.
It's about the breathing
Running for me is not about running. Not about times, distances and speeds. It's an opportunity to focus on your breathing. Train your breathing, hone the art of breathing and the impact it has on your physiology and mental states.
Running is rhythmical like your breath. It's simple so the skills element is low so you have 'head space' or cognitive function available to focus on something else at the same time. I choose my breathing.
The physical act of running, evening a slow jog as a dramatic effect on the amount of oxygen your body needs and the amount of carbon dioxide your produce. Running challenges your breathing. You'll notice your breathing more. Unlike at rest, your breathing is talking to your far louder. Listen to it and play with it. Explore it. Each time I go for a run I learn something about my breathing and my body. That's why I do it.
That's why I love it!
Ask part of the event I'm raising money for charity and would love to have your support. Please visit the Just Giving page to find out which charity and a bit more about why - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/david-jackson-breathwork
I loved to hear about any challenges you have signed up to or are thinking about signing up for, how your own training is going or even meet up with some of your for some training runs! I'm going to be running, walking and giving a talk / workshop at the Exmoor Running & Walking Festival 17-19th June (Devon) for Channel Event - CLICK HERE FOR EVENT DETAILS.
Hope to see some of your there and thank you for taking the time to read this blog
J A C K O
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