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  • Ollie McCarthy

The Off-season diaries- making dumb decisions


I made a dumb decision. A few weeks before running my Marathon, I decided it would be a good idea to enter an ultra marathon. So in about 3 weeks I will be running across the Welsh coastline, in a 35 mile ultra.

Now, I can’t say this is the best ever plan I have had. But, now it’s in full swing, I just have to get on and complete it.

As I entered the latter stages of Marathon prep I think I began to become a little down on the situation. Not being able to run the race I wanted, in the time frame I had given myself. Knowing that I probably wasn’t going to get the result I wanted, I decided to enter an ultra. With the mindset of having “something to look forward to.”

And what better than a 35 mile jaunt across South Wales.

Sometimes I don’t quite know how I get myself in these pickles.

The upsides to this situation are that I have been running more which have helped with my off season goals. It’s also going to be an awesome experience running along some of the most beautiful coastline in the UK. There is no pressure in terms of completion time. Plus I get to spend a weekend with some awesome people.

The downside is that it is a huge stress. The marathon chewed me up and spat me back out- predominantly down to the stress I was enduring leading up to it. I think I am only just beginning to recover from this stress. Only to add some more on in a few weeks.

But despite it being a dumb decision there is a lot of good to come out of it. After the marathon and then entering the ultra, I decided it probably wasn’t best I am left to my own devices.

So post ultra I will start training with a coach. I have already spoken to him and on mentioning I entered an ultra that soon after a marathon he said “you’re on your own for that one.” Understandable.

So post ultra we are stripping things all the way back. Starting from 5km and owning each distance before moving on. With the aim of hitting a marathon/ultra at the end of the year.

I’m still doing my own strength and conditioning. But he is in the drivers seat with the running.

I have trained with multiple coaches over the years and I have learnt huge amounts from all of them. So going under someone else guidance for a while will be a great learning experience and alleviates another stress (planning my own training.)

I’m looking forward to seeing what the next year will bring.

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