THE MERRELL BLOG: WHAT'S NOW. WHAT'S NEXT. LET'S GET OUTSIDE.
Dr Andrew Murray's training for his next epic challenge...
Merrell Pack Leader Dr Andrew Murray is taking on an epic challenge this Summer 'RunHighAfrica'. Here he explains all about this upcoming adventure he faces and his typical training for such an extraordinary ultra marathon...
This year I’ll be doing several races, with many 50 kilometres or more in length. I’ll also be taking on an epic adventure in East Africa this summer. This involves making a film about what makes the Kenyans so fast and spending time with some of the fastest athletes on earth, as well as actually doing a fair bit of running out there myself.
RunHighAfrica will take place over 18 days through East Africa running a minimum of 50 kilometres each day, all at altitude. The altitude does make a difference, as rugby players going to South Africa will testify, but I will test myself with hill after hill and mountain after mountain. This includes running Mount Kilimanjaro in a day, as well as Mount Kenya, Mount Longonot and many more. The trip will however be rewarding as it is challenging. The snow-capped peaks, the abundant wildlife in world famous national parks, spectacular geysers, and the stunning history and scenery offer much to me as a running tourist, quite apart from the quest for knowledge.
Training has started to crank up with this challenge just eight weeks away. I’m currently mixing up running with playing football, tennis, and pretty much any other sport at the moment, but will need to put the big yards in soon.
I tend to run to and from work, getting in about 60 miles a week and will throw in a longer couple of runs at the weekend or after work. Because I’m training for the mountains of Africa, as well as the European Sky Running Championships the hills will become my training ground. Each hill in Edinburgh will no doubt hear my Merrell’s coming most days, as I look to build up to doing a peak mileage of 180 miles. Part of the beauty of the runs I’m doing this year is they are mostly trails and I love getting off the beaten track, splashing through puddles and seeing new things.
There is also the question of staying fit. Eating well and having comfortable footwear are the two key components to getting this right. If an injury happens, I’ll often try and run on softer surfaces for a few days or cross train. The winter leaving us behind leaves me running out of excuses to train. It’s not dark or cold anymore and the trails are calling!