Lowri Morgan, Merrell Ambassador is all set for Man vs Mountain. If you're getting involved in Man vs Mountain or taking part in any race read Lowri's 10 Tips on how she keeps on going when her mind and body are screaming stop.
Whether you're bidding to complete the course or gunning for a spot on the podium, there comes a moment in every long- distance challenge when doubts creep into your mind. These negative voices urge you to stop, sit down, bail out. Finding the mental strength to rebut them, back to your fitness and re-find your confidence, is one for the cornerstones of any successful endurance athlete. We took Lowri Morgan, TV presenter, ultra runner and adventurer, to Snowdon to see how she would contend with running up the mountain- and to share her wisdom on how you can do the same.
Lowri wearing Mix Master to view the trail running and mix master ranges follow the link - http://www.merrell.com/UK/en-GB/Search/Search.mvc.aspx?SearchText=mix+master
1 Building Slowly
Everyone is different, and there’s no such thing as a one-size fits all solution to endurance running. So make sure your training and pre-race preparations work for you. Build your training gradually. It takes time to increase distances.
2 Test yourself mentally
I am big believer in back-to-back training, doing two long runs on consecutive days, because if you can do the second run even though you’re sore and aching it will train your brain for when the going gets tough in your event. I worked with a sports psychologist who suggested as difficult as possible so the event doesn’t feel as intimidating. You have to do your mental homework- it’s going to be tough!
3 Test your kit before you race
Avoid anything that chafes or burns, which will make it more difficult for you to continue in the event. Pack tour rucksack carefully so you know where everything is and make sure it’s easy to access.
4 Train for the terrain
If you’re going to race up Snowdon, you need to get out and run up rocky hills. No treadmill will replicate Snowdon’s gradient or terrain. But don’t beat yourself up. #Forgive your bad days and missed workouts, and just concentrate on the race.
5 Plan the mindgame
Be mentally prepared for a roller-coaster of emotions, both great highs and deep lows. Some people can visualise the finish line and how they will feel when they reach it.
Others simply focus on the next step and then the next. Find out which works for you.
6 Be patient
This is the main thing I’ve learnt. When you think, “that’s it, I can’t go any more,” sit back, take a moment to chill out, believe in yourself and start to take one step after another towards the finish line. Even elite ultra runners walk sometimes.
7 Pacing is Key
Go out conservatively. Try not to get caught up in the excitement of the start and set off too quickly. Every competition is better at one part of the course than another: some are strong uphill, some on the flat and some on the downhill. Have patience and confidence, stick to your strengths, and you will catch other people up.
8 Embrace the pain
It hurts up to a point and then it doesn’t get any worse. Face it and you will get through it. I remember in the Amazon i had lost all my toenails and been stung 40 times by hornets and I thought it would be fine to give up. But i remembered the saying “Glory lies not in never falling but in the way we rise when we do fall.” So i picked myself up, took one step at a time and the pain just disappeared. It might have been endorphins, simply body mechanics or even something spiritual, but over just five miles in a 150 a-mile race, something switched in me.
9 Focus on your goal
When you want to stop, remember how hard you have worked this, how good you will feel at the finish line, and just keep going. Don’t disappoint yourself. Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it’s the little voice in the back of your head telling you to get back up teh crack on.
10 Don’t leave anything out there
Cross the finish line knowing you could not give any more. If you cross the line thinking, “That was okay,” you haven’t tried hard enough.
Britain’s toughest outdoor event pits your fitness against the wild challenge posed by running up Mount Snowdon and then back down again to face a series of natural obstacles. These include the Merrell Vertical Kilometre, an abseil and an open-water swim. It’s an epic event and you’ll feel exhausted and elated as you cross the line, having raced. Find out more on the event- http://www.merrell.com/UK/en/ManVsMountain