Robert Young II wrote:
She doesn't need to be capable of it because she's doing it for charity using mental strength. People who use mental strength don't need exceptional physical ability.
RY did it on mental strength alone so why can't Amy?
She herself credits this as the main focus.
But the naysayers who say she had no "plan" or something are wrong too. She totally prepared for it.
I tried not to think about the negatives or the what ifâ€™s. I tried to think of how this was going to make me stronger, both physically and mentally. I tried to think of the people I might inspire along the way, and the people joining me on my journey, whether that was in person or through social media. The support helped push me through. I also tried to think of the money I am raising for my charity The 53 Foundation (http://www.the53foundation.co.uk)
I keep talking about this challenge being mainly about mental strength, but the need for correct training and nutrition were major factors too.
Hereâ€™s how I prepared:
Increased strength work
I really upped my strength work over the past six months, concentrating especially on core and legs. This consisted of a hell of a lot of squats, lunges and every plank variation you can think of. I think sometimes runners can forget to spend time on other forms of training other than running, but it really does help strengthen the joints. I also combined this with HIIT (high-intensity interval training), using lots of power exercises like plyo lunges and burpees (the devilâ€™s exercise).
Long runs/early mornings/late nights
Trying to fit everything in is hard, as I am sure you know. My training involved a lot of early mornings and late nights. Five times a week I got up before most people open their curtains to go and spend three hours on the road. I tried to concentrate on upping my time on the road or treadmill rather than focusing on distances to get my body used to spending so much time on my feet. I would do about three treadmill speed work sessions a week, usually at night.
Nutrition is so important. I was starting to get a little sick of constantly eating but it was important to make sure I was fuelled efficiently for such long training runs and high mileage. There was a lot of wholemeal pasta and sweet potato included in my diet, especially over the past two months and what was a saviour on long runs were Krispy crÃ¨me donuts and Percy pigs (my trusty favourite). I nearly doubled my portion sizes over the past month in preparation. I didnâ€™t think I would struggle to eat but I found myself trying to force myself to eat and snack more in between meals because I knew my body needed it. I squeezed in protein shakes, boiled eggs and peanut butter on toast where I could.
Yoga helped me so much both mentally and physically. When you have such a hectic work and training schedule it really does help balance both mind and body. It helped me balance out any muscle imbalances and build strength, especially in my core. The breathing technique that is also taught in yoga really helped my cardio strength and made breathing easier when running.
Overcoming my fears
I am a big believer in the saying â€œif your dreams donâ€™t scare you then they arenâ€™t big enoughâ€. All my challenges most definitely scare the hell out of me. There were lots of fears for this challenge but I was ready to face them head-on. That distance on a treadmill for me was by far the scariest and hardest (both mentally and physically) challenge I have ever set myself.
Mentally being in the same place for the same time on the same treadmill was testing, but the support from all my followers and passers-by helped massively.
Running for up to 20 hours hours straight was one of the biggest difficulties, but I tried to train myself to break it down into chunks of time to make it more manageable in my head. I thought of it like a job, and focused on one day at a time.
My biggest passions in life are to inspire others and do what we can for The 53 Foundation (http://www.the53foundation.co.uk). Knowing that I was doing that throughout this challenge kept pushing me on. Iâ€™m now sore and have blisters on my feet â€“ but it feels amazing to have achieved this. Having people join me, receiving messages of support and inspiration fuels my want to complete these challenges. I always feel like my challenges are more of journey that I share with my friends and followers and with their support, I had no doubts we could do this!