1,  Do not ever think of it as a circuit it’s just uphill, flat, downhill, flat, OR North, East South, West. If that doesn’t 

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work, then just start singing that old song, Road to Nowhere.

  1. Do not start with any set number of laps in mind, just start RUNNING, focus on your breathing, maintaining an even pace, maybe work the uphill a little and cruise the flat, check your stride length and turnover, look around, clouds above, birds flying past, and then when you have no idea how many times you have been around, then you can look at your GPS watch.
  2. It helps to be obsessive about setting a weekly distance goal and achieving it, this means if you’re a bit slack early on, you can find yourself later in the week doing days of 10 – 12k in the morning, followed by 10 – 15k in the evening, this is certainly a wakeup call and rapidly gets you back on track.
  3. Mentally it can be quite challenging but only for the first few kilometres, until you zone out and start solving problems or planning your next big running adventure, which gets you through to 10km and by then you feel so good if it weren’t for the time constraints you would just keep running.
  4. The biggest mind blowing, drag your butt out there and go for it challenge, is the 20+km long run. Always difficult to get motivated to run in circles 20 to 25 times, however this is where the big goal comes into play, the 50k race or similar that you have already committed to run. The trick is to break it into smaller segments of 4 or 5 laps and after 3 sets of these you find the brain has adapted and the thoughts are, another sets a breeze, and oh if I tag on another couple of laps I’ll crack 85k for the week, works every time

Is it possible to sustain this type of training, YES it is, it just requires commitment and training the brain to believe in possibilities. You see for 4 weeks out of 5, I am based on an island off Gladstone in central Queensland where we are building an LNG plant, now the construction site is large but the accommodation village for around 1700, located up behind, is not so large, but it does have a road around the perimeter which, (You’ve guessed it,) is 1.1 kilometres long, and I have been training on it for over a year now. It got me through to a 50k race and will no doubt keep me on track and racing and hopefully get me to a few trail events and the odd ultra.

If I ever get a little despondent, all I do is think of our friend Amanda Barlow, who works on offshore drilling rigs where her only options for training are a treadmill or the helicopter landing pad. On this background, Amanda has run marathons on all seven continents, including one of the toughest Ultras around, the Jungle Marathon through the Amazon Jungle. Then there was Nelson Mandela who while locked up for 23 years would run on the spot the equivalent of 7 miles. I guess it’s really just a matter of focus and mental strength. So when you’re out there doing that 5k circuit that you think is a bit boring, be grateful and ENJOY.

Cheers and Happy Running,  Robert.



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