Wish Me Luck ..!

Esport Ratiopharm Arena Espoo

Photo Credit: Esko Anttila

I’ve really enjoyed the annual break from work over the Christmas holidays, but have at the same time been training hard for my next ultra which is less than four weeks away now. The event takes place in a town called Espoo which is 20km outside Helsinki in Finland. This race will be a big step into the unknown for me as it’s a 24 hour indoor event. Although I’ve taken part in one 24 hour race before, it was only a few weeks after my first 100 miler in Connemara, and I really wasn’t ready for it either mentally or physically. Although I recorded a decent 100 mile split at that race in France (15:26:02) my eventual distance was a relatively modest 176 kms. My main aim in Finland will be to improve on that total.  

Training has gone really well so far and, without ever wanting to tempt fate, I’ve managed to stay injury-free long enough to get some solid weeks of work done. For the first time ever, I trained twice on Christmas Day – an easy run over snow early in the morning (in minus fourteen degrees) and a weights session later on that evening. Keeping to my schedule over the holidays has given me hope that I can complete my preparations over the next couple of weeks and then recover well enough to enjoy myself in Finland.

As the race gets closer my anticipation grows of what should be a great adventure. I’m thrilled at the prospect of seeing a new country, meeting new people and giving it my best shot in the race. While I know well that the best laid plans can so easily go awry, I can’t help but look forward to the challenge. With less than two weeks of real training left and a taper to enjoy/endure there’s a lot to look forward to this month.

Wish me luck!


15 thoughts on “Wish Me Luck ..!

  1. Mick – you just keep reaching. I envy your positive confidence and your ability to do the things that I know are seated deep down in you. I’ll be following you as best I can via internet from Espoo (the site says they will update online, but that’s always a shaky promise).You’ll be recieving positive vibes from 4000 miles away in Alabama. Hope they help. Run long my friend – Al

    1. Al,
      Your comments are always a pleasure to read and a privilege to receive. Thank you. I really do appreciate your support. I’m not sure that I’m feeling as much confidence this week as I have in the past, but that’s the way things are this week. Onwards to Espoo!


    1. Keith,
      Thanks for the good wishes. I’ve changed my training quite a lot for this one to a compartively low mileage regimen. In the past I’ve slogged out 100 mile plus weeks with very little quality training in there. This time my weekly schedule has included a non-running day, a tempo run, a recover run, a session of log intervals, another recover run and a long run – more or less in that sequence. My mileage hasn’t really gone over 80 miles a week and has sometimes been under 70. In addition to the running I’ve been doing three weights sessions a week, concentrating mainly on squats and deadlifts.



    1. Thomas – That’s the real hard question. I think I’m capable of 140 at some stage – whether it’ll be in Espoo or not only time will tell. Above all else I want to enjoy the trip and I’m hoping I can combine some good running with the fun of the new experience of racing indoors. I don’t underestimate how tough it would be to get up to that figure, but it’s possible at least. It’s good to see that you’re racking up the miles yourself. Let’s hope we both go well in 2011,



  2. Grellan

    All the best Mike. Looking forward to hearing about the adventure.

    I stayed with friends in Espoo a few years back. They could tell us a thing or two about coping with snow and ice.

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