Malawi Training/ I have no idea what I’m doing

Upon recently being accepted onto the ultimate Malawi Challenge: Sport with a Purpose, I frantically began searching for training plans for similar challenges. This raised 2 key issues:

  1. The majority of plans were created to be undertaken 6 months prior to expedition, and I depart on 6th October
  2. I couldn’t find any similar challenges…

Therefore I decided to write my own 4 week plan, based on nothing but my non-existant knowledge of running at altitude, kayaking etc.

A few days into this plan, I quickly realised that I urgently needed to simmer down because training 3 times a day is OBVIOUSLY completely unrealistic.

I then completely re-wrote the plan, based on more concrete evidence, and have subsequently re-written the plan every day since. I now have precisely 2 weeks 1 day until the ultimate Malawi Challenge, and to be perfectly honest I still have no idea what I’m doing. However, I thought I would share a couple of the highlights/lowlights of my ‘training’ thus far:

  • L A Y E R S, all the layers

As per recommendation of one of the greatest trail runners of all time (this was obviously not recommended directly to me as said runner has no idea who I am), I have done a few short distance runs wearing multiple layers. When I say as per recommendation, what this individual actually recommended was investing in a heat suit. I wore 5 layers, including a thermal vest and a ski jacket; I knew this was stupid at the time, but still proceeded to do it. It was uncomfortable and I looked like a moron, but apart from that I suppose it served its purpose.

  • Altitude training

To pre-acclimatise, I am aiming on taking 6 classes at the Altitude Centre prior to my departure. These are high intensity interval training classes, at a simulated altitude of approximately 2,710m, 15% oxygen.

My first session was both fantastic and nauseating, and I can safely say that I believe this form of training will be far more effective than prancing around in my ski jacket.

There is only so much I can do training wise within a period of 4 weeks, and I think at this point I just need to turn it down to a light simmer and enjoy the process. However, if anyone has any recommendations as to what I can do short term to acclimatise etc, please do let me know!

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