Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Falkland Islands - 6 Months of Training

What does the Falkland Island offer for runners?

After spending 6 months an island only 700 miles from Antarctica, I have more appreciation for the UK weather and multitude of country lanes, public footpaths and bridleways to run on. Out in the Falklands I was constantly battling the high winds and boredom of running through a mainly baron terrain day after day. The lack of any trees, hedgerows and buildings means that the only place to hide from the wind is the treadmill in the gym.

I found about 5 decent routes along the gravel roads to run on. There are mountains, but most of the land is private farmland or is so rutted and rocky that walking alone is difficult. The conditions did help with my resilience and there was the odd day where the wind dropped and the sun shone as temperatures reached 20 degrees. However, later that same day the wind can change and bring snow!

The positives are that I had plenty of time to run, swim and train in the gym. I put in some good mileage, but missed some quality. There is very little traffic and times where I was completely alone running on the bottom of the world. Occasionally across the white sand beaches, devoid of any litter and guaranteed to see penguins, dolphins and other wildlife.

The local running club organised a half marathon, which was a point to point race starting outside Stanley, the capital and finishing at surf bay. It was gravel track and hilly. I came first in around 1hr 13min. I missed out on the March Marathon, with a prize of £1000 and attracting runners from South America.

Another challenge I set myself to keep the motivation going was running from Mount Pleasant Camp to Stanley. I completed this 33 mile run on xmas eve as the conditions were perfect and I wanted to build up my appetite for xmas dinner. This took about 3hrs 50min.

I managed to improve my general fitness and endurance, but it terms of overseas training camps I would pick many other places!

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