By Dr. Nicholas Ashill
I am sure by now some of you are aware that I am planning to undertake a three-month run across the United States of America exactly a month from today. I am doing this very serious ultramarathon run from Los Angeles to New York in order to inspire people to dream big as well as to help families suffering from pulmonary fibrosis.
I want to bring you up to speed with what has been going on in preparation for the run. I plan to begin my attempt to run across America on Sunday, May 14, 2017 and hope to finish the run in New York about 110 days later. The 5,400 kilometers distance will take me through 13 different states and temperatures of 30-40 degrees.
My training continues to go well. The past two months have been full on, with distance and core gym work and I have certainly welcomed the one-day of rest at the end of the week! My current weekly distance has reached 240 kilometers which is combined with gym work and cycling.
So far my body is holding up well. I keep asking myself if my training will be enough to see me through the 5,400 kilometers, but as other ultra-marathon runners have said, you need to keep reminding yourself that you can never really prepare for such a challenge. The challenge itself will be the training!
My eating habits have changed drastically. I am currently eating over 6,000 calories each day. Over the past 12 months, I have trained my body to burn fat, following a Keto diet, rather than burn carbohydrates. This means a diet with lots of vegetables and good fats like coconut oil, avocado and butter. I have found that my running times have improved significantly and this is the result of burning a cleaner energy source.
Part of the preparation includes spending time at the National Center for Sport and Exercise Medicine at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom where Professor Laura-Anne Furlong, a leading sports researcher at Loughborough University, will be studying my biomechanics (a study of running movement) over the 5,400 kilometers distance. This is a joint scientific research project with the University of Massachusetts in the United States.
So, a month to go before the race begins. I will have a support crew of three people, including my father-in-law and my eldest daughter who will be joining me for the 110 days. They will follow me in an RV making sure that I stay out of trouble!
Dr. Nicholas Ashill is a Professor of Marketing at American University of Sharjah.
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