You might have heard that, in February of 2022, I’m taking part in the World Marathon Challenge, which is running 7 marathons on 7 continents (yes, all 7!) in 7 consecutive days. Even though February might seem like a ways off, it’s coming pretty fast, and I need to be ready physically and mentally.
If you’re wondering why I chose to participate in this challenge, you’re not alone! It’s going to be physically and mentally exhausting, and it’s not for everyone. Doing it has been in the back of my mind for a couple of years, but it wasn’t until last year that I thought I could be someone who could do it, who could conquer something so significant.
If you follow Running With Muscle, you know that I believe strongly that combining strength training with running makes for better success—it continues to work for me, and that’s how I’m approaching my training for this challenge. Because each continent will mean different hurdles and because the races themselves will have their own challenges, I’ve had to incorporate different things to challenge my mindset as well as my body. That’s why I’ve been training in heat, at night, and in the early mornings. Plus, I’ve been running races—anything from 5Ks to 60 milers. As the challenge gets closer, I’ll increase my overall miles and will change the times when I do my long runs. And in October, I’ll have my first long race weekend, doing three back-to-back marathons.
Once I’m doing the challenge, I think lack of sleep, hydration, and nutrition will be a huge issue during that week, especially with the travel between each marathon, which could spice things up. But I’m excited to see the landscape and culture of the different countries (even though we won’t be in each location for very long, at least I’ll get to see a glimpse of it). We’ll be running in Cape Town (South Africa), Perth (Australia), Dubai (Asia), Madrid (Europe), Fortaleza (South America), Miami (North America), and Novo (Antarctica). The marathon in Antarctica (which is actually the first one we’ll do) is bound to be hard because of the cold—the constant impact on ice and the winds will create issues, whether I’m fully prepared or not.
I’ve already learned so much about mindset training for something like this—I’ve had days where I have self-doubt, anxiety, and a lack of balance. But I’ve also had support from many people around me, and they’ve helped me push through times like these to get to the spot where it all clicks together. I’ve learned that the days when you don’t want to do it are the days you NEED to do it. That realization has definitely been motivational.
In February, I’ll have the chance to meet all the other runners who are participating from all over the world—I know that facing these marathons together will create a unique community for us. That said, I’m also super excited and proud to be able to specifically run for Team U.S.A. My goal is to podium individually as well as with the team, but I’ll consider the whole thing a success just to finish. As long as Covid doesn’t mess anything up, I hope to be able to show you I did!