I’ve had the initial conversation with myself, and I’ve made it real by sharing it - HERE - now I need to set my mind on the right path (so that the body can follow) and do some research.
This week is a good time to do that. My race season has finished, my new campaign is just starting, and any big mistakes right now are easily absorbed. This week is low risk. If I knew nothing about the Marji Gesick now would be the week to do all my homework. If I was new to Marji this would be my cheat sheet:
- Join all the Facebook groups where the multitude of questions I might want answers at some point have probably already been answered. As a bare minimum these are: #TRAIN4LIFE and Marji Gesick Talk. I’d also follow the pages for Marji Gesick and 906 Adventure.
- Get on YouTube and watch all the Marji Gesick videos I can find. Start to get a handle on what the trails look like, what bikes people ride, what the feel of the event is.
- Start deciding on my equipment, and use the groups to look up anything I don’t know. What tyres are best?: go in the Facebook groups and use the search function. Ask the questions now, find answers now. Make decisions over the next few months based on this initial fact finding.
- Elevation and distance. Sure it can change. But it won’t change radically in anyway that is likely to make the puzzle completely different.
- Work out some initial logistics: where is the race? Where is it compared to where I live? How will I get there? How long will it take? How much will the whole thing cost including all these logistics? Does it affect my work/do I need to book annual leave?
- How do most people feed? How do the people closest to my level feed? How can I replicate them?
- What equipment is needed that I don’t currently own?
- What equipment is needed that I don’t know how to operate/use effectively? (most common being GPS)
- Where is the closest place to me that I can replicate at least some of the challenges of the race (elevation, technical trails, etc)
- Honest assessment of: current fitness, what it takes to complete the race I want to do to the standard/time I want to achieve, and how far off that standard I currently sit.
As always it can really help to write a lot of this stuff down. Start with initial thoughts, questions and rough answers. I can get into (and will cover in future blogs) the weeds later. Personally I prefer a hardback A5 notepad, a good pen and a pencil. I show my age ;-) Somewhere I can keep it all together, reach for and read conveniently, and regularly update and adjust.
This week is all about catching as many of the things that trip people up later as soon as possible. It’s research week, it sets my mind in the right place, it removes a lot of the energy draining elements that plague a lot of folk along the journey. It is a time for identification: what does it look like? What do I need? What might it take?