Remember when I said a couple weeks ago that I’ll only focus on runs 5k or shorter for now? Yeah well that went right out of the window a couple days ago when I was searching for all kinds of trail running stuff on the internet like strength training, training routines for certain race goals, nutrition, trail running in Finland and what not. I stumbled across the trailrunning.fi website and found this trail tour called BUFF Trail Tour Finland and was immediately intrigued by it. This year, the tour consists of seven events and a total distance of 278K. The events range from 21K to 55K and are held in seven different locations all around the country.
I’ve never considered it to be possible for me to run anything close to a marathon. Heck, I’ve never considered it to be possible for me to even run a 10K! I’ve always had the impression that it would take years and years to achieve that kind of fitness a marathon requires if one starts from zero. After some research and hard thinking, I believe I can do it and take part in at least one of the races next summer. I’m not sure what races are going to be involved in the tour next year but if there is a shorter race like a 20-25K I’m sure I can do it if I start now.
I will also start preparing for a proper trail marathon (this year they had a couple 42/43K’s) but the 55K ultra distance at NUTS Ylläs- Pallas is definitely out of my reach for now. Right now I feel like going for one shorter race and one marathon next summer. However, NUTS Ylläs- Pallas is the only trail race in Finland that is a UTWT Discovery Race (Ultra Trail World Tour) and they do host a 30K race in the breathtakingly beautiful mountains of the very northernmost part of Finland so I’m a bit tempted…
I’ve never ever had goals like this in my entire life. My goals aren’t entirely set just yet since the tour of 2018 is still underway and not much information has been published yet of next year’s tour. Most of the entries open in October- December so I’m sure that more information will be given out pretty soon. I’ve thought about two options: Either I’ll run two shorter races (like a 21K and the Ylläs- Pallas 30K) or one shorter race and a full marathon. The latter is more appealing to me but I’m not sure if it’s realistic since I’d really really love to run the 30K at Ylläs- Pallas. The shorter 20K- ish races are probably going to be in the beginning of the tour so it would make sense to start off with a shorter one and do the marathon towards the end of the tour to maximize training and recovery times in between.
However, the NUTS Ylläs- Pallas is significantly longer than the half marathons and it’s held around mid July. I’m not sure if it’s realistic to try to do a total of 30+42K over a couple months time as a first-time marathoner? This is why I can’t really set concrete goals as I don’t know the exact dates and distances of next years events yet. I have a pretty good idea though of my goals and I’ve really looked into all the races they’ve traditionally held so I have a good clue as to what kind of trails we’re talking about. For example, the Nuuksio Classic Trail Marathon is traditionally extremely technical and it’s difficulty can really be surprising.
Anyway, I really wanted to share my plans with you guys as this decision will probably greatly impact the content I write. I can’t wait to get more info on the tour of 2019 and I’m really looking forward to getting this journey started! Now I really have to look into some trail specific gear I might need to get. I don’t own trail running shoes currently so I’ll have to take a look at the options available. Considering that I have approximately a year before the possible event, I’ll probably go through at least one or two pairs of shoes depending on the amount of training I end up doing.
To end this post, I want to add that after weeks and weeks of training and gradually increasing my running distance and pace, I’m finally starting to see some concrete progress! I no longer see running as something I can’t do or think of longer distances as ”impossible” or something extremely daunting. I’m pretty confident thinking about the 5k in less than two weeks. I know my conversational pace and can roughly estimate a realistic goal time for a 3k and 5k. I’m writing this post on Wednesday which means right now it’s actually time for my second run of the week!