I run on roads. I run on trails. I run on track. I run on hills. I run with friends. I run alone. I run with music. I run without. I run to understand. I run to forget. I run to remember. I’m running from things. I’m running to things. I always run back home. I run fast on short distances. I run a sub 4 hour marathon.
I don’t follow a training plan.I prepare myself for challenges. I get chatty during events. I walk. Sometimes. I eat too much. I drink too much. I was overweight. I lost 5.5 stone. I put on 2.5 stone when I started running ultras. I am fit. I am happy. I have muscles. I’m not a whippet mountain goat. I am determined. I’m not a slouch.
I live in the countryside. I work in London. I have a long commute. Then an 8 mile run. I run 160 miles a month commuting. I run with friends at the weekend. I have a life. I enjoy other things. I love 1980s cars. Gadgets. Lists. I read. I cook. I bake. I have a wife. I take holidays that are not organised around races. Occasionally.
I am an ultrarunner. I am fast enough. I get the job done. I enjoy running. My enjoyment increases with the distance. I have not reached a limit. Yet. I am Phil. This is a story of my transformation from ultra-slob to ultrarunner. From fat to fit. From out of shape 34 year old to a healthier ultrarunning 39 year old who recently completed a 46 hour, 177 mile run around the coast of Kent over 4 days. Originally intended as a collection of memories for when my memory gets worse. I found that people started asking my advice about kit, training, and indeed what it takes to run a stupidly long distance.
So, as always with an eye on standardisation and cost efficiency I decided to get it into shape so that I could share it with other enquiring minds and to show that it’s not necessary to follow a training plan to complete an ultra. There. I said it. No plan will get you to the end without you really wanting to complete an ultra and already having a base level of fitness in your body. You body needs to be able to run a marathon and your mind needs to want to go further.