| Fitness, Running,

How I am preparing for Antarctica Marathon

Beatrice Lessi

What Is Antarctica Marathon

Antarctica Marathon will take place 12 March 2023.

We will fly you to Ushuaia, which is located at the southern tip of Argentina.  It is here where you will start your journey to Antarctica aboard the Ocean Victory expedition ship.  Over the course of several days you will sail through the Beagle Channel across the Drake Passage, through the Shetland Islands and before reaching King George Island – the location of the Marathon and Half-Marathon.

Its Webpage explains.

During the trip we will explore the most pristine corner of the planet, coming face-to-face with Antarctic gems such as glaciers, icebergs, penguins, seals and whales. Historians and scientists will provide lectures on board.  We will experience wildlife excursions during landings in remote areas, such as seal colonies and penguin rookeries as well as the research bases.

A maximum of 100 passengers is allowed ashore, so you can imagine how difficult is to find a spot – I have been trying for three years and have been on a waiting list until now. 2024 is also sold out and booking are accepted for 2025.

But finally I am in. Time to prepare – this is a one in a lifetime experience.

A Hardcore Trail Run

From what I have seen and read about Antarctica Marathon, the race is like any other trail run…just a bit harder and colder, maybe! But trail running, with its typical uneven routes, is what needs to be trained. The track is very muddy, can be wet or snowy, but again there is no precise rule about it.

Weather  and temperatures are unpredictable and can change rapidly, so the organisation warns all participants that the possibility of a cancellation is always possible.

My goal is to run in the nature – I live near the woods so this won’t be a problem – and on snow and in the mountains, when I have the chance. Mountains running is the best and really challenges your technique and ability to adapt to changing situations.

I haven’t decided what to wear yet, but layering is going to be the solution, and personally I will really try to be as warm as possible. This means I might cover most of my face and hair too. I think that waterproof trousers, socks and shoes will also be necessary.

Training

As usual when I prepare a marathon, I will follow an online program. Here is a Nike program I like; I have done it twice already and I think it’s a good way to build up enough km for such a race. But there are many more available, also for free like this one, so one can browse and choose many more options.

On top of that, hiking or any cross training  whenever possible is  a very good idea, especially for something like Antarctica, because it’s going to take much longer than a city marathon, so it’s important to get used to spend many hours on your legs.

The main change to my regular training will be the gym. I know I need to get stronger for two reasons: 1. because of aging, 2. because uneven trails make you prone to injures, so the best way to prevent them is building muscle up.

Other than that, I guess the goal is running in any uncomfortable conditions: wind, rain, fog, dark, snow. But this isn’t really different from any other regular trail run, really.

If you have any comments, tips or questions, please contact me on [email protected], or on my Instagram. Suggestions and ideas are also very welcome.

With 15 weeks to go, this is the time to focus and run. Looking forward to this dream coming true!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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