Countdown, four months to go.
Once again the question of training has come up, when to start, how much to do, if the training is right. Different strokes for different folks is the only answer. It's the same for everyone, that everyone is different. What it all boils down to is mental attitude. You have to feel, when you toe the line on that sunny saturday morning way off in the future, that all your preparation has been right for you. If you are standing there with doubts and regrets running through your mind, then the hardest hurdle will not be the distance, the pain, the weather or the dreaded sloc, it will be your mind telling you that you are not going to do it.
Everyone is different. Some have to start from scratch, no history of walking, no fitness or previous inclination to participate. A common theme is to get christmas and new year out of the way and start on january the second, where you find yourself plodding along a cold wet road, icy wind in your face and darkness setting in before your lunch has settled. For anyone starting out on six months training, this has got to be a setback. Others, take the prime example multiple finisher David Collister, don't bother, and just go out and do it again and again, with a respectable time every year. Commentary in the Sky programme a few years ago was spot on when they said his preperation for this years Parish is.... last years Parish!
Whichever way you are inclined, it'll soon be getting warmer, light nights are coming in, and the television companies are doing their best to get us out of the house by mass producing cheap telly programmes not worth watching. And they invent sky+ for the few that are! It's time to get out, looking around for those of you on the Island there are a growing number of meets where parish walkers can get together and walk in groups. The advantages are easy to see. Some walkers who have finished the parish before can pass on their own tips and hints. (Try and get someone who has finished the course to NOT talk about their own personal triumph!) and having a group of like minded people can only be good. If you can get a training partner all well and good. Whatever, if you can see and feel the results over time, it can only be good, developing a positive attitude on the day.
We all have our doubts, I myself stand on the start line every year thinking I'm going to make a fool of myself. (just ask our Helen. She's my own personal mental motivator!) When you get going and see yourself doing well, then it'll be all worth while.