Thursday, 10 June 2010

Welsh 14/3ks: Part 1 History & Detail

This walk links up Wales' 15 summits over 3000ft. According to the Welsh 14 3000s website:

  • "In order to complete the Welsh 3000s Challenge you are required to have been at the top of all 15 of the mountains over 3000 ft in Wales within the space of 24 hours, without using any form of transport.

    The length is about 24 miles, but the walks to the start point and down from the finish point can take it to over 30 miles in total.

    The walk is also known as "The 14 Peaks" (although there are officially 15 peaks, or possibly 16)."
The site goes on to describe the challenge:
  • "It’s very rocky, and both uphill and downhill sections are demanding. Navigation can also be problematic without previous knowledge of this area of Snowdonia. For some, the walk involves camping/bivvying at the top of Snowdon the night before, adding to the weight of kit for the initial section. Additionally, one mountain, Crib Goch, is very exposed – several people have died on it.

    This challenge is commonly underestimated - you need to be very fit to walk it in 24 hours. Times below 12 hours (first peak to final peak) are sometimes achieved by exceptionally fit walkers."
Sounds like my bag! A classic 'grow your soul' challenge. I completed it once before several years ago and found it pretty tough. I remember vowing 'never again'. But it would appear that I have a new 'dimension' to explore. This journey is going to be as much 'inwards' as outwards.
I have spent the last week resting. In the evening I have typically devoured a large piece of lamb or half a chicken a day with lots of cabbage, some carrots and generous amounts of butter. Lunchtimes typically involve goats cheese along with tinned fish (sardines/mackerel) or boiled eggs. I only eat twice a day, but make sure I eat until satiation.
As I pack for tomorrow's departure I have prepared a tub of several boiled eggs, some goats cheese, some chicken and some (soaked) nuts to fuel me throughout the day. Come Saturday, the day of the walk, I will fast once again. I have two tins of fish to carry with me to be opened in emergency!
Fasted exercise is nothing new. It is fundamental to nature. In our society the notion is treated with disdain and suspicion. How can you 'do stuff' on an empty stomach? Our disenfranchised relationship with our body mandates metronomic feeding on low quality food. Both are attributes I have moved away from. I eat quality foods and feed/fast episodically.

This approach means I can never be hungry - certainly not in the space of 24 hours without food no matter what exercise is demanded of me. The fat within our bodies is evolutionary fast food. This food can be rapidly mobilised under the right circumstances and delivered faster than a pizza delivery boy through sublime metabolic process in to cellular furnaces before you can say "McHunger". Finger licking good energy delivered to your mitochondrial door; no tip required.
No energy drinks like a marathon runner. No 'Kendal Mint Cake' like a rambler. Just my inner fat stores, like a hunter.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

1 comment:

Lightning said...

I like the sound of that. I think I'll have to investigate. Thanks for the link.