The Cateran Yomp / 8 weeks to go

In roughly 8 weeks time (if all goes to plan) I will be taking part in The Cateran Yomp. According to the event website, it is the biggest and toughest long distance walking event of its kind. Yomp is a military term for a long distance march, which links us to why this event takes place. The Yomp exists to raise funds to support soldiers, veterans and their families.

There is still time to sign up if you fancy it

So 8 weeks to go, and I am still undecided which distance I am truly aiming for. I have signed up to walk with my mum, who is without a doubt a few miles fitter and stronger than me. So if I can keep up with her for at least 22 miles (the bonze distance) I will be happy and if I am hanging on at 36 miles (the silver distance) I’ll be dancing. There is also a gold distance of 54 miles, it’ll be streak of magic if we make it that far but I am not putting too much pressure on. All these distances can be covered alone, or within a team of 3-6 people and within 24 hours. Eek!

We haven’t made an official training plan, it’s been pretty hard to train together as I live 5 hours away from my mum. But we’ve been trying to do at least 2 runs and a mixture of short and long walks each week. It was mums idea that we run part of the yomp as well, which I actually agree will help break up time a little. Walking for 24 hours is a long time, and once the light disappears I presume our pace will slow down considerably. I have never ran before, so working up to a 5k has been a challenge for me; but I am really enjoying building on my pace now and increasing distance each time I am out.

My weekly training currently consists of

  • 5k run twice a week
  • fast walk at lunchtime every day (2k)
  • a long walk/hill once a week or fortnightly (weather depending)
  • HIIT session in the gym once/twice a week

The next challenge will be to decide what kit to wear and use for the yomp. Boots or trail shoes, trousers or leggings, waterproofs, backpacks, poles? Food? There’s lots to think about and test before the event. I think for me breaking in the correct shoes is my biggest worry, I am a bit of a wimp when a blister comes about.

I have also created a Yomp Training Highlight on my Instagram, mostly uninspiring videos of me running around Glasgow – but I will be updating it more regularly as we draw nearer the event date. Any questions about the yomp, please give me a shout on Instagram @ronamcmillan.

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