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Stage 1: Origins of the 1 ton marathon

  • By Gareth Lockwood

Stage 1: Origins of the 1 ton marathon

A conversation with a friend…

This whole thing started with a conversation I was having with a friend about how physically fit my grandad was.  The man was a freak. A well respected boxer in the British tank regiment and obsessed with fitness.

Even at the age of 83, he performed his own circuit training sessions in his back garden (come rain or shine) and one of my fondest and most humiliating memories of him from childhood was me challenging him to a push up competition.  He smashed around 85 push ups, I on the hand did...well lets just say it wasnt 85.

Along with his tough cardio circuits he cut mounds of wood for his and the neighbours fires in the winter, wearing a t-shirt and a smile in freezing temperatures. And if my nan had to shoot into town for shopping, he’d walk her to the bus, lace up his boots and run like a champ to beat the bus into town.

That mental fortitude and willingness to push through pain and adversity at his age was something deeply ingrained within him.  And that gene, attitude and spirit was definitely passed on to my dad, who also has a drive to conquer physical challenges - from raising money on numerous occasions for charity by cycling 300 miles through Wales in 3 days, to running 30 miles along the coast of Merseyside.

So back to the chat with my mate: I had said I was looking for a huge challenge both physically and mentally, as it’s been a long time since I’ve really tested myself under the spotlight, and on top of that I want to know what my body is truly mechanically capable of.  I truly believe that 99% of us will never know what limits we can force ourselves through, because we just don’t have to. Life is relatively easy at this point in time and a gym subscription doesn’t require a gut check of epic proportions once or twice a year. You just pay the money each month, rock up a few times a week and do what you do.

So why me?  I’ve been involved in fitness my entire life. I study it, I live it, it’s in my genes. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Professional MMA & Boxing Fights, Calisthenics, Yoga, Strength Training.. You name it, I’ve done it.  So doing an average charity fundraiser ain’t going to cut it.

Annnnd back to this conversation I’ve mentioned several times now….his names Neil, if we’re going to keep referring to him, you may as well know who he is!!  Neil says to me.. “You need to check out this guy Ross Edgley, I went to school with the dude, he’s a fitness monster, he was a guest on the Joe Rogan Experience” . Immediately I was sold, I love that podcast!

Following the podcast and a bit of research on Ross, honestly I was blown away and was left feeling totally inspired.  After some long chats with my old man about what challenge to undertake, he had the idea that I carry a 125cc scooter up Moel Famau - a super steep mini mountain in Wales.  As unusual and extremely tough as that sounds, it just wasn’t enough to get me fired up. I’d heard Ross detail in an interview that he’d pulled a mini for 26 miles around Silverstone’s race track… A marathon, pulling a car.  That is mental… Awesome, I thought. I’LL DO THAT!!!!

Now, in some regards this may seem like madness.  I’m not a long distance runner and if I’m honest, I only run every now and then.  And I’m pretty sure I’ve never run more than 8 or 9 miles. My life in fitness has revolved around boxing, mma, thai boxing training, calisthenics, aerobic and anaerobic circuit training and resistance work in various methods. Suffice to say I’m not a dedicated runner, nor do I pretend to be, and training for this is going to involve a lot of bloody running.  However, I do feel that I have the right foundations for this challenge.

I’ve always preached with fitness: become a jack of all trades.

Spend time dedicated to exploring different ways of honing skills and results.  I constantly evolve ways to train: I vary reps, resistance, time, volume, duration.  I switch from bodyweight to machines to free weights. Switch up the days on and days off, and mix in different disciplines.  The list goes on, and all of this constant change, never settling, this translates very well into whatever goal you decide to take on at any point in time.  Muscle memory in my humble opinion is not a short term thing. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can re-engage physical performance from past training methods.

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For more information on the One Ton Marathon, including where it will be held, what charities I'm raising money for and my blog updates on my training regime, diet and progress, please keep an eye on my instagram @lockafellafitness and follow me on facebook.

Thanks!

G

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