''MY BIGGEST OPPONENT IS MYSELF''
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THE PROBLEM OF FINDING PROPER FOOTWEAR FOR THE DESERT MARATHON AND MOROCCAN CLIMATE

By today, it’s gotten to the point where I’m seriously worried about the footwear I’m supposed to be running with, as well as trying to figure out smaller details on what might end up bothering me during the run, such as abrasion, food and climate adjustment. There are other things I worry about, but I’ll talk about those in future posts.

In the past weeks, I’ve browsed the internet and asked different runners what footwear they recommend for running, but either there’s not much information about this or I just don’t know how to search for it. Obviously, it’s because we’re dealing with totally extreme conditions we can’t compare to. For running in these conditions, the choice of footwear in Estonia is limited, which makes the process more complicated and raises adrenaline.

I’d need at least two pairs of running sneakers, one for training and another for the competition in April. In addition, I need to practice running in sneakers two sizes larger, as the climate the marathon takes place in causes feet to swell, and if there’s not enough room in the sneaker the run will meet an abrupt end.

People get blisters simply from walking in this marathon, you can’t escape damage to your feet, but you need enough room to tape up your feet afterwards or you’ll be forced to withdraw.

Thanks to good people, I was able to meet ultra-triathlete Rait Rattasepp on the 31st of October in Tartu, who advised me on footwear, food, recovery and preparations. The meeting was necessary, since you need more information to do well, and if there’s a chance to consult pros in their field I would definitely ask those more experienced than I, rather than try to reinvent the wheel.

Rait was definitely helpful, and the meeting gave me psychological support. Some things seem difficult or impossible in my head even now, but these are all things I can handle and I’m moving forward one step at a time. Thanks to this meeting, I gained some confidence in my decision of running sneakers, which ended up being the Salomon S-Lab Sense 5 Ultra. I’m planning my first hike with these sneakers this weekend at the Suusahullud running marathon, and I’ll write about the results soon.

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