Again, copied from my Hypnosis for Running blog….

As it says on the tin/in the blog title, I shall indeed be running all four of the Bournemouth marathon festival events one after the other later this year. I’ll run the supersonic 10km race on the Saturday afternoon, then the speed of light 5km race on the Saturday evening. Then early Sunday morning, I’ll run the half marathon, then finally get transported back to the starting line to run the full marathon later that same morning.

This Spring, when I have completed London and Edinburgh marathons, my training will change to a schedule that resembles an ultra marathon plan. I have never run anything longer than a marathon before, so I will be venturing into the unknown somewhat with this, but I cannot wait to get stuck into it all. I am fortunate to have met and be friends with numerous highly crazy respected ultra runners who I am hoping to get plenty of advice, planning ideas and tips from.

Why oh why am I doing such a thing? Well, here are my reasons:

1. In 2012, I ran five marathons in successive weeks with my brother. Towards the end of the final marathon in 2012, I found it genuinely hard. Very hard. What inspired me and drove me on was the tremendous response I got to my charity fundraising. I felt that I really owed all those people who had sponsored my efforts a good performance. So wanted to deliver.

With this challenge, I am doing something new for me. It is different and I hope it will encourage people to sponsor me as enthusiastically again. Through my work, I have managed to find new ideas for fundraising that has given me a great start to my latest fundraising, but I hope that by running these four races within the space of 24 hours, people will want to support my charity – the BAAF – British Adoption and Fostering.

As I have written at my charity page I’ll be running every single mile of the Spring marathons and the Bournemouth marathon festival races wearing a BAAF vest.

I have spent many years asking for sponsorship for the causes close to my heart. However, I have genuinely never been more proud to represent any single charity than I am right now.

BAAF has been supporting, advising and campaigning for better outcomes for children in care for over 30 years. They work with everyone involved with adoption and fostering across the UK. Their regional and country offices in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, provide services to meet the needs of some of the UK’s most vulnerable children and young people.

They specialise in finding parents for those children who wait longest including sibling groups, older children and children with disabilities.

They campaign nationally and locally to improve the lives of children separated from their birth families. They are the UK’s leading membership organisation for agencies and individuals that have an interest in fostering, adoption and the well-being of children.

They receive thousands of calls each year from people who need advice about all aspects of adoption and fostering.

2. For me, endurance running is not just about the physical demands we place upon ourselves. It is also about the mental challenge. Over the years, I have found that I derive some perverse pleasure in humping my big, ungainly frame around marathon courses. I enjoy applying my mind, using my cognitions, taking control of pain and being able to push on through it.

Running this amount of miles in such a short time for the first time in my life at my ripe old age is going to be a mental challenge that I cannot wait to take on. I get to apply my work beyond theory. I get to use the things I teach my students and clients and not just talk the talk, I get to personally prove the theory underpinning the techniques and the research and evidence base actually have real-life practical applications that I am prepared to invest my time and energy in.

I love that.

3. Bournemouth is my hometown. I love Bournemouth and love to see it thrive. The marathon festival is a wonderful, brilliantly organised event that is on my doorstep. If I’m going to embark on such a challenge, I am going to LOVE doing it in my own local area, on pathways that I run along each and every day.

The other major bonus is that my wife and children will be able to watch me doing it all. My children are too young currently to enter the massive crowds at London marathon to watch me, so it’ll be lovely for them to come and experience my endeavours. When I ran Bournemouth marathon’s inaugural race there were loads of people I knew watching and that support was unlike anything I have experienced during my 15 years of marathon running.

Bournemouth gets showcased by the marathon festival in a marvelous fashion and I know a couple of the people who helped get the idea of the marathon off the ground and make it into a reality, so I want to support it as much as I possibly can. Go Bournemouth!

4. I’ll be able to write, vlog and blog about my training and my own journey toward the goal as I have done here in the past. However, as I chart my progress, as I work towards this, I will also write some articles showcasing parts of the course that I run upon every day, including the hills that take runners up and down the cliffs, the two piers, the sea front and much more besides. I’ll get to show this place off! And who knows….. maybe one or two readers will decide to come and run one of the races here as a result.

5. Convenience. I admit it, a Bournemouth marathon festival is convenient for me as well as a love. It is soon nice to be able to get to the start line of a running event within a few minutes! Not having to travel far and wide or get up at the most ridiculous hour before an event – I am often ready for a snooze by the time I get to many races.

6 & 7. Accountability and goal focus. I am writing this now, at the start of the year having undergone a stuttering past couple of years. Since running marathon PBs in 2012, I have had injuries, illness, incredibly levels of professional busy-ness and had two children (and became very good at making excuses). It has been hard to engineer the time required to train as I wanted to, and get into the right shape again.

I spent the backend of last year quietly getting fit, reducing weight, motivating myself, getting underway with my psychological approach and planning my 2015 schedule. I feel that now, being in the place I am, I want to hold myself accountable for a fresh challenge, and that is the reason for this early 2015 blog entry about an event that is 10 months away.

As well as accountability though, this focuses me. It is something I have written about extensively and that has much research to support it, and that is effective goal-setting. I’ve set myself this particular goal of completing these four races in quick succession. The SMART goal is something that is specific (complete all four races in times as close to my PBs as possible. I.e. Not just walking/limping round), it is measurable (the times I complete the races in and just finishing each race), it is achievable in my opinion, others have done it before me, and I feel that I am capable of running them all but it’ll not be without a good degree of challenge to make the goal worthwhile. It is realistic; heck, I’ve run five marathons in successive weeks before and have access to some marvellous resource, and it is timely – that is, I have 10 months and 4 days until it happens.

Having such a goal in mind with other races along the way will keep me inspired, energised and help with my motivation. Heck, I cannot wait to have a picture with all four medals on the Sunday when I finish the marathon, and I have an image of that in my mind already.

There you have it. I’ll be back here on this blog with more of the usual techniques, strategies and processes for you to use very soon…. And if you feel like sponsoring my efforts, please do so, there is a link to my Virgin Money Giving fundraising page earlier in this article and on the side panel of this hypnosis for running website.

2015 is going to be some year!