Ultra marathon progress + my thoughts on physical challenges and why they’re important

Tom Blackett   |  02/05/2017

So I’m now into week 11 of my Ultra marathon training schedule. This is undoubtedly the hardest challenge I’ve ever set myself and I find myself facing additional hurdles which I had not initially foreseen.  Some of you may have seen from my Instagram that I’ve been suffering from a stiff and strained lower back.  4 weeks ago I let my ego get the better of me and attempted a deadlift that was too heavy, I felt my form slip but I continued to lift, injured my back, and now I’m paying the consequences.

This injury was entirely avoidable and I feel I’ve now compromised what was a very smooth training regime.  On the weekend I was borderline depressed, but having spent a little time reflecting along with some help and advice from my good friend and physio Ali, I’ve managed to relax a bit.  In fact, I’d go as far to say that this set back has provided a moment of clarity.  Don’t take for granted your health, it is absolutely imperative if you want to lead a healthy and happy life.  So don’t injure yourself unnecessarily and stay strict with your weight lifting form. That being said, don’t be a flop, we all know deep down when we should or shouldn’t push through, the types of pain presented are entirely different.   Anyhow I’m digressing and waffling slightly…What I’m trying to say is that there is no better way to grow as an individual than challenging yourself from time to time and seeing as I’m a personal trainer, I will tell you 5 key reasons why I believe physically challenging yourself to be the king of all forms of challenge:


1) Physical challenges are accessible to virtually everyone.  Unlike academic challenges or arts challenges, physical challenges normally require nothing but hard work.  Almost everyone has the tools available to get in shape, you don’t have to be the next prodigy to achieve something great.

2) Health is wealth.  Physically challenging yourself to exercise and eat a better diet will yield a healthier body and healthier mind – Win Win.

3) Look better!  Physically challenging yourself will produce a more aesthetically pleasing body and who doesn’t want that?

4) Develop a will of steel.  Physical challenges are always paired with mental challenges, kill 2 birds with one stone and improve both your physical and mental capability.

5) There is nothing more inspiring.  Perhaps this is bias!  But for me personally, the most inspiring people are those that have achieved magnificent physical challenges.


July 28th is my race date.  I’ve 3 months to nail this.

Thanks for reading.