This is a page where Alfred Meston tells about his workout regimen. Today Alfred is 72 years old, and working out daily in most cases.
When I was 70 years old my eldest brother canoed about 20 miles up river Tyne from South Shields at the mouth of the river, and came back. At newcastle bridge he absiled down from newcastle bridge to his canoe in the river and continued back to south shields – a 40 mile canoe trip plus quite a high absile for his (70?) birthday. The question was put to me what am I going to do at 70 years.
That was the start of trying to get to the top of Wat Tum Sua 280 meter high 1,256 step climb as quick as possible. I got the time down to 15 minutes 35 seconds timed on a stop watch. I suspect that I did some better times but timing is difficult when exhausted and sweaty.
In late September of that year I climbed the BANYAN TREE hotel in Bankok. It is 61 stories + plus a flight of steps to the Vertigo restaurant on the top (ref Banyan Tree Vertical Marathon trial + Banyan Vertical Marathon race 2010 and 2011). My times for the 2010 – 14m 2s and 2011 was 12m 25s. My aim when did the first climb was to do every year until I am 80 years old. Setting this target gives me a tangible target to keep training for on a daily basis.
MY DAILY EXERCISE ROUTINE: not a rigid routine, but general things I do.
I walk everywhere I possibly can (leave the car at home) this accumulates to at least 10 km.
At about 5 pm I walk down Leala valley Ao Nang Soi 11 past Green Valley, past the Emerald Mai Thai Boxing Gym, past Jungle Bar to the laundry on the main road. I turn back and repeat this one, two or three times, time and weather permitting. Each loop is 4.8 km. When I am training for a climbing event I include a climb up a track that starts gradually, but soon becomes a steep climb. The distance along this climb is about 500 m.
About once a week I climb Wat Tum Sua. For a period I climbed the national park trail in Klong Muang (koh nark) as often as I could. The descent is heavy on the knees, and it is about .5km high and 4 km long. A normal walk is about 1 hr 15 m. I race up when it was marked out for the Nong Thale festival. I did it in 51 minutes.
Normally I climb up quite leisurely, and take in the beauty of the scenery, occasionally I run up parts to increase the exercise intensity, or to get over the plod plod routine. Always at the top I think about the climb and what I have seen, just pausing to be thankful for the strength and mobility to still enjoy these precious views from the top at my age, a gift that many people are denied. It enriches my life so much to see panoramic scenes of rich foliage intertwined with the rocks, with a backdrop of distant green and blue sky and interesting cloud patterns, continually changing as the day passes. A hard climb give the big burst of well being as the endorphines kick in.
18 months ago, i started training for the great wall of china marathon.that has 5000steps plus 40km marathon distance.i had to upgrade my training if I was going to complete this.from the records,elite runners completed in over 6 hours,a my time would be double the elite time, so I had to train to do heavy physical work for double that.
I started running and walking 400m alternately.i included the inclined track in the evening route.the intensity at wat tum sua increased from one ascent and descent(32m) to two in a session (1hr10m), then up and down three times (2hr 20m),up and down 4times (3hrs) the progression was over couple of months,repeating the multiple climbs. Unfortunately I injured my big toe which became badly infected and taking a long time to heal.it was necessary to cancel the plan for china,and I could not train.for a few months.
The remedial training involved going in the sea up to the neck and run on the spot raising the knees to the waist, and punching horizontally in front to avoid boredom I rotated around. I kept this up for half an hour at the start, gradually increasing it. As soon as I could, I got back to walks using bigger trainers, and thick socks.
As I was scanning some result on the computer I saw entrants for the FIRST MALACCA INTERNATIONAL 12 HOUR WALK. I thought I could do that, and promptly started to formulate a training schedule to successfully complete this. I kept my morning daily walk-abouts, but made sure to do a good evening session of two hours, starting slow, but getting the speed up to 6 km/hr ore more. Some days I put in two hours in the morning and two at night. I stopped climbs up the stairs and mountain trail as I neared the race date, as I didn’t want to sprain a knee or ankle.
One afternoon I did non-stop 4 hr walk, along the footpath of Had Noppharat Thara. The trees shaded me most of the way, but I felt a tiny bit of fatigue. I wondered what 12 hours would be like at night.
Next I will cover the Malacca trip…
VERN HERE: I guess I’ll cover the Malacca trip because I don’t have any first hand written account of Alfred’s beyond this point.