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What advice would you give to someone looking to undertake their first big challenge?

First off, be realistic with the challenge you set yourself and make sure you give yourself enough time to prepare and do the challenge. You want to give yourself the best possible change of success.

Many challenges when you first look at them can be overwhelming and its ok to pick a big challenge, but its all about breaking it down into smaller parts and getting a plan in place.

Preparation is also important you need to do your research before hand and find out everyone you need to know to be fully aware of what’s involved.

You will have heard the phrase, information is power - knowing what you need to is all part of the preparation and for me this is an exciting time.

When I first started looking at the Marathon des Sables I was very overwhelmed by how big a challenge it actually is.

But I read everything on the website, I found blogs written by other people who'd done the challenge. I read books, I talked to friends who’d already done it. I then started to get a handle on what I need to do, and different sections to focus on e.g. Training, nutrition, equipment.

I would then delve deeper into each section. So by taking equipment, what was the kit lists, what did I need to take, what were the recommendations, ok what piece of kit is going to work for me and slowly I would start to buy and gather the equipment and over time it starts to come together.

One of the important things for me is the mental preparation as well. I am a very visual person, so I have a vision board with what I want to achieve stuck up there. I can then look at it every day and it just helps me to believe. I will achieve it and I will accomplish what I set out to do.

Just go for it, and remember not everyone’s going to support your dream. But if you’re passionate about it and it means something to you. Then you are the only one who can make it happen.

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