This week marked the beginning of our training program for American River 50 and since I have a chemistry exam this afternoon that I should be studying for, it seemed like the perfect time to blog about training. Yes, I know, priorities and procrastination...two of my weaker (or is it stronger...as in I'm great at mismanaging priorities and the best procrastinator out there?!) points. As much as I tend to put things off until the last possible moment, luckily training isn't one of them. I may not always have the perfect training plan but one thing I plan never to do is go into a race (especially a long one) unprepared...one cannot procrastinate training! You might be able to suffer through an ultramarathon with little training, but I can promise you it will be a sufferfest and it will hurt and you'll hate it...even more so than if you trained for it. Anyway, I'll climb down off my training soap box to actually talk about our plan...
Heather put together the plan for this race. She drew a little bit off of what we did for the NUT 100K (which I haven't blogged about...yet) and made a nice balance between the 70 miles per week plan for a 50 miler in Relentless Forward Progress (a fantastic book by the way, I highly recommend it) and the Ultra Running Ladies 50 mile plan. RFP's plan is a bit more mileage than we want, but URL's is a little on the light side so we split the difference, pulling some runs from each plan.
I think I'll try to post each week with the plan for the week and maybe a summary of how the week went. Unless I wrap that into one post, that is two guaranteed posts a week...which is about a 10000% increase from what I've done as of late. Ha! I had planned to write it up on Monday, but did you see the above paragraph about procrastination? So, here we are on Thursday, but better late than never, a quick overview of the plan itself and also what week 1 has(d) in store:
We have a pretty decent base going of mileage in the low 40s. Between Hood to Coast and a few weeks ago, we dropped our weekly runs from 5 to 4 but we're back up to running 5 days a week now. For the most part we will be proceeding with runs on Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri and Saturday. We always take Sunday off and usually Saturday is a long run, although sometimes we try to get that long run in on Friday so that our back to back Friday/Saturday can actually be running on tired legs like it's supposed to.
This go around, we have 20 weeks of training scheduled and will top out at 66 miles for our max week mileage and have a 3 week taper leading into the race on April 2nd.
Week 1 looks like this:
Mon - 6, Tues - 8, Wed - 6, Fri - 8, Sat - 16 for a total of 44 miles.
That being said, we already made some adjustments. Heather has double birthdays in her family on Saturday, so we switched this week's long run with last weeks and will only run 13 on Saturday for a weekly total of 41 miles. The best advice I can ever give about having and following a training plan is to understand that it can and should be adjusted as needed. If you need to move some runs around or are feeling too tired or hurt or just extra crabby about running, tweak it where you need to. I think the most important thing, especially with ultra running, however is to get on the trails and get as many back to back longish runs as possible.
So far, I think we're off to a great start. We've been doing mostly road miles on our shorter runs and will do the large majority of the long runs on the trail. I'm excited to get to work and start feeling strong on the trails again!
Here's a view from last Saturday's trail miles...outside on the trails is the best place to run!