Only eight weeks left until I run 50 miles at the North Face Endurance Challenge in Washington, D.C. !
Sometimes that’s exciting; other times it makes me want to soil myself.
As a coping mechanism, I’ve written out a training schedule. (This is something I normally don’t do, since I prefer to play it by ear, depending on how my body is feeling on a given week.)
But I have this terrible fear that somehow I’m going to wake up on race day morning completely unprepared for the distance, so at least this will prevent that.
Just add miles!
A friend of mine who has notched several 100-milers gave me this advice regarding ultramarathon training:
Just add miles to a regular marathon training program.
That seems to embody the spirit of ultramarathoners and trail runners; other advice I’ve received includes the rigid “Do a few 50K’s (31 miles) and then just go out there and do it.” Sweet.
With these gems in mind, here’s the schedule I’ve put together for the remaining eight weeks. Keep in mind that I ran a 50K about four weeks ago, and another one back in January, so this isn’t just starting from scratch. Then again, my week-to-week training over the past few months has been a little bit spotty.
What the workouts mean
Tempo – 30-45 minutes of running at a moderately uncomfortable pace (around 6:30-6:50 per mile, for me), plus warmup and cooldown miles.
Speed – intervals of 400 meters to 1600 meters at the track. See my post about my three favorite track workouts.
Lift – the simple (but exhausting) power-endurance workout I wrote about a few months ago.
All other miles are at comfortable pace, 8:00-10:00 per mile, depending on distance. And don’t forget, there’s a baby coming soon, so that will require some flexibility. I guess I’ll sleep once the race is over, if the baby lets me.
|11-Apr||Rest||Tempo (5-7 mi)||Lift + 4 mi||Speed (5-7 mi)||7 mi||4 mi||25 mi||52 mi|
|18-Apr||Rest||Tempo (5-7 mi)||Lift + 4 mi||Speed (5-7 mi)||7 mi||4 mi||15 mi||42 mi|
|25-Apr||Rest||Tempo (5-7 mi)||Lift + 4 mi||Speed (5-7 mi)||7 mi||4 mi||30 mi||57 mi|
|2-May||Rest||Tempo (5-7 mi)||Lift + 4 mi||Speed (5-7 mi)||2×7 mi||4 mi||21 mi||55 mi|
|9-May||Rest||Tempo (5-7 mi)||Lift + 4 mi||Speed (5-7 mi)||7 mi||4 mi||35 mi||62 mi|
|16-May||Rest||Tempo (5-7 mi)||Lift + 4 mi||Speed (5-7 mi)||2×7 mi||4 mi||15 mi||49 mi|
|23-May||Rest||Tempo (4-5 mi)||4 mi||Speed (3-4 mi)||7 mi||4 mi||10 mi||29 mi|
|30-May||Rest||Tempo (4-5 mi)||4 mi||Speed (3-4 mi)||4 mi||2 mi||50 mi||68 mi|
My biggest concern here is that the weekly mileage is relatively low. I’ve never been a high-mileage guy, choosing instead to focus on short, hard workouts so that I can spend more time drinking beer
on other pursuits than running. Certainly a different approach is required for ultra training, and I’m wondering if what I have here is enough.
Any experienced ultrarunners have suggestions for what I can do better? Do I need more mid-week miles? I’m kinda looking to not die.
Finally, I’d like to mention that Charm City Run Bel Air (follow them on Twitter @CharmCityRunBN) has been awesome enough to get me a free entry to the race, saving me some serious scratch. I’ll be wearing a singlet from them in the race.
Thanks a million to CCR and The North Face for hooking it up.
The Kickstart Plan includes:
- A 7-day meal plan, built around the foods worth eating every single day
- 14 of our favorite recipes that pack in the nutrition, taste great, and are easy to make
- Focused on simplicity and speed, to minimize stress and time commitment