Once I got past my 2 spring 50K races, I decided that I needed to include a few more tempo runs into my schedule to try to maintain at least a little bit of speed (remember, speed is relative). I've got a few shorter races on my schedule and it would be nice to get through them without completely embarrassing myself. However, once I plunked down my race fee for the Lean Horse Half Hundred, I began rethinking how to plan my training.
One of the things that many ultra runners consistently mention after they finish a breakthrough race/distance is that they wish they'd done more walking in their training. Brisk walking. The kind that keeps you moving forward at a pace that is still meaningful but allows some degree of recovery (or at least slows down the onset of an impending implosion). Basically, I need to travel slow enough so that I'm relying primarily on fat metabolism rather than burning through glycogen. So, I've been getting on a treadmill once a week and walking hills at 4.0 mph for an hour. True, I'm not crazy about the treadmill, but it forces me to maintain a certain pace, and right now my short little legs find it difficult to keep up walking 15 minute miles on 9 or 12 degree inclines. I've discovered after only 2 treadmill walking sessions that 4 mph is starting to feel a little more comfortable, so I plan on continuing with this activity. This is more a neuromuscular exercise than conditioning since I'm only doing it for an hour.
Another area that needs some work before Lean Horse is getting acclimated to heat. Last weekend, I ended up pulling the plug early at Afton after only 11 miles (goal was 20) because I was feeling so overheated (it was low 80's and high humidity - not exactly brutal). It takes a good 2 weeks of hot weather to get acclimated to heat, and the current forecast isn't cooperating in that regard (although I love our current weather).
Finally, I've gotta start getting some long runs in (or at least time on my feet moving forward). Managed to get about 19 miles in at Hyland Lake yesterday - beautiful, relatively cool, breezy-enough-that-there-were-no-bugs kinda day :) The arthritis in my right foot was starting to act up, or I would have pushed it a little further. I figure that there's no sense pushing to the point that I don't have time to recover for my next races (aka supported training runs), which are Afton 25K this weekend, Grand Island Marathon 3 weeks later, and possibly a 10K the weekend prior to Lean Horse.
I figure I need to maintain a 13 min/mile pace at Grand Island to make the AS cut offs, and about 14 min/mile at Lean Horse if I allow 20 minutes total for AS stops, bio breaks, foot care, etc. On paper it looks easy - doing it will be another matter.
Hope to see many of you at Afton this weekend!
1 day ago