Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Stronger on trails?!

2 hours (~12 miles) at Paris Mountain on Saturday in a miserable rain. Ok - I wasn't that miserable - I was on trails and I was running. A bit cold (~46°) and wet, but it was enjoyable being out. I was thankful I have 2 pair of running shoes, jackets, etc - dry gear is nice! Back out Sunday for ~13.4 miles (2:13) and felt great. My left calf was a bit tight initially, but that warmed up quickly and did not bother me. Stayed cloudy, but no rain. Trail wasn't quite as wet as Saturday, when Many places had large puddles, and saw two ice formations.
For the weekend, I basically ran 4 laps: 2 each day, plus an extra lake loop on Sunday, with my last lap being the fastest. Am quite happy with that! I was supposed to be running 18 Sunday, but I cut it short due to a late start - life gets in the way sometimes and you have to do what needs to be done. My 40+ mile week will have to wait until this week.
Speedwork today (2mi warmup, 1.2k, 1k,800m,600m,400m, 1mi cooldown) went well at 5:30am. 6-7 miles Thursday and another weekend of back to back trail runs. Two more doubles after that, then a "recovery weekend" with one run before the Enoree 40miler! Getting nervous and excited about it. Hope things continue feeling this good; am already looking ahead to the 2012 Harbison 50k (Shhh - I want to break 6 hours).

Monday, March 21, 2011

More trails!

After a decent week with some more speedwork - I've reverted back to the Beginning of a 16-week training plan instead of jumping right into the last 8 weeks of marathon training speedwork sessions) - I was back at Paris Mountain for another ~15 miles. I was happy the temps were better and the sun stayed away, so I was much more comfortable. Loop 1 (with the extra lap around the north lake) was completed in about 57 minutes. Pretty standard for me these days and I felt I took it pretty easy. 1:17 break to refill my handheld and I was back at it. Wasn't as "easy", but no pains at all. I did stop and watch two very large turkey buzzards perched on a branch while on the Kanuga Trail. I had to dodge a few more bikes this loop as it was Sunday (mountain bikes are not allowed on the trails on Saturday's). Didn't seem like it - but a minute slowed on each section equalled a 1:05 loop.
It's the day after and my I could surprisingly feel my legs. It's been awhile. Not terribly sore, but I could tell I ran yesterday. Next weekend's plan: 12 on Saturday; 18 on Sunday. That will be tough. I am working out of town this week (outside Philly), so having to get my runs in around the hotel. Will Not run on the treadmill here! I had wanted to get together with some other Ultra friends and do ~50k from Bad Creek to Oconee State Park (on the Foothills Trail), but I just don't have the time. Being away from my family all week (and a rescheduled dinner Sat night) won't work. They are a great group of people - would've been such fun!!
On another note...
My size 12 ASICS 2150T trail shoes seem to be no better or no worse than the size 11.5. No info on toenails as that issue only appeared after a 32 mile run. I bring this up because I finally lost a toenail from the Harbison 50k. My little toe - and the new nail is already completely in. Not a big deal - and I have two others that are still hanging on!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Trails! Shoes!

Got back to Paris Mountain last weekend for the first time in almost 10 weeks. I ran 2 loops of my usual course and was very surprised and happy to feel so well during it all. ~12 miles and no issues. The ground was quite wet from rain and a steady light rain the whole 2 hours, but it was still very nice to be back.
Still ramping my mileage up in preparation for the 40 miler on May 1st. My training goal is a new weekly mileage high of 55 miles, besting my 47.7 I ran a few weeks before the Chattooga 50k. That week in another month or so will include back to back 20 milers, on trails, likely back at Paris Mtn. I may see about getting down to Enoree Passage sometime and get some miles in...being somewhat familiar with most of the Chattooga run sure helped.
Speedwork this week was not pleasant. Enough said. Some minor shin pain has gone away.
I did get new shoes this week: another pair of ASICS GT-2150T - the trail version of my road shoes. Same color/style as my current pair (300+ miles on them so far, but I went up 1/2 a size to 12 to see if that helps the small blisters I get sometimes on the tips of my toes (and the 3 toenails I still haven't lost, but they are still hanging on at the edges...). 1st test run tomorrow on the road ,then back on the trails for an 18 mile test this Sunday (so I'll have to dodge bikes)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

How to run an Ultramarathon

After reading Jason's post - I decided I'd do the same thing: post about how to train for an Ultramarthon. There are bound to be more people like myself who looked for help on how to run an Ultramarathon (any distance over the 26.2 standard marathon).
I hope you don't mind numbers and/or math. I'm an engineer, so be prepared.

For my 1st one back in June 2010 (days before my 39th bday), I had a pretty solid base of running ~25 miles a week for a couple of months. I had been training for a marathon (that got canceled), and then jumped right into 50k training. Those weeks consisted of 3 runs per week, using the FIRST method of "Run Less, Run Faster". One speedwork session (4-7 miles total), one tempo run with total mileage averaging 6-7 miles, and the obligatory long run of 10-15 miles. Remember - I started with nothing just a few years ago...tried to be smarter about my running, got the right shoes fitted, and ran consistently 3-4 days a week for a long time, slowly building mileage and stamina.
I did a somewhat standard 16 week marathon training plan for the 50k, but used basic ratios to up the mileage:
For standard marathons I had run:
Average Mileage per week (16 week training): 30 Miles
Longest Training Run: 20 miles
Maximum Weekly Mileage: 34 Miles
(FYI - My marathon time for this training was 3:53, a PR by 8 minutes 7 months since my last marathon).
With my Longest training run 76% of my marathon goal distance (20/26.2=.76), My longest training run for the 50k should be ~24 miles (~.76*31)
With my Weekly Max equal to 1.3 of my marathon goal distance (34/26.2), My weekly max for 50k training should be ~40 miles (1.3*31).

Over those 16 weeks - I ran 3-4 days a week. 3 of the runs were usually 4-8.5 miles, with the long weekend runs like this: 10(race), 13, 8.4, 17.9, 18, 24, 12.8, 13.1race, 10.3, 23, 18.2(3 runs over 24 hrs),16.2, 21.3, 17, and 9.8 the weekend before the race. All but 3 of these were part of back-to-back runs. The 2nd runs (either the day before or after) were 4.3 miles up to 10.2. Most 2 day total was 30 miles (6+24).
As far as my goals were concerned:
24 mile max distance - Met
Weekly Max: hit my personal max of 47, with 3 other weeks over 40 miles (all three were 44 miles)
Wasn't a goal, but my average mileage over the 16 week 50k training was ~34.

I trained with a camelbak on and ran on trails for just a few of my long runs. I have modified that now and run more trails for my long runs. (Paris Mtn State park in Greenville, SC)
Only real cross-training I did was 30 minutes of Yoga 1-2 times a week.
I got by on a little less sleep, doing all my weekly runs before getting to work at 7am. My weekends runs were also done before the start of the day. I would get my runs out of the way early, getting home around 8am most of the time in order to spend time with my family, including my ~6 month old! (Also to avoid the heat of the south, being in SC, it was often 67° and humid at 5am).

I did run a few races for speed (10 miler PR and 10k PR), but the others just for fun. The long training runs were SLOW, but so very helpful.

The 50k I ran was wonderful. And I am now hooked!
I took photos, enjoyed myself (the views, the experience, the company) but moved forward as much as possible. The aid stations were Heaven (practice eating during runs; I typically have no issues with this). For training runs - my fuel was Gu (1 every 6-7 miles), and I started taking Succeed S-Caps! at that 50k and continue to take them on runs of 20 miles or more, ~ 1/hr).
I drink alot anyway, but hydration is very important. I am never without a water bottle or camelbak. Sometimes both.

Remember - you can do it. There are so many other people who had doubts, but overcame them and finished.

I could go on about what a fantastic, inspiring, kind group of people I have met thru this - but I won't. It doesn't take long to figure that out on your own.