With the new year I am officially back to training after three months of easy running! I have two big events I’m signed up for: the Mendocino Coast 50k in April and the Castle Peak 100k in August. I signed up for the 100k on New Years Day, promptly sending myself into a mega panic having just committed to 14,000 feet of climbing at an average elevation of 7,000 ft. I’d been researching races for awhile, and while beyond my comfort zone, this one happens at the right time of year and seemed most intriguing. Alas, it’s 2017 and I’m jumping in…
Since it worked so well before, I’m planning to follow Krissy Moehl’s Running Your First Ultra training plan again with some minor tweaks:
1) A better focus on core strength. I am committing to attend at least two classes at the gym per week plus a couple of those “30-day challenges” and some at-home work.
2) Greater race specificity for my events. I’m currently reading Jason Koop’s Training Essentials for Ultrarunning, and while I’m only a couple chapters in and don’t fully know what I’m talking about yet, he emphasizes individuality and specificity to prescribed running plans. This means my plan might adapt as I go, and I’ll need to focus on specific features of my race, namely preparing to run at altitude and hill climbing.
3) Focus on nutrition – After my 50 miler last fall my energy levels seemed to decline significantly. While I assumed my degree of “tired” was normal, I decided to have my blood panel done as I’d never done it before and wanted a baseline. Turned out my ferritin level was a scant 10. In the few weeks since I’ve started taking iron supplements, I’m starting to have a little more energy and am feeling better running. I’m hoping that paying more attention to my diet and nutrition will allow me to make some fitness gains.
That said, here’s my training for this week (week 1!):
Monday – 6 easy trail miles. Feels like the first time in awhile that I’ve run 6 miles on the trails without feeling stiff afterwards.
Tuesday – 1 hour Core Fusion class followed by interval workout on the treadmill: 15 minute warm-up, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 minute intervals with equal time recovery, 15 minute cool down. Felt queasy and dizzy – running in the hot, sweaty gym reminded me to hydrate, even on rainy winter days. 6.6 miles total.
Wednesday – rest day
Thursday – Surprise dental visit (you know that 100k I signed up for? I’m a stress night-time teeth grinder. Popped a filling out the night I signed up for the race. Oops!) led to accidental second rest day.
Friday – 1 hour Core Fusion class followed by 5 muddy trail miles in my road shoes. Slip and sliding everywhere was pretty comical.
Saturday – 4 steady miles on flat pavement. Felt so good to pick up the pace and left me wondering if I should try training for a marathon again. Maybe next year…
Sunday – 10 mile long run cut short by flooded trails during a rain storm. Managed 7 miles running through streams (see photo).
Total: 29 miles, 2,300 ft., 2 core classes, and daily squat & push-up challenges. A decent beginning to the training to come.