Today was my official first day on a new training plan focused on the 50K race I am registered for this September (click here for more on that.) For the sake of an easy description I will refer to this as an ultramarathon, and I hope that it will be the first step to even longer distance events.
As I prepare for this race, I’ve decided to do a couple of posts each week – one to describe my weeks training plan, and then a follow up post at the end of the week to see how it went. My hope is that readers will find this interesting but I will also use it to force myself to be accountable. I typically have struggled to follow training plans in the past since they are low on the priority list in my (and my family’s) busy schedule. Besides just putting in the miles, I also plan to use the period between now and Run for the Toad to sort out my race strategy, nutrition plans, and gear selection. Hopefully this will give insight into the challenges (and some successes?!) of preparing for this type of racing for people like me that are new to these distances.
To begin, I should point out that just the process of putting my training plans on calendar scared me a bit. To run as much as I have scheduled will require a lot of time. I am hoping that it will be feasible, but the first couple of weeks will tell the story. The long runs are the most difficult. My plan includes a couple of long runs a week up to 40km at the longest. It is difficult to find the 2-4 hour blocks required to run this far, but I am hopeful we (my family and I) will make it work out. I am definitely appreciative of their support to let me try to make this happen!
My plan for this week started today with a 20km run. I felt good, and tried to focus on sustainable pacing. I ran with the Salomon Skin Pro3 hydration pack to ensure I would have lots of water. I tried out Clif Shot Bloks for the first time and was impressed. I had the margarita flavour which was ok, and the blocks themselves were easy to eat and digest while running. A package of the bloks is 200 calories (equivalent to about 2 gels) and it is easy to eat 1 or 2 at a time and keep the rest for later. I also had a Honey Stinger Waffle (Vanilla flavour). These are popular these days (especially in cycling,) and I have used them before, but I am not a big fan of them for running. The issues I have with them is that they are big (which means more to eat while trying to run) and there is only 160 calories in one. However, I did eat half of one while running and didn’t have any digestive issues with it.
The rest of the week is:
- Monday – 12km run
- Tuesday – rest
- Wednesday – 6km Trail Race
- Thurs – rest
- Friday – 20K run
- Saturday – 35km Ride
- Sunday – 22K run
Hopefully the first week gets started on the right foot – I’ll endeavor to post an update in a week. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment if you have any suggestions, questions, advice or anything else to say. I’ll try and come up with some pictures to break up the words in the future!
Good luck! Thanks for sharing your training plan and how it’s going. If I ever get the courage to try an ultra I may have to come back to your posts and mimic your plan (assuming it all goes well of course) 🙂
Thanks Jim. I’m hoping it is a success but we’ll see! Thanks for reading.
Good luck! I definitely understand the challenges of balancing a busy family life with training. I’m training to run my first marathon next year and Ultra running is my ultimate goal. I find early morning running the only way to squeeze in the training. I’m usually out running by 5 a.m. It takes a lot of commitment, but I have come to really enjoy my morning runs. Can’t wait to read the updates.
Thanks Derek. I had planned a full marathon this fall, but figured I’d jump to 50k. I’ll keep the updates coming – thanks for reading!
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