Well I am at the end of my first week of training for my first Ultra – a 50K race in September. I feel like it went OK despite my best (accidental) attempts to derail it!
My biggest challenge of the week was dealing with the fallout from the first run of my new schedule when I tripped over a root, smashing my knees and back into the ground. My right knee swelled up along with my lower back and it still isn’t back to normal. I shortened up that run, rested until Wednesday (as planned,) and then did my 6km trail race that night. Even though my knee didn’t feel right, and I had pain in my lower back (it felt like a blunt object hitting my back every step I took) I knew I could handle the pain and it wasn’t likely to make the injury worse. The race went reasonably well given the pain and heat.
I took Thursday off and then did a short 8k run on Friday night – I used this run to focus on pacing. I tried to keep between 4:20 and 4:30 min/kms which I normally find hard to do at this shorter distance. I was pretty successful at maintaining the pace and it felt good. I read an ultrarunning quote last week that basically said: if you feel like you’re going too fast, you are. If you feel like you’re going just the right speed, you’re going too fast. If you feel like you’re going too slow, you’re on the right pace.” This is going to be my mantra for 50K!
Saturday I had planned a 20km run which I did in the late afternoon. It was hot but I felt OK. The biggest problem was still my knee and back. By the end of the run my knee was getting worse and I cut it short at 18km. Time to stop ignoring my body – I think I am going to have to rest a bit, stretch, and heal up this week.
So looking back at last week, I had planned for 60km and I am at 40km. Not ideal! I am skipping my long (22km) run today to let my knee rest. I plan to do some stretching to get it loosened up so I can get back on track.
My plan for week #2 is:
- Mon – rest
- Tues – 6km run (road)
- Wed – Hills
- Thurs – 6km run (road)
- Fri – 20km run (road/trails)
- Sat – 35km cycling
- Sun – 22km run (trails)
I am expecting this plan will change depending on how recovery goes. I realized while I was out running yesterday that I am lucky to have suffered this injury early in my training build up, so I should take advantage and let it get better. I just have to keep reminding myself of that!
Thanks for reading – I love feedback so comment away!
Really unfortunate about your fall this week. You are right though, better now than later. I like the pacing Mantra. A while back I was reading one of Dean Karnazes books and he talks about doing a seminar with some if the top U.S. Marathoners and Ryan Hall was going on about blasting out 4 minute miles. When Dean came up to speak everybody was laughing because he started talking about blasting out 15 minute miles. LOL. Such a different mindset when training for an Ultra. Good luck this week and hope the knee and back recover quickly. Happy running!
Thanks Derek. It’s definitely a shift in mindset from running short and fast to efficient and long. Feels good though once you find a nice rhythm and get into it. That’s one of the things I like about trails – no traffic, intersections, etc to get in the way.