Monday, June 20, 2011

More to Ultras Than Bodily Functions - My Schedule

There are some humorous ultramarathon quotes out there. I thought I would share a couple before talking about my training schedule.

"eat, eat, eat, eat, drink, drink, drink, drink, pee, pee, pee, pee, run, run, run, run" 
- Simon Mtuy, Tanzanian ultra runner

Here’s another one I found, but I don’t know the author:

I could follow Mtuy’s quote as a basic schedule for an ultra or subscribe to the “put the right foot in front of the other” plan as another option. These are probably too vague for me. I’m more structured than eat, drink, pee, and run, even though that’s what one essentially does during an ultra. I’m like a fish out of water without a schedule.
18 weeks until the 50 mile run. Today I thought I would share my schedule after being pampered on Father’s Day.

Okay, here is my disclaimer before I go on: The schedule is subject to change. Afterall, I've already made several changes. My schedule is a mixture from several sources:
·         Hal Higdon, a well-respected coach
·         Runner’s World Magazine
·         A book called “Run Less, Run Faster”
·         Me
I have run up to 23 miles during marathon trainings so I will also draw upon my experience.
Don’t always be a follower when training. There are many well-respected coaches we can listen to, but also have confidence in what works for you. You are your own coach. There are too many variables to consider. We are unique…
in body mechanics, physiology, and body structure. Some people take medication and have other medical challenges, such as cancer and heart disease so do your own research. 
Here is the schedule summary:
Long Runs
The weekends are reserved for long runs. Long runs are the most important training runs. They are more about time on my feet than speed. Run at a pace that I plan to run the 50 miles in.
Speed and Strength
The middle of the week will consist of tempos or fartleks, intervals, and hills. Even though the 50 mile run I plan to do is on a flat course, I can’t dismiss hill training. I’ll alternate hills and intervals every other week. Doing speed work and hills during the same week can be too intense and put me at risk for injury. Reminder to self: Recent sore hip. The purpose of the faster runs is to mix anaerobic activity, the faster runs, with the aerobic done during the longer runs. Faster leg turnover during faster trainings = 50 mile pace not seeming too fast.
Recovery days and weeks are crucial and cannot be overlooked, especially for an older dude like me. Recovery is even more important than the runs. They make me stronger for the next training day. Recovery days are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. A recovery day does not mean that I sit on my butt. They can consist of cross training like riding a bike or swimming. I will even consider going for a walk or just staying off my feet. Every 3rd week will be a recovery week when the intensity remains the same, but the mileage is reduced.
In a nutshell, trainings and recoveries are a delicate balance. Training days are focused and hard; listen to your body; eat and sleep well; be flexible and go with the flow; and always include dynamic stretching.
If you can't read this and want it emailed,send me a message to:

Hall Higdon’s Training Schedule:

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