As I mentioned in my last post, this was a big week.
In fact, it was my last big week before leaving for the desert and I had planned it to be my biggest training week, ever.
The point with ultras, as with all other athletic training is that there have to be different training approaches for the different types, that is the long, single stage races (like Leadville or the UTMB) in comparison to the more ‘normal’ distance, but multi-stage races (like the MdS). The training, if you like, has to be specific to the event planned.
For the long races, it is purely about distance and time on your feet for which you have to train your body to become accustomed. This is generally, and traditionally, achieved by running back to back long distance training over comparable terrain over a couple of days so you become more familiar with running on tired legs – in a 100 mile race, the first 50 miles should be relatively easy!
For the stage races, where the distance is covered over a week, or similar period, is possibly longer in total, but the individual stage distances themselves are likely to be shorter, so the training approach is more related to faster ‘sprint’ distances, but over a longer period of consecutive days, again traditionally throughout a week, but this is merely for convenience. Add into this the very real and important need to allow the body to rest or risk injury it is a very fine balance between getting it right and not ending up at the start line.
This time, although I still have three weeks to go, I am now over the peak of my training which I seem to have achieved, God willing, without mishap and injury.
During the week, I ran three early mornings, two city lunchtime runs, one evening run and had one rest day, which consisted of three 8 milers, two around 10 miles and one just short of a 26 mile marathon distance. I also added to the variety by making two of these pace runs and four of them hilly, including the long run with a backpack, all of which totalled just over 70 miles.
My legs, body and mind are definitely stronger now, but the big question is are they strong enough for the toughest foot race in the world?
We’ll find out in 3 weeks 🙂