Rocky Racoon 50 Mile Ultra Trail Run is a bit more than a month away. That means that I have survived the base month buildup and after this week of pull back will be heading into overload weeks. Those overload weeks once seemed like a complete and total joke but now I am excited about going after them. Especially after the base building weeks have shown that I have the ability to run for a long time and recover properly.
Here is an idea of how the weeks were going to be completed in the different cycles:
- Base Building for 5 weeks totaling 279 miles in Z1 / Z2. I ran 285.3 miles at an average HR of 142 which is at the high-end of Z1 which for me is 143.
- Pull Back week (this week) total 29 miles.
- Overload weeks starting on Tuesday January 7th and weekly totals of 67, 69 and 71 miles.
- Taper week with a total of 34 miles.
- Race week will be 64 miles with 50 of those in the race.
As of the typing of this blog post I am very happy with where I am from a fitness and mental perspective. As the training started I thought that these types of miles would be impossible to get to and worse yet recover from. I also feared that I would be hitting a plateau and that it would be nearly impossible to breakthrough. What has actually happened is the opposite and I place credit on adaptation and mental awareness of where my body is for this result.
The way my weeks break out are as follows:
Monday – Rest Day. Usually a recovery bike trainer ride and/or swim.
- Tuesday, Thursday, Friday – Low mileage days (5 – 10 miles)
- Wednesday – Long Mid-Week Run (8-10 miles)
- Saturday – Long Run Day (15 – 25 miles)
- Sunday – Long Recovery Run Day (12 – 13 miles)
I have added in some strength training at least 1x per week along with swimming on Friday evening to prepare the body for the upcoming weekend. In addition to that I have been visiting the chiropractor 1x per week. Starting on January 6th with the overload weeks starting I will be visiting twice per week.
Lastly, the addition of the Hoka Mafate and Stinson to my running shoe collection has truly helped. The key to surviving and excelling at this type of training is to make sure that you are recovering and ensuring that you are able to go back out the next day for another run in the cold and windy conditions.
As I progress through the weeks and miles of training an idea about how I think I should perform at the race is being formed. I originally started out thinking that if I took my time from the Wee-Chi-Ta 13 mile trail run back in August I could use that as a gauge. That race was broiling hot and run the day after a 100+ mile bike ride in 100+* temps meaning regardless of how much water I drank I was dehydrated. I finished that race in 2 hours. If we multiply by 4 to get the mileage that would be 8 hours. Sounded good but running 13 miles and then using that as a gauge is near impossible not to mention the idea that the temperatures are going to be much different.
Last weekend Jeff, Dave and I ran 23 miles on the Rocky Raccoon 50 course and covered 23 miles in 4 hours. We didn’t take it easy but we sure weren’t pushing the pace either. If you double that you end up in the 8 hour range also. Does 8 hours make sense? That would be fast for a distance on a course that I have never done. I am guessing that 9 – 9.5 hours is probably a good guess but as I sit here thinking about that I almost do not care. This first 50 mile ultra trail race is my barometer for the next one, and yes there will be a next one. Never thought I would say that.
This race is similar to Ironman Texas 2012 where I raced it but knew that there would be more and that I needed to use the race as a gauge for nutrition, body signals and everything in between so that I could race the next one faster. Right now the notion of a second 50 mile race is closer to reality and there could certainly be a 100 mile trail race in my future as well.