This has been a week of milestones in my ultramarathon preparations, so here is a quick training update.
I have run 41 miles this week (actually 1 more than planned). This is the most training I’ve done in a single week since 2001. I also completed the longest single run so far within the training schedule. Here is a quick breakdown of the week:
- Monday: Rest
- Tuesday: 5 miles
- Wednesday: 10.8 miles
- Thursday: 5 miles
- Friday: Rest
- Saturday: 20.2 miles (trail run, including 3000 feet of elevation gain)
- Planned Rest
The long run was hard, much harder than the 18 miles I did 2 weeks ago even though it was on a similar course. I put this down to a combination of three things:
- Two slight injury niggles – some pain in my left knee and a sore right ankle
- A general lack of sleep during the week
- Hayfever (and the medication I take for it)
I knew that this week would be difficult as it had the highest planned mileage for the first phase of my training. I now have three weeks of taper planned until I take part in the North Downs 30km trail race at the end of June.
I believe the key to managing a training load is alternating stress and recovery periods. I have been doing this by breaking my training into three week mini-phases where the third week is always a lower total mileage. This does seem to work well for me.
Running just four days a week is also good as it allows for plenty of rest between hard sessions. As my training towards my first ultramarathon progresses I will need to change this up to five days per week as I plan to build up to, and maintain, around fifty miles per week.
Hopefully the two days rest I have now will give my knee time to recover. I am treating it with a NSAID cream which is definitely helping. I still plan to do the 9bar Holly Challenge \half Marathon next Saturday but will probably just use it as a hard training session by running at 80-90% effort.