My next 50k ultra is 3 weeks away. Yikes!
I am feeling good about my training the last couple of weeks leading up to now. My running mileage has been 45, 40, and 40 over the last three weeks. I also have some cross-training biking miles in there as well. I can’t seem to follow a dedicated plan for anything longer than a month. Life just gets in the way. I start a plan but I always seem to go off the rails eventually. Then I feel bad about it and it snowballs from there.
My training plan has really been just based on total miles for the week. I might run 4, 5 or 6 days a week to get in what I feel I need. But the weekly end goal is getting up to the 40-50 mileage range. I still have yet to break the 50 miles weekly running mark. It seems that just one thing cuts me short on the 50. allergies, rain, biking with the family instead of running. The 50 will come sooner or later and when it does I think it will be a turning point in my training.
According to the 13 week plan (I am not following) this week is to be my longest weekly miles of the program. It has me at 56 miles but I’m pretty sure I won’t reach that. I’d be super happy just to hit 50. I guess we will see.
I am fighting one injury right now. It is really not an injury since it is a tight left hamstring. It is something I have had before and I just fight through it. After a good 5 miles it seems to loosen up. But I don’t think I’d be comfortable doing a speed workout on a track. I would like to get a massage to try to work it out in the next week or so. I have never had a professional massage.
My next race will only be my second 50k ultra. It sure feels like I have done more. This year I have raced a trail 50k, trail marathon and a road 20k. I skipped a 50k due to a knee injury as well. Despite this only being my second 50k I feel like I am going into it with tons more confidence and knowledge. My first 50k I was totally blind to food and water intake. The trail marathon I had the food intake and water firmly under control but I fell more than 12 times and it resulted in an injury. I struggled for the vast majority of the 50k race but learned a lot about my determination. Painful lessons learning. Then the 20k road race was pretty straight forward and boring. I was happy with my time and effort.
The lessons learned and take-aways from in my short summer ultra racing season are as follows:
- Stop going out at 8 minute mile pace. Sit back and conserve energy at the start. It will pay off when I have 10 miles left in the race.
- I need one gel every 20 minutes or about one every 2 miles. That is 300 calories per hour plus whatever I can inhale at aid stations.
- I need to grab something to eat at each aid station. Oranges and PB&J are my favorite fuels.
- Liquid intake for me is about 44 oz every 10 miles. Maybe more in extreme heat.
- Take time to drink Heed or Gaitor-Aid at each aid station in addition to the 44 oz between the aid stations.
- I am a toe dragger when I get tired. I am not a gazelle on the trail. The rhino shouldn’t try to keep up with the gazelles. This was my biggest mistake at the trail marathon that I keep falling in. Take my time and race against no one on the tricky rocks and rooted sections. When I get to the flat areas then do all the racing my lungs and legs can take.
- Aid station management is key. Tell them my number, refill water, grab food/drink, thank the volunteers, and walk away. If I am still eating I can walk and eat on the trail. When I am done stuffing my face start running again. Ideally 15 seconds at an aid station is perfect for me.
In addition to the 6 take-aways above my legs are incredible strong compared to the my first 50k this year. It is a night and day different I think. Knowing that it fills me with confidence. If I can stop from falling and stay on my feet my legs will get the job done.
What I don’t have figured out is s-caps intake. I will hopefully experiment with this in my 50k and figure out what works and what doesn’t. I think I will start off with one each hour. If it is really hot then two an hours. If anyone has any advice on this let me know.
The next three weeks plan is as follows.
- This week’s goal will be to get as many miles as I can out of each day. 45 miles minimum for the week is the goal.
- One rest day and a minimum and a 20 mile single day weekend run.
- Next week do 70% of the mileage I rack up this week to start my taper.
- The week of the race will 4, 3, 2,0,0, race. I plan to be totally rested and ready to run my second 50k ultra.
Race goals are simple:
- Beat my 6:36 50k time from my first 50k in March of this year. If I don’t get injured I expect to small it!
- Finish injury free!
- Have fun and try to get friends down in KC to come out and hang with the wife and kids while I race.
There you have it, 3 weeks of from my next 50k. Do you have any other advice for me?