So now that my goal is set, I’ve had to do a lot of learning about different aspects of marathon and ultra-marathon training and nutrition. I realize that there’s no way I’ll be able to finish my planned races with dignity if I don’t start training more consistently and gradually building up my weekly mileage and fitness. While none of the entries for next year’s Trail Tour races are open yet, I have set a goal of finishing 2-3 races. Most likely I’m going to go for one half marathon and two marathons so that much is set for me.
Since I started running again this year I’ve been working with 3 runs and 2 strength workouts per week. I’ve consistently increased my distances but my runs have all been ’’easy’’ runs so far to give me an easy start and strong base mileage for future training. I’ve done it enough now that running feels completely normal and is a regular and fun routine for me. I’m feeling good and enjoying my runs so now is a perfect time to step it up a notch and add a fourth run into my regime. I’ve done tons of research about how people generally structure their training plans and have built a weekly frame around which I can plan runs and workouts. My weekly mileage is still pretty low so I’ll still keep my focus on running more easy miles. Here’s what a typical week looks like for me:
Rest/ Active Rest. I try to schedule my horses’ training plans so that I have no horses to ride on Mondays. That way I can have as physically restful a day as possible.
Easy run. Currently a good and easy distance for me would be around 7k’s on undulating terrain. My favorite trails are super hilly so I might also go run them and just hike a lot.
Strength Workout. I’ll go into more detail in another post but this routine targets all the main muscle groups from legs to core.
Hill Reps. I’ll choose one of the many hills I have on my regular trails and do reps of 60 seconds. If I work on a super steep hill I might do less reps and more if I choose an easier one. Or I might alternate my speed for more or less difficulty.
Strength Workout, same as on Wednesday.
Easy Run. This time I’ll go on for a bit longer than on Tuesday but aim to keep most of it aerobic. I try to think of a conversational pace and maintain that throughout the whole run.
Long Run. Even though my long run isn’t very long at the moment but hey, you’ve gotta start somewhere! I’ll go for approximately 9-10k’s depending on the trail I choose to work on. Both of my regular trails have 5 and 3k routes so combining the two will give me a good 8k’s already. If I drive for a bit, I can go to this national park that has routes from 2-8k’s that I can combine.
I aim to do most of my training at an aerobic, conversational pace because I’m training mostly for endurance, not explosive power and speed and the fact that my current weekly mileage is still so low. That’s why I have hill reps on its own day entirely to free up the rest for endurance- type training. As my weekly mileage gradually increases, I can start doing more specific workouts to build speed and strength on top of a good base. As a warm up, I’ll do some reverse lunges and leg swings as well as some jumping jacks or squat jumps at home. When I get there, I’ll usually do a couple minutes of brisk walking or hiking and 10-15 minutes of easy jogging before starting the actual workout. I’ll do the same stuff afterwards as well.
It’s been super fun and motivating to dive into this whole new world of endurance running that I didn’t really know even existed! I absolutely love planning so for me it’s no problem to spend hours researching and learning new things and putting that into my own plan! Obviously, my health is no. 1 priority for me and I’ll never stop listening to what my body is telling me. If my training feels a bit too hard, I won’t hesitate to cut it down for a while.
This is what I’ll be working with for now! I feel like I’ve been having a super unproductive week so far… But I ran a total of 26k’s this week over four runs. One run I cut short because for some reason I felt like crap the whole way but the other three runs felt great and I got into a nice flow!