I wanted to give an update on my training and what I have planned so far for 2017. Registration for the Sun Mountain 50k got pushed to the 9th January so I will be doing that in a few days time!
I have myself a few smaller trail races signed up including, Run Ridge Run, Cap Crusher and Alice Lake. I’ve gone with the shorter distances at these races. During my training, I can become quite wrapped up in my zone work that it is good to let go with a fun race. I’m also fairly excited that I managed to sign up for the Squamish 23km race in August which is going to be great fun and I get to run it with my bestie!
I will be running just one road race before the BMO which is the First Half Half Marathon that I enjoyed last year. I thought it would be a good race to focus purely on a more aggressive tempo pace slightly above my zone 1.
Currently, my training has been going well. I’ve pushed my longest run now to 24km along with multiple easy runs during the week to aid the progression. I’ve been using the treadmill at the gym to work on a tempo effort, which has been tough, but I see the benefits with my longer runs. I’ve been trying to push three days a week at the gym for some focused weight training, but due to a busy time at work, I’ve only managed about 2 times a week.
I already have myself another Lactate and Energy usage test in January that will give me some updated figures to target in my training. Hopefully some nice improvements and I can push the pace a little more on the long runs. I’ve been carefully trying to keep around 150BPM on my easy/long runs which is a little lower than my directed target of 153BPM but I’ve seen some benefit reserving myself a little to sustain me.
Over the Christmas break, I’ve worked on a training plan that is going to gear me up for the BMO and Sun Mountain 50k. It’s going to consist of two quality gym sessions that will be composed of 11 exercise that works on all major muscle groups. I will also have an extra home session working on stabilisers, flexors and the core to strengthen around the joints. It is especially important to work on the core for a more resilient skeletal system for the tougher and longer sessions.
I’m including four sessions for stretching and rolling, as I’ve understood my body requires a lot of manual recovery techniques to aid development. I will most likely begin to swim again as a slightly alternative way to recover. Cycling will be included two to three times a week with one possible tempo session that will aid my conditioning and break up the runs a little with some cross training.
I have decided to have a total of five runs a week. Two easy mid-week runs will gradually grow in distance up to 14km each. On Wednesdays, I’m going to alternate between a tempo and a short/long hill run. I will then have two long runs at the weekend. One of these will be significantly longer than the other, but both will grow in distance. The idea of two long runs is to prepare me for the stresses and tiredness I will face in the ultra. I will certainly be mixing up both road and trail environments in each weekend session. I will be gradually increasing the longer distance from 26km up to the maximum of 42km at the BMO two weeks before the 50k. Judging the elevation profile and the nature of the Sun Mountain course, I feel Stanley Park or UBC park would be ideal locations for training.
I’m quite excited to get this training started with this fantastic goal to focus my mind on once again. I would love to hear from anyone with any training tips for your first Ultra!