Training Update

In this post I wanted to go over my ultra training so far and what I am planning over the next couple of months as I get closer to the BMO Marathon on 7th May and Sun Mountain 50k on 20th May.

Training Log

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A couple of weeks ago I decided that I needed a better way to log my training beyond my Ambit 3 upload data. I wanted something to document simple details that I discover on runs such as nutrition, clothing and shoe choices that do or do not work. I found a runner’s log from Territory Run Co with a very simple layout to jot down details for each day. So far I like the idea and it is certainly encouraging me to put pen to paper with useful details I can look back on. I’m able, at a glance, to see how many kilometres I have run each week and decide where I need to improve or change for my next week.

 

Something else that I have also begun to trial is a calorie app on my phone that allows me to log the food I eat each day. This is giving me a better indication of how much I’m burning through exercise via my Strava app and what I’m consuming so that I keep a balance between overeating and under eating when training. I’m finding it quite eye-opening how many calories there are in certain foods and it is indeed educating me on better choices.

 

Training Week

This is my basic week at a glance:

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
AM
REST
Strength
ZONE 3 RUN
Strength
ZONE 5 RUN
CYCLE
LONG RUN
PM
RECOVERY
ZONE 1 RUN
RECOVERY
ZONE 1 RUN
RECOVERY
Stabilizing & core
RECOVERY

 

Strength Training

I’m currently keeping up a two-day strength-training plan that includes upper and lower body exercises as seen below:

Tuesday

Thursday

Bench press

Row

Lateral/Front shoulder raises

Back squat

Calves Press

Walking lunges

Kettle swings

Single leg hamstring

Back raise

Shrugs

Shoulder Press

Lat pull down

Y pull

TRX core set

TRX Variation

TRX single leg lunge

Glute Raise/press

Chest fly

Back fly

Deadlift

I’m slowly increasing the weight every two weeks to give enough time for adaptation and avoid any post soreness that can affect my running routine. I certainly see the benefits in my running form by working on this strength routine.  I’m going with a method that focuses on 8-10 repeats with a heavyweight that yields strength but not an increase in size and weight.

 

Stabilising Muscle & Core session

This is a session that I have put together from combined online research and techniques shown to me from physiotherapists. Something I have had trouble with and still continue to treat is some leg imbalance. My strength routine works on the major muscle groups, but smaller stability muscles around the hips and joints that support them are just as crucial to strengthening. By working on these and the core, I can maintain good form on longer distances and harder terrain.   I use a few different devices to help me including bands, wobble board, ankle weights and resistance cords.   I’ve said it in a previous post… I will be adding a more in-depth post in a few weeks for all these exercises as I think they are extremely beneficial for runners – stay tuned.

 

Cycle/indoor trainer

I still use my bike on the trainer as a warm up before I go out on a run, but I haven’t really put any serious time on my bike recently. This past Tuesday I used it for an hour as the sidewalks were too icy for a fast run that it made more sense to spin instead. I certainly need to put some quality time on the bike to prepare myself for the spring that is just around the corner.

 

Running

I haven’t been as consistent as I wanted since Christmas with a cold and fever altering a couple of weeks and some winter conditions making it difficult but I’ve adapted and made things work.  Here is an overview of my routine:

 

Zone 5

After I had another lactate test at the Peak Centre, I have added in a zone 5 interval session. 1-minute repeats at my max speed with a 1-minute rest repeated for 10 – 20 minutes with a small recovery zone 1 run in between. I realised that the only way my zone 3 tempo sessions are going to get any better is if I add into the mix some faster interval training. This will also work on my skeletal muscular system so I can turn my legs over quicker and also improve my cardiovascular system.

 

zone 3

I have been consistent with a zone 3 tempo session on the treadmill for 20+ minutes. This is a hard session, but I always see the benefit of my stamina during longer runs. Every other week I swap this session with a hill interval session on some local roads that have a good grade.

 

Long and Easy runs

My long runs have currently peaked at 32km which is a little earlier than I had originally planned, but I seem to be recovering well, and the legs are coping with the increase. My easy runs in the week are around 10-12km now, and I’m hoping I can keep that fairly consistent up to the races.

Some photos from recent runs:

 

Looking forward

Reaching 32km already is somewhat beneficial for my overall plan. I’m giving myself a little more space to work at this distance over the next couple of weeks and add in more vertical. I have roughly five weeks from my visit to the UK, and I’m considering extending some planned runs to step closer to the 42km distance.   I’m not going to get as much opportunity to get vertical training while I am back home but I can certainly add more distance.   Once I am back, I will have roughly three more weeks to add in vertical training before I have a short taper for the BMO.

Something I am very conscious about and watch out for is any signs of overuse injuries as I push into much longer training weeks that I am used to which could set me back or even destroy everything I am working for.

Looking Back

If I compare my training now to last year when I was working up to the half Ironman, I certainly felt more conditioned last year at this point as I started much earlier, but also I think some issues towards the end of 2016 put me back quite significantly.  On the other hand, if I compared my current training to my marathon training three years ago I can see a significant difference in my fitness. I certainly didn’t find 32km runs as achievable as I am now.

 

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