I really wanted to add an adjective in the subject line like “effective” or “successful”, but I’m afraid of jinxing myself for next month’s race. Here’s a quick chart of some very high level stats summarizing the 100 days heading into each of my races. If you’re wondering why I picked 100 days and not some other timeframe, you should probably know that I have a thing with the number one hundred. These aren’t strictly training blocks as a lot of time I’ll have races packed close enough together that this time period could include a couple mini-tapers.

Training totals for the 100 days preceding each race.

In hindsight, good grief. What was I thinking in 2016? No wonder I barely finished that race (34:45). It wasn’t until sometime after that race that I started looking at these 100 day blocks leading into races. If I had, I probably would have upped my mileage a bit there. That 403 total mileage (i.e. 28 mpw average) and four 20 mile runs are all-time lows for all the hundreds that I’ve attempted. So even though I was successful in finishing that race, I would not recommend this as an effective training load heading into Eastern States.

Nor would I recommend the average 100 feet per mile of elevation gain that I had in 2017. Now my time for that year (33:30) was much better, but I would attribute that more to the increased miles and better weather. It wasn’t until 2019 that I started focusing more attention on my elevation gain. I discovered a section of trail at my local nature preserve that will give me about 300 feet of elevation gain and loss per mile. The only problem is that it’s only 0.35 miles long. That makes for a very long, monotonous twenty miler, but a great workout. I did three of those back in 2019 and I’m doing two of those this month (last and next weekend). This year I’m also adding in a mid-week hill workout. Similarly though it’s only a quarter mile in length so lots and lots of repeats.

I’ll be interested to see how this year’s training block will translate on race day. 2019 had more of the elevation at the front end of the 100 days, while this year I’m getting a decent chunk of it in the last 40 days. Well, if I know ES100 (and I’m starting to), the weather will probably end up being a bigger determinant of my final time than what shape I’m in at the starting line.

Still. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do what I can to prepare myself. Guess that means hill repeats at 4am tomorrow. Sigh.

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