I’ve always been a little hesitant to comment too much on my training or give out advice on this blog. While I was running long distances, I hadn’t been at it too long nor had I had any type of formal (or even informal) training. I mean, I’m just a guy. Sure I’ve read a bunch of stuff on the internet, but book learnin’ will only get you so far.
That said, I’ve gained some decent experience, which I think qualifies me to start making recommendations on training for ulramarathons:
- 2019 will be my seventh straight year of logging 1700+ miles
- 33 Ultra finishes including 13 hundreds
- No injuries
The last bullet is key. While I’ve had the occasional niggle, I’ve never had an actual injury that’s required me to go see a doctor or halt my running streak. I attribute a decent part of this to me taking it easy just about every time I head out for a run. My unofficial mantra is Speed Kills. So I don’t do it outside the annual 5K I run with the family. I’m pretty sure this keeps me from reaching my max potential as a runner and I’m fine with that. I would rather reach 80-90% of that theoretical peak and maintain this lifestyle for the next 40 years than hit 100% and flame out in a couple years.
When I first started running I came up with the theory that the best way to get good at running long distances was to . . . wait for it – run long distances. So that’s been my focus since I started running. I arbitrarily picked 20 miles as the distance to define a long run so that’s what I’ve been tracking.
2013/2014 were pumped up by a lot of weekends with back-to-back 20 milers. I’ve gone away from that since for the most part, but I’ve gotten more consistent with getting at least one in each month. Up until last month. I had one scheduled, but Saturday rolled around and I just didn’t feel like getting it in. I have been very slowly building my weekly mileage up after my last race and knocking out a long run didn’t seem to fit. And I wasn’t really motivated to do it. So I passed. It was totally the right choice. I don’t need to do one every month. The truth is I should probably take more zero months than I do. But I’ve been in a really good groove for the last year and it’s felt very sustainable so I’ve kinda run with it. Hopefully, I can keep my momentum going.