My winter training cycle leading up to my first 100-miler of the year is broken into three phases.  Phase 1 ended a couple weeks back with Phunt 50K.  My mileage in the four weeks heading up to it was 31, 37, 46, and 31 miles with 53 miles the week of the race including the race itself.  These were all 1, 5, or 7.5 mile efforts with the only two longer runs of 10 and 15 miles done on a cruise ship treadmill.  You can call this my base building phase, however it wasn’t all that long and I didn’t really think of it like that.  It just seemed like it was time to start running more.

Speaking of more.  The one thing I changed was increasing my mid-week runs from 5.4 miles to 7.55 miles by adding a mile to my normal out-and-back trail course.  This was rather revolutionary for me.  I’m a creature of habit and have been using the same two five mile courses (one road, one trails) for going on five years now.  I’ve literally run that trail course over 240 times.  And then Christmas Eve, I just decided I’ll do 7.5 instead.  So that’s what I do now.  It’s a little hillier and longer so it’s taking me an extra 20-25 minutes to do my runs now, however the extra time hasn’t been too noticeable though I do have to get up a little earlier.

Phase 2 of my cycle started with most of a week off recovering from Phunt and will end with the Naked Bavarian 40 miler on March 3rd.  I’m planning on doing three long runs (20, 25, and 30 miles) leading up to it.  I did a slew of back-to-back long runs last year leading up to my spring 100, however I don’t plan on doing that again this year.  My legs felt really fried by the time I got into September last year and I’m sure all the long runs leading up to Umstead contributed.  Right now I have a 40 mile weekend (25/15) scheduled in March during Phase 3, however I may end up dropping the 15.  We’ll see.

Phase 3 will have two long runs (25, 31 miles) and then my patent pending 10+2 workout (10 miles running, 2 hours hiking) two weeks out from race day.  I’ll also have a week recovering from Naked Bavarian and then an easy taper heading into the 100-miler.  Each week during the training cycle will include three 7.5 mile runs and three 1 mile runs.  Most of these will be at easier efforts, however I’ve added another twist to my training.

Me in my new weight vest. Male model, I’m not.

I’ve been thinking about getting a weight vest to run in for a couple years now, but had never pulled the trigger.  I finally bought one and it arrived the week of Phunt.  Needless to say, it didn’t get used for a while as I was mini-tapering for the 50K and then recovering from the run.  I finally got out in it last weekend and then again this morning.  The vest came with 50 pounds and I’ve started out using just 11 pounds on my runs so far.  I’m not really sure what I’m doing so I’m hesitant to do too much.  I’ll see how my legs respond over the next couple weeks.  I might end up wearing it for 2 or 3 runs a week (not my long run) at some point, however I’ll probably not up the weight too much.

Overall, so far so good with this training cycle.  I just hope I can keep on rolling.