The timing of my three 100-milers this year (4/1, 6/3, 8/12) doesn’t really give me whole lot of time to train in between each one. Especially, since I’ll need a portion of that time to recover from the prior race. So I’ll need to be a little creative in my running over the next 8 weeks. This cycle will have 3 components: recovery, endurance maintenance, and strength training.
Recovery is up first and might end up being the hardest of the three. Not necessarily because sitting around doing nothing is difficult (hello Netflix), however I’m not exactly sure how long it will take. It’s not like you wake up one day and see a text on your phone that today’s the day your body is ready to start training again. You have to “listen” to the little signals it sends and wait for the little aches and pains to fully go away. Seven days after my triumphant Umstead run, I feel 95% plus recovered already. My recovery this spring has been really quick after all my hard efforts. My guess is that I’ve gotten to a point with my base endurance that these really long runs (50k, 40 miles, 100 miles) while stressing my body, don’t push me really far past my quick recovery limit. Just because I feel like a could go run 20 miles doesn’t mean it’s a good idea though. I feel it’s always better to be 90% trained than 1% injured. So I will take at least another week off from anything “hard”.
I’ve tentatively decided on four 20+ mile runs once I’m done recovering to maintain my fitness leading up to Old Dominion. Based on Umstead, I think I’m solidly in 100-miler shape already so don’t need to boost my fitness from where I am now. Running a fast (for me) 100 will do that already so I should be able to count some level of gain from that race as I move forward. Since I’m more into maintenance mode than building mode at this point, I’m dropping the back-to-back long runs from this training cycle. I kinda feel like I’m right on the knife edge of the performance/injury dynamic that all athletes try and balance. With my recovery cycle limited to only about 2 weeks (two weeks?!?!?!), I need to be very careful with the mileage I run between now and Dominion. I did very well last fall at Cloudsplitter with only 10 miles as my longest run in the seven weeks after ES100. Maybe the 4 long runs I now have planned are too much, however it doesn’t seem like too much based on how I feel. I will definitely pay close attention to my body though and will cut out or eliminate any runs if I start feeling off.
The last leg in my training tripod will be increased strength training. This isn’t something I’ve ever spent much time with, but I’ve done a bit more this spring than I have in the past and I think this helped contribute to my improved performance. So the goal is to do lots of squats, lunges, and 100-ups. I’ll back off a bit the core work I normally do and substitute this instead. Since my legs are still a little on the fried side, I’ll wait another week before adding these in.
And that’s how I plan to attack the next two months of training. I would love to buckle at OD100 (sub-24 hours) and I believe this training outline gives me the best chance. Well, the best chance given the amount of effort I can expend as it’s not like I have the time to go crank out 100 mile weeks.
Hope your training is going well.