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To get an idea of what I'm trying to do and why I think it's possible, check out the following entries, they'll help get you up to speed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ultra simple

Well, i'm running my first ultra of sorts this winter.  I say 'of sorts' because of the winter part - it certainly will be much tougher in some respects than a typical ultra, but easier in the sense that there's no way i'll be running the whole thing.  In digging a little more into the race i've gotten even more excited - supposedly the 64 miles are comprised almost entirely of single track trail.  Snowshoes aren't allowed (to make sure everyone faces the same conditions).  And rather than a 5% completion rate, the event boasts an even lower 2% - only four racers have finished the full distance over the four years the event has been held, despite hundreds of entrants.  Sweet.

My training is going very well - i'm motivated and focused and actually feel myself getting stronger every week.  I'm keeping things simple - lots of running on the treadmill to gauge progress and ensure i'm not slacking, plus an outside run at least every other week that is designed to really challenge me.  I'm running twice a week and biking once - i've also added a bit of strength work which means my total cardio time is only 1:50 per week.  Below are the details -

Run 1 (usually tuesday):  20 minutes on treadmill.  Hill program.  This program has an 8 min "warm up" period at a modest grade followed by 4 x 1 min hills, each bigger than the last, with a 1 min rest interval at no or little incline.  The last four minutes are flat or with a slight incline.  At the start of these 12 weeks i was running at a 7:30 pace on level 5.  last tuesday (3 weeks in) i was @ lvl 10 (lowest incline is 1.5%, highest is 7.8%).  by the end of 12 weeks i hope to be running the program at level 10 at under a 7 min pace, or even 6:40.

A fire like this, after 32 miles of walking, is what kills most people in the Frozen Otter.
Bike 1 (usually thursday):  30 minutes on the stationary bike.  I do some sort of intervals or tempo ride using wattage to measure intensity.  for example, week 1 i warmed up for 5 minutes @ 200+ watts, then did a 20 minute tempo ride @ 250 watts and a final 5 back @ 200+ watts.  In week 3 i repeated this workout but managed to keep 275+ watts for the first 10 minutes of the tempo ride before not being able to sustain it and dropping down to 250 watts for the next 10 min.

Run 2 (usually sunday):  1 hour.  I'll alternate this between a run on the treadmill (no slo random pro) and an outside run.  On the outside runs i'll try to keep them meaningful and hard.  I ran outside on week two for example, and recruited uber-athlete Sean Cooley to ensure that i got destroyed.  I did.  Next week i will be at the in-laws cabin and will try to do a cross-country run outside through old snow-mobile trails to get in some hills and running conditions i'm more likely to face on the frozen otter.

Thats it - short and sweet and hard.  And in another 9 weeks, or 18 training hours, i'll be ready to go run 64 miles.  In fact, if i barely make the race cutoff at 24 hours, i'll have spent less time training (over 12 weeks) than it takes me to do the race.  Pretty cool!

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