Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ultra training has begun....*gulp*

It’s that time of the year, folks: ultramarathon training. Last week was the official start for me in my training for the Mind the Ducks 12 hour race and the BOMF 24 hour race. *gulp* The lack of posting has occurred due to the lack of running, at times. My first two weeks back into solid running were great, with about 36 mpw for each. My third week, I got in only 20. But wait for it: for my fourth week, I got in 4, that is correct, 4 miles! Wow, I really lost motivation. Those 4 miles were also on my birthday!

In order to get me in the shape I need to be to achieve my goals for my ultras (65 miles for the 12 hour race and 90 miles for the 24 hour race), I have devised a way to scheme myself into running. I loosely got this idea from other people, but I’ve decided to create a prize for running all of my scheduled miles: $10 per week. If I am sick or injured, no money is earned or lost. If I don’t run all of my miles, I deduct $5 from my pot. One week in and I’ve got $10. Yay! When I didn’t want to run, I thought about how lame it would be to miss out on the weekly prize in the first week of training. I plan on using this money for a fun shopping spree after my 24 hour race.

When it comes to my training, I have so many ideas and not one solid one nailed down. I’ve researched to death about training programs, but I can’t exactly figure out what to do. I’m going to follow Hal Higdon’s ultra plan again, but it has what some ultra runners call “junk miles.” I am the type of person that needs a plan written out to follow, so I can’t exactly just “wing” it and know I’ll get in all the right mileage. The main thing I am torn about is whether or not to incorporate walking breaks into my long runs. I will have to walk at times to eat, but I’m starting to think about ways to improve my distances for both races. For my training for my first ultras, I needed the walk breaks so I could convince myself I could do it. I now know I can achieve a lot of distance, but will taking the walking breaks out mean I can’t run that far? Will it mean I am in pain sooner? I am not sure, but I think I am going to train with as few walk breaks as possible so I can honesty see how well I can push myself. If I don’t know my limits, I won’t know my abilities.

Week two of ultra training is underway and I am eager to earn those $10 for this week! Until next time…