Every fitness-related decision I make for the next for the next 213 days is based on one question: will this help me complete the Run Rabbit Run 100 miler?
I’m not the most experienced ultrarunner, but I think any of us crazies with more than a few years of racing know what it takes to complete our goal distance. I have a decent understanding of the amount of running volume and elevation gain needed. The running-related question is, can I get my training load to where it needs to be safely and maintain that level for months without getting injured? So far my answer is yes. My base-building training block has been going well, and I have been completing some solid longs runs on a weekly basis. I’m climbing my normal mountain trails as quickly as I ever have already, while still maintaining some of my marathon speed. “Speed” being relative here of course.
Specificity is the next training question. The RRR100 takes place on a course with an elevation profile ranging between 6500’ and 10,500’ feet. Lucky for me, that is darn near the elevation profile of my backyard mountain range, the Sandias. If I keep running up and down the trails I can see out my window, I will theoretically be in shape for the elevation and climbs of the course.
If you’ve ever watched coverage of a marathon, the winners and lead pack look sleek and fast like human sports cars. I’m going for more of burly station wagon sort of build for the hundred (have I mentioned that I love my Subaru Outback?). I’m lifting three days a week, focusing on low reps of high weight in the big three compound barbell lifts – squats, bench press and deadlifts. Complimenting those lifts are just a few accessories each session – snatches, bent rows, chin-ups/pull-ups and, my new favorite, kettlebell swings. These three weekly sessions usually fit into a half hour each, even swapping sets with my wife.
I’m also still doing my daily yoga and meditation practices, but I don’t claim to know how/if these will help my racing performance. Honestly, I would do them regardless but I think the mental aspect of both practices will help me throughout my season of racing and training.
I have also been examining my diet a bit more this year, but that will be another post.