Ultra training: week 2

Drizzly, grey 10 miler. I need more sunshine and pretty views in my life!

And it’s into week 2! This one was a bit less scenic than week 1, and my legs are starting to feel the miles. I also really need to set specific paces for different runs, rather than muddling through at 09:XX regardless of the distance, but I’m such a newbie when it comes to tempo and speed sessions and different ‘effort’ levels. Trial and error is a legit strategy, right?… (Any help greatly appreciated from the veterans out there!)

Tuesday: I was stuck at work all week so I didn’t get the chance to run anywhere scenic. Instead, I hopped on the treadmill for an ‘easy’ 3 miler. Unfortunately I get quite competitive, so ended up in a bit of a race against the guy on the treadmill next to me! On the plus side, it led to some pretty impressive negative splits: 9:39 (the sort of pace I was supposed to stick to), 8:28 (erm…) and 8:15 πŸ˜€ Well, the ‘easy’ part of ‘easy 3 miler’ definitely went out the window, and my legs were like jelly when I stepped off the machine. Sigh.
3 miles, 8:47 average

Wednesday: Technically I didn’t ‘train’ on Wednesday, but I did go paintballing which felt like a proper workout! Running around with a paintball gun, lunging and crouching and generally throwing ourselves around – it was ace, and I really felt it the next day. Especially the bruises…

Thursday: I had a 1.5 mile speed session on the plan, and ended up doing the bleep test for a bit of a change. I was aiming for level 9 but I set off too fast, and made it to level 8.6 before I had to stop. It was still a PB by a couple of shuttles, but I definitely need to work on my pacing. It’s so hard not to rush though!

Saturday: This week, I ticked off my 29th parkrun! (That 50 tshirt maaay just be mine this year…) It was bright and sunny but thanks to all the rain we’ve had, the ground was EXTREMELY muddy. Luckily I wore my trail shoes, so I didn’t faceplant on the way round (though there was some definite slipping and sliding).
3.1 miles, 9:02 average

Sunday: This was the first double-digit run I’ve done in nearly a year, and I felt it! The weather and route didn’t help – grey wet and windy, with an out-and-back along a main road that meant a headwind the whole way back. Plus my calves were super tight and I had to keep stopping to stretch them out in the second half. Honestly, I didn’t enjoy this run. But I got it done, and managed to average sub 9:30/mile which is a pretty big deal for me! Let’s hope next weekend is better. Sunshine and nice views please!?
10 miles, 9:23 average

The miles are starting to build, and I’ve finally replaced my nackered old trail shoes. The support had definitely gone in my old ones which made for some very uncomfortable runs recently! I think I’m going to need to add some leg exercises into my gym sessions, especially for the glutes and calves. Running off road is way harder work and I can tell my stabiliser muscles aren’t quite up to the job for big distances yet. It’s sort of into the unknown from here, as I’ll be increasing my mid-week miles and spending longer out on the trails for my weekend runs – fingers crossed my body cooperates!

2 thoughts on “Ultra training: week 2

  1. “Running off road is way harder work” OH YEAH. ‘Tis!

    I’m a slowpoke (my “steady” pace is 13:00-14:00/mile right now, and my race goal is always to make the cut-off). The 50K I’m training for is practically flat — it’s a 10 km loop with 300’ of elevation gain & loss per loop — so my primary focus on my long runs is rolling terrain. My focused workouts are during the week, and they’re all relatively short. (I’d guess they’re less than six miles.) I’m doing one hill or speed workout during the week & core strength training twice a week.

    I did some cartilage damage to my left knee while training for my first 50K three years ago. After the diagnosis, my orthopedist sent me to a physical therapist for a consultation. He was quite surprised when he checked my hips, and he admitted he expected them to be a mess. A winter of running trails in the snow, mud, and ice gave me great hip mobility & strength. I go out of my way to run on mud. (I live in an area with a climate similar to a high desert. We average 8″ of precipitation annually. Thus, we usually only have mud in the winter & spring.) It’s slow, but my foot sliding sideways with each step makes for great lateral stability. (Sand does the same, but sweet baby Jesus in a sweatervest is it slow. There’s a stretch of sand nearby that I’ll train on from time to time and it’s sooooooo depressing.)

    • Your training will definitely be doing you some good, it’s great that even your physical therapist noticed the benefits! I agree that tough, uneven terrain is really effective for building mobility and strength – it’s helped my ankles for sure. Mud and sand etc. make for some uncomfortable and frustrating runs at the time but it all helps πŸ™‚ I’ve yet to run in the snow though. Best of luck for your 50k!

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