Monday, February 11, 2013

Training Report and My Grand Slam of Ultrarunning Training Plan (Still a Work in Progress)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Workout Types(s): Running mostly through the snow and a lil’ bit in the streets.
Miles: 20
Where: Riverside Park, Inwood Park, Cloisters
Notes: I did not make it to the mountains this weekend, but I felt trudging through the snow was a great substitute.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Workout Types(s): 5K + Easy Run
Miles: 13+
Notes: It was Rob’s first 5K and our first race together. 

Training Notes

Although my initial plans were to run Harriman State Park this past weekend, because of Snowstorm Nemo, I wasn’t sure how safe the roads would be at 6 a.m.  Normally driving on icy and snowy roads does not bother me, but I had a really bad scare Friday night leaving work, so I decided to just stay put.  Being able to sleep the extra hours was lovely.  I think this might be the first weekend of 2013 where I did not have to spend two or three hours driving to get to my long run training grounds. 

Making footprints in the snow.

In any case, Saturday’s run was fun and uneventful.  Although most of the areas where I ran were already shoveled and/or snow plowed, I was feeling a bit guilty about not driving to Harriman, so I ran through the fresh snow whenever possible.  Out of the twenty or so miles I ran, I think only five of those miles were on regular ground.    

On Sunday, Rob and I ran our first race together, a Valentine’s Day 5K, organized by NYC Runs.  It was a fun, low-key race in Prospect Park with free hot chocolate and bagels.  Oh, and stickers shaped like hearts.  Actually, this was Rob’s first organized running event and he was great, despite never running more than a few miles on a road before.  He was totally game for running over a mile to the start (We were running late and I don't like being late, even for podunky races =P) and taking a faster-than-usual pace during the race.  He is just so mellow.  He’ll be an ultrarunner sooner than he knows.  Muhahahahaha.

My ultrarunning trail buddy, Becky was there as well.  Both of us needed additional miles to finish up our training, so after saying good bye to Rob, we headed back and ran at an easy pace through Brooklyn, across the Brooklyn Bridge and then to the PATH station.  It had been ages since Becky and I last ran together, so it was good to catch up.  Becky and I parted ways at Christopher Street, and I ran the last five miles back, feeling relatively strong, despite my recurrent Morton’s neuroma issues. 

I really, really wasn’t looking forward to going back because the next item on my agenda was to dig my car out from the snow storm, but lo and behold, as I ran towards the apartment, Rob was already there, with the job almost finished.  Awwww.  Rob is pretty much the best.  Not only was he totally cool with doing a race with just a few days' notice, but even after running five or so miles, he still had enough energy to shovel snow that had solidified into ice.  

Good relaxing, running weekend, I must say.  Especially since I didn't have to shovel.  I think I would rather run for four hours than shovel for even an hour.  Actually, that's not saying much since if I were running in the woods, those four hours would be awesome, but you get what I mean.     

Grand Slam of Ultrarunning Training Plan (Version 1.0):

Here it is, as requested, my formal training plan for the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning.  It is still very much a work in progress, so please . . . give me advice.  I need it.  Especially if you are a veteran runner/pacer/friend of a finisher of ANY of the Grand Slam races.

General Notes:

- I am adapting this to my racing schedule.  For example, no matter how awesome I feel after Umstead 100, I won’t go crazy with the tempo runs and speed work the following week ;).
- I drop the intensity for one week out of four, to give myself a mental and physical break.  
- Most of my gym workouts involve a lengthy sauna session afterwards.  (Heat training!)
- I am getting physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, and chiro work done every week.  I want to do this as injury-free-ish as possible.  
- I will be attending Western States training camp over Memorial Day weekend.

Saturday and Sunday:
Minimum of 30 miles, preferably 40 miles; one day MUST be on a real trail (a.k.a. must have long ascent and descents greater than a mile and there must be some technical elements)

(a) Cross training/recovery run
(b) Yoga/pilates

(a) Climbing stairs (minimum 300 floors or so)/15% incline on treadmill at minimum of 4.0 mph (1.5 to 2 hours)
(b) Calisthenics, calisthenics, calisthenics.

(a) Tempo Run (7 – 8 miles; 1 mile warm up; 2 miles of above average speed; 2 miles of a chill pace; 2 miles of above average speed)
(b) Mini climb: 15% incline at minimum of 4.0 mph for at least half an hour after tempo run.
(c) Heat training in sauna.

(a) Speed training/sprints up hills 
(b) Calisthenics, calisthenics, calisthenics.
(c) Climbing stairs 

(a) Cross training/recovery run
(b) Yoga/pilates


  1. 15% incline at 4mph...that is speedwork :-)

    I was looking at my old stuff the other day and saw this one. Craig Thornley is the new RD for WS100

    1. Ah, this article was awesome! Thanks!

      And yeah, I hope these 15% incline speed walks are helpful, because goodness knows, they're tough!