Ultratraining

I’m tired.

I ran more than 50 kilometres this week.  As avid readers of this blog (all 3 of them) will know, I’m training for an ultramarathon.  Specifically my goal is to be able to run 50k in a single race.

Given how exhausted I am after having done that distance spread over 6 days, I clearly have a long way to go.

With the help of the Triathlete’s Training Bible, I’ve written myself a training plan based around a series of four-week cycles of increasing mileage.  Next week I get to take it a bit easier, and then the kilometers will start building up again. Despite my fatigue I’ve been pleased at the way my body has been responding.  On Monday I ran 29 km, the furthest I’ve ever done in one go, and although I was tired at the end my hips and knees didn’t complain at all.  Clearly the work I’ve been doing re-engineering my running style has been paying off. Apparently my body responds well to a high cadence, and to running in sandals or barefoot.

There are different theories as to whether you should incorporate any speedwork while doing base-training.  I’ve chosen to do one fast 5k tempo run every week, so as not to lose my speed completely, and that seems to be working fairly well.  On Thursday I did my 5k only a few seconds per kilometre off of race-pace.

I’m getting a renewed respect for the serious athletes who do several times this mileage week-in, week out.