This past Saturday marked 10 weeks out from Sun Mountain training. I don’t know if it’s going to be my “A” race for the year (will I have an A race?) but it’s definitely what I’m focusing on for now.
I haven’t set a serious goal, but I’m loosely hoping to be between 5:30-6:00 (average 6:35-7:12/km).
I’ve never raced anything further than a marathon on my feet (and I’ve only run one marathon!), but doing some longer triathlons did get me accustomed to multi-hour race day efforts. I tried to use some of the things I learned there to build a plan for Sun Mountain. Mostly:
- I tend to log more miles when I’m with a group and there’s a set plan
- I need to build in some solo workouts to prepare for how it will feel to be racing on my own
- I need to listen to my body!
- I need to practice fuelling.
I’m also trying to consider a few extra things for Sun Mountain:
I decided to build up to the race in parallel to the Running Room BMO Vancouver Marathon clinic. Dave and Greg are leading a big group of people who are running the race, and since Sun Mountain is just a few weeks later (and a few km’s farther), I’ve hopped onto their long run schedule.
This past Sunday was 29km (although a bit short), and I’ll loosely follow the clinic until they start to taper. My plan is roughly: 29 – 32 – 29 (with 21 as the April Fool’s Race!) – 32 – 32 (clinic starts to taper) – 36 – 40 – 30 (race day for the clinic) – 20 – Race!
With those long runs, I’m looking to steadily increase my weekly mileage. For the past seven weeks, it’s been mostly between 65-75 km.
For the next four weeks, I’m hoping to be able to increase that a bit to 75-85 km/week. For the three weeks after that, I’ll look for 85-100k, and then I’ll taper down to the race.
Types of Runs
Since I’m working on the Sunshine Coast, I’ve also been trying to make my runs hilly and looking for opportunities to run on trails. I’m trying to do a bit of speedwork as well!
Fuelling + Listening to My Bod
So. My fuelling has always been something I forget to focus on. I tried hard during marathon training to nail down a strategy and practice it early. On race day, I didn’t end up getting all the calories I planned, but I did get most and I felt really strong, so I called it a success. Lately though, I haven’t been thinking about it as much and I want to make an effort to get back to being strategic. I haven’t fuelled with anything except water and a few gummies for my long runs during this cycle, so that’s gonna have to change.
As for responding to my own cues, I did take an almost rest day 2 Sundays ago – I woke up with a bad cold and decided not to suck it up and do my long run. Overall, I don’t think this made me lose any fitness and I felt great last week, even though I still have the end of the cold.
And that’s it! Any trail runners have some advice for me?
PS – photos by Jan, except for the blurry cell phone photos I took of Dave’s map + my salad creation