The year is off to a great start! As I wait for the 100 miler lotteries to play out, I’m doing a fourteen week training block for the Badger Mountain 55K. It started in the last full week of December, provides focus for my winter training, and will give me a fitness check compared to last year’s performance.
Here on the site, I finally posted my race recap from winning the innagural Tuscazoar 50 miler last August. I also archived last year’s training and created some training charts to compare data from each year.
This is the first of what I hope to be monthly updates, especially since I plan on racing less often this year. Not a whole lot of interesting stuff this month. The biggest takeaway was that I got a consistent month of winter training in, putting me way ahead of where I was last year at this time.
In week 5 of the training plan, speedwork is introduced on Thursdays. I’m going to stick to tempo runs in this training block and add in long hill repeats in my primary training block.
The first tempo run, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew I was running faster than this time last year, but I’ve also been sticking to pavement whereas last year I was trying to get onto trails as much as possible. After a post-work nap, I headed out. I did a 20 minute warmup, an 18 minute tempo run, and then cooled down for the rest of the 7 miles. I was very happy with the pace, averaging 6:25/mile with my last rolling mile at 6:05.
A week later, I had the same workout and took the same post-work nap. This time, I covered a bit more ground and averaged 6:19/mile. (My initial math was wrong and I thought I averaged 6:05/mile… nope.)
It’s a lot of fun pushing the pace like this. It’s sparking some imagination, too. I’m wondering what I could do in a 5K on the track this summer.
The training plans I use are from Relentless Forward Progress: A guide to Running Ultramarathons. They are 5 days/week, with Mondays and Fridays as rest days. This year, I was planning on adding recovery runs on Fridays in my primary training block. My legs have been feeling great, so I decided to introduce them earlier and got my first one in on the last day of the month.
It was my 23rd run of the month, topping my best months from last year with 22 runs in them. I just ran up to the local park and ran around the soccer field for a while, not worried about pace or distance.
Ideally, I’ll build up to ~5 miles during my primary training block, but I’ll play it by ear and do what feels best for my legs.