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Awkward Active's Ultramarathon Training - Part 1: Or, how I transformed from a Ranger to a Scout


Anamal

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Hello Scouts!

 

I come humbly and ask if I can join your ranks. I'm dedicating 2015 to something I've wanted to do since I started running in earnest in college: ultra marathons!

 

So far I've only planned out my 50k (30ish miles race) in early May, but I'm also working on setting up a Ragnar run with some fellow NF rebels in early April, a backpacking trip in Colorado over the summer Jul/Aug, and a 50 mile ultra sometime in the late fall. All of these mean I need endurance and time on my feet.

 

Without further ado, the goals!

 

1) Run faster by training slower:

Follow Matt Fitzgerald's "80/20" running book. I'm working off of the Level 2 marathon 16 week training plan with adjustments to fit my needs and incorporating some of Brian McKenzie's training suggestions from him "Unbreakable Runner" book.

 

2) Cross train, cross train, cross train!

Full body strength training 2x a week.

Non weight bearing cross training (stationary bike or elliptical) 2x a week (start at 1x a week and work up to 2x a week by end of challenge)

Short core session as well as hip/mobility work 3x a week.

Most of these can be easily fit in after work on easier days and done at home, and I'm looking into buying a bike trainer so I can get my riding in at home.

 

That's it! I'm going to be adding in mini-challenges on a weekly basis as I figure out what is working and what isn't.

 

Week 1 Mini-Challenge:

a) Perform max heart rate test and map out heart rate zones for training.

B) Find and buy a bike trainer for indoor use

 

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That. Is. Bananas. In the best possible way :) 

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Level 78 Wood Elf Druid

Druid: || 59 | 60 | 61 | 61.5 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 ||

Ranger: || 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 ||

||Char/RPG||
STR: 57 || DEX: 59 || STA: 52 || CON: 47 || WIS: 59 || CHA: 59

 

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Welcome AwkwardActive!

 

Ultra marathon! wwhhooooppp!!! Sounds great. We have several long distance runners so you'll find plenty of support and knowledge in that arena. I'm with you on the core work and hip mobility. My glutes are nasty tight. We are here always. Let us know how you're doing.

 

P.S. Could you please toss your name into your title, thanks.

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22nd level Wanderer

better is right here, right now

The Way

Here's to all the 1% increases in life!

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I AM THE MOST PRODUCTIVE HUMAN IN HISTORY!!! :D

 

Week one mini-challenge is already completed.

 

Yesterday I got my indoor trainer for my bike.

 

Today I worked on figuring out my max heart rate (190) so that I can better calculate heart rate goals:

60% Max = 114 (good for fat burning)

70% Max = 133 (good for developing aerobic skills)

75% Max = 142.5 (good for developing aerobic skills)

80% Max = 150 (high end of good for developing aerobic skills, begins to cross into anaerobic)

 

So for my easy runs I'll aim to keep my HR right around the 140 range. Unfortunately my aerobic fitness is not what I want it to be so my low end fat burning heart rate really just works out to be walking briskly, not running.

 

 

I also did my hip mobility and core routine before heading out for my run.

(hips = 3 sets of 10 reps of each on each side: clams, fire hydrant, side steps, glute bridge)

(core = 3 sets of 10 reps each: plank (3x30sec), leg raises, v-ups, more will be added as I get stronger)

 

AND I did foam rolling when I got back (1 min on each side for: calves, hammies, quads, hips, back, feet)

 

I am also the most annoyed human in history today too :(

 

I feel like I may (almost certainly have) strained my calf while on my run today. Thus proving that running on pavement is indeed evil. While I was visiting the fam in CO I was putting 3-5 miles in each day on trails and snow and had zero issue and fatigue. I come back to LA and two three mile runs on pavement and I get this twinge in my calf >:(

 

Oh well, tomorrow is strength training and cross training and then I'll re-evaluate how I feel.

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Edit your first post and use the full editor to edit thread title.

 

Roads are poison for me too.  Luckily I live in the country so even if I run "roads" I actually run on the side of the road where there is gravel or grass and lots of real trails near by.

 

What is your farthest distance so far?  Most of the marathon advice out there also applies to the 50k distance.

Level 26, Primal Ultra Trail Scout, Non-Binary Robot

 

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Edit your first post and use the full editor to edit thread title.

 

Roads are poison for me too.  Luckily I live in the country so even if I run "roads" I actually run on the side of the road where there is gravel or grass and lots of real trails near by.

 

What is your farthest distance so far?  Most of the marathon advice out there also applies to the 50k distance.

Awesome, thank you!

 

My most recent long distance was a little over 7 miles which is pretty close to perfect for where this program starts off. My plan is to just take the marathon program and add in a few longer runs than prescribed and add in some longer hikes on the weekends in additions to runs. I figure this will at least get me to the finish line. My furthest every run/hiked distance was back in Sept 2014 and was about 25-26 miles through the hills of Vermont.

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So yesterday I iced my achillies, and did some pressure massage on the area in hopes of getting things healing. Also, thanks to my monthly Aunt Flow I got a good amount of ibuprofen down my throat. As a result I'm feeling much much better today. My leg is still a little tender so I plan on cross training today through Friday and then re-evaluating. A friend recommended to "rest more than you think you'll need" which is good advice. Since I'm embarking on quite a long and hard training plan there is no point in injuring myself now and messing up the whole thing. Better to be careful.

 

So yesterday I actually got my bike trainer set up so that I can come home today and use it. No excuses! Plus with the aid of some interesting TV it should be pretty painless.

 

Today I got up early and got back in the gym for the first time in a while. My two strength training days will be divided into upper and lower body focusing on large compound movements. Today was upper body.

 

Push Ups: 3x10

Lat Pull Downs: 5x8

Strict Over Head Press: 4x8

Bent Over Dumbbell Row: 5x5

Good Mornings: 5x5

Inclined Dumbbell Press: 5x5

 

Core/Accessory Work:

Triceps Cable Extensions: 3x5/Side

V-Ups: 5x5

Cable Side Twist: 3x10/Side

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Between the gym and the bike, you are making sure you always have a workout ready to go.  Way to set yourself up for later success.  

 

And good job taking care of your injuries.  If you take care of your legs, they'll carry you anywhere.   :peaceful:

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missrackl

Level 1 Rebel Reboot

Activities: cycling, running, snowshoeing

Fandoms: Rick and Morty, LotR, Thursday Next, Star Wars (of course!)

Goals: 1) Keep on running, 2) Eat on diet, 3) Read a book

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7 miles to 50k is quite a jump but you got time to do it.  In addition to the training plan, I would recommend a few things.  Train on similar terrain as the 50k as often as possible.  Same goes for elevation, a hilly 50k needs hilly training.  If you plan to walk during the 50k, practice your walk/run transition in training (it can be mentally hard to go from walking back to running).  And since this is a big bump in distance, if you need to cut back from your training don't cut the long runs (or long bike rides) which will be the most useful.  You can even get long distance effects from running more than once a day (which allows for some recovery but good practice for running on pre-tired legs which will make it easier in the "long run").

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Level 26, Primal Ultra Trail Scout, Non-Binary Robot

 

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Hey Awkward,

 

Leaving the Rangers behind? Abandoning us all? That's cool. Otherwise, I'd never get a chance to say I have friends in the Scouts. Plus, I can see myself hitting the Ultras myself someday, like the Canadian Death Race. That one has my name all over it. (well, maybe my name carved into a tombstone)

 

 

7 miles to 50k is quite a jump but you got time to do it.

What she hasn't told you yet is she's practically an ultramarathoner now- she's run far, far more than 7 mile stints over the last year. You've got this AwkwardActive.

 

And before you hassle encourage me, yes, I'll be getting my own challenge up soon. :)

Quirky DM

My Battle Log: QuirkyDM going Quazy

"Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure."

 

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Today/Yesterday I learned:

 

Biking on the trainer is way less fun than running outside. Even with the aid of TV (Sons of Anarchy - Season 1).

 

Plodding along on the elliptical is also less fun than running outside, but more enjoyable when you're doing intervals than steady state, podcasts are good too.

 

My calf/achilles is about 80% of where I want it to be before I get back into running. So tomorrow I'll wake up very early with the plan to ride the bike for my prescribed workout and then head to the trails for a short run/walk and see how things are feeling. If I'm feeling good I'd like to get in a long hike and run each this weekend.

 

 

Hey Awkward,

 

Leaving the Rangers behind? Abandoning us all? That's cool. Otherwise, I'd never get a chance to say I have friends in the Scouts. Plus, I can see myself hitting the Ultras myself someday, like the Canadian Death Race. That one has my name all over it. (well, maybe my name carved into a tombstone)

 

 

What she hasn't told you yet is she's practically an ultramarathoner now- she's run far, far more than 7 mile stints over the last year. You've got this AwkwardActive.

 

And before you hassle encourage me, yes, I'll be getting my own challenge up soon. :)

 

Yeah, I'm ditching you kids at least for a few challenges while I focus on running. But I'll be checking in with everybody. OMFG Canadian Death Race looks so coool! There is a Mexico one too, not sure it's the same organization or not. I'd love to get into adventure racing. It looks amazing.

 

And you're totally right, I was just about to demand ask where your challenge was, but I'm glad to see you're back! How are the injuries coming along?

 

7 miles to 50k is quite a jump but you got time to do it.  In addition to the training plan, I would recommend a few things.  Train on similar terrain as the 50k as often as possible.  Same goes for elevation, a hilly 50k needs hilly training.  If you plan to walk during the 50k, practice your walk/run transition in training (it can be mentally hard to go from walking back to running).  And since this is a big bump in distance, if you need to cut back from your training don't cut the long runs (or long bike rides) which will be the most useful.  You can even get long distance effects from running more than once a day (which allows for some recovery but good practice for running on pre-tired legs which will make it easier in the "long run").

 

The funny thing is, although I feel like I should be worried about making the jump to an ultra... I'm kinda not. After everything I had to prep for the Ultra Beast last year, running through (comparatively) tame hills doesn't seem nearly as daunting. Plus I've got a few 20mile hikes under my belt as well and at least one day with 12+ hrs of running/hiking. This should be fun! And if nothing else a challenge.

 

Also, the course I choose for my first race is a loop course and pretty close to my house (~ 2hrs away) so I can get up there to train a few times. A bigger concern is the altitude for me, not the elevation gain (only 1500ft per 10 mile loop) but racing at 6000ft will slow me down. And that is where hiking in the mountains will come in handy! We have a number of 10,000ft peaks in close proximity.

 

 

Between the gym and the bike, you are making sure you always have a workout ready to go.  Way to set yourself up for later success.  

 

And good job taking care of your injuries.  If you take care of your legs, they'll carry you anywhere.   :peaceful:

 

Thanks! And that is certainly my plan.

 

It's funny that you said that, I remember running a triathlon and this volunteer/spectator said "just let your legs carry you" and it always stuck with me for some reason. I also PR-ed my 5k that day and won my age group so I kind of think of it as a lucky phrase/idea :)

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It's flex Friday kiddos! And that means..... I won't be posting a picture here because I never remember to take them. tee hee.

 

BUT I shall flex my consistency muscle (because that is a real thing and all...)

 

Anyway this week I'm really proud of myself for being consistent with my workouts and eating this week. And for not saying "fk it" when my achilles started acting up. So far I've done:

 

+ Cardio of some form every day of the week (except today because it's leg day and strength training is more important IMO than more time on the bike)

+ Core 3/3 times

+ Strength train 2/2

+ Foam rolling is only 1/3 so far but will be 2/3 by tonight and 3/3 after running tomorrow.

 

Also, my diet has been about 80% awesome with lots of veggies at each meal and only 1 grain (GF pb&j sandwich) 2 small bits of chocolate, and 2 drinks with dinner this week. Considering Aunty Flow was in town this whole week, that's pretty freaking phenomenal!

 

Now just to roll that consistency into the weekend.

 

 

With more information it sounds like the endurance part won't be too bad for you then (welll you should still train obviously :) ).

Pshhh nah... I'll just wing it. Kidding! So much kidding. I would die.

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Do leg day before your long run I said.

It will be fine I said.

 

I am a liar.

 

My legs are crazy sore, but I still managed to get in my 8 miles today (although I walked the last 1/2 mile because my tendon started to bug me). The run would have felt pretty easy were it not for the DOMS. Training within my aerobic heart rate is really slowing my pace down, but I'm willing to see this experiment through to the end in the hope that Matt Fitzgerald knows what he's talking about and that I'll eventually start to get faster. If anything it's showing me that I am not as fit as I thought I was.

 

I might cry trying to get my last foam roll session today.

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Monday! Weeee!

 

Sunday was a rest day after 6 days straight of working out. My body didn't really feel like it needed a rest day, but I chose to prioritize hanging out with my bf who I hadn't seen all week in the morning instead of going for a 40min run. Then I had to head into the office to work on a pitch for the agency, as always that took more time than I thought it would, so I chose to prioritize going into the week with enough sleep instead of riding the bike for an hour. Balance people, balance.

 

And now time for real talk with Awk:

 

Having a more mellow weekend * has allowed me to begin thinking about the big why of working out, the desire to get healthy, as well as the desire to get to a leaner state. And I think I've really (for once) figured it out. And it honestly has to do with my very strong sense of self-preservation and survival. Frankly, I'm not vain enough for aesthetics to motivate me. For many, the desire to look better is all they need. I am not one of those people. I need something deeper, than wanting to feel pretty in my own skin. Recently I've begun to notice a really disturbing trend among people my age and a little older, and that is really scary cancer and other life-threatening illness diagnoses. People in their late 20's and 30's who are fighting for their lives. I'll be 27 this July and I will do anything within my power to live as long as I can. Seriously. I don't say this to be glib. My biggest fear in life is death. I am not a "go silently into the dark" kind of person, I'm more of a kicking and screaming kinda person.

 

I realize that this may sound morbidly abstract for someone my age, but after some reflection that's where I realize my biggest motivation comes from. And recognizing this has me feeling strong and willing to put up with the small annoyances (minimal drinking and very low intake of tasty sugar things) for a much much larger picture. I can think of nothing so depressing as being inept in my old age, forcing those around me to care for me because I was too lazy to properly care for myself now. Or knowing that I'm going to get offed at 85 instead of 100 because I was simply too lazy and unmotivated to put down the god damn cookie and go for a walk. I need to begin treating my body as a long term investment instead of adding it to the list of items I'll deal with tomorrow.

 

So I'm starting today! More veggies, more healthy meats, less sugar, less alcohol, less excuses and bullshit to ease the present when my focus should be on the future. I'm tired of this half in bullshit that I've been allowing myself recently.

 

 

I realize that I am one of the few people who would call a weekend where I do a long run and put in a full day of work on Sunday a "mellow" weekend.

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I'll join you on that. This first week I didn't even give 100%, and I'm tired of not giving my all and pushing for what's better for me! Thanks for the motivation :D

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"I realize that I am one of the few people who would call a weekend where I do a long run and put in a full day of work on Sunday a "mellow" weekend."

 

One day, this will be me too. Love that I get inspiration from you. Thanks.

22nd level Wanderer

better is right here, right now

The Way

Here's to all the 1% increases in life!

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Paleo/Primal/athlete/health reboot day 2, and we're off to a good start!

 

Yesterday to kick off what I'm calling my health reboot I did a 24hr fast, partially because I had no food, and partially because they help focus me and show that I am in control and that my body will not wither without food every few hours. I almost caved at lunch time, but that feeling passed and by the end of the day I was able to get through an entire grocery shopping session without buying any crap. I meal prepped for a few hours, had an awesome healthy dinner (seared ahi tuna and kale.... I know I'm weird, but I really like kale) and went to bed early.

 

Today, up at 6am, took the pork shoulder out of the crock pot, but the brisket in, packed lunch and was out the door to the gym by 6:30am.

 

Legs done, core session 1/3 done, 30min low intensity bike ride done, foam roll session 1/3 done.

 

My achilles is feeling really close to healed, but I'm still going to alternate running and cross training for at least this week, maybe the next too. I notice it starting to twinge after about 35-40mins of running, so until that stops, cross training and daily icing it is! I'm also starting to think it might be an issue caused by my shoes, so tomorrow I'll throw on a different pair and run on the trails/grass instead of concrete.

 

Oh and here is something inspirational for all the ladies out there:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN7lt0CYwHg

 

 

One day, this will be me too. Love that I get inspiration from you. Thanks.

 

 

Awww thanks lovely!

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Nice job on the fast. And I like kale, too, though my food tastes aren't what most people consider normal, either. I think you've got a good plan on your achilles, too. There's lots of time to train, so best to start off with a everything in top form. There'll be lots of opportunity to find all new twinges later. :)

Quirky DM

My Battle Log: QuirkyDM going Quazy

"Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure."

 

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