Training update: 2 steps forward, 1.8 steps backMarch 11, 2008
Since December I’ve been working on a long, gradual training buildup in preparation for my next big ultramarathon. It’s been a nice change from last year’s crazy sequence of recovering from one race, training hard for a couple of weeks, and then tapering for the next one. And it seems to be working. For example, my times for a standard 3x1600m track workout (with 400m jogs in between) have finally returned to the 4:55 range after being stuck at around 5:00 for months.
But that’s still a far cry from the 4:51s that I did in January 2007, six days after the Bridle Trails 50K.
The rest of my training data tell a similar story. There are many indications of progress, and just as many reminders that my fitness is not what it once was. Another good example is last Saturday’s long run at Seward Park. My rule of thumb is that, if I want to average a certain pace in a 100K, I should be able to run 5 seconds per mile faster than that in a 36-mile solo training run over race-like terrain when somewhat (but not fully) rested. The race pace I had in mind was 6:30, so I tried for 6:25s over the course of alternating flat and hilly loops. I had to settle for 6:33s.
On the other hand, my legs felt less trashed than they usually do after a workout like this.
So what does that mean, exactly? That my Mad City race will be slow but will hurt less than usual? I guess I’ll find out in a few weeks. In the meantime, I’m trying to find satisfaction in my incremental improvements, trying not to get frustrated.
It seems that 100Ks are all about patience. Who knew?