Running this weekend should be interesting. I am so sore from Thursday night’s #HereToCreate class so I anticipate a very slow pace both today and tomorrow! Julian had us do a circuit style workout that included a little bit of everything – strength, agility, cardio, plyometrics, you name it!
Luckily I don’t have a crazy long run scheduled. Instead of a super long run today + a shorter run tomorrow (like I’ve been doing the past few weeks), I have 12 miles to do today and 10 tomorrow. So essentially two shorter long runs…if that even makes sense!
Anyway, today I just wanted to share a few lessons that I have learned so far in this ultra marathon training journey. They can be applied to any distance, really, but just some thoughts since I’ve been training for the Golden Ultra.
1. Be patient. I’ve said this a million times but adjusting to ultra training isn’t easy. We often measure our progress by how fast we can run and how many PRs we can set. I’ve learned that taking a step back and focusing on getting my mileage in takes precedence over any kind of speed right now. It takes a while to get used to this way of training but I’ve learned to just be patient and trust that my plan will get me to where I need to be come September.
2. Keep moving forward. Some runs are not going to feel good and that’s just the way it is. There’s going to come a point where my training runs become longer than any race I’ve ever run, even the marathon. I know the pain won’t be the same because I don’t push myself nearly as hard on my training runs but running 3-4 hours is never easy. The key is just to keep moving. Let your pace slow, do what you need to do to stay as comfortable as possible, and keep putting one foot in front of the other. The only way to finish is to keep moving, right?
3. Rotate your running shoes. This may not apply to everyone but I know that rotating my runners keeps my feet and legs happy. Running in the same shoes day after day can sometimes start to cause a bit of pain in my feet and calves so I try to rotate between 3 pairs at any given time. Right now I am in the adidas ultra boost, adidas energy boost, and HOKA Challenger ATR.
4. EAT. Before, during, after – just eat! I always thought less was better so it used to be normal for me to just grab a piece of fruit or something to eat pre-run (even on long run days). I also took minimal nutrition while on the run because I was convinced I didn’t need that many. I’ve changed my approach and feel SO much better on my runs these days. I always make sure to eat something sufficient before I head out for a long run – usually oatmeal or a big bowl of cereal with fruit. I also try to take a gel every 4-5 miles, which helps to keep my RUNgry levels in check. I no longer feel starving near the end of a long run because I’m actually taking in some calories.
5. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Some weeks are going to feel awful and motivation is going to be lacking. I experience this every few weeks. Sometimes I miss a run because I have other priorities and then have to try and figure out if I can squeeze it in another day. It’s hard not to become frustrated and upset that things are not going according to plan…but that’s life. I’ve learned to let go of my need to follow things so precisely and just do what I can with the time that I have. If I only run 40 miles in a week where I was supposed to run 45, who cares?? I still ran 40 miles! Training schedules might need to be slightly adjusted over the following weeks but it’s not the end of the world.
Thanks for reading and I hope you have a fabulous weekend!