Saturday, February 14, 2009

Training update: run commuting, sharpening, and staying injury-free

The past two months after running Hellgate 100K have been spent recovering, spending time with the family, and slowly building up my base with long, easy miles. I deliberately avoided racing this month so I could truly recover and refresh myself and as I enter the sharpening phase of my training, I am feeling great!

As you can see from this graph of my last three months of training, the weeks after Hellgate (appropriately marked red on the graph) were spent running easy and aerobic with no speed or tempo. My goal was to recover and heal any nagging kinks suffered from 100 mile and 100K racing before starting any faster running. About four weeks ago, Bill and I started adding tempo runs on Wednesdays---he is training for the Shamrock Marathon on March 22. This past Wednesday was my first track workout, and I had a great run: 3 x 1200 in 4:55 or less with 800 meter hill repeats in the middle of each 1200. Total time for each interval: 8:10, 8:07, 8:13, right where I want to be. I then ran over to the powerlines for a little "test" to see if I was back to pre-Grindstone fitness, and I ran four powerlines in :55, 1:00, :56, and :58, faster than my previous best. Wooo-hooo!

Today, while the masses were running Holiday Lake 50K, I ran a road 14 miler from my house that included 6 miles at tempo pace (7:15-7:20 per mile), two 4:00 hill surges, and the final mile at 7:00. As I had run 72 miles last week, I wanted to cut back this week and add some intensity, and I was very pleased with how I felt. The next 3-4 weeks will be spent in the 50-70 mpw range with more tempo, intervals, and hill repeats, and then a short taper for Terrapin 50K on March 28. My big goal for the spring race season is to break 9:00 at Bull Run Run 50 on April 18. If the weather is cool, I know I will have a great chance of going sub-9:00, but if it's warm, it will be a challenge. I last ran BRR in 9:00:17 in cool, rainy, muddy conditions in 2006. I am looking forward to seeing how my 100 mile training effect carries over into 2009!

My son has his driver's license now, so we are experimenting with a bit of run commuting for me. Yesterday, he drove the car to lacrosse practice after school (where I work as well) and I ran home. It was an easy 10 miles total on trails, dirt roads and asphalt and took me about 1:35...I even ran into Jeff Wilbur who was running loops around OHill! I can run a shorter, more direct route to work but I took the opportunity to run the longest route I could find to see how long it would take. Weather permitting, I plan to commute at least once a week to work so my kids can get to school with the big bro driving...sigh...they are growing up too fast! When lacrosse practice starts in two weeks, this will also be an ideal way to get in some long miles as my afternoons will be packed with practice.

Check out the March 2009 issue of Runner's World!! My orthopedic doc Bob Wilder and PT friend Jay DiCharry from the UVA Center for Endurance Sport are featured in an excellent article on staying injury free. All of the exercises that are demonstrated in the article are the same ones that I still do at least 2 x weekly ever since I went to their clinic in 2004 with ITBS suffered from running the Ring. Eric Magrum (another PT in the practice) put me through all the exercises and had me back running pain-free in 2 months, and 7 months after that, I finished my first 100 miler with no problems. I cannot say enough about how essential this core strength and balance training has been to my ultra success--I have not had an injury since that ITBS back in 2004, and I have run three 100s, four 100Ks and a bunch of 50s and 50Ks. I am a believer!

Stay healthy out there---spring is just around the corner!

7 comments:

farmgirl said...

Nice talking to you today...go look at my table...watch out for cars on your commute...see you soon...boundary says hi to jack...

SteveQ said...

I think the only way I can hope to run injury free is to stop falling (three broken bones last year!)

ultrastevep said...

Hi Sophie....

Back in the day when I was a faster road runner, 90% of my running was to and from work. 5 miles each way at an 8mpm pace (which was slow then, 25 years ago). An occasional long morning run to work to add to it and I was getting near 100 mpw, all at a slow pace! I would run a 2.5 mile race most weekends and with al this was running anywhere from a 2:49 marathon to a 4:55 mile on the track. It works, wish i could do it now but i live too far away from work now.

Good luck with it, it will really help getting those additional miles!
Steve

Rick Gray said...

Sophie, Wonderful training schedule. This will be your year at Bull Run and I will be pulling for that sub 9:00. Enjoy your running and keep having fun. Rick

running etc said...

Serious miles there, chica. And smart training.

Bull Run Run is in MAJOR trouble this year from you.

Andrew Speidel said...

Hey Sophie!
So Jack is becoming an ultrarunner as well? Cute pup...
My training is slowly progressing. Got some new shoes and am slowly easing into Flying Pig training. however, my Running Ahead chart is not nearly as impressive.

One of these days, I will get off my butt and update my blog :o(

Best to the family!
A

Stephanie said...

Just came across your blog - VA seems really beautiful. My husband and I most likely will be moving there this year.