Creating a Plan

Perhaps I’m jumping the gun trying to plan for a 100 mile race when I still have to get a 50 done in less than two weeks, but I like to think of it as being prepared. It also affords me some facade of control within the chaos that is my life (unless you have children you are not allowed to judge that statement…).

I’m very confident in my ability to set a training schedule for a half-marathon and shorter, and while not extremely confident, I know I’ve made a decent marathon plan before. I know when to concentrate on what systems and what kind of workouts and paces I need to hit. With a 100 mile race, I haven’t a clue.

There’s a lot of beginner plans out there, for folks that want to ‘finish’ their first 100. Perhaps it’s a bit of naivety mixed with a unhealthy portion of self-assurance, but I don’t want to just ‘finish’ my first 100. I want to rock out (as much as one can rock a 100 mile race…). I’ve gotten some advice from veteran ultra guys – some insanely fast, some not so much – but one of the big things everyone harps on is the back-to-back long run. Some have also suggested running late into the night, taking a brief nap and then getting out early in the morning.

Speed work is also given some thought, but less so than the back-to-back long runs. More often than it, it’s a threshold workout or a long tempo run followed by balls out miles, or a handful of repeat 200s.

Unlike the shorter races that I have built on 5/6 week cycles moving from one system to the next (thank you Jack Daniels), many 100 mile plans are based on 3/4 week cycles of 3 weeks hard followed by a week easy. This easy week is totally foreign to me. Except for a week before a race, or some off-season base building, there are no easy weeks. I’ve yet to find a concrete answer as to what the easy week is for other than a safety-catch for overtraining, but I’m going to incorporate it.

So between Sunday/Monday back-to-back long runs, a hill or tempo workout on Wednesday, and a whole bunch of filler, it would seem that I have a plan to get me to July 19th, but for some reason it’s kicking my ass.

I know plans can’t be static, and I plan on things changing, but it would be nice if I could dial it in just a little bit more…


11 thoughts on “Creating a Plan

  1. The longest distance I’ve ever done were 35 miles.
    Anything over 40 miles it’s so alien to me. I have the greatest admiration for ultra runners, how you find the time to fit those extremely long workouts, still baffles me.


  2. My coach employs the 3 build weeks 1 easy week. The easy week ALWAYS always get me feeling off and messed up, but it helps me in the long run. When we tried to ramp me up fast, I completely got overtrained in the total classic sense, couldn’t sleep, felt exhausted, HR was always up at 88, and just started to feel that odd feeling of desperation. Now, with the stupid easy week, this seems to not happen. Boy do I hate the easy week though….


  3. I have nothing to add because as far as mileage is concerned, I have never logged anything close to what you have, but I think you are amazing and I can’t wait to see how you do. I do agree with you on the whole finish vs. rocking out thing. That was my plan for the marathon before I got hurt. Now I’m in this weird place where part of me really wants to rock it as much as I can and the other part just wants to get through it without any further damage.


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