Don't stop believing. Keep the faith.
A good week. It started off very hot on Memorial Day (mid-90s), then got rather cool in the middle of the week (60s), and ended with basic warm temperatures (70s-80s). While I didn't get the total miles I wanted for the week, I did get in two runs over 10 miles long. That is a great start for me. No injuries and I'm ready to escalate training in June. May was a month of recovery and healing, June is for base-building, July is for pushing, August is sharpening and a taper for Howl at the Moon 8-Hour race. Here are my statistics for last week:
|Max Distance:||10.99 mi|
|Avg Distance:||7.46 mi|
|Avg Speed:||6.0 mph|
|Max Speed:||8.9 mph|
|Avg HR:||128 bpm|
|Max HR:||153 bpm|
|Avg Run Cadence:||78 spm|
|Max Run Cadence:||108 spm|
I've learned a few things that are guiding my training for the next 68 days (count down for August 11 Howl at the Moon). With these principles in mind, I'll be well positioned to train intelligently, remain uninjured, and achieve my race goals.
1. Total mileage and "time on feet" is more important than pace (speed). I don't need to run fast, I need to run. A lot. I need lots of miles. I need long runs. I need time on my feet. If this translates into a slow pace, that's fine. Ultramarathons are not about speed (except for the elites). Even my uber-goal of 50 miles in 8 hours in the heat can be achieved at 9:36 pace. It won't be easy, but it is doable. 9:36 is not fast. Holding it for 8 hours requires endurance and stamina, not speed.
2. Rule of specificity--train in conditions similar to the race. Training needs to reflect where you'll be racing. Trails or roads? Hills or flats? Heat or cold? Howl at the Moon is conducted on a 3+ mile loop course on a variety of surfaces--but mostly grass and dirt with a few road sections. It's basically flat with only a couple of minor hills. Being run in the middle of August in central Illinois, the weather will likely be oppressive--hot, humid, and sunny. I need to simulate these conditions in training. Running on easy to moderate trails with some exposure to heat and sun will be ideal.
3. Heat acclimatization takes time and can't be pushed. Unless I try simulated exposure to heat (sauna, heavy clothes, dryer vents, etc) I simply need to take the weather as it comes. By running more late afternoon and evening runs (rather than mornings when it's cooler), I'll adapt slowly to the heat. It takes time and can't be pushed. Fortunately, you only need about 10-14 days to truly acclimate.
I still have the faith and I won't stop believing. I can make my goal at Howl at the Moon! Sure would help if it's a cool race day. Can't control the weather, but I can control my attitude and my effort. I need to keep my eye on the prize...only 68 days until Howl. No room for stupidity.