The main focus needs to be endurance. I need to have the ability to run for 8 hours without stopping. I may insert walking breaks, but I won't stop! To develop endurance, I need to have plenty of long runs in my training. My plan (thanks to my buddy Jeff) is to simulate the race day event by doing a long run Saturday morning at 7-9am, taking a break for 4 hours, then doing another long run from 1-3pm. The real race goes from 7am to 3pm. In training, I'll run 4 of those 8 hours. This should get me physically and mentally prepared for the 8-hour race. Plus, on Sunday, I'll toss in another 2 hour long run. To acclimate to the heat expected at Howl, I'll do many long runs in the heat of he day.
Endurance is the key to keep me moving forward for 8 hours, but endurance alone won't get me the pace I need to rack up lots of miles. To accumulate more miles, I need a faster pace. A faster race pace means I need more speed and stamina in my training. Tuesdays and Thursdays will be my "faster running days." For now, I think Tuesday will be speed-focused with track workouts, hills repeats, or fartlek runs. Thursday will be more stamina-based with either a tempo or progression run.
Of course, with hard workouts, you need rest too. Rest translates to recovery and rebuilding. Stress plus rest equals strength! Monday and Friday will be complete "off" days. Wednesday will be an easy recovery run.
Here's a quick example weekly summary...
60 minutes Track, Fartlek, or Hills
45 minutes Easy
60 minutes Tempo or Progression
2 hours at 7am,
2 hours at 1pm
Any thoughts on this plan? What would you add or subtract? I intentionally list runs by type and MINUTES rather than miles. This will keep me focused on the purpose of the run.
NOTE: Only 71 days until the Howl at the Moon race! It's going to be epic.