I had planned on trying for an 18-20 mile run yesterday that didn’t happen in the end – lack of sleep kicked me in the teeth again and the heat/humidity would have been pretty brutal anyway. My backup plan was to run this morning instead – I was certainly up early enough (4am? Why?!!) but had a vicious headache that didn’t clear up until almost 7 – and it required Advil (which is not a wise thing to take prior, during or right after really long runs). (also discovered a worm issue that the pups have unfortunately – going to have to take them into the vet this afternoon to get that sorted – should be a straightforward fix but it takes time)
So after getting some productive stuff done earlier this morning, I have been sitting here beating myself up and getting frustrated that I am not getting in the mileage I want to. I figure I need to come up with a plan – otherwise I am going to keep struggling and remain unfocussed. I need to fix this.
Time to get creative – coffee and the laptop on the balcony and enjoying some cooler weather and brainstorming ideas on how to ramp up the training and motivation so that I can do well at the 12 hour Lemming Loop the first weekend of October. I just missed 50 miles last October and want to beat that this year. So I am starting with determining my goals, figuring out what is in my way and finding a path forward.
Goals – I want to break 50 miles and preferably break 52.4 (double marathon) – and 60 would of course be awesome.
So how do I get there without throwing all my time at running. I want to enjoy the running and not grow to resent the time it means I will be spending away from the family.
I am currently finding it hard to train 5 days a week while thinking about spending 5-7 hours a weekend running. It wouldn’t be too bad if I could feel energized enough to run when I let the dogs out in the morning – but unfortunately I am getting less than 5 hours sleep a night at this point and that is impacting all areas of my life – running, diet, work, everything.
So there are the obstacles – lack of sleep, I’m not enjoying running as much right now and I am resenting the time I am running as something that is taking me away from my family (and hobbies I have let slide too for that matter – look at this way – I have essentially been trying to maintain and train for almost 3 years straight now – time to shake things up!).
So first off I need to get sleep. I have to find a plan to get that done. I’m not sure the path forward on this yet but I may have to start going to bed an hour or 2 earlier than I do now – probably a good start. Plus I have 2 weeks of vacation coming up at the end of July…there will be napping…there will be much napping.
I also want to find a way to back off to 4 days of running a week while still training the long distance endurance. This would give me more time with the family and for doing other hobby stuff. Both of which should give me more energy all around. There is always talk about work / life balance but if you are constantly training for long distance running events you need to find a run / life balance as well.
But how to make 4 days of running a week work? From what I have seen that would most likely mean dropping speed work – or at least dedicated speed work days. The best I can tell is that many ultra runners don’t spend a lot of time on speed work. The long runs are key.
With that in mind my general game plan is going to be to stop doing dedicated speed work for now but add some speed intervals into other runs.
Roughly I am figuring for July:
Monday – rest day – swimming
Tuesday – medium distance on the treadmill – 10 miles done at a strong pace and with speed intervals
Wednesday – rest day – swimming
Thursday – medium distance on the treadmill – 10 miles done at a strong pace and with speed intervals
Friday – rest day – swimming
Saturday – medium long distance outside – 13.1 miles with some speed push
Sunday – 3-5 hours running outside at a slow pace with practice for run/walk intervals – 18 – 30 miles.
This gives a total of approx. 51-63 miles a week over 4 days – I am hoping this is sustainable even if I don’t get the sleep sorted out.
If I do manage to get some sleep (and consequently some energy) then I will be looking at adding more mileage in August. This would most likely consist of adding morning runs before heading to work on Wednesdays and Fridays for sure and potentially Mondays. There is the potential there to drive me up to 7 days a week which might be overtraining so I will have to watch that and adjust accordingly.
For August I would like to try to get in one training run of about 6 hours in length – I’m not sure if I will do that outside or break it up into a few chunks with some time outside and some time on the treadmill.
The rest of the August runs should follow the basic cycle laid out for July but with an attempt to complete them a bit faster and recover a bit quicker.
September is a bit up on the air so far.
If all goes well in July and August I will be looking at whether or not I should do the Treherne marathon at the beginning of September. I would like a little bit of revalidation after the Manitoba Marathon and this could be the race to do it. I will need a long run that weekend anyway as part of training and I can maybe use this race as that training run. I kind of swore that I wasn’t going to do this race though as the majority of it is run on country back roads and if it rains it could suck pretty heavily. I will be looking closer at that race in August.
Two weeks after the Treherne marathon there is a half marathon here in Winnipeg that I have done the last 2 years running (Fort Garry Rotary Half) and I will be tempted to do this race as well to get a better half time than I did on the WPS Half Marathon back in early May. But it is also only 2 weeks out from the 12 Hour Lemming Loop at that point and I’m not sure I want to do a race that close and risk injury or burning out. Also, if I’m not doing speed work then it it is a bit of an unknown on if I could beat my WPS Half time or not anyway. Plus I might want that day as my last long training run before the Lemming Loop.
Lots of decisions to make – if everything goes really well I might do both of those races but if I find I am struggling with the distances I need to run I will concentrate on training for the Lemming Loop instead. Those decisions will come in August. Until then I need to ramp up the longer runs while staying healthy and motivated…and getting sleep.
To help energize myself more for running I need to get back in touch with other hobbies so that it doesn’t seem that all I am doing is running and working. So I am going to start playing with writing and photography more. Also, more playing with the kids, more time with my wife, more training the dogs, more time doing other stuff besides obsessing about running.
Ok – I think I found the path forward – now to make it happen!