Training for TNFEC. Part 3 of 3

Training for TNFEC. Part 3 of 3

Training for TNFEC – 5 weeks’ out

More vertical to the final touches

The focus for November is to continue getting stronger by climbing moreIMG_5355 and also adding more speed work to help with cruising pace.  I started the month coming off a solid week of 87 miles (longest to date for this race) so the first week was treated more as a rest week.  I had a few active recovery days scheduled into the week which was basically power-hiking at 12% on the treadmill.  I was able to get close to 2000’ of vertical in each session and also allow my legs to bounce back from the prior week’s volume.

FullSizeRenderBy the weekend I was feeling fresh and ran a 25k trail race in Huntsville State Park.  It was a chance for me to practice with race day nutrition and get into racing mode again. The terrain is rolling hills, mud, sand, single track trails,  and jeep roads.  I had a blast and chose to go in costume as Rambo.  I love doing random things and acting like a fool once in a while to get people to laugh.  It’s fun to me and I had the intentions of writing a funny race report but never came around to getting it done as I got too busy the next week with work.  Placed 1st in 1 hour 40 minutes.

Week two was a tough week as I battled side stitches at the beginning of every run.  I think I must have aggravated something from the trail race.  It took a couple miles of easy running and control breathing to work through it to where I wouldn’t have a sharp annoying pain in my side (right rib cage area).  I go through this about once a year and not sure what exactly causes it.  It usually lasts a couple days and then I don’t notice it anymore.  I still had some really good hill speed sessions and a solid marathon intensity build-up long run that made me more confident physically and mentally.  Wee two was about 75 miles with 12,000’ of climbing.  Most of the pros running in TNF are averaging 12’000 or more per week and around 80 miles.  I’m feeling good and where I need to be.

I started to get run down into the end of week three and beginning of week four as I was dealing with some stressful times with work.  My work has really picked up and I’m trying to balance everything, but work comes before running and unfortunately as a result I’m not getting the proper rest I need between workouts.  I managed to get in a decent amount of mileage and hills the third week but it eventually caught up with me.  By the fourth week I was tired and not feeling fresh for some of the tougher workouts and unable to complete a couple.  It was discouraging and frustrating as it seemed like my body was breaking down just a couple weeks out from the race.  I was walking a fine line so my coach suggested that I prioritize rest and sleep given how close we are to the race.  His advice to me was, sleep is the best performance enhancer so aim to get as much quality sleep as possible.  He reassured me that I’ve had an excellent build-up so far and gave me some other workout options to do if I felt tired.  I basically started an early taper about two weeks out.

About a week out from the race I had a 15 mile run that was intended to be a dress rehearsal for the race.  I think it’s extremely important to go through a dress rehearsal to make sure everything is planned out for the race.  The last thing you want to be is uncomfortable for seven hours and having to deal with challenges that could have been avoided.  I nailed it and had zero issues.  I also felt fresh the entire run which was motivating that I had finally got out of the funk I was in.

Average miles for this month: 65 per week.    Average vertical: 12,000’

My favorite workout this month: 5-4-3-2-1 20+ miler marathon build-up long run.  Start with 5 miles at marathon effort with 1 mile recover, and then repeat for 4 miles with rest, 3 miles with rest, 2 miles with rest, and 1 mile as the fastest.  These longer intervals at marathon efforts really help me feel strong mentally and physically.


IMG_5356Turkey Trot 1 mile run with the kiddos. Kaitlin’s first one mile race at 4 years old.

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