Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fine line

Training for ultras is similar to marathon training in some respects. I do less speed work for ultras and more of my speedwork is tempo rather than intervals. But, otherwise, my weekly mileage and mileage patterns and long run patterns are similar.

Where things differ is training when tired. When training for a marathon, if I find myself really tired, I often find it smart to back off and take a rest day. After 14 years of running ultras, I have a good feeling for the endurance required to finish a race. In marathon training, I'd often rather take a rest day when I'm tired, so that the quality of my subsequent workouts doesn't degrade.

But, I know that in a 100, I'll have to cover many, many miles when I'm tired. So, if I avoid running when tired in training, will I be prepared to do that in a race?

Yet, at the same time, it seems that the risk of injury and illness is higher if I train when I'm tired. Finding the balance, treading that fine line between when to train and when to rest, is a tough chore in ultra training.

Because training when tired is often the least fun type of training, it can be easy to skip those workouts. But, sometimes they need to be done. And sometimes, I really need the rest.

This morning, I was tired. Last Saturday's workout took more out of me than I thought it would. I rested Sunday and ran easy on Monday, but I lifted and ran yesterday. This morning, I really felt tired, but I got out for an easy 5 miles with the dogs. Tonight, I'll run another 7 at an easy pace. Tomorrow, I'll lift and run. By tomorrow night, I'm sure I'll be feeling really beat.

But then Friday, I'll sleep in and take a rest day. Saturday, I'll sleep in again and run easy before a long day on Sunday.

Hopefully, I can stay right on that fine line - doing as much training as I can, while staying healthy.

Oh yeah, my weight was down to 185 this morning. I'm about 5 pounds from my target weight for WS. I think it's clear that I could stand to lose more than 5 more pounds, but according to my body fat calipers, I'll be at 11% body fat if I get to 180. I don't think I look that lean, but I'm way leaner than a year ago. I have pictures to prove it. I'm just too embarrassed, at the moment, to post them here.

1 comment:

David Ray said...

Good info based on experience there. I appreciate the sharing.

The weight deal is impressive. As is the body fat percentage.