I am 3 weeks out from my 2nd 50k (7 months apart). This upcoming race couldn’t be more different from the last, and I am engaging an entirely different training approach.
Last training cycle I injured my knee and at that time the doctor told me after an MRI that long distance running was not in the cards for me. I worked with some awesome PT’s and started running MUCH slower. I was able to finish my race, but not pain free.
After my race on November 14, I took November through January off from running and shifted my focus to strength training. (I did I ran 1-2 times a week, never far, never fast.)
This time around I wanted to play around with run/walk intervals, aka the Galloway Method. I am pretty prone to overuse injuries and after all the discussions with my PT I admitted I would rather go long distance than train to run faster. My training buddies (Hi, Sam and Kelcey 👋🏻) and I started applying a run/walk interval plan to our weekend long runs. We played with different intervals 12/3, 11/2 and landed on 11:30 and 2:30.
I am really surprised by the differences. My knee has yet to be an issue, my foot pain has been very manageable/non-existent at times, but most of all the recovery time after long runs is amazing! We just completed 20 miles on Sunday and I felt great afterwards, tired, but no muscle soreness or stiffness. Even with run/walk intervals our average pace is between 10-11 min miles.
This next 50k is very different. The Smith Rock run had approx. 5000ft of elevation and was very mountainous. This upcoming run is on the Hiawatha Trail, and will have half the elevation. But also has a cut off time so we will be running much more of it, vs. power-hiking like on Smith Rock.
Things I have been doing different this time around:
- less weekly mileage
- Fatiguing my legs with heavy squats and deadlifts vs. upping my weekly mileage
- Less running on the trail 😢 this is helping my knee by avoiding too much impact
- Run/walk intervals for long runs
- Less speed work
- Tracking my nutrition more closely
I had a lot of fun running trail 2-4 times a week last year, but my knees and ankles took a beating! This training cycle does feel a little more like training and a little less like just having fun in the mountains, but I think that’s also the training fatigue and longing for nice weather talking!
After we finish our 50k, I plan to shift my focus to a body composition goal/more lifting, and the freedom to run/bike/mtb/hike/swim/etc. whatever sounds right at the time 👌🏻