Okay, so it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.
Despite the typical burning quads, achy knees, extreme fatigue, unquenchable thirst and mild headache I usually experience during trail races, I had a really great race on Saturday at the Finlayson Arm 25K (actually 28K) trail race.
The thing I love about trail races as opposed to any road race is that you get to make friends out on the trail. You’re going slow enough and you’re out there for long enough that you can actually chat with other runners for a few hours, which makes the time go by quicker and makes the race far more enjoyable. That, and I find trail runners are far more friendly in general on the course than road runners are. Even the lead racer who passed me somewhere around the 13 km point said “great job” as he flew by. And words of encouragement were exchanged by every single runner after that.
Since Debbie and I ran the course two weeks ago, I generally knew what to expect. I’ve run these routes and hiked Mt. Finlayson many times, so I was well prepared to tackle the elevation challenges on the course. I wasn’t sure how it was going to be after Holmes Peak to Jocelyn Hill, but it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. (more…)
Today I’m featuring part II of the strength training workout I’m doing as part of training for the Finlayson Arm 25K trail race. Last Wednesday I shared the workout I’ve been doing on Mondays, which focuses on upper body and core as it comes after my long run day. Today I’m going to share my Wednesday workout, which incorporates upper and lower body supersets, as well as core work. Wednesdays are my heavier days, so I use 50 lbs weights and perform only 6-8 reps. However, you can use something lighter (10-20 lb dumbbells) and still benefit from the strength training exercises — just perform 10-12 reps for 3 sets instead.
Last week I shared my 25K trail race training plan, and aside from the usual mid-week and weekend long runs on the trails, you might have noticed I also included three days of strength training per week. Just as strength training is important for runners training for marathons held on paved roads, it’s also important for runners racing on the trails — even those racing an ultra distance.
Although fitting strength training in to ultramarathon training can be tricky, it’s doable and totally worth it. According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, some of the benefits of adding strength training to marathon training include faster recovery from injury, prevention of overuse injuries (which is one of the most common injuries ultrarunners experience), and a reduction of muscle imbalances. Besides providing preventive benefits, strength training can also help runners increase their power output, which comes in handy when climbing hills. (more…)
Monday – 35-40 minute upper and lower body strength circuit
Tuesday – 30 minutes of HIIT or an easy 45-minute run
Wednesday – 35-40 minute upper and lower body strength circuit
Thursday – Easy 45-minute run
Friday – 35-40 minute upper and lower body strength circuit
Saturday – 1 hour hike, 30 minutes of yoga or a rest day
Sunday – Easy 45-minute run or a rest day
Although my fitness-related goal for this year is to work on yoga inversions, I love having an event or something to train for as it gives me something tangible to work towards. Plus, I love participating in races – the nervous excitement, the runner camaraderie, the race shirt and medal, a sense of accomplishment… who doesn’t love the race-day experience?