So my plan is to run the Bulldog 50k in just over 7 weeks. It's a pretty treacherous 2 loop course that has a 4 mile ascent in each loop and many miles of single track trails. Did I mention I'm not a trail runner, haven't run trails in 3 or 4 years. I do have a training plan set, I just hope I can stick with it. It's hard to stomach a training run that's basically a marathon, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
My plan is to run or cross train every day. I will have some lighter cross training days as my rest days, but I will be doing some form of exercise daily. MWF will be cross training days where I will either bike or elliptical and do some weight training. And I will get my miles in the remaining days. I'd like to run more but I don't want to risk injury. I would definitely rather be a bit unprepared than injured before I even get to start.
Tuesday will be my hills and trails day, focusing on getting used to running up and down repeatedly. I don't plan to do hill repeats because I'm training for a 4 mile ascent, so I need to practice longer hills. Luckily I have a 2 mile uphill 5 minutes away, so I'm going to get very familiar with that pavement. It also leads to trails so it's a pretty perfect route for me.
I still plan to incorporate one interval or tempo run into my routine although I'm not really worrying about speed for this Ultra, I just want to finish. But speed helps with endurance by maximizing aerobic power, so I'll do that run Thursday.
Then there are the long runs. What makes training for an ultra different from a marathon is 2 long runs a week rather than 1 long run and 1 recovery run. For instance, this Saturday I plan to run 15 miles for my long run. Normally I would do a 3-4 mile slower recovery run on Sunday but completing an ultra is all about time on your feet. I will run 7-8 miles Sunday giving me a total long distance of 22 miles or so and a weekly total of 35 miles. And every week that number goes up a bit. By week six I'll probably be running about 50 miles. That's a lot of time on my feet.
In a few weeks I will do a preview run of the course. I'll practice one loop and see how I like it. It's great for training, but I kind of like NOT knowing what I'm up against because I'll have more time to worry about it.
Stay tuned to see if my plan actually works...