Fast forward 6 months and I am here, ready to compete. Physically and mentally. I took the better part of those 6 months making my core stronger and didn't force any training. I wanted it to be "organic", as some people would say, and run what felt good. I have skied more than 30 days this year, skate skied a dozen times, and did my core routine every morning. The cross training been refreshing to say the least.
January is when I really started to pick up more of a running routine by adding two tempo runs each week along side my metabolic efficiency run and tempering each with a heart rate monitor. But most important were those easy/recovery runs in between where nothing mattered except breathing, pumping the blood, and pumping GodSmack into the brain.
What I've seen is my heart rate go down while my pace picked up. Here's an example: My metabolic efficiency run consisted of a 15 mile trail run -1200 ft of climbing- with no calories in my system and only 90 calories (in the form of EFS drink) during the run while keeping the heart rate around 140 bpm. Here is the progression:
- January 7th - 8:21 pace (avg 140 bpm)
- January 16th - 8:20 pace (avg 140 bpm)
- February 1st - 7:59 pace (avg 137 bpm)
- March 18th - 7:45 pace (avg 139 bpm)
One important thing to point out about these numbers is that once I incorporated tempo stuff twice a week (2nd week in January), I became more efficient at a faster pace while the heart worked at the same rate. Common sense. I believe in speed work for ultra runners. I don't like to be hooked up to the gadgets but I've become used to it and feel I am training smarter, not harder, because of it. Over the past 3 month build up to The Buffalo Run I have been able to put in 740 myles (Jan 245, Feb 305, Mar 190) and continually feel stronger. I firmly believe this has everything to do with my off season strengthening as well as balancing easy and hard workouts.
My goal was to be able to run a 7:20 pace for 5 hours leading up to this race while keeping the HR under 150. I didn't quite get there but I did put down a 7:24 pace for 4.40 with HR of 148 - almost! SO if I stay within my limits on Saturday I know I will lay down a good time. Not gonna make a prediction because if I do then mother nature will lay down something nasty of its own.
HUMRs will be in full force Saturday
I look forward to seeing all my friends and sharing a few beers!