The Road to UROC and the MegaBase (Training, July 8 - 14)

This week, I flipped my plans around and decided that I'll race the Ultra Race of Champions (UROC) the last weekend of September near Vail, CO.  After a lot of racing in May and June, I'm now hitting a long training buildup for an ultra season this fall.  I initially thought I would run the Chicago Marathon in October, taking a first crack at the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials standard of 2:18:00, before racing some ultras in October – December.  But instead, I'm foregoing Chicago to race 100 kilometers at UROC.  I was hesitant to race this because it's all at 10,000-12,000 feet.  That is pretty freakin' high.  But I've got some plans to address my lack of altitude—mainly a two week Colorado visit in August and heading out a couple weeks before UROC in September to acclimate.  It's not ideal, but it will do.  In the end I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to race what should be one of the most competitive ultras in the world this year.

Despite racing fairly well this spring as I came back from a 10-month injury layoff, I felt pretty poor in training most of the time.  Between that and racing a lot in May/June, I'd really only been running 50-80 miles a week all year.  But with not much racing scheduled for the summer, I knew I was finally ready to get after it a bit mileage-wise.  After a bit of a down week last week, coming off a long stretch of races capped by pacing duties at Western States, I ramped it up this week.  Finalizing UROC on my schedule lit an extra fire to really start cranking out the miles.

I may have mentioned on this blog before that back in my attorney days, I daydreamed of how I would train if given ample time.  I formulated a long Fundamental Phase (to use Canova parlance), which I termed the MegaBase, as all ambitious undertakings should have a cool title.  It involved essentially a 4-5 month period where I would get the mileage up to 140-150 per week and incorporate a host of other work: light aerobic workouts, hill work, functional strength and dynamic stability routines, prehab therapy, etc.  When I quit my job as an attorney in early 2012, that was the plan—which was quickly derailed by a freak Achilles injury.  Well I'm finally ready to hit the MegaBase.  It will be a bit different than originally envisioned due to intermediate race goals and the like.  But the basic structure and guiding principles will remain.  Since I'm not doing much racing the next few months, I think I'm going to blog the training for this period.  I'll try to take the opportunity in future posts to explain why I'm doing certain things in my training as well, especially as I add more ancillary work and workouts.

Monday: AM - 8 miles easy, Functional Strength Routine 1 (FS1) - Boulevards.
PM - 10 miles moderate - Lakefront path.

Tuesday: AM - 16 miles moderate - Lakefront path.

Wednesday: AM - 10 miles moderate - Lakefront path.
PM - 8 miles easy - Boulevards.

Thursday: AM - 13 miles moderate, FS2 - Boulevards + Bloomingdale Trail + Humboldt Park.
PM - 5 miles easy, including 8 x 100m strides and light drills - Lakefront Path after work.

Friday: AM - 12 miles moderate - Lakefront path.
PM - 7 miles easy - Boulevards, just two hours after I finished my first run—busy day.

Saturday: AM - 9 miles easy - Boulevards + Bloomingdale Trail.  Pretty tired from a late night seeing Bob Dylan in the 'burbs.

Sunday: AM - 22 miles moderate - Fatigue from the high mileage week and burning the candles at both ends catching up with me.  Struggled through it though at a solid pace, about 6:10s avg. and a fair number of miles sub-6.

Total: 120 miles

Summary: I took to this a bit better than anticipated.  I need to rest more and drink less beer than I did this week, but I should be just fine adding a few more doubles for next week.  As long as I keep the pace easy on the second run (we're talking 7:45-8:00 pace), I'm feeling alright day to day.  I'll be a bit tired for my quality run the next day, but don't really have a problem running 6:00-6:30 pace.  Hopefully after a month or so of the 130-150 mpw range, I'll be conditioned to it enough to start adding some workouts as well.