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My name is Lauren Jones. And I am on the road to “Becoming Ultra in 2016”.
I decided to blog about my journey to run my first ultra marathon distance, the
Rim to Rim to Rim in early November. If you haven’t heard about this run it’s a doozy: 46ish miles, 11,000 feet elevation gain, down one side of the grand canyon up the other and back.
This decision came about as my husband and I were talking about New Years resolutions. We were looking back through some old pictures and wistfully thinking about how adventurous our lives used to be. We met on the highest chairlift in North American and spent our first years together snowboarding, mountain biking, rock climbing, backpacking, you name it around the world. We needed something big to do in the new year to get that adventure back and what better than a long run in one of the most beautiful places in the world?
So we did it. We announced to the world we would be taking on this endeavor and now we are committed. As a part of holding myself accountable I will be posting weekly about training for My First Ultra!
Well, first of all, I have a very specific philosophy when I train for events that is a little different than some of the mainstream thoughts on race training. I want to feel amazing the entire run. I want my body to know what to expect and to be confident that I can finish without problems.
So for me, this means running pretty close to the race distance at least once before the actual event.
I don’t like a lot of the coaching or training plans out there because they are structured is so that race day is the longest you will have ever ran. To me that just sounds crazy! Now I am talking mostly about runs under 26.2 miles. I know that an ultra marathon is a whole other animal. I know that a runner’s immunity is decreased after an ultra endurance event and that too much mileage in a short period of time is hard on the body.
However, I have 9 months to train. Plenty of time to slowly build a base, increase the distance of my long runs and then time to taper back within a couple weeks of the run.
If I do the math here is what I am looking at:
Right now my long run is up to 10 miles. If I just add 1 mile a week (well within the recommendation for 10-15% a week) with 42 weeks till the run I would be up to 52 miles for my long run!
My plan is to add 1-2 miles a week until I reach 30 miles, then add in 5 mile increments but stagger those longer runs with several weeks of shorter long runs in between until I can handle a 40-45 mile run. The thought being to challenge my body, then back off for a couple weeks, then challenge it again with a greater stimulus.
Also, I plan on running only 4 days a week on average. Yeah that’s right. I know, this sounds crazy too right? Well, it’s not. I want to make sure I give my body the breaks it needs to recover, repair and rebuild so my plan is to spend the other days cross training.
I will be doing 2 strength workouts a week, 1-2 pi-yo classes a week and then mixing in some swimming, mountain biking and other fun stuff with 1 dedicated day off a week. Some of my cross training will be devoted to building the skills and strength I need for my OCR events so this also means lots of monkey bars, pull-ups, bear crawls, carrying around heavy, awkward objects (like a sandbag, log or my kids!), and more fun stuff.
So that’s it for now.
Stay tuned for my first post at the end of the week with a recap of how my training went and thanks for joining along on this journey, I am so excited to get started!
– Lauren Jones (aka “Ultra mama”)