Sort of like running a relay.
Having run two before (Hood to Coast 2013 and Bourbon Chase 2014), I had an idea going into training this year with what it takes to do an event like this. A good endurance base, experience running on tired legs and the ability to run whenever on whatever terrain.
As my total mileage for the race will be 15 miles, too, I knew I should be able to come close to running that distance on a long run. Knowing the terrain of the Chase, I knew I needed to be serious about hills. And the threat of cutoffs, I wanted to have some fire in the legs.
So my weekly plan shaped up to be a little like this:
• Easy run with strides at the end. This run was usually in the 4- to 5-mile range.
• Mid-week quality run. This run, more often than not, was a combination of hills plus speed at a local cemetery. Initially, I wanted to alternate between shorter intervals and hills but an experienced runner encouraged me to combine the workouts. Example: Run loop with hills, recover, hit perimeter of the cemetery for 400s. Alternately, I would run a fartlek – 1 minute hard, 2 minutes easy – over a hilly course. I tried to make sure that I ran at least 5 miles on this day but preferred to do at least 6.
• Mid-week run with the BRF. We usually run 5 miles at a whatever pace. If we were particularly grumpy or excited, we did them faster. If we were tired, we ran them slower.
• Long run. I slowly built my endurance to get in half marathon shape. Every third week, though, I split the long run so that I could do a double. Hurt so good.
I'm feeling really good with where it left me. I felt strong on the small rollers when I ran the Muncie Mini-Marathon, and I had a faster than expected race at Fort4Fitness. My endurance is on point, too, and I finish long runs tempted to keep going with my marathon-crazy buddies. But, I don't.
An aside, as they had a cutback week this past Saturday, I ran all 12 miles with them. The pace slowly crept up the last few miles and I decided to go for it the last half mile. We finished with an 8:50. Holla!
Here's how the last few weeks of running have looked like. I didn't have as many quality workouts between racing and tapering but that's how it be.
Week 9Monday: 3 miles with Tami, 9:58 pace
Tuesday: 5 miles, 9:40 pace
Thursday: 4.2 miles, with strides, 9:39 pace
Saturday: Fort4Fitness Double Play – 10K at 8:49 pace and 4-mile race at 9:20 pace
Week 10Tuesday: 5 miles, 9:41 pace
Thursday: 5.52 miles, 9:26 pace
Friday: 4.25 miles, 9:31 pace
Saturday: 13 miles, long run, 10:01 pace
Week 11Tuesday: 5.25 miles, 9:02 pace (1-2-3-4-5 intervals)
Thursday: 6 miles, 9:28 pace (hilly route)
Friday: 4 miles with Tami, 9:47 pace
Saturday: 12 miles, long run with strong finish, 9:55 pace