Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Bourbon Chase: Training

It's called the "Jogger" schedule, which, to me, implies novice. But, the plan from the folks at Bourbon Chase looks nothing like a beginning runner plan. Each week has five to six days of running per week and strides. Lots and lots of strides. The mileage is fairly low on the plan, most runs less than 5 miles but it's intimidating nonetheless.

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.

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• 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.

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• 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!

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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 9

Monday: 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 10

Tuesday: 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 11

Tuesday: 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

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