Ultra Training Advice from Karl King

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Bruce Kidd
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Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 10:35 pm
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Ultra Training Advice from Karl King

Postby RonPerth » Fri May 26, 2006 7:48 pm

Picked this up from the Ultra digest today which some of you may read, but most don't. There's a lot in here, something for almost everybody.

Subject: Training Question?!?! Hey everyone, I'm in the thick of training for Vermont ( my 1st hundred), and so far it's going well. May 14th I did a 40 mile run with 10,000' gain and loss. Felt real good, and took 7 1/2 hrs. Then last weekend I came down with a nasty cold, and couldn't run for 6 days. I had another 8 hr. run set up for sunday, as I've been doing the bigger runs every other week, with a 16-20 miler on the odd weeks. I'm thinking maybe I should do the 8 hr. jaunt next weekend instead so I've got a little more time to get over this cold. My ten miler felt great today ( my head was a little squirrley from six days off!), but the cold's still lingering. Anyhow, that would make three weeks between long runs, and my inner-whipmaster has a hard time with that! Any advice from you grizzled vets' would be much appreciated.--------------------John

John, Endurance is slow to build and slow to fade. If you've worked up to a 40 mile run with 10,000' of gain and loss, you are probably ready to run a 100 and just need to maintain until you start your taper. In fact, your cold may be a forewarning of overtraining. Were I in your shoes, I'd take the extra time off without worry and make sure that the cold is gone before doing more really long runs. That would be insurance against piling on more work and then finding that when you get to VT that you are too fatigued for a good run. One other thing to consider: long runs are more valuable in training your endocrine system to respond to stress than anything else. If you want to train your muscles to work hard, go run a fast half marathon. So how long do you have to run to stress your endocrine system? Generally anything over 16 miles will do, and running more than 24 miles is getting past the point of diminishing returns. Longer long runs are good for the mental aspects, but if you've run 40 miles you have a picture of what it feels like to go long, and you don't need to repeat that a lot. Besides, the fatigue you feel at 40 miles is not much like what you'll feel at 75 miles in the early morning, so running for 8 hours won't help you in that regard anyway. Instead of running very long, you might want to work on some other training runs that would be specific to Vermont. How about doing a night training run where you start at dusk and go for 20 miles? How about practicing getting in and out of an aid station fast? VT has lots of aid stations and if you linger at each one, you'll add a lot of time to your run. Can you arrange to hit every other one? Sometimes VT is very hot and humid. Maybe you should train in the heat of the day so you are ready for hot weather if that is what you get on race day. You've put in a lot of miles and built up to an ultra distance already. Now you've got a cold. It may be better for you to forget about the long, long runs and work on recovering some so that you are ready for a good run on the day that counts. Karl King www.succeedscaps.com

I had to laugh, "if you've run 40 miles you have a picture of what it feels like to go long, and you don't need to repeat that a lot."
Also notice how Karl picked up that the lingering cold might be a sign of overtraing.


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