Monday, December 17

Ultra-marathon Training Programs

“… lessons learned the hard way, Thomas, this is for you. Please note, I’ve included what I did, definitely not what I should’ve done, and I haven’t checked my arithmetic. I hope this will give you some comfort in what you’re doing, and if nothing else provide you with a laugh”.

I found my logbook this evening, not one of the black ubiquitous Blueline A9 Series that sit on the shelf, but a uniquely unexceptional book, one where I record my greatest lessons learned.

I open it randomly and find John Treacy’s 15-week Marathon Training Guide. I recall pasting the schedule in and being stunned at the prescribed volume, week 13 peaking at 54 miles. I smile aware that the numbers haven’t changed, only my perspective. I flip to the last page and find my Flora London Marathon 2007 finishers certificate, “Runner number 991 successfully completed the Flora London Marathon on the 22nd April, 2007”. I ask myself what I learned that day.

I flip through and find a tattered page, inked numbers already fading, where I’d recorded my mileage for the 2003 White River US National Trail Championships (50 miles). Lessons learned/reinforced, a) don’t race injured, b) don’t go out too fast; c) the mind is stronger than the body. Why this race, I’d made the mistake of chatting to Scott Jurek while racing my first ultra earlier that spring, he inspired me. I shouldn’t have been so gullible (although he did buy me a beer).

I continue toward the middle of the book, passed my West Coast Trail Odyssey, the Harrier’s Elk/Beaver 50k Ultra and the Half Knacker arriving at was is probably my favorite trail event, the 50k Knee Knackering North Shore Trail Run (5:43:39).

Training: day off (unscheduled, I’m learning)

Okay, I need help, how do I paste an Excel document (sorry Thomas, you'll have to wait)?


Mark said...

I noticed many "Day Off" entries and the volume appears less than your current.

Many ways to do this, here is one: For Excel just hightlight copy and paste into Paint. Then crop the area and save as a .jpeg.

Your two .bmp's appear to be of a spreadsheet format, so I don't quite understand your question.

Hope this helps.

Thomas said...

You're a star, man! I owe you a big one.

This is already very interesting. I'm rather impressed by those 4-hours-plus training runs. I've never done any of those, and I'm still undecided if I will.

As for pasting an excel document, one option is to upload it into Google Docs and link to it.

Michael said...

Thanks Mark. Yeah, I thought of the "copy-paste" into Paint about 5' after my initial post, the only difference being saving it as a .bmp rather than a .jpeg (next time, I think I’ll post my build up to Phoenix).

The numerous “day’s off” were due to a) having not run much the 1 ½ years prior and b) a throwback to my triathlon days. I really think it helped. Running those races really aided in revitalizing my interest to “train” for the Ottawa marathon in 2006 and definitely helped build the foundation.

Thomas, be cautious with the 4h runs (I think you’re on the right track with your training). White River is a very nasty race with over 9,000 feet of elevation gain (18,000 feet of change).

Cliff Tam said...


I feel the same way with Thomas when I saw the 4 hr easy training run.

If you want a free program that is easier to use than paint, try Irfanview (search online). I find it I can print screen and crop pics much faster than paint.

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