Twenty nine days until I kickoff the Ragnar FL Keys relay for my team, 2 Bros & 10 Does. I knew it would come fast with the holidays preceding the race but the time for training is almost gone. I wish I were
faster stronger at this stage of the game but I’m not. I’ve come leaps and bounds from my “season of injury” and look forward to 2013 and making new memories.
Ragnar FL starts on Jan 4th and will be an amazing kick off to the new year! In preparation, I have been building my miles. Its been a very cautious process with the main focus on healthy running rather than just racking up miles
much to my dismay. I’m on a 12 person team so the mileage requirements are not excessive and I just need to focus on running 3 legs as well as I am able. The total mileage for those three legs will be approximately 17.5 miles (mileage totals vary per runner).
If you don’t know much about the Ragnar Relays, here are a few details.
- Race starts in one location and finishes approximately 200 miles away
- 12 person teams are the norm
- 2 vans will carry 6 team members each
- A 12 person team will require each runner to run 3 different legs
- No substitute/alternate runners after the race start
- If a runner gets injured/sick, the vanmates need to absorb the extra miles
- Runners need to maintain an 11 minute mile pace
- Race is nonstop day, night and into the next day
- Reflective vest are cool, required and save lives
- Teams support themselves with food/water/supplies
- Port-O-Pots run out of toilet paper
- Poor navigation resulting in lost runners/vans is the norm
- Vans smell bad with nasty runner funk – STAY AWAY
- Runners will turn on each other from lack of sleep & exhaustion
- Sleep is off/on or non-existant
- Showers are improbable
- Fast teams finish in the 24 hour range
- Normal/Slower teams finish upwards of 30 to 36 hours
Sounds exciting, right? Absolutely! Let’s do it!
In order to train for this event, I am in a different boat than most as I’m still “base building”. I can’t use an official training plan
but wouldn’t anyhow so I’m focused building my base, making sure I can run up to 10 miles at a time since my longest run will be just under 9 miles. I’m not very concerned about speed as my team is very low key and friendly about pace and I don’t need to worry about blowing the big win for anyone. I’m just running.
I’m also very focused on running on tired legs. I’ve been trying to run a little bit, as much as possible, even when I’m tired. Last week was the first week I added doubles to my routine where I’m running 2x in less than 24 hours. I only have one weekly double at this point, a WED evening (5pm) run followed by a THUR morn (4am) run but will add in a second double next week. My rest days will also decrease over the next 3 weeks. I will have very tired/heavy legs on New Year’s Eve and then the real “party” will begin and I will do basically nothing on Jan 1, 2 & 3. Then watch me fly off the start line on Jan 4th.
In order to prepare for a race where you need to give more than the norm, you have to be ready. You have to be confident you can run hard even when you are tired. You also have to know your body. You have to know your recovery interval. I know that it takes me longer that the young 20 something to recover. I know that most people would never take almost 3 days off before a race. I know that this actually works for me and there is nothing that I love better than to be able to start a race, push the limits and not have fatigued legs pushing back. It’s almost like flying but of course, I had to learn the hard way. 🙂
Do you ever run “doubles” when training for a taxing event? What is your ideal amount of time for recovery?
Please note that I’m not a certified running coach, I just try to listen to my body and learn from previous mistakes made by myself and others. If you need to talk to a certified running coach then please search the Road Runners Club of America “Find A Coach” section HERE. If you are local, then I know a few in Chicagoland.
** Happy Training ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** firstname.lastname@example.org