JFK 50 Buildup Week

As the JFK 50 quickly approaches, I have been reflecting on what I have done between ultras. The goal is to maintain the fitness level I reached this summer without breaking down too much to compete optimally. When there is only about a month between ultras, a perfect blend of recovery time and build-up is necessary. After the Fall 50, I took the first four days of the following week off from running, but then I quickly got my mileage back up to typical levels.

By the start of the second week post–Fall 50, my legs felt good enough to put them through the full grind once again. I firmly believe in keeping your legs accustomed to the magnitude of peak training, but you have to be careful to not cross that fine line to injury and burnout. What I do is try to get one week every three weeks in which I hit high, ultramarathon-level mileage. Below is the eight-day stretch where I covered 175 miles that I consider this phase of my training this time around.

Day 1 AM: 20 mile long run
PM: 5 mile easy run
Day 2 AM: 10 mile easy run
PM: 10 mile easy run
Day 3 AM: 10 mile easy run
PM: 13 mile easy run
Day 4 10 mile easy run
Day 5 AM: 20 mile long run with hill training
PM: 10 mile easy run
Day 6 30 mile long run
Day 7 15 mile easy run
Day 8 22 mile long run with hill training

For those of you who read my blog post for the build-up week I did before Fall 50 will notice that I did similar mileage, but a few more workout-type runs in that week. I did this for two reasons: First, I bounced back faster after TNF Madison 50 because I did not break down my muscles as much during that race as I did at Fall 50. Second, I had one more week of training leading up to the Fall 50 than I do for the JFK 50. I believe that the human body can be trained to accomplish amazing feats, but I am also quite aware of the dangers of overtraining and breaking down too soon. With the JFK 50 being my third ultra in a nine-week period, I want to make sure I don't overdo it too much leading into this race. At this point in time, I believe I need to trust my base training, along with the positive effects of the muscle growth and adaptation my legs have gained from TNF Madison and the Fall 50. I have logged some great miles, but I am a young ultra-runner and have never competed this heavily in such a short period of time.