Mad City 100k Pre-taper Training Cycle

It has been a crazy few weeks of training. With the weather not being able to decide if it should allow for spring or hang onto winter, the running environment has been a bit unpredictable. Couple that with a trip out to Nebraska over spring break and a calf strain, and I can say I’ve had an interesting cycle of workouts.

The trip out to Nebraska was met with a progressive warming, culminating with a 70-degree day that was quickly followed by a 30-degree day with 30+ mph winds just to make things interesting. I found a nice route that had continuous rolling hills much steeper than the ones I normally find in Marinette. It was nice to give my legs that shock. I was also able to log a few bluff workouts in Iowa on my way out and back from Nebraska.

Not the actual bluff I ran on in Iowa, but very
similar.  Gorgeous view over the Mississippi River.

Most of my speedwork has now switched to race day–specific training. I have backed off the really short, intense workouts and phased into tempo or slightly-slower-than-tempo runs. These workouts typically have been one of three paces: 5:40 per mile, 6:00 per mile, or 6:20 per mile. My goal for Mad City 100k is to average under a 6:30 per mile pace, and I feel these workouts are the sharpening tools I will need to be able to string together a bunch of sub-6:30 miles. With Mad City three weeks away, it will be fun to find out how effectively they worked.

The only road bump I have had was a two-day break from running that I needed to recover from a strained calf muscle in my left leg. It crept up on me and finally sidelined me while I was trying to do a tempo run. Luckily, it only kept me off the roads for two days, and in the end it may have given me a bit of extra rest.

The end of this training cycle was met with some good old ultra-style back-to-back long runs. I blocked off a four-day period over Easter break in which I am planning to log 75-80 miles (as of this post, I'm two days into this cycle). After this four-day period, it will be time to start tapering. It will be fun to back off a bit and feel the strength and speed that a good taper brings back.