Training Recap: Volume to Speed Transition

As the days leading up to Burning River 100 Mile (BR100) wind down, my training has changed quite a bit. After completing three consecutive weeks of high mileage (130+ each), I spent a couple days letting the body absorb all that training. Then I shifted from a focus on high mileage and some hill work to a focus on fewer miles with more speedwork. In particular, I focused on 400m repeats, tempo runs, progression runs, and a hilly time trial.

With these workouts in the bank, it is now time to taper a bit. My philosophy with tapering for a 100-mile race—which may or may not be valuable information as I have only run one 100 miler before—is that volume reduction does not have to be quite as stark as if I were running a fast 50-mile race. My reasoning is simply that I want to keep my body familiar with moving for long periods of time. This does not mean I will run 100+ miles in the six days leading into the race, but rather that I'll spend about 10 days tapering rather than 2 or 3 weeks.

With all this said, this is what my last block of speed looked like going into BR100:

  Normal Run
  15 mi-1:44:00

  Normal Run
  13 mi-1:31:00
  Normal Run
  8 mi-1:00:00

  Interval Workout
  17 mi-1:59:00

  Normal Run
  17 mi-2:03:30
  Normal Run
  6 mi-45:00

  Normal Run
  15.67 mi

  Normal Run
  14 mi-1:39:00
  Normal Run
  6 mi-40:00

6  135.9
  Long Run
  24.25 mi-3:00:00

  Hill Training
  10 mi-1:15:00

  Normal Run
  8 mi-56:00
  Normal Run
  12.15 mi-1:20:50

  Normal Run
  10 mi-1:10:00
  Normal Run
  3.5 mi-29:00

  Normal Run
  15 mi-1:50:00

  15 mi-1:38:00

  Progression Run
  14 mi-1:31:00

13  100.0
  Normal Run
  12.3 mi-1:30:00

  Hill Training
  15.5 mi-1:47:00

  Long Run
  21 mi-2:30:00
  Normal Run
  6 mi-42:00

Workout Details

Tuesday 07/02: Intervals, 6-mile warm-up, 10x 400 with 400m recovery jog, 6-mile cool-down. The goal was to achieve negative splits with each successive rep. I hadn't done 400s in quite some time, so I gave myself a fairly gentle goal. Pacing proved more difficult than I thought (probably because of the lack of 400m speedwork). Decent wind, hot, and sunny.

Sunday 07/07: Hills. Nothing special, just some rolling hills on the road.

Thursday 07/11: Tempo, 3-mile warm-up, 9-mile tempo at just under 6 min/mi, 3-mile cool-down. This was a much bigger struggle than I had anticipated. For whatever reason, I wasn't feeling good. It was really hot, but I don't think that was the cause.

Friday 07/12: Progression, 8 miles between 6:30-7 min/mi, 6:20, 5:57, 5:56, 5:52, 5:45, 5:30. This workout was more of an impromptu deal. I was still baffled by how tough my tempo run felt the day before, and I wanted to test to see if it was a fluke. I felt really good all the way down to the 5:30/mi pace, which I was very pleased with. My g uess is that I may have went a bit too low on carbs the days leading up to Thursday... Or maybe I just had an off day.

Sunday 07/14: Time trial on a hill. 10.5-mile warm-up, 2 miles at 85-90 percent effort, 3-mile cool-down. The 2 miles went really well. I went to a sledding hill that was about a quarter-mile in length from the base to the top and back again. I felt like I hit my effort goal of 85-90 percent pretty accurately, finishing the two miles in 10:51 (5:28, 5:23) on the sledding hill.