The Dream Season - Page 7
Photo by Patitucciphoto.
This is your time to build endurance and to prepare your body for the stresses you’ll encounter as your training gets more race specific. There is no wrong way to approach your base training, but it should include easy runs, long runs, neuromuscular strides, short hill repeats and steady-state runs. Strides or short hill intervals can be done in the middle of or after one or two of your weekly easy runs. They help you get fast and efficient without stressing the body. A steady-state workout performed once a week provides a good change of pace from the easy running that otherwise governs the base phase. Sixty to 70 percent of your year’s total training should fall into this category. However, if you’re taking the year off from racing or simply enjoy this type of training, there is no harm in making this phase fill your year’s calendar.
Pre-Race Specific Phase
It’s an awful shock to the system to jump right into tough training. The pre-race specific phase cushions this blow by slowly introducing the body to the concept of hard running. The phase can last four to six weeks and includes all those workouts found in the base phase as well as longer hill repeats and climbs, faster and longer fartlek sessions and progression runs.
This is the core of your program where your goals, weaknesses, strengths and race demands determined above come heavily into play. This phase can last three to 10 weeks and will involve an assortment of the endurance, stamina and speed-based workouts discussed in this article. This type of training will constitute 30 to 40 percent of your plan’s volume.
The final two to three weeks before your goal event should be used to rest your body. Keep the routine and intensity but drop the volume.
Ian Torrence grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and ran competitively for the cross-country and track teams at Allegheny College. He ran his first ultramarathon in 1994, and has now finished 170 ultras, 24 of which were 100-mile races. In all, Ian has won 51 ultramarathons. He’s a two-time, top-10 Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run finisher. In 2002, he completed the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, finishing the Western States, Vermont, Leadville Trail and the Wasatch Front 100-milers in a single summer. Ian, 40, now lives and trains in Flagstaff, Arizona, and is entering his fourth year as the lead ultrarunning coach at McMillan Running.