Setting an ultra-base

1-Castles ultraWith an 80 km ultra trail run in the mountains of Cyprus in mind  I set myself a target of ~50 km a week for four weeks –  to see how I coped and to set a base for increasing mileage, if I coped well enough.

I coped well. More than coped. Not that it’s a surprise.  I more or less know what I can do – but knowing is the mind is one thing; knowing in the legs, doing the miles out there is another.

The thing is I run every day which is always a good start. Also I’ve been getting a spring, literally, in my step from not really pushing hard.  My legs surge nicely, want to run faster, even on longer runs. I reckon the the last 80+ km ultra in June, my favourite Comrades Marathon, is out of my legs by now.

I am a runner. I run every day, mostly. I run marathons to prepare for ultra’s and run two or so ultra’s a year, if I can. Ultras keep my running honest.

Four weeks base running

I figured out over the years that for me  pushing my running in four weeks batches with a rest or easy week after, then pushing more miles and effort, is the best way of keeping run-robust and enjoying  running year in year out.

Sometimes it’s five weeks, never more than six – the longer batches are if there is a race to do, an extra long run a taper or so,  in sight.  I keep going, do the race then do the easier weeks.

So this week I started off with stiff legs from letting go, knowing a rest week is around the corner and ran the long run faster. Once they warmed up I got nicely bounding steps, gentle light, held back from surging on the hills, as I have been lately.

Got back home chirpy, ready for more, but not doing more. Just getting the best buzz from running;  the best from my legs.