Slow and steady. That’s what I keep telling myself. Keep it slow and steady for now.
Since identifying Goal A, to compete at the 100Mile distance, and it’s need for specificity I’ve been working out what those needs look like. The short answer is muscular endurance, fueling techniques to sustain the effort, and mental fortitude.
Mental fortitude is forged through tough training and good ole natural selection. One thing I believe is that you never really know how you’ll react to a situation until you’re in it, especially extreme ones like the tail end of 100Miles. There are techniques to help such as visualization, training under exhaustion, and gradual build up to similar stressors (racing progressively longer distances).
Fueling techniques are devised through careful tracking and experimentation during training. We are each an experiment of one (the N=1 mindset). There are tons of guidelines as to the optimal way for an individual to fuel for an ultra event. I’ve experimented with various techniques over the years and feel I have a decent handle on it. Of course I will work on improving it, experimenting during training and a couple of less important races.
Muscular Endurance, now this is a debatable topic. The debate really is on finding the optimal way. Stronger muscles can endure more work, no brainer. The debate lies in the type of work required by muscles lifting heavy loads quickly and the type required by muscles working for a long duration. My answer? N=1 I know that just running with minimal cross training doesn’t work for me. I develop muscular imbalances which lead to injury. No buenos. Not enough running specific work with too much weightlifting and I get slow at the longer distances. So, we’re back at N=1 when it comes to volume vs intensity.
Obviously I’m not sure the answer to volume vs intensity question. So that’s why I am starting slow and steady. I figure if I want to run fast over far distances I need to be able to run both fast and far. I’m researching the subjects, gathering my thoughts and working on the plan. As for now, it starts with building a base. Methodically working up in volume over the next 4-6 weeks, slow and steady.