Taking a break and Ultra Training

Now that I am back home, I am taking a much needed break from running. After feeling burnt out for quite some time, I feel it is necessary to take some time off so I can get pumped up for my ultra marathon training. The last thing I want is to start training for a 50 miler feeling exhausted.

I do have some training ideas in store though. I plan to start hiking (not running yet) the Appalachian Trail at least 1 day per week. This will allow me to become acclimated to the trail I will be running in November. I have never trained on a legit trail before. I do not consider the C&O Canal as such since it is relatively flat with little to know rocks or roots to watch out for.

Once I do resume running though, my long runs will take place on the C&O Canal since just over 50% of the ultra is on that path. I can't tell you how happy I am to be taking my long runs back to the canal. I have been sticking to the roads for so long to ensure I was prepared for the marathon. Now that it is over, I can go back to canal running for a while!

As for my shorter, weekly runs, they will alternate between road, canal, and trail. Treadmill days may be possible due to the summer heat and humidity.

One of the biggest changes between marathon training and ultra-marathon training is going to be learning how to walk. Though I am not a stranger to walking crazy hills during training or a race, this training will involve walking when there aren't hills. Like I said, the C&O Canal is flat, but you are still using energy regardless and it is best to conserve that energy for the later hills on the JFK 50 route. I will have to learn to alternate between running and walking at set intervals.

I have been reading Relentless Forward Progress to better learn how to train for ultras.

They advise running for 20 minutes and walking for 5. I may not have to start doing this early in my training, but it will be useful when I am doing 15-20+ mile runs in training. My max training run is 31 miles!!!!!

I have no doubt that this training experience will be a challenge and I will most likely wonder why I decided to put myself through this, but it is one of many bucket list items. And who knows! Maybe I will love it and do tons. Maybe I will prefer running on the Appalachian rather than the canal and become a die-hard trail runner. I will never know until I try, right?

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