Western States – Training Update

The North Face 100 marathon pairs event was a successful weekend teaming up with Marcus Warner racing for team Ultra168 and winning the event and breaking the course record. Recovery was relatively quick and training has been going very well.

I’m currently spending just about every spare minute on Western States 100 preparations. From altitude training (see video in this post), heat training, WS101 sessions (aka memorising the course inside out backwards), analysing data from the previous years around an overall pacing strategy, crew, pacer briefings and packing lists. Plus working, eating and sleeping, you would be right in thinking that the actual running is the easy part. Back to back 120 mile weeks are just about over, and I’m feeling about 98% right.

Tomorrow marks 3 weeks to go until the Western States 100 mile race day and that is a very good thing as it also marks my equal longest run of the training period and then the taper begins almost simultaneously.

Gone are the long tired training days where within reason it is all about weekly mileage, running tired, double days, back to back double days etc etc. I’m also running out of training partners with more than a few falling by the wayside recently due to injury which I hope is met with a very speedy recovery.

The taper brings with it the requirement to feel “sharp” for every training run. Intensity increases in line with the decrease in overall distance.

Usually I still feel quite flat during the taper, even as close as 4 days prior to the race I’m on the phone to Darrel or Dan commenting that my legs still aren’t feeling good yet. However, a targeted training block is designed to have you feeling good on the day of the race, any sooner and you’ll go in a bit underdone and any later and you’ll be fatigued during the race.

Either way there is a definite shift in training when I wake up on Sunday morning with 80km in the legs, I have to try to find some speed.

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Dan on Twitter
I'm a mediocre runner who can bat above his average when I train hard. A man of extremes, I do enjoy everything life offers and consider it an absolute pleasure just to be able to put one foot in front of the other and let my mind wander somewhere different.

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