About 4 weeks ago, I got serious about base building for the Big Basin 50K. I even wrote stuff down. Up to that point, I had been half-heartedly attempting to run 25-30 miles per week (mpw) for January and February. This was my extremely detailed base building plan:
- Week of March 9th: 30 mpw
- March 16th: 30-35 mpw/5x a week
- March 23rd: 35 mpw/5x a week
- March 30th: 35 mpw/5x a week
With Big Basin training officially kicking off Monday (OMG!!!1!), I thought I’d check in with how training has gone for the past couple of weeks. First, here’s a graphical representation of my weekly mileage, in case that is your preference (plus it’s prettier):
Bad news first:
- I fell 5-10 miles short of my week 2 goal of 30-35 mpw (labeled “12” on the graph above), though I did run 5 times that week, as planned. That was the same week as the Oakland Marathon Relay, when my legs didn’t feel super awesome and I decided to cut mileage as a mini-taper.
- I developed shoulder pain from the 30-day plank challenge, so I had to drop out on day 15. Whomp whomp.
- I met my goals for weeks 1 and 3, and I only have 4 recovery miles to run tomorrow in order to hit my goal for week 4. Yay!
- At the end of last week, I finally started to get over the “I’m so tired” hump. Instead, my body was like, “hey, this isn’t so bad.”
- I’ve had a few aches and pains here and there, but nothing lingering or alarming so far.
- This week, I had strong runs on Wednesday and Thursday, which makes me feel like not only am I meeting my mileage goals, but I’m getting fitter too.
- In the last 4 weeks, I’ve done three 10+ mile long trail runs, ranging from 1300′ to 2000′ elevation gain. With my weekday runs, I’m averaging over 2000′ of elevation gain per week. The hills pay the bills! (credit: Mike)
- I ran 123 miles in March, a big jump up from 78 in February. It was also the most I’ve run since last April, when I ran Big Sur. It’s been a long, steady buildup since my injuries last year, and I’m happy that my patience is paying off.
So now that base building is almost over – what’s next? Well, like I mentioned, official training starts on Monday. The first week is actually less mileage than what I’ve been doing (32 miles), which will be nice. However, I’m also traveling to the East Coast for work for 2.5 weeks (!!) and I have no idea what my schedule will be like. I’m hoping to fit in my runs in the morning, as I’ll likely be busy from 9:00am to very late in the evening (until 10:00pm or midnight isn’t out of the question). It’s not ideal timing. However, if I have to go away during 50K training, better during the first 2.5 weeks than during peak weeks. I’ve already prepared my usually Type A personality to go with the flow and to not freak out if I don’t get all of my miles or runs in. One run or a couple of miles isn’t going to make or break Big Basin 50K.