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It’s safe to say Project Ultra is under way

November saw my first block of training for the Lakeland 50 get off to a great start, with what can only be described as the perfect long run in the Peak District. It cemented my decision to return to ultra running, after spending the last couple of years running on the roads. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and talking to people with varying degrees of experience when it comes to completing ultra races about the changes I need to make to my current training if I’m going to be ready to take on the Lakeland 50 in July next year. It’s been really interesting to learn about other peoples training and to see what they think works for them.

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The training plan I have in mind will start in the New Year and be based around my heart rate training zones that were set after having a Lactate Threshold Test done last year. I have four training zones but I will mainly be using two of them. Zone 1 (recovery) will be used for my long runs in the Peak District to try and replicate race conditions and become more efficient at running though the mountains. Zone 2 (threshold) which most of my mid week training will be focused around. This is the heart rate zone I would run a marathon in and can hold for around three hours. When running on the trails or in the mountains I know the pace will be completely different but by using my heart rate as a guide I will be able to monitor my effort levels. Most weeks I will typically run around 75 – 80 miles per week and plan to peak with around 90 miles per week.

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For the past 3 weeks I have been trying to replicate how a typical week in my Lakeland 50 training plan will be, to see if my body will be able to handle the plan I have in mind with out getting injured. My long runs have been done in the Peak District and have progressed the distance from 21, 22 and 26 miles. I’ve been very lucky with the weather and have seen some amazing view which have made these runs even more enjoyable. The emphasis on these run has been to get me used to running more efficiently through the fells as my heart quickly rises on any climbs but I seem to be getting stronger on each run.

lrs

I have continued to use Mountain Fuel as my choice of nutrition as I really do believe it works for me and the longer I go the better it seems to be working. Mountain Fuel is a balanced sports nutrition system designed to provide the body with the nutrition and energy to cope with any type of physical activity.  It provides sustained energy and recovery. The four-product system has been designed to be used in conjunction with each other, however you can use any of the products individually. My training through the week has been focused on three quality threshold runs, Tuesday, Thursday and one at the weekend. I’ve worked hard to get the little bit of speed I have as it doesn’t come naturally to me and I think this will benefit me. Wednesday morning I’m up just before 5am to fit a mid week long run in of 13 miles before starting work.

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Training summery for the last three weeks

Day

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Monday

Recovery Run

7mi @ 7:15/mi

AM recovery 5mi @ 7:03/mi

PM recovery 5mi @ 6:45/mi

AM recovery 5mi @ 7:10/mi

PM recovery 5mi @ 6:34/mi

Tuesday

AM recovery 5mi @ 7:07/mi

PM threshold 8mi @ 6:20/mi + 1mi CD

AM recovery 5mi @ 7:02/mi

PM threshold 8mi @ 6:07/mi + 1mi CD

AM recovery 5mi @ 7:01/mi

PM threshold 8mi @ 6:04/mi

+ 1mi CD

Wednesday

Mid week long run

13mi @ 7:05/mi

Mid week long run 13mi @ 6:50/mi

Mid week long run 13mi @ 6:54/mi

Thursday

AM recovery 5mi @ 6:55/mi

PM threshold 5mi @ 5:53/mi

Track 5k TT 17:06 + 3mi WU & CD

10 x 2min @ 5:15/mi pace

10mi with WU & CD

Friday

Rest Day

Rest Day

Rest Day

Saturday

Peak District long run

21mi @ 9:29/mi 4,380 feet

Threshold 9mi @ 6:06/mi + 1mi CD

Peak District long run 26mi @ 8:48/mi 4,029 feet

Sunday

Threshold 9mi @ 6:11/mi + 1mi CD

Peak District long run

22mi @ 9:01/mi 3,816 feet

9mi with 5 mile progression 6:40/mi – 5:55/mi

+ 1mi CD

followed by 6mi with

Mrs Page

Total

75 miles

78 miles

89 miles

It’s safe to say Project Ultra is under way and I’m excited to see what I can achieve next year. If you didn’t see my first blog post about why I have decided to move away from running on the roads and back to fell/ultra running you can see the introduction to Project Ultra here.

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I’m really enjoying making the transition from a road runner to becoming an ultra runner as there’s so much to learn, from the wide variety on kit to the choice of foot wear. I’m finding the whole process really interesting and luckily I have a few friends I can rely on to help me choose the kit that best meets my needs. They have been running ultras for many years and the advise they are giving me is invaluable and people say running is a simple cheap sport. I’m sure my wife will have the complete opposite opinion, as the last few months  I have purchased, a new GPS watch Garmin Fenix 3, a Silva Pro Line MR250 head torch, OMM Sonic windproof smock, Scott Kinabalu Supertrac trainers and an Inov-8 Race Elite 260 thermoshell Running Smock, all to help me with project ultra!

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The biggest and hardest decision was to upgrade to a Garmin Fenix 3 from my Garmin forerunner 630 which is only six month’s old so it was a big investment. I decided it would be an invaluable investment and could help my training in so many ways. After reading review after review  GPS watches  geared more towards ultra running I came up with the Garmin Fenix 3 and Suunto Ambit 3 Vertical but after having a Garmin for so many years I was reluctant to part with my money on a brand and software I had never used. From opening the box I have been super impressed by the quality and functions this watch has to offer. The main reason I purchased this watch was for the navigation feature and the ability to down load routes to it as most of my training will be done alone and again on my three long runs in the Peak District I have put this feature to the test and again its so much better than I expected it to be. If your in the same position I was in umming and erring over whether or not to purchase one but now I cant recommended it enough.

You can follow my day to day training on Strava

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