STRAVA Summary

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Winter Training or not....

Well it’s been a few months since getting in to the Western States 100 race via the lottery and now that it has sunk in (I think), I’ve been getting a bit more serious about the event. Maybe a bit too serious?? One thing I’ve thought about is that I want to do this right. Proper training and anything else I can do to have me at the starting line in the best condition, both physically and mentally.

We’ve been lucky so far this winter. A far cry from the past couple, it’s been milder and less snow by far. I’ve slowly got the mileage up and have been going to the gym twice weekly. The knee has been feeling good (touch wood), and I’ve only been dealing with a bit of the usual piriformis syndrome and resultant tight hamstring on the right side. I think going to the gym (Orange Theory Fitness) has had a big help in the strength in my knee and will eventually help with the piriformis too. OTF is HIIT training and it is pushing me like I haven’t been pushed in a long time. I am really “enjoying” it and would recommend it to anyone. Two nights a week of this on top of my running regime takes up most of my week. Usually I would take Mondays as a rest day, but this being February the challenge was put out there and I will be trying to run every day of the month. With that in mind, OTF days are treadmill days anyway, I only have to run the extra day. But it is tough. And I’m trying not to focus on mileage (right!). Right now it is about base mileage, strengthening and trying to stay healthy.
I’ve spent a lot of time reading race reports and watching videos of other’s adventures at WS. I would definitely recommend reading race reports to take in the advice of those who’ve raced this race before. I’ve been able to acknowledge a number positive tips on how to, not only finish, but do well at WS. Some of these are, but not limited to:

Take it easy for the first 62 miles.
The canyons will eat you alive. Use every water source you can for cooling.
Save your quads. You want to be able to run after Foresthill.
Train to strengthen your quads. Practice running downhills, LOTS!
Practice power hiking the up hills.
Get on top of your nutrition and be flexible. Have options.
Have everything you need ready, long before you head to California.
Change shoes and/or socks when you can in the event of blisters forming.
Enjoy the experience.
There may be a few others.

Since gaining entry to the race, I’ve made sure I’ve sent off my volunteer form (the race requires participants to show proof of either 8 hours of trail maintenance or volunteering at an Ultra event). I’ve booked a room/suite at the Village at Squaw Valley. Enough for myself, Joan, Gary, Kate (?) and maybe Cindy and Jean Guy. So a good crew.
I’ve also signed up for the training runs in May. 70 miles of the course over the Memorial day weekend. Gary and Kate are going, just have to book flights and look after accommodation. I haven’t booked flights for the big event yet either. Waiting for the dollar to improve or prices to change, whichever comes first. I will also be relying on my tax refund as well.

As for running, I will have to sort out footwear. What am I going to wear? My new Altra Lone Peaks are feeling good and will probably be a go to shoe, but they are not a long distance shoe, as far as I am concerned. They may last a lot longer than I think, I will see. But the Olympus might be a good longer distance shoe. My Inov8 290’s will be another good pair to rely on, as long as I get a new pair. Lots of time to figure that out.

In the meantime, this month will be continuing the challenge and then hopefully more spring like weather in March. Then it will be time to work on the long runs.