This report covers week 1 and week 2 of my 50 mile ultramarathon training plan.
November 2nd - 60 mins with 10 mins faster: I used the route I had done the couple of days before and did the faster section on a nice long drag through the rice fields.
November 4th - 13km long: Up and down the coastal road in Da Nang, with a nice pace, and a heart rate sitting in Zone 3 all the way.
After these couple of runs, I started thinking more about my heart rate. I recorded my resting heart rate at 45 (!) which is significantly lower than anything I had seen before. I think this is down to two things; heat adaptation and proper endurance training. I calculated my RHR was ~15 beats higher on days I did a workout, and 10 beats higher if I was dehydrated. It’s interesting stuff and I’ll be sure to take a look at this again in the future.
November 6th - 35 mins easy: Up and down the coastal road in Da Nang, wearing my Vibrams. Nothing crazy here.
November 7th - 15mins WU + 10x(2mins fast + 1min recovery) + 15mins CD: I used the beginning 15 minutes to find a good location to start the intervals at. I found a straight path along the seafront in Da Nang which I could use to complete several reps of the set before turning around and heading back. I think I started off the reps too quick - basically all out and trying to keep a good pace for the recovery. I realised I wouldn’t be able to finish unless I walked during the recovery. The reps went pretty quick. I had a bit of a downer around rep 6, when the lactic acid set in, but I managed to pull through and record great times for the last few.
I flew from Da Nang to Phuket on the night of the 8th and I knew I would have trouble drying my running clothes if I were to have ran on the morning so I switched around this run with the S+C from the 9th.
November 9th - 13km easy/long: I arrived in Phuket at 6 a.m. that morning and decided to head out in the afternoon to do my run. It was much harder than I anticipated. I was definitely under-fuelled and needed some more sleep. I didn’t know the geography of the region I was staying in too well so I just followed the coastal path. At some points, I just had to walk because the hills were too tough.
November 11th - 16km long: Another terrible run. Probably one of the worst I have ever done. I set off along a pretty flat road but within 4km, I was absolutely exhausted. I felt physically drained and heavily considered calling it quits and turning back. I decided to push on, knowing that once you reach halfway, it becomes a lot easier mentally. I set off pretty early morning so the heat was bearable but the road I was running along radiated it up at you. I reached 8km right outside a 7/11. For some reason, I had stopped carrying money with me, which really would have helped as I could have grabbed some energy drinks or snacks. Lesson learned. I managed to slog it back and I was surprised with my pace, but this ignores the number of breaks I had.
I think my efforts in the previous two runs were showing that I was starting to overtrain. My body was being beat up and I was feeling pretty down about it.
At this point, I paused the training plan to give my legs a chance to prepare for the 5km Charity Race at the Phuket Laguna Triathlon on Saturday. I wouldn’t be able to get much more fitness in this short period of time, so this week is just maintaining my legs.
November 13th: Having moved to Phuket Town, I found the town was littered with these mini-mountains. One of them, Monkey Hill, looked particularly enticing. Over 2km, the elevation rose up 250m. I ran/walked up there and ran back down. It was super busy with locals but it was a good vibe. It was so steep that at some points, you’re almost pushing your quads down with your hands.
It’s now the 15th and I have 2 days until the race. I think I’ll do a small run tonight, and just stretch out until the day. After that, I’ll resume the training plan on Monday.
One of the things I’ll need to learn as I travel and run is that there needs to be a good balance. Moving often is great because I get to see a lot of places, but it makes day-to-day running harder. I need to spend some solid time running and not knowing the layout of the place I’m in, or good places to eat makes it a lot more difficult.
Soon I’ll be heading back to Chiang Mai for a month and a half. This will be great because I know it pretty well and there are some great places to run.