Ironlegs 2016 Recap

This past weekend I ran the Ironlegs 60k in Kananaskis.  It was my second official ultra (my first was the Grizzly 50k last fall).  It’s a little strange to think of it as my second ultra.  I trained all last summer for the Grizzly, it was a big deal, and it was hard.  Ironlegs was definitely hard, but my thoughts going into it were much more nonchalant.  I purposefully tried to not take it too seriously. Continue reading “Ironlegs 2016 Recap”

Lost Soul Recon Mission

My major goal race of the fall is the Lost Soul Ultra 100k in Lethbridge.  I’ve heard so many good things about this race, and back in the winter when I registered for the race I really had no clue what I was getting myself into.  Over the last few months I’ve had a ton of advice, and descriptions of the course, everything from “It’s crazy hilly, train on steep hills and be ready to climb and descend”, to “It’s almost too runnable, be used to running trail”.  It was very obvious that I needed to see this course for myself and get some time on it.   Continue reading “Lost Soul Recon Mission”

Powderface Marathon Race Report

A year ago, Lori and I ran the Powderface Half Marathon, it was one of the hardest trail races we had run thus far.  Fast forward a year, and a lot has changed.  We’ve run an ultra, a trail marathon, and countless training runs all over this general area.  Sometimes you feel like you’re getting stronger, but you don’t really believe it until you have some solid evidence.

Continue reading “Powderface Marathon Race Report”

How does your garden grow?

I’ve been planting a garden for a few years now, but it’s always been a struggle to reap much of a harvest from it.  Between the kids, dogs, and my horrible weeding habits, it’s been very hit or miss.  This year, things have changed! Last fall, my dad helped me build two more garden boxes to finish off the terrace of boxes in the west end of my yard.  Then this spring, he and I built a fence to block the garden from the rest of the yard.  Finally I can keep the vegi’s safe from unwanted attention from both the kids and dogs! Continue reading “How does your garden grow?”

Rundles Revenge Race Report

A few months ago, at a Brain Training Seminar by local ultra-runner and now Guinness record holder, Dave Proctor, I won an entry into Rundles Revenge.  I was at the time, already registered for the Powderface Marathon (actually 44.4 km’s – bonus!) the following weekend.  That combined with the fact that this race was only 4 weeks after the Calgary Marathon, meant that I didn’t think I would/should race a 50k, but the 25k distance seemed doable, especially if I kept the effort easy. Continue reading “Rundles Revenge Race Report”

How to run a ‘training’ race.

I have a 25k trail race on Sunday, then next Saturday I have a 44k trail race.  I’m only 3 weeks post marathon right now, and have my sights set on my 100k race in September.  At this point, the most important thing is that I can get in some good, consistently high mileage (including back to back long runs) in all summer.  I want to be able to go to these races, and have fun, see my friends, run in them, but I don’t want to deal with all the taper and recovery time that comes with longer races.  The solution?  Run them as a training race.

It can be hard for some of us to turn off our competitive nature (I’m totally looking in the mirror on this one!)  I love a good race, and love to chase an AG placement, or other kind of placement stat.  Here are some ideas on how to turn that racing mentality off so that you can get a good supported training run in.

  1. Run with a friend.  It’s much easier to run easy if you’ve got a friend to chat with during the race.  This Sunday, Lori and I plan to run together and to help keep each other honest on our pacing.
  2. Extend the length.  A few years ago I ran the Police Half Marathon here in Calgary as a training run.  I had a 20 miler scheduled that day, so I went and ran 11 km’s as a ‘warm-up’ before the half.  It’s much easier to not race too hard if you go into the run tired!
  3. Seed yourself correctly.  If you’re planning on just running for fun, don’t line up at the tape!  Line up further back, and even if it means some extra walk breaks or traffic jams on single track trail, it’s better than going out too fast.
  4. Make a run-walk strategy.  In road races, you can plan to walk a minute every 10 minutes or so, or in trail races, you can plan to walk all the hills.  Either way, walk breaks are a great way to slow down your average pace and make for an easier run.
  5. Carry a hydration pack, or your own fuel.  To me, a run always feels a little more like a training run when I’m geared up like it is one.  So I try to simulate that in training races.  I will carry my hydration pack, or my fuel belt, and I’ll try to fuel/hydrate from what I have on me for at least part of the race.  I’m not sure if it’s psychological, or the weight from carrying something, but it helps to slow me down and take things less seriously.
  6. Use your tech… how many of us have a fancy GPS watch that we only ever use the Start/Stop button on?  Most of these watches have settings where you can set up a pace alert, or a virtual partner.  Set it up with a minimum pace that you want to run, and slow down when it beeps at you.

How about you?  Do you run races as training runs?  Do you have any other tips for how to keep them easy?