Canadian Death Race 2019

This past weekend Lori and I ran The Canadian Death Race in Grande Cache, AB.  CDR was our big race of 2019, and something that I was very anxious about completing. It’s a 125 km (77.7 mi) 5181 m (17000′) Ultra in the Canadian Rockies. It’s known to be one of the more difficult ultras in Alberta (or even Canada?).  When I registered way back in December, I wanted something difficult, something that I could fail at.  As the race got closer, I was questioning my winter sanity, failing sounded painful, and success equally so.

Canadian Death Race Elevation Continue reading “Canadian Death Race 2019”

Lost Soul 100k 2018 aka, Less really is more.

2018 was to be a comeback year after suffering a few injuries in 2017 that forced me to take more time off running than I wanted (really anything more than a few days is more than I want…)  I was also determined to learn from 2017.  I was going to be stronger, and more importantly, smarter. This meant, taking days off or cross training more when I had a niggle.  It also meant a focus on Strength work. Continue reading “Lost Soul 100k 2018 aka, Less really is more.”

Squamish 50k Recap

Training leading up to Squamish had actually been ok. Well it had been lousy for so long, and things had started to improve, and my body was responding, which felt good. I ran the Powderface 44k “marathon” on June 30th. After this my left foot was a bit sore, which meant more recovery than I had wanted, but if nothing else, I’ve learned over the last year and a half to give my body whatever recovery it asks for. We went on vacation to my in-laws in July, which coincided well with recovering from Powderface. I took it easy, took a week off running, and got fat (j/k). Continue reading “Squamish 50k Recap”

Lost Soul 100k 2016

I hope you like Ultra’s, Ultramarathons, and Ultra-Race Reports.  I have a feeling that this one is going to be lengthy.  I had registered for this race many months ago, back in January.  It seemed at the time to be an eternity away.  I was focused on training for the Calgary Marathon, and it was easy to mostly ignore the looming goal that I had set for the fall.  Continue reading “Lost Soul 100k 2016”

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 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?

Rest IS Training

Sometimes I think we get too focused on GO GO GO, PUSH PUSH PUSH, and forget that we need to step back and let our bodies absorb and recover.  In the endurance world there are a lot of different personalities, but many of us are highly motivated, ‘Type A’, type personalities that feel better when we are going, who enjoy pushing ourselves, and don’t just sit and be still very often.  I definitely fall into this camp.

Continue reading “Rest IS Training”