Thursday, October 4, 2007

Ultras on Low Miles

I believe that you don't have to run high mileage to be successful at ultras, so I've decided to start posting my own training log to demonstrate my approach as I get ready for ATY (a 24 hour race in AZ on 12/31). In this post, I'll put the last several weeks, then post a week at a time in the future. If you like to run high mileage, have the time, and your body can handle it then by all means go for it. If like me you tend to get injured and have a lot of other interests, you might consider my approach. Speaking of injuries, I have a chronically tight/strained hamstring right now, and it hurts if I run faster than about 6:45 pace, so I am doing all my runs very slow for the time being. Normally, I run two quality workouts a week however. More on that later.

Mon 8/15 - 0
Tue 8/16 - 0
Wed 8/15 – 30:00 flat on TreadMill
Thu 8/16 - 0
Fri 8/17 – 15:00 flat
Sat 8/18 – LT100 with my dad
Sun 8/19 – LT100 28:42
Week – 29:30:00 / 106 miles

Mon – 8/20 - 0
Tue 8/21 - 0
Wed 8/22 – 1:10:00 hilly w/Kelly
Thu 8/23 – 0
Fri 8/24 – 40:00 hilly w/Kelly, Jeff, Dan, Jim
Sat 8/25 – 1:55:00 flat
Sun 8/26 – 1:06:00 flat
Week – 4:54:00 / 34 miles

Mon 8/27 – 47:00 flat
Tue 8/28 – 1:02:00 flat
Wed 8/29 – 2:00:00 rolling
Thur 8/30 – 40:00 TM, 10 x :30 strides
Fri 8/31 – 1:02:00 flat
Sat 9/1 – 2:01:00 rolling w/ Rick
Sun 9/2 – 1:00:00 rolling
Week – 8:32:00 / 63 miles

Mon 9/3 – 3:00:00 rolling (ADT Marathon 2:51:41/3rd). Just ran 6:30 pace the whole time.
Tue 9/4 – 0. Hamstring very sore.
Wed 9/5 – 20:00 TM
Thu 9/6 – 48:00 flat
Fri 9/7 – 0
Sat 9/8 – 0
Sun 9/9 – 2:10:00 flat
Week – 6:18:00 / 50 miles

Mon 9/10 – 50:00 flat
Tue 9/11 – 2:01:00 flat
Wed 9/12 – 0
Thu 9/13 – 1:00:00 flat
Fri 9/14 – 1:01:00 flat
Sat 9/15 – 3:15:00 rolling
Sun 9/16 – 0
Week - 8:07:00 / 63 miles

Mon 9/17 – 53:00 flat
Tue 9/18 – 0
Wed 9/19 – 1:15:00 TM
Thu 9/20 – 1:30:00 TM
Fri 9/21 – 0
Sat 9/22 – 0. Flew to NC (next 7 days all hot/humid/flat asphalt)
Sun 9/23 – 1:46:00 flat at beach on roads
Week – 5:24:00 / 40 miles

Mon 9/24 – 1:46:00 flat at beach on roads
Tue 9/25 – 1:48:00 flat at beach
Wed 9/26 – 1:00:00 flat at beach
Thu 9/27 – 2:00:00 flat at beach
Fri 9/28 – 1:35:00 flat at beach
Sat 9/29 – 1:46:00 flat at beach
Sun 9/30 – 0. Fly home to Colorado.
Week – 9:55:00 / 75 miles


Jasper said...


Good to see that you have joined the blogosphere. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you can do at ATY. ATY on low mileage nearly killed me when I tried it, but you seem to operate a lot better than I do without putting up big mileage.

My only advice is to stay really aware with your hydration. It's not too hot that time of year, but that dry desert air in AZ sucks it out of you fast. I didn't carry a bottle like I'm used to doing on the trails, and I found it really easy to forget to drink enough.

Good luck at Heartland.


Jamil said...

Hey glad to see you will be running ATY this year. I've been out there the past two years, running in the 24 hour race. My brother and I reached our goal of running 100 miles this past year on pretty low mileage. I will be interested in seeing how your training works out for you in December.

We also just finished Angeles Crest in under 24 on pretty low mileage (I was 40 to 60 and my brother was 15 to 30).

I'll be volunteering this year at ATY so I'm sure I'll see you tearing up the track with some big mileage.


Addy said...


Welcome to the world of blogs :) I'm a completely different class of runner from you (back of the packer myself :D) but it'll be fun to see you on your training journey! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Dear Paul,

I see that you are a fast runner, 75 miles in 9.55 is really a SPEED. As for low mileage training, I did my first solo (without having any marathon background)of 180 km in the month of July that means 35-40 D Cel with no sky at day time within 24 hours only on 2 km/day average for six months. I think you should go around 250Km.
Best of luck .

WynnMan said...

These are solid numbers over the past few weeks. Fordyce believed lower mileage and more quality workouts so... that's what makes this stuff fun.

Interested in the woodworking; I take it you do custom commissions?

I teach art and do fineart B@W Photography and sculpture on my own time as well. I always attend the American Craft Council show in Minneapolis each year. I have a few glass blowing friends that exhibit work there.

Sarah (PCTR) said...

Glad to have your blog to read now, too, Paul! It's going to be fun to keep up with how and what you're doing between now and ATY.

Jasper's right - even though the loop is small at ATY, I carried a bottle with me most of the time, just so that I drank enough.

Looking forward to seeing you (hundreds of times) in a couple of months!


Paul DeWitt said...

Thanks for the comments...

Jasper - that is good advice, and I'm so used to carrying either a bottle or camelbak that I will def. do so at ATY. It will just be nice to switch as often as I want between straight gatorade, my witches brew (gatorade/gu/salt pills), and water.

Jamil - Congrats to you and your brother for AC; sounds like a nice race that I'd like to run one day.

Addy - My wife is a much slower runner than me, but I have a great appreciation of the fact that the efforts of the slower runners are the same (or better!) than mine since they are often out there longer. That is one nice thing about ATY, we all run the same amount of time, and no DNFs or missed cut-offs!

Paul DeWitt said...

Wynnman - Now Fordyce is somebody who I greatly admire, and certainly I'm not in his league but you are right that he achieved a lot using smart training rather than huge training miles. He also did periodization which I think is important.

My woodworking is all commission work; I do have some standard pieces I have made many times, but I almost always modify something or use different woods for each client. I'd go crazy making the same widgit all day long.

Paul DeWitt said...

Hi Sarah - say hi to Wendel and Aaron for me and good luck with your races and training. Judy and I are going to Moab this year for Thanksgiving so won't be out there for the Quad Dipsea like last year. The Moab Thanksgiving thing is a tradition for us that we've done a number of times.