Marcus, well done on the 27-miler - now you're an ultra-runner! And that's a good time - you're a faster runner than I am! The planned back-to-backs sound great, but don't forget to have the occasional drop-down weekend - much less risk of overtraining injuries.
Everyone tapers differently. Plans usually offer either two or three weeks of taper. I suggest that you (a) look at the plans; (b) check your training records regarding which taper lengths have worked for you for your previous races.
Lirish - I know what you mean. There are quite a few runners in the office I'm in, and I have a number of freinds who are running and competing in triathlons regularly.
I run most lunchtimes from my office, so I'm 'spotted' by my colleagues. They know that I run, a lot. I don't need to explain it. I have hence become 'running guru' which doesn't befit or please me.
And I do get a lot of 'You must be so fit...' comments. I find it embarassing, I'd rather not talk about it. I could lie and save myself the embarassment, but when people talk to me about their running I can't help but enthuse about it. And like you, I'm just as proud of the small races/short distances.
And Marcus, you're going to be quick! That's fast over trails!
Marcus, it sounds like you've got a good approach - go out there and enjoy it!
Lirish, human progress works because we can communicate and learn from one another. Why should each person have to re-invent the wheel (or their training schedule) from scratch? Building on what other people have learned is smart, not lazy (or it's smart laziness). Personally I think that plans are a useful guide - to be adapted according to your life, your level of fitness, yyour body's ability to cope with particular training loads or increases etc., not to be followed to the letter - but to give you an idea of appropriate training volumes etc. without having to find out the hard way that you're done way too little, or pushing too far in training.
They can be a useful guide to get an idea of how another person thinks a huge number of can prepare for a particular event, but how do you know an appropriate training volume if you only ever follow what someone else says? How do you know you are not capable of running 100+ miles a week if you never try? How do you know you can not get the same results on 75 miles per week spread over short fast sessions?
As I said, they can give you an idea or a ball park figure but surely half the fun is getting out running, finding things out and then putting them into practice. I think the results sill be better too.
I do agree about helping yourself first and other will be glad to help you. In all walks of life Ie depression, battles with the booze. weight loss.
Actually I could do with some help! I can never get to sleep at night so end up being tired. Does anyone take the herbal stuff?
I have been reading with interest the discussion on training plans, so this is my 5 pence.
I have always looked at some of the ones available for both marathon and ultra distances (for both times I have achieved and those I would like to) and have never got my head round the amount of training they include. .
Many people I talk to at races tell me about their 6 day out of 7 training and then I am surprised, and this is with out wanting to be harsh, that they don't seem to be as fast as I have assumed (even taking into account their age, experience etc). I'm sure this will be my downfall eventually as I try to progress in speed and distance, but I really think less can be more and it is better to run well several times a week than to just 'run' almost everyday.
On a related note, what I would however recommend adding to your training (and I am not sure if this is something backed up by any evidence) is combining a longish run with a parkrun. It goes something like this: run 3-5 miles (or more if you want, I've done up to 10) at a gentle pace to arrive about 5 minutes before the start of your local parkrun. Then run the 5km as fast as you can. Then run around 3-5 miles, but more if possible, home. I find this is an easy way to recreate that running on tired legs feeling without having to head out for hours and hours. On new years day I did a two parkrun 17miler that was particularly enjoyable- a sort of long interval session.
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