Grand Slam of Ultra Running - USA
Distance: 14.3 km
Time: 74' 20"
Rate: 5' 12" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 23 degrees, humidity 50%, wind easterly at 20 kmph
Week: 23.3 km, Dec: 232.55 km, Year: 4294.0 km
Nothing to report about today's effort. Ran home for lunch, short break then ran back to work. Nice day, easy run, enjoyable.
A few weeks ago Mick C lent me the current edition of the American Ultra Running book. He has been doing a bit of work for them on the calender layout, so they sent him a copy of their latest magazine.
One of the articles was about a female who I had heard about before, doing the Grand Slam of Ultra Running, being the four big 100 mile events in the good ole US of A. They are Western States, Vermont, Leadville & Wasatch. All very difficult attracting big fields with many overseas competitors. Many of Australia ultra runners including Martin Fryer, Whippet, Spud etc have competed in some of them.
A very well credentialed female Lori Wetzel, age 36 decided to do the grand slam, all four of them in one running season. Presumably it was the spring, summer & autumn. Firstly, she did all four, 400 miles in just under 110 hours along with 2 other females and 8 men.
Training for the mission is what interested me the most. The actual events were ran to finish, no PB's were going to be set. So she gave herself 11 months before the first event to train, and train hard. Once the tapering started for the first event, then there were no training runs over 10 miles, ( 16 kms). Just rest, recovery and freshen up. Maintenance rather than training, she said. This resulted in never feeling over-trained or bored. She was excited to start the next 100 mile event, the hard work was over as far as training was concerned, so just go out and enjoy the events.
She says, looking back I was able to make it to the finish line because of proper training, race strategy and the support of my family and friends.
I guess the moral of story is to get the training right in the beginning, pre season as the footballers do, then maintain that base all the way. No use playing catch up half way through.
Once that base is established, and that is what I have tried to get done since Sept, then concentrate on the short term goals, run smart, don't over stretch yourself, stay within your limits. So far it has worked, some very good long Saturday runs, many between 35 - 50 kms each weekend, as well as a little bit of speed thrown in just for variety.
I will continue with this now until end of May after Glasshouse Mtns 80 km, then back off for a rest for a while, maintenance stuff, nothing over 10 miles she said. Easy over winter, Bush Capital 60 km in late July, Tan 100 km in Melbourne in August, then C2K hopefully in Dec.