November 27, 2010

When are you ready to run 100 miles?

As I am planning my 2011 race season, I know that I want to focus on speed in the first four months. My first race will be the First Half Marathon, held on Feb. 13, in Vancouver, which is only 10 weeks away.

In the past three months I have done no speedwork, the first time in 5 1/2 years that I have taken such a long break from that. Instead I ran as I pleased, doing lots of trail runs with my dog Luka.

Mentally I find it easier to cope with running for a long time at an easy pace than trying to push myself to run as fast as possible in speed workouts. So training for and running a 100km race was a perfect fit, after doing a 50-mile trail race in early August.

But now I am keen to resume the quest for speed, in particular my quest for the sub-3 marathon. The key question is what training program to follow? I haven't answered that one yet.

My plan is to work very hard on my speed for the First Half Marathon and subsequently for the Vancouver Marathon on May 1 or the North Olympic Discovery Marathon on June 5 (possibly both).

I'd also like to do the 50km Diez Vista trail race in April.

For the second half of 2011 I am looking at some more ultras and am tempted by races including the 125km Canadian Death Race and the 148km Sinister 7 (for which registration opens December 1). Both races are held in July.

The STORMY in Squamish on the first weekend of August is already firmly on my schedule but here's the key question: Do I sign up for the 50-mile, like I did this year, OR do I register for the 100-mile option?

The possibility of running 100 miles has been on my mind since I finished the 100km three weeks ago. Obviously it is a lot further than 100km plus the added challenge is that I'd have to negotiate a part of the course at night.

I believe I am ready to prepare for a 100 miler as I am extremely curious to find out what it is like which I think is always a positive sign. In our running, like in life, if we truly want to do something and set about preparing properly we usually have a good chance at achieving what we set out to do.

This year I enjoyed doing a wider range of distances, from 10km to 100km and running both on the road and on trails. Tacking on a few more kilometres would open up more possibilities for the 2012 as I have been intrigued by the famous 100 milers in the U.S. such as the Western States.  

As for now, I first need to decide on a training program soon that will help me return to working on my speed. Perhaps I will enjoy that so much that the 100 mile can wait another year.

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