Thursday, 5 January 2012

Back to back half marathons

Howdy folks.  I am now back into my proper running schedule, and have just completed two back to back half marathons in the last two days.  The essence of any ultramarathon training plan seems to be the back to back or sandwich run, getting the body used to running longer distances on consecutive days.  This differs from the typical marathon training plans, which usually only include one long run per week.

I wasn't sure how far to go on my back to back runs, and was considering to maybe even try a marathon.  The problem is that I don't have time to get injured and be able to successfully complete my training program, so I decided that just going out and running a marathon two days in a row after only getting my body used to running again the last few weeks could be a big mistake.  Based on this, I decided to run a half marathon two days in a row instead and see how that went, and then build up from there as necessary.

It has gone surprisingly well, and I only have mild aches now.  Today will be a cross training day and I will focus on upper body strength and swimming, so that my legs can have a rest from the impact of running.  I also did part of my sandwich run off road so that firstly the impact on my joints would be reduced, and secondly I would start strengthening my ankles on a terrain more similar to the MDS type terrain than asphalt.

On the Tuesday run I went up the Uetliberg.  There are plenty of nice trails in the woods and you could run all day there if you wanted.  The climb to the top also adds a bit of extra challenge to the run.  The thing I noticed when running uphill was a slight ache in my lower back, so I will have to try and do some back strengthening exercises for that.

View of the Uetliberg from my balcony taken a few days later

On Wednesday I took Negrita with me for the first part, and we headed to Oerlikon and back.  Then I dropped Negrita off at the apartment and headed out again, in the direction of the Zurichberg.  I found a nice forest trail on the way to Witikon, where the trail follows the course of a little stream.  As with the previous day there were some small climbs on the way, so it is a little bit more of a challenge than running on the flat.

The pace on both days was quite slow, but that doesn't concern me too much, as I could run much faster if I wanted.  First I just want to get used to the distances and then I will add some speed.  Avoiding injury is the key.

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