I officially started my training for the Grand to Grand Ultra on February 13th of this year although I’ve been running with this race in mind for a number of years now. My training plan is made up of a number of things that I’ve gleaned off of the internet and some tips from Jeff Browning through his Trail Tribe online training group. Besides my wife and two friends that we run with off and on, I’m on my own in this. I do go see a massage therapist and a chiropractor to help keep me upright and running, but again it’s me deciding when I should go in and not the advise of a trainer or someone who has extensive knowledge on how and when I should do something . I don’t have an extensive background in running, I don’t have a team of runners that I train with, I don’t have a nutritionist helping me out with my training or helping me dial in my race fuel, it’s just 4 people and one of them is me. I know I’m not the only person who has the same type of setup, I’m just a very competitive person who wants to compete at the highest level I can. The problem that I have is I have wine taste on a beer budget. In other words I don’t have the ability to access some of the things out there that would allow me to perform at a high level (or at least my highest level) What I lack in experience and training, I feel like I make up in heart and I actually enjoy the fact that I have to sometimes make things up on the fly and rely on just myself, so I hope I don’t come across as complaining, I’m just giving everyone a little glimpse of what I do and how I do it.
If you knew nothing about running and training for any type of race, you might think that all you really need to do is throw on some shorts and some running shoes and wait for the horn to go off. My answer to that is yes/ and no. I have done that before when running in some 5 and 10K races, but when running in longer races I’ve tried to do my best to have some kind of training plan to help me out. In this case it’s a 32 week plan that includes 3 trail races and one road race (not including the G2G) The amount of miles a week range from 20 to as much as 75. Now for some people 75 miles a week is chump change, but when I started my training the most important thing to me was to stay healthy and I have over trained in the past that caused me to become injured. So regardless how easy it might sound to some, for me it’s all about being focused on the end game and staying healthy. One of my biggest obstacles is my nutrition. There is a ton of planning I need to do between now and September to get my nutrition down and find what works for me. I’m living a paleo lifestyle now and I’m wanting to stay true to it as much as possible, so getting everything figured out as far as what food I should train with and have with me on my race is new for me. By becoming paleo/ primal, LCHF, OFM, it has allowed me to drop 20lbs and use more of my onboard fat instead of relying on the typical carbs to keep me upright and moving down the trail. Now I haven’t competed in any races sense making this transition, but I have felt the difference during my longer training runs that consist of trails with a number of switchbacks and inclines. If you want to learn more about OFM check out Jeff Browning’s page click here.
Besides running and getting my body worked on by my chiropractor and massage therapist (who are both a big part of my training), I’ve been hitting the gym two days a week. My workouts consist of a number of full body exercises that I got from Jeff that I’ve modified a little. The workouts are not very long (right around 20 minutes) but if done properly it’s a pretty good workout. I’ve always been a gym rat, but I had to throw away what I usually do and go with something that was specific to helping me with my running and not just trying to look good. My body is going to need to be able to withstand the rugged terrain of the G2G so if I was to leave out weight training, I wouldn’t be doing myself any favors.
I’m both nervous and excited about this year of races, but I’m encouraged with the fact that even though I might be doing a lot of this on my own, I’m not alone.