In a month and a couple days I’ll be running [trudging, moderately-fast hiking, mixed with running] my first official ultra marathon–the Zumbro Midnight 50 mile race in Theilman, Minnesota.
My training approach? Casual. For some that might mean the hardest workout is pecking away at the keyboard to complete online registration for a race in which they have little interest in training toward. In my case, a casual approach means I’ll gladly take anyone up on their offer to gorge on [fancy] pizza (as of late–Black Sheep, Burch Pizza Bar and Big River Pizza) and call it a rest day, or hop on the spin bike if my left glute is causing me grief, again. Casual also absolutely means throwing a 20-miler (or two, in the past month) into the training mix, possibly with a brisk walk later in the day. So this casual approach does take some commitment–several years of long distance running, a water bottle, a snack or two, and comfortable gear–but I let pace be no more than an afterthought and wore a brand new pair of shoes* for Saturday’s 3+ hour along Minnehaha Creek.
After a year of running mostly 5K’s, my mind is still working its way back into a rigid training program. Until then, casual long runs it is, with a hearty side of rest and pizza, plus a dash of rock climbing.
*This wasn’t a completely foolish move… Late last year I bought my first pair of Altras, a brand dedicated to foot-shaped, zero-drop running shoes. So this brand new pair were similar in fit, but with a hefty stack height i.e. made for a good pounding (or thousands).