Monday, April 8, 2013

Highland Fling Training and a 10k win!

I'm just about to wrap up my training for the Highland Fling, a 53-miler in Scotland, which will be April 27.  I made a few new choices in making a training plan for this race, so I'm kind of interested to see which things go well and which things go badly on the day.  What I've been doing:

  • 2 speed workouts a week, usually one tempo run and one interval session
  • 2 back-to-back long run weekends, with a longest long run of 28 miles
  • Getting more sleep, although I did fail spectacularly at this this past weekend and am paying for it by coming down with a cold
What I've decided not to do that I normally would have done:
  • A 50k training race
  • Hill repeats--I had so much trouble fitting them into the schedule that I decided to hope that the hills I do in my regular runs are enough
  • Taking one day a week completely off.  Instead of Monday being a complete rest day, I've been doing some easy swimming, which isn't exactly stressful physically but also isn't complete rest
What I wanted to do but failed to manage:
  • At least two days a week of core strength sessions.  I think I managed once every other week on average--oops!
  • Mile repeats.  Because it kept snowing so much in March, I didn't get on the track until this past week.  I ended up doing 5x1200m indoors at the Metrodome a few times, but it wasn't quite the same since my limiting factor at the Metrodome is coping with the heat rather than how fast I can run.
  • Weights, to correct a strength imbalance in my hamstrings (for some reason the right one is really weak)
So we'll see what happens, but my prediction is that the flatter parts of the Fling go well, followed by a big struggle on the hills coming into Beinglas and that steep rollercoaster section through the forest coming into Auchtertyre.  

This weekend, my training plan called for me to run a 10k race.  We had to drive to Ohio for a wedding anyway, so we decided to head to Illinois on Friday night to visit our friends Carles and Elena, and we talked Carles into running a local trail 10k with us on Saturday morning.  Elena was clearly a good-luck-inducing cheering squad, because we all had good races, and I ended up winning mine.  I had to teach Carles the meaning of "sandbag" after he claimed to be completely out of shape but promptly finished 16th out of 240 overall.

Most of the course was on trails and it had enough hills to make it slow, but I was pleased because it was the first time I've felt comfortable running under 7 min miles.  I averaged 7:05 miles, although in reality I didn't run any 7:05 miles; it was 6:50ish on the flats and downhills and 7:20ish on the uphills.  I won an unlikely but nice combination of Mexican pottery and a Chinese figurine:

And it was sunny, dry, and perfect running weather:

Photo by PhotoNews Media

Just two more long runs and two track sessions to go, and then it will be taper time...


  1. Nice job on the 10K! That is really fast!

    I'm about to taper too, just this week and I can rest. :) My race is a week later though. I curious how do you feel differently with a 2 week taper rather than three?

    1. Yay for some rest! I've discovered that I don't do well with a big taper--I usually just end up getting a cold and/or my legs start feeling dead. So this past year I've started training more as normal right up til the race but with some adjustments--1 speedwork session instead of 2 for the two weeks before the race, and no long run the weekend before the race. Basically enough running to trick my body into thinking that I'm still training hard and that it shouldn't get sick, but not enough to be too tired for the race.

  2. Perhaps an unlikely combination at unnamed race in unnamed town in Ohio, but PERFECT decorations for the Hard Rock Chalet! Way to work for the team :o). Congralations on the win! And can I recommend some Bikram Yoga during your taper?? Wish I could join you in Scotland.

    1. Haha, it was the Allerton Trails Half Marathon/10k in Urbana, IL:

      It was a bigger event than we had expected/wanted but they did a great job of making things run smoothly even with lots of runners. Actually I took the photo of my loot thinking that I would tease you about how mine was cooler-looking (though less useful of course) than paper towels, but you kind of put a stop to that by winning the shoes and brew:)

      Is Bikram yoga the hot temperature yoga? I'll have a look...

  3. Lovely photo of you from the race.