Vacations are always a great time of reflection for me. Normally about family, work, friends, etc. Since ultra running has became a significant drive in my life I could not help but to think about it as well. Over the week I decided to run my first 100K race (64 miles) in January. It is more like I have come to a point where I can't stand not to run it if that makes sense.
In looking back over the year I gave myself the big "pat on the back" for dropping 50 lbs. and finishing several long races. Good for me. I also realized that I sometimes so stiff that I have to scramble my way out of a car or to bend down and tie my shoe! Not because of a big gut, but because I am really inflexible and not very strong in the core of my body. I think this could cause some problems with the 100k run because it will take everything I have to get over that finish line. Besides, shouldn't it be easy for someone running 40+ miles/week to tie their shoes!
I am not the type of guy to go around when it is hot with my shirt off. I am protective against skin cancer and lets face it - if I had that six pack I would probably have my shirt off now! When I did whip my shirt off and get ready to head down to the beach I noticed something funny. (OK, several things are funny when I take my shirt off!) My legs were very fit and chiseled, but my upper body looked like I rarely ever exercised. Sure I am much more fit looking now then I was at 300 lbs., but it was just plain weird. It was like God took the legs from a horse and put them on a St. Bernard...
Hmmmm. Time to start getting in a few full body workouts during the week too. Oh, and don't forget more stretching after hard workouts. I like to look my best, but I really like to run my best :]
After lots of research and advice I have decided to add cross training & weight lifting to my weekly running schedule. I know that I should have been cross training the entire time, but it gets tricky when you have no equipment at home and cannot get to the gym. After finishing my first two 50k ultras I quickly realized that strength training can only help me on the long runs.
I am choosing the Crossfit and Crossfit Endurance as a template for my training. These plans give you a WOD (Workout of the Day) to do which is just good ol' fashioned exercise for the entire body. I love my long weekend runs and will not give them up. However, I plan on working in 3-4 days of Crossfit during the week.
I have heard stories of Crossfit Endurance participants who were able to complete a 100 mile race without ever running over 15 miles! Impressive for sure. That will probably not be my case (because I love the long training runs anyway), but I am excited to see how this change helps my running.