First off, I have some winners to announce! The grand prize was a free race entry to Blue Ridge, second place was a cute mountain necklace, and third place is some BR swag. I wish I could give race entries to everyone! But, if you didn’t get it, you can still use BRMFRIENDS to receive 15% off your entry. Everyone has been contacted. Thanks for playing along!
Now, on to training! If anyone feels like joining me, here is my training plan for weeks 1 and 2. I’ll post at least a week ahead so you have time to plan. The Blue Ridge Marathon is listed as the toughest road marathon in the US because of the 3 mountains that we climb: Roanoke Mountain, Mill Mountain (with the star), and Peakwood. If you are training for this, hit the hills hard and try to up your core work! Here’s my plan, in a nutshell:
The optional cross training on Mondays is Planks, Bridges, Russian Twists, pikes, etc. 20-30 mins – there are several core-centric plans online that you can follow. See Runner’s World for good ideas. Remember to roll!
The cross-training on Wednesdays is boot camp, HIIT, PiYo, plyometrics, etc. 30-45 minutes. Choose dynamic exercise that work on stability as well as strength. Remember to roll! This is in addition to a short run so, ideally, you should do an easy run before the cross-training.
The cross-training on Fridays is swimming, spinning, elliptical, stair climber, etc. 30-45 minutes. Choose exercises that will work on endurance without excessively fatiguing your legs (don’t do all the time on a stair climber!) Remember to roll!
The runs on Saturdays should be faster, closer to your race pace. The runs on Sundays should be as hilly as you can find and 30-60 seconds slower than race pace.
Hill repeats are, basically, to find a nice hill that is long and a fairly decent incline. Push up at a steady pace, crest the hill and go 5 steps past the crest before jogging down for recovery. Later in the plan you can practice declining repeats where you go easy uphill and let it loose on the downhills. Remember to include about a mile warm up and cool down. These workouts translate well to the treadmill. If you don’t feel like repeats, make it a progressive hill run on a treadmill – keep cranking the incline until you are maxed out and power hiking for a bit and then use the decline, if your ‘mill has that feature, and practice blowing down the hills.
For a short tempo run, warm up for a mile at an easy pace and then do the rest of the time at your 10K pace. Follow up with at least a half mile cool down, if you have time. These are also great treadmill workouts.