Recently in Couch to Ultra Training Plan Category

C2U: Week 10


Let's add two miles this week; your mid-week runs are 3, 3 & 3, with a long run of 8 for a total of 17 miles this week.

I'm wondering if anyone is finding value in these weekly posts?

C2U: Week Nine


This is a repeat of week seven: mid-week runs of 3, 3 & 2, with a long run of 7, for a total of 15 miles.

I don't have a schedule topic of discussion this, tell me - what's your favorite part of running?

Two months in: how are you feeling? Has your body changed? Are you stronger? Can you run farther?

This week is a 'rest week'. Every three weeks, I've cut your mileage back a little bit. You'll get a total of 12 miles this week, with a long run of 5. Break up the remaining 7 as follows (or really, however works best for you): 3, 2, 2.

Stretching. It's one of those things that runners and studies debate. Does it really work? When should you stretch - before or after a run? Why would I want to stretch?

I like to stretch by doing yoga. I get warmed up, I get to strengthen my body, I get to relax. I don't really like stretching any other way. Generally, I usually do some light stretching after my run (once I'm warmed up), if my muscles are aching. I don't like to stretch before my run, because my muscles are cold and I'm afraid of hurting them.

Studies have shown that stretching may or may not cause less soreness (the recent ones are saying it won't prevent soreness). Studies have shown that stretching may or may not help to prevent injury. You can research it to find all the various studies.

I just know that without yoga, my knees and hips kill me when I up my miles. With yoga, it doesn't hurt so much. I don't feel achy and injured. But that's just me. This is another one of those experiment things. See what works for you!

Experienced runners - do you stretch? Why or why not? Let's discuss!

Great job so far. This week, go for 15 miles total, with a 7-mile long run on hilly terrain.

How much water are you drinking when you run? Do you bring a water bottle out with you, or do you drink just before and after?

From what I understand, the body can absorb about 28 ounces of water per hour, tops. That doesn't mean you should drink that much, but I certainly interpret that to mean I should drink any more than that! If I do, it ends up sloshing around in my stomach and making me sick. I've found that 21 oz per hour is just about perfect for me (unless I'm really dehydrated). That's the equivalent of one hand-held water bottle per hour.

In the past, the advice was to drink, drink, drink until your pee is clear. WRONG!!! Doing so may cause hyponitremia, which is when you dilute your bloodstream and have too little electrolytes in your system. This can have severe consequences (Brian Morrison's 2006 Western States as an example).

You want your urine to be pale yellow. That's your goal. Everyone is different - you'll need to experiment to find out how much water your body needs per hour to maintain that clear yellow.

You can't really talk about water intake without also talking about electrolytes. "Electrolytes are minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge. It is important for the balance of electrolytes in your body to be maintained, because they affect the amount of water in your body, blood pH, muscle action and other important processes. You lose electrolytes when you sweat, and these must be replenished by drinking lots of fluids." (Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia)

Various ways to replenish your electrolytes are through sports drinks, certain gels and a fanTAStic product called nuun. A word on sports drinks: not all are created equal. Gatorade? Maybe it's good for football players, but for long-distance runners, the amount of electrolytes are virtually nil. Many energy bar companies make much better versions of sports drink with more elctrolytes (PowerBar, I think Hammer may make one?, Heed, Succeed, etc.). I personally love nuun. It's a calorie-free way of getting what I need - just drop a tablet in my water and I've got refreshing fizzy water for my run. I often run with one water bottle and one nuun bottle.

What works for you? All you experienced runners out there - what's your favorite way to stay hydrated? Let's discuss!

C2U: Week Six (fueling...)


How are you doing so far? Look! You've already built up your mileage into double digits!

This week we're upping the miles by 1.5 miles. We're (approximately) going by the 10% rule, which is to up your miles no more than 10% each week. So this week, you'll do 13.5. Do your long run of 6 miles on hilly terrain (gotta build those quads!), and break up the remaining miles however you want (3, 2.5 and 2 works well).

You'll want to start experimenting with your nutritional intake on your long runs, to figure out what works best for you. Do you prefer gels or shot blocks? Gummi bears or jelly beans? Or do you have an iron gut and can stomach solid food?! I like crank e-gels (they come with electrolytes!) and Clif Shot Blocks (great flavors, some with caffeine! Plus I feel like I'm eating real food!).

I try to intake approximately 300 calories per hour during my long run. I came to this number at some point in the distant past in one of the long training conversations my ex and I used to engage in (he's an ultrarunner, too). For some reason, due to my weight and approximate number of calories burned per hour, I determined 300 was right for me. (I really need to do some more research on this and figure out how and why, so you can tailor your caloric intake accordingly!) Until I find the formula we used, I suggest a few hundred calories per hour. Note: this is for my long run only. For 30 minute or shorter runs, I stick to about 60 calories (two shot blocks works perfect for me) and for runs of 30-60 minutes, I will intake up to 150 calories.

Questions? Comments? Any experienced runners out there care to add their two cents on the subject? Let's discuss!

Finally, here it is! I’ve got the entire schedule worked out for you, and I’ll post it here for your reference. I’ll also post my own schedule, which varies from C2U, as I have my son every other weekend and cannot do a long run every week. You can follow either one.

Note: The mid-week runs can be on any day. Feel free to change the distances if you’d rather run two longer mid-week runs instead of three shorter ones. Also, the long run needs to be on hilly terrain and can be run on Saturday or Sunday; on my personal schedule, it will be on Saturday, since my mid-week moderate runs are Tuesday and Friday. This allows me to get good back-to-back runs in every other week, which will help strengthen me.

Oh, but before the schedules - Week 5:
Total of 12 miles. Make your long run 5 miles, on hilly terrain. Break up the remaining 7 miles as follows (or any way you want): 3, 2, 2.

C2U Schedule
Week     Mid-week Runs    Long Run     Total
5                  3, 2, 2                5              12
6                  3, 2.5, 2              6              13.5
7                 3, 3, 2               7              15
8                 3, 2, 2                5              12
9                 3, 3, 2                7              15
10                 3, 3, 3                8              17
11                 4, 3, 3                9              19
12                 3, 3, 2                7             15
13                 4, 3, 3                8             18
14                 4, 4, 3                9              20
15                 4, 4, 4                10              22
16                 4, 3, 3               8             18
17                 4, 4, 4                10              22
18                 5, 4, 4                12             25
19                 5, 5, 4                14              28
20                 4, 4, 4                10             22
21                 5, 5, 4                14              28
22                 5, 5, 5                16              31
23                 6, 6, 5                18              35
24                 5, 5, 4                14              28
25                 6, 6, 5                18              35
26                 6, 6, 6                20              38
27                 5, 5, 5                10              25
28                 5, 5                5              15
29                 2, 2                33 - ZG!             39

My Schedule will come soon....

C2U: Week Four


Did you get 10 miles in last week? I did - and more! WIth my pacing duties, I ended up with 22 miles, yikes. Y'all who are brand-newbies don't go doing that! It's a recipe for injury, that's for sure. Because my miles have been up up up before, this wasn't nearly as stupid as it seems (is this one of those "do as I say and not as I do" situations?!) :)

And did you get part of those 10 miles as a four-mile long run? I sure hope so - we're going to start building that up!

Let's do 11 miles this week. Do a 4.5-mile long run on the weekend, and break up the remaining 6.5 over two or three days during the week. Make sure the 4.5-mile long run is on a hilly course. We need to work on hills for ZG, that's for sure!

You'll notice I'm not assigning any speedwork or other types of runs right now; I'm just telling you to get relentless forward motion. That's because you're building up your base. This is what will make you a strong runner and help prevent injuries.


angie's explored by trail running (and mixed-media art)

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