R2R2R Training: Week #1

After making my big R2R2R announcement last week, I asked whether or not y’all would be interested in following along with my training. As it turns out, you said yes— even those of you who hate running!

If you’re a new reader, I’m going to clue you in on a little something: I most definitely don’t train like a “typical” ultra runner. I don’t run 5-6 days per week and I will never, ever flirt with 100 mile weeks. Simply put, my body doesn’t respond well to the high mileage. Rather, it falls apart. Instead, I prefer 3-4 runs/week mixed in with a lot of cross training and general time on my feet. And I try to never, ever miss my long runs!

Will this training schedule lead to blazing paces and AG wins? Hell no. But I have zero intentions of ever taking my running that seriously. I run because it’s fun and I enjoy the mental clarity. I like feeling the pain in my lungs as I push myself to a new accomplishment. I’ll be happy if we finish R2R2R in one piece, regardless of how long it takes us. Because once running stops being fun? I’m out.

That said, here is what I will be doing during this training cycle: running, CrossFitting, and a lot of skiing!

CrossFit

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All photos by Will Rochfort

I used CrossFit last year during my Antelope Canyon training, and it should come as no surprise that I’m a strong advocate of the sport as an effective means of training for pretty much anything. Not only does CrossFit make my body strong enough to tackle anything I throw its way, but it also improves my mental ability to withstand pain. Y’all, CrossFit workouts hurt. I don’t say that to make the sport sound all rough ‘n tough like so many do, but I do think CrossFit is the most challenging workout I’ve ever encountered. Regardless of whether the scheduled programing is 5 minutes or 25 minutes, it’s always freaking intense. That intensity translates because running never seems so bad afterwards!

During last year’s training, I really enjoyed heading out for a run after a leg-intense CrossFit workout. It taught me to run on tired legs without the body abuse of back-t0-back long runs. I definitely plan on using that technique over the coming weeks.

Skiing

It’s Colorado and it’s snowing: I will be skiing! I mean, it’s just what you DO here!

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Fortunately, skiing also seems to translate into time-on-my-feet training. We spend a fair bit of time at resorts, but more noteworthy is our backcountry touring. Will and I will frequently go out for an entire day of backcountry skiing that involves 3-5 hours of skinning to get us to our desired location. It’s not fast, but it is all time on my feet with a backpack….and there is a lot of climbing!

Running

I mean, obviously.

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My goal this cycle is to hit quite a few back-t0-back longer runs if only to keep my mental game up. Running for that many hours is mentally exhausting, and I want to know what it feels like in this little brain mine! Elevation gain will be a huge aspect of my training, but I’m fortunate to have plenty of hills nearby. There is this wicked climb in Manitou Springs called The Incline that I plan on frequenting as well: it has 2,000 feet of vertical gain in just one mile. As we get closer to April, I’d like to build up my leg strength so that I can handle “running” The Incline at least four times back-t0-back.

While I’d love to say that my December training will be gung-ho, I’m also realistic about life around the holidays. Things are busy! We had four holiday parties this weekend alone, including one elaborate celebration at our house whose dishes are still scattered everywhere. So, the rest of December will be spent maintaining and gradually improving my fitness before I really kick-off training in January.

R2R2R Training: Week #1

December 7-13, 2015

Monday:  I went to CrossFit in the morning to work on overhead squats. These are my *literal* nightmare and I’m terrible at them, so I spent an hour working on hitting a new one-rep max {a new PR.} It didn’t happen, and I’m still stuck at 90#, which is nowhere near where I should be. Le sigh. I followed the CrossFit workout with a 25 minute run with Tally.

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Tuesday: 45 minutes run

Wednesday: I went to CrossFit for a hero workout known as “Klepto.” {Not sure what a hero workout is? This link explains it in better detail.} Typically, hero workouts wreck me for the entire day, and this one was no joke!

4 rounds for time {aka do this trifecta four times}:

27 box jumps {20″ box}

20 burpees

11 squat cleans {I used 85 lbs}

Time: 19:38

Thursday: Ski day with Sierra Trading Post. Usually I take my rest days seriously, but STP needed someone to film some videos for them, so I agreed. We skied three runs at most {all of our time was dedicated to filming} so I called it active rest.

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Friday: 60 minute run with Tals

Saturday: Rest Day. We had two holiday parties and I had a lot of cooking to do!

Sunday: Skiing, yet again! We hit up Copper Mountain after a quick blizzard blew through on Saturday. We only had a few hours but that was plenty. Our early-season ski legs combined with the powder made for one tiring morning!

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4 Comments

  • Reply Art at

    I like the idea of stacking a run on top of a workout. Think I’ll start doing that.

  • Reply Rachel @ Betty LIVIN at

    Ah! Your pics make me want to go snowboarding so bad! Soon!!

  • Reply Natalie @ Free Range Human at

    I’m so jealous of all the skiing. I can’t imagine what it would be like to just decide to go skiing on a random weekend. One of these days 🙂

  • Reply Laura at

    My sister used to live in Colorado Springs, so I am familiar with the Incline – your sharing that you want to build up to running it 4 times back-to-back made me shudder. That is the toughest hill workout you could possibly do!
    Seriously though, this sounds like a great approach to training for R2R2R – good deal!

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