I was quite surprised that 30K training plans are hard to come by on the internet! So here's what I did: I looked at a marathon training plan, checked out when the long runs hit 18 miles, then laid out the long runs up to that point. Then I had an "oh shit" moment when I realized I had one less week than those marathon plans called for to run those runs and just cut one out and winged it with the rest. I asked around a little to make sure that my total mileage wasn't insanely low, and voila! A plan was born. Here are the last six weeks of the plan, I officially began training on Week 1's Wednesday-- it was my girls' first day of school! I didn't write down anything concrete up to that point because it was summer and my summer was all over the map for training. At Ragnar in July I ran 17 miles in two days, so I sort of considered that my actual starting point for building mileage.
|1||rest||rest||7mi||4mi + strength||yoga||12mi||Rest||23 miles|
|2||4mi||strength||7mi||3mi + strength||yoga||14mi||Rest||28 miles|
|3||4mi||strength||5mi||3mi + strength||yoga||10mi||Rest||22 miles|
|4||4mi||strength||8mi||4mi + strength||yoga||16mi||Rest||32 miles|
|5||4mi||strength||6mi||3 mi + strength||yoga||10mi||Rest||23 miles|
|6||yoga||4mi||strength||3 mi||yoga||Rest||RACE!||27 miles|
As you can see, I mostly followed three main rules: two days of strength, one day of yoga, and my mid-length run was half the distance of the long run. Wait, four rules: my weekly mileage had to match (or just slightly exceed) my Saturday mileage. I wish I had time for swimming but my favorite pool's fall swimming schedule doesn't work with mine. So sad. So far I have followed this plan fairly closely, but not exactly.
There were two big things that concerned me going in to this training: First, I really did not know how long I had to run in training to be able to run a 30K. Knowing that someone can run a half marathon on a 10 mile long run, and a full marathon on a 20 mile long run, I figured a 16 mile long run should get me up to 20 miles in the race (I have heard the 30K race I am running is actually closer to 20 miles than 18.6). But being that it's a new distance for me, I am nervous!
The second thing is not quite understanding how the long runs work when training for a trail race. Is a 12 mile trail run as good as a 12 mile road run in training if the trail run takes me an hour longer? After running my 12 miler on the road with some of my very favorite running buddies, I kind of got freaked out about doing any more long runs off the trail because trail running takes so, so, so much longer than road running, and I needed to have lots of time on my feet logged in order to survive this race!
Speaking of time on feet . . . I posed this question to my new massage therapist, who also happens to train running groups. One of her suggestions to me was look at the race distance and elevation and difficulty and see if I can get an idea of how fast I can finish it in, then train using that time as the goal. An extremely hilly or technical trail race will take quite a bit longer than a flatter, less technical one. I don't know for sure, but I *think* the "30K" will take me about 4:00-4:15 to finish, so because of this I feel confident that I have done a long run that took 3:45.
Maybe when I make my next training plan I will do it in time and not miles?
The proof will come on October 12th on whether or not this plan worked!