With my next ultra run about a month away I am deep into the training block and preparing for a couple of high-volume weeks before the taper begins. I’m uninjured, I’m running easily, and I am feeling confident that the run in the UK will go well.

I thought I would take a look at the training block as a whole so far and trace some of the differences between the first weeks of the block and the current week where, as I’m feeling good, I am about to jump up in distance by about 25% starting with a longer run tomorrow morning.

training-volume

As the data above demonstrates, the 80km weeks I have been running are a combination of different sorts of runs.

The one at the bottom (July 11-17) was a week where I ran seven times for relatively short distances. The longest run of the week was 16.5km and I ran six out of even days. The double circles on Wednesday that week? The typical double-up of a morning session and the Lyon Running Club evening run.

The week after (July 18-24) was six runs instead of seven and included the first half marathon distance run I had been able to manage since May. I was happy to be back from injury, happy to complete this distance, and I was happy to be back on track.

The third week of the block (July 25-31) was different again. As I was going away to San Francisco for a couple of days that week, I knocked over a long run on the Monday (35km) and then three shorter runs – well, relatively shorter – including two in California and another half marathon on return to Lyon. With only four runs in the week now I was concentrating on getting distance in and things were going well.

Week four of the block (August 1-7) was another four-run week. One of those runs was shorter – the Lyon Running Club evening run on Wednesday – but the others were strong +22km, +23km, and +25km efforts. I also fit in a bit of cross-training this week with hikes and cycling, too. I was feeling good and the distance was coming easily.

This leads me to this fifth week of the block (August 8-14) where I have already banked the 80km I was aiming for over five runs. I should be happy with this and be ready to rest this weekend but I am thinking about making a change. Here’s why…

The training block I originally had in my mind would have me running an 80km week this week, 100km for the next two weeks, then tapering over two weeks until the 50 mile (80km) run in mid-September.

Instead, though, I am thinking I’ll take advantage of how good I am feeling and throw in another run tomorrow morning to get this week’s mileage to +100km, follow it up with two weeks of +100km, then taper down. In other words, I’ll have three heavier mileage weeks instead of only two and hopefully feel good doing so.

In the big scheme of things, this is not necessarily a big change. It might only be adding a single run to a schedule that is packed with something like 40 runs anyway. It’s more about being a little ahead of schedule and taking advantage of the good weather round these parts to train while I can.

And after the 50 miles on the Thames Path?

Well if I recover well, if I am not hurt, and if I am feeling good, I am strongly considering running the 100km of the Somme in Amiens. Cécile’s brother lives there and has said he’ll accompany me on a bike as the rules allow if I choose to run it. It would be a different sort of run for me both in terms of length and in terms of course, but if I have the form I think it would be great fun to try.

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