Lately several people have asked me where I find the time to train for ultras. The question leads me to two different answers. One is the Dragnet answer - just the facts of my actual schedule. But sometimes (in my own head), I've had more philosophical and abstract musings about finding the time to do the things one values the most. The first is a lot easier to put down on paper, so that is where I will start. I'll try to formalize the second in a follow-up when I am feeling more creative.
So, here is a general break down of my training schedule:
Monday - Monday is my "wild card." I only work till about 11:30 on Mondays which leaves me plenty of time to get in a good workout. It varies between long miles, some sort of speed, or a medium run with lifting (by far the most common this winter). Monday will be all about the miles and extra trail time as it gets closer to WS.
Tuesday - up at 4:30 to meet my two fabulous training partners, Dan and Steph at 5:00. Steph is a stellar marathoner who is as obsessive about miles as any ultra-runner. We aim for 12 miles. The shame would be unbearable if we did less than ten, so we don't. ;)
Wednesday - The running store in Salem hosts a Wednesday night workout that attracts some of the more hardcore runners in Salem. It is usually about 30 minutes of moderate-hard running. I run from work, plus warm up and cool down and can pretty easily stretch this to 10 miles.
Thurs- up at 4:30 for another 10-12 with Dan and Steph before work.
Friday - Last year I mostly took Fridays off. This is an easy spot to add potential miles for WS. This spring, I'll be looking to get an easy 5-6 miles on Friday, most likely before work.
Saturday - Long. Mac and I split the weekend. I get to do my thing Saturday and he gets to play Sunday. Sometimes we even try to see each other!
Sunday - easy or off. Usually on the treadmill or sometimes in the late afternoon after Mac gets home.
The plan for adding mileage this spring: More on Mondays, even longer Long Runs on Saturdays, and an additional light run on Fridays and/or Sundays. I'd like to keep one day a week as OFF (or at least cross-training only) for as long as possible. I don't really like doubles, but concede there may have to be some in the heavy period (the four Hell Weeks in May-June aren't fully planned yet. Just "100 miles" written on the calendar for each week as a general guide. I figured I needed to see how I was holding up before I could establish the final plan).
So, in a nut-shell that is where I am putting in my training time. I have been doing it for almost a year and a half, so I guess I have found a way to make 50-70 mpw fairly sustainable. I am hoping 80 mpw won't rock the boat too much, which is about the baseline mileage I plan to use for WS. Most of the extra miles will probably be added to Saturday. I have a total of five 100 mile weeks planned, with four of them in May and early June ("the Hell Weeks"). I don't expect that kind of training to be sustainable in any way, but I should be able to do it for the limited time frame...I hope. ;)