What’s up?! Hope you hit the ground running in 2019! The new year is finally here, and that means it’s time to start planning your racing schedule….actually that time has already passed. I’m certainly no expert in planning a race schedule. I learned the hard way that you need to plan for 2019 well before 2018 was even over. For example, the Laurel Highlands 70 mile trail race sold out just a few days after Thanksgiving; a race which won’t take place until June! Even though I missed the boat for that one, there are always a bunch of other races to choose from just about every weekend once spring hits.
In addition to making sure you sign up before registration closes, you want to make sure you pick a race that you will have enough time prior to properly train for it. The worst feeling is when your out there with less than half the race to go but your legs are cramping and the reality of a DNF is setting in. Give yourself the right amount of time to build your stamina. As important as it is to give yourself enough time to log the appropriate training mileage, it is equally as important, if not more so, to give yourself enough time to properly recover. Increase your weekly mileage gradually and plan some de-load weeks to make sure you stave off injury and make it to the starting line at your best.
So in looking at the available races for this year, I needed to pick my ‘A’ race. One that I would train for and plan all of my other races around. I knew that I wanted to race a new distance for me. The next logical choice was a 100k, so I started looking for that specifically. I also wanted to make sure the race was far enough out on the calendar that I would have ample time to train and prepare for it. I don’t just want to finish this year, I want to race it.
At the beginning of December I decided on the Ultra Race of Champions, also known as the UROC 100k in Virginia about 4.5 hours from my home. The race takes place on May 11 which would give me about 24 weeks to train. The UROC 100k also sounded appealing to me given that is has more than $21,000 in prize money. Let’s be honest, I don’t actually think I can win, but the prize money should bring out some of the elite athletes in the sport. Last year, Chris Mocko, an up and coming ultra runner and Youtube vlogger, won it all. Maybe I’ll get to meet some of the pros in our sport!
In addition to UROC, I am continuing to plan for some more 50k races that coincide with long weekend runs. My plan is to use these as supported training runs and also continue to gain experience. So far I am registered for the Haulin’ in the Holler 50k in WV on March 23rd, Whiskey Basin Trail Run (60k) in Prescott, AZ on April 13th and I am returning to the Cooper’s Rock 50k April 27th. I plan to do lots of foam rolling and stretching and taking it easy for the two weeks leading up to UROC so I can go in fresh and feeling good.
What races do you have planned for 2019? Keep running far and training hard.