It is that time of the year again, where I realize that the Superior Sawtooth 50 mile is about 13 weeks out and I decide I had better get training.
Normally it isn't that big of a deal, last year I started really training at about 10 weeks out however I was running higher mileage weeks already and so it is always easier building on a strong base.
This year I was fortunate enough to have started grad school already (M.Arch 2 yr program at UWM) and it has been tough fitting in decent workouts during the week. A summer course that I have been involved in is Mon, Tue, Wed from 5:00 to 7:45 pm which falls pretty much right after work. Good thing is that this is an accelerated course, ending right around my birthday (July 5th) and thus opening up the schedule for a more ramped up weekly mileage. In the meantime, I have been heading out to Lapham Peak on Saturdays (preferrably) or on Sundays and getting in good hill work and slowly building my long run. I am at about 9 miles right now (lol, yes seriously) and will be relying on muscle memory, smart training, good diet and cross training to hopefully pull off a PR (personal record) this year at Sawtooth.
3 key elements in my training that were so successful last year in helping me have a fantastic race are going to be implemented again this year. Those three are running technical trails (because Superior is SUPER technical) doing stair repeats at Atwater (last year I built these up to 1-hr workouts, these stairs have some serious vert and there is ALOT of them) and cycling the day after my long runs (this is great cross training on tired legs, and helps to flush your muscles while also building endurance and strengthening the hip flexors/etc...
I will keep posting updates to this endeavor as I go. Mainly for my own records, but also to share my own approach for getting ready for a 50 mile race that is one of the toughest in this part of the nation. See http://fall.superiortrailrace.com/race-info/50-mile/ for details on this race. It is one of my all time favorites, and this will be my third time going up there to Lutsen, Minnesota and running on those gorgeous, remote and rugged Superior Hiking Trails (waterfalls, pristine forests, amazing group of people, VERY well put together race). I have race reports from my two previous races there listed on my blog and the Lapham Peak Trail Runners blog, see last years at: (http://laphampeaktrailrunners.blogspot.com/2014/09/superior-50-mile.html)