Family life

Week 5: Tread 6-hour trail run training

A few weeks into training for her first ultra marathon, Jennifer overcomes overtraining.

By Jennifer Pinarski
Week 5: Tread 6-hour trail run training

Ask me how I really feel about hill training.

Remember when I first blogged about knowing that life would get in the way of hitting every training run for the Tread 6-Hour trail run? For the first two weeks I didn’t miss a scheduled run. But at the end of those two weeks my legs were constantly sore, I was grouchy, depressed and hungry all the time. After checking in with my Facebook friends, they all quickly pointed out that I wasn’t eating enough and I was running too much. Much of the hunger was related to a gluten- and dairy-free diet I had been following to help bring an autoimmune skin condition under control — so my standbys of peanut butter and jam with chocolate milk were out of the question. I know there are many successful paleo athletes (our own Bouncing Back blogger Kristen Auger included), but I was truly struggling to get enough food into me to recover from my endurance weekend runs. Once I added PB&J back to my diet, plus a Vitamin B6 supplement, I felt 100% better. 
The overtraining took care of itself. Last week Gillian spent five days with a fever and, between doctor’s appointments to confirm an ear infection, round the clock breastfeeding because that’s all she’d take in and the exhaustion that accompanies caring for sick children, I only ran three times instead of the five times on my training schedule. And what amazed me was how much better my weekend rendurance runs went. My weekend running, though long and slow, felt fantastic. Instead of dreading the second day of distance running, I woke up refreshed and looking forward to seeing how my legs would hold up.
Naturally, the further I get into my training, the longer the distances I run. This past weekend I hit my furthest distance ever — 26km. It was an amazing feeling to hear my running app (I use Nike+ and RunKeeper), announce that I’d hit 26km. I didn't stop smiling all day. The following day was 16km, making the weekend total the distance equivalent to running a full marathon. What amazes me is that on race day, with any luck, I’ll cover that distance in one day, not two.
This is what the next seven days of training is supposed to look like:
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 29km
Sunday: 16km
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 6.5km
Thursday: 6.5km
This article was originally published on Mar 30, 2012

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