Friday, October 10, 2014

Training for the Whistler 50 Mile Ultra 2014

I decided the 2nd week of September that I would enter the Whistler 50 Miler scheduled to take place October 18th. I was encouraged by Armand Leblanc, president of the Association of Canadian Ultramarathoners, who happened to be in the Comox Valley on business, working for a couple of weeks at the same Air force Base base where I am stationed. While he joined me on a 16km hill training run in the Cumberland forest, he shared with me some of his experiences running ultramarathons since he began racing in the late 1980's. The first competitive race he ran was a 100km one in Europe. Before that the furthest he had gone was 10km. Since then he has run over 100 ultras of various distances. He told me the upcoming Whistler Ultra was a Canadian championship this year for the 50 Mile distance.

Since I hadn't trained intensely during the month of July while I was in Hawaii this year, I wondered if I still had the stamina for a 50 Miler, so the 2nd last weekend of September I had Olivia, my wife, drive support vehicle for me on a 44km early morning run to Campbell River. My pace ended up being faster than I had ever run that route before. The cooler temperatures and rain that day probably helped. You can watch a video blog of the training run below.

I've been doing much more mid week hill training, and have been feeling good results from it with increased leg strength. It is sort of risky running alone on these forest trails this time of year because the bears and cougars are active. I wear a bear bell most days to ward them off. I haven't seen any of them so far, but I did cross paths with a majestic elk, around 12 feet tall while running the pipe line trail up to the hydro station. Just as I reached into my Camel Pack to get my camera the elk took off into the thick woods.

I feel I've had a good base of ultra training this year, so it will be interesting to see how things go in Whistler.

No comments: