Sunday, August 23, 2009

SHT 50 mile race plan

I'm 20 days out from the SHT fall 50 mile. Not entirely prepared, physically or mentally. A minor knee injury earlier this summer really threw a loop in my training (by cutting out five weeks of it) and I haven't got up to near the mileage that I did for the 50K. I have only put in one week where I ran in excess of 40 miles since the 50K. Oh well.

I did some trail running this morning at Afton State Park. Just a single loop, about 11.3 miles worth. It took me about 110 minutes, or just under 10 min/mile - this includes walking up some hills, so my actual running pace was faster. This is with a fudge factor built in to compensate for my missing 0.3 miles of timing (about 3 minutes). Not too shabby, but it is not the SHT. Afton has too many small rolling hills and a long 1.7 miles of flat dirt near the river. On the SHT, I will have none of that.

Perhaps if I average 10 min/mile, and then add a fudge factor of 10 percent, that's 11 min/mile and a 550 minute race - 9 hours, 10 minutes. This puts as a top-four finisher for the years online results are posted. And thus it makes the pace look flawed.

But perhaps not. I ran poorly at the 50K, yet averaged 10:51 mile/min average. And that's with a lot of walking and slow, slow running. So perhaps somewhere between 10-11 minutes per mile is not that far off.

Of course I have no clue how this will play out. I can only sit back and enjoy the run. Stay out of the front of the pack and get settled early. Last time, I went out too hard and paid for it with pain and sluggish struggling. This time, I am better prepared mentally, and have been biking more and more to compensate for my lack of running.


samh said...

Sounds like some good solid, analytical planning, Matt. Race day may bring cold or rain or mud or... whatever. Regardless, continue to train and do your best.

Matthew Patten said...


Good luck with the 50.

I found your "twitter" threads through the #ultra tags.

Scott Mark (runlikemonkey) and I are going to try and "tweet" some of the race. We are tagging the race as #straces. Scott is also doing the 50. I am doing the Friday race. Feel free to update and add the #straces tag. (only Verizon works well up there). It would be fun to get a lot of people updating the race.

Keep in mind the race results for the 50 from 2007 and before. It was a bit easier of course, consisting of an out and back from Lutsen. The point to point starting at Finalnd is somewhat harder.

50 on that course can really do a number, but it is a blast and you should love it.

See you at the finish

Matt Lutz said...

Thanks for the heads up Matt. I'll make sure to put that up.

Scott Mark said...

Don't even get me STARTED about talking injuries this summer - that has turned into my training plan. This will be an interesting Saturday. Good luck in your race - if you did 10/11 in the Spring you should do great. I will definitely be behind you!

Matt Lutz said...

Scott - injuries are something that come and go. I have been lucky enough to more or less avoid them altogther, but with more miles comes an increased risk of injury.

The best thing to do is track them and make sure the nagging ones go away before beginning a training program in earnest again. Otherwise, you risk an injury spiral and more time off.

For example, last year I lost four weeks of marathon training because I was running with shoes that did not fit my arches. After nine years of running, I learned I had flat feet. Go figure! (I know you use Vibram 5Fingers, so we'll have to talk about that later)

Anywho, I'm staying at Caribou Highlands and I'd love to meet you and Matt pre/post-race. I'll be up there Friday night around 7-8 p.m.