It’s February now so I thought I’d update you all on what my running goals are this year now that I have a clearer picture.
2 out of 3 ultras isn’t bad!
It’s official. I will be running 2 ultra marathons this year: Sun Mountain 50K and Squamish 50K. I was hoping to get into the Kneeknacker as well but the lottery gods were not in my favour during the draw. Maybe it’s the universe telling me it’s too much. I’m ok with that. It seems like a tall order to do two this year but they’re about 2 months apart, which gives me enough time to recover and build up again.
The two ultras are very different. Sun Mountain is less technical, more runnable, hot and exposed and with an elevation gain of 1,645 meters. It also has a tight cutoff at 8 hours. I’ve done the Sun Mountain 25k course before and loved it but of course, double that distance and it’ll be a challenge. It’s known as one of the “easier” ultras, good for a first timer. It will no doubt feel a lot easier than Squamish last year, but as usual, I will be concerned of missing cutoffs. The Squamish 50 is the exact opposite, with 2 extra kilometers (surprise!), a ton of climbing, technical descents, more climbing, and has a risk of forest fire smoke in the air since the race is in August. Read about my Squamish 50 recap to get a glimpse into this race. My plan this year is to better last year’s time. A tall order as anything can happen between now and August. Either way it will be a fun weekend, as I’ve also signed up to volunteer on the 50 mile race day.
Adding more spice to my training
I’ve already started training. Unfortunately, a spring ultra comes with a winter training plan. What I need to focus on to achieve my running goals are speed work, strength, and hill repeats. I’m hoping that it will be light enough out for me to be able to take advantage of Stanley Park’s hills once more. For now, here’s all the cross training I’ve been doing.
Strength at Balance in Motion
I’ve been joining some workouts at Balance in Motion at the end of Howe Street on the False Creek seawall. Thanks to the Capra 30×30 Challenge last year, I won 30 days of unlimited classes with them, and I’ve been making the most of it. Circuit training there is fun yet challenging. The groups are small so you get enough attention from the trainer. It’s 4 circuits of exercises for a total of 8 minutes per circuit. The workout sessions are great because you’re so focused on each circuit that the 8 minutes just fly by and suddenly your hour is up. It’s a lot of sweat in an hour. They also have a Pure Energy class which is a good mix of cardio, core and strength. You can find them on their website or on the Mind Body app to give them a try.
#TrackTuesday with Fraser Street Run Club
I also intend to join Fraser Street Run Club‘s free Tuesday track workouts as my schedule permits. They’re a good group of fast, inspiring, and friendly people. I went this past week and it was an awesome workout. On tap was a descending ladder, meaning the number of laps go down but the pace goes up. We were grouped with people of similar paces and encouraged to work as a team to get the workout done. It was a relief to have other people there who’s a little slower like me! Check out their Facebook page to see what the next workout is like so you can join in. All levels are welcome.
Trail running with Salomon Super Chill Lab
Every other Saturday, the Salomon Trail Lab includes a “Super Chill Lab” for newer or chill paced runners who want to enjoy a shorter tour of the North Shore. The full Trail Labbers are usually a lot faster but nobody gets left behind by the Super Chill group. Both groups run similar trails, just a shorter version for the Super Chill. If you like fun, technical trails and spending time with a great group of people, check out their Facebook page to see where they’re headed to next. It’s free! Lucky for me, they had a Super Chill Lab on my birthday. It was a perfect start to my morning.
Yoga and stretching
Something I want to try more this year is somewhat regular yoga practice. Somewhat, because it’s hard to make it work with my work and training schedule. I tried a Kundalini yoga class at Oxygen Yoga & Fitness the day before the First Half and it seemed to have helped loosen me up a bit. I will also have to step up the rolling and visits to my RMT to stay healthy. Hopefully it will keep me from getting injured so my running goals will be achievable.
I’m so happy to announce that I’ve renewed with Nuun, Aftershokz, 5 Peaks, West Van Run, and Endurance Tap. I’ve also been selected to be a part of the Suunto Factory Team! I love my new Suunto 9 and I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about it or any of the other brands I represent. Keep an eye out for special offers on my Discounts page. I’ll post them whenever I get word of them. Thank you to all these fabulous companies for supporting me and my running goals.
What are your running goals this year? Will you be incorporating any cross training or trying out a new sport? Inspire me with your race goals and training plans in the comments below.