Ultra Marathon Training Block 2 Weeks 5-8

Ultra Marathon Training: Block 2 Weeks 5-8

There’s a reason we skip hard training. It is hard.


The past 4 weeks were a re-education for my body on hard training. I started to feel really good after the first couple of weeks. It was okay though, I soon got over it and struggled in the 4th week.



Lessons Learnt


I came out of that first training block with the following lessons:

  1. The more I do VO2max intervals the better they feel. They still don’t feel easier.
  2. Long runs are well off where I want them to be
  3. I skipped most of my strength training
  4. My headspace has a big influence on how my runs go.


The 2 main points of Block 2 are an extension of the same from Block 1:

  1. Increase VO2max
  2. Increase distance of long run

These two will be over laid with a 3rd concept:

Increase over all work capacity


Training Structure


I’ve moved from 8 out to 9 day cycles for training. Mainly because I’m on a different roster cycle for work. It also does work in quite well with what I am trying to achieve. It makes for a simple structure of 1 day hard followed by 2 easy days.

  1. Easy
  2. Easy
  3. VO2max Intervals
  4. Easy
  5. Easy
  6. Long Run
  7. Easy
  8. Easy
  9. Hill Repeats


feet on the track


1. VO2max Intervals


I’ll continue with 1000m intervals at something heading towards 3000m race pace. Starting this block with 6 repeats, I’ll try to add one repeat every 9 days. There is enjoyment in the exactness and repeatability of intervals on the track.


As part of increasing and supporting my VO2max I will continue with the hill repeats. Mixing it up with a different hill each week. There are plenty of options around me.  The outline will be about 2-3 minutes per repeat at a similar effort to the track intervals.


2. Long Runs


While I want to get the speed up, it is more important to build volume at this stage. I’ll throw out set paces. A lot less watch watching. Instead I’ll focus on keeping my running form in check. Something well above the ultra shuffle. I’m hoping if I get the process right the speed will creep in naturally.


3. Strength Training


Instead of skipping most of what I thought were well planned strength sessions, it would be best to at least do something. Out the window is a strict plan. In is a commitment to do 15-30 minutes of strength work most days. It should lead to more work than trying to save it all for a bigger workouts. Most will be at the end of my easy runs.


4. Headspace


Thinking has been getting in the way on my hard runs. Especially the long runs. While great for the planning, too much going on in the head has my brain explain to my body why it shouldn’t keep going. My brain can be very convincing.


When I’m at my best I tend to hit flow state reasonably often. Time to rebuild my skills and practice to better tap into that. A mixture of mind training is now back in the training mix.


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