Ragnar Relay Training

I have been increasing my weekly mileage from 20 to 25, then 30, then 35, to 40 and now nearly 45 miles per week since April. At 40-45 mpw it’s getting interesting and I wonder if I’m getting burnt out or exercise addiction.

The intermediate Ragnar Relay training schedule is a little over the top with running 6 days a week up to 45-50 mpw. My group isn’t fast. We’re not trying to win anything. But, I do have the longest mileage of the group at 21.9 miles because I love distance running. Last year I ran my first marathon and from miles 18-23 I felt like I was flying. I found my sweet spot. I wanted the longest leg because I wanted to step up my game in training since the marathon. And I like distance so I figured I could save everyone the worry of who will take the longest and hardest legs. I’ve been training hard because of 2 reasons: 1) I don’t want to disappoint my team 2) I never ever want to experience being undertrained for a race again. In 2010, I ran my first half marathon, a whim since one of my friends got pregnant and wasn’t able to run it. In college I used to run 15 mile runs a couple days a week, but it had already been years since I was running distance. My longest run before running that half was 8 miles and the last 3 miles I was in excruciating pain and slow. When I got home, I passed out from dehydration and exhaustion.

When I took on training for my first marathon, I followed all the training verbatim and had an amazing time on that marathon. Sure, my legs were sore miles 23-26 but nothing compared to how I felt my first half and I finished feeling good enough to walk around and do stuff after.

2 weeks ago as I was at 37 mpw, I was always starving but my weight went up 3 lbs. I freaked out and started monitoring my calories which is insane when you think about how much you’re burning running every day, up to 4,000 calories per week. Then the weight just dropped off last week after I gorged on Memorial Day weekend. Maybe I actually needed more and not less calories.

Last week I finally felt like I adjusted to my longer mileage completing 44 miles that week. The week before I was having hell getting sleep and by the end of last week finally adjusted. I crave weird stuff especially after long runs, I want oranges and tomatoes or leafy greens and still more calories. This week it’s dairy I’ve been craving. My back the other night was in pretty bad pain. I switched instead of taking my rest day after my weekend runs including my long run on Sunday, I did a recovery run Monday night. It’s strange because my legs seem to be dealing fine with fatigue while my back and upper body, arms and neck are not.

My training has kind of been:
Sat – 5 mile run or two 5 mile runs one in the morning and one at night
Sun – long run or multiple runs building up to 16-18 miles
Mon – off day or recovery run (4-5 miles)
Tues – 5-7 miles speed workout
Wed – 5-10 miles hills
Thurs – 5-10 miles
Fri – off day or swim or rock climbing

So this is my Ragnar Relay training journey so far at Week 14 and roughly 6 weeks to go. I also have a triathlon in August which friends keep reminding me I need to get on training for that but I just can’t imagine fitting in swimming and biking in with all of this training.

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