Training For A Relay Means Twice A Day…What?!

With less than 2 weeks until Ragnar Relay Florida Keys, figured it would be appropriate to post a little about how exactly I’m training for it.

I’ll admit, I didn’t really think much beyond “YES I WANT TO DO IT!” when I was asked to fill a spot for a Ragnar Relay. What followed was about the same thought process when I went for the Gasparilla Ultra Challenge. Afterwards was the realization that these registrations needed to be followed up with an applicable type of training.

Now my running routine has settled into the usual non-training of about 35 miles a week. This amount includes a speed workout in the form of intervals and usually at least a 10 mile long run. But since I want to do two events that require running/racing multiple times in a 24 hour period, it seems appropriate to do some twice a day runs.

Great in theory; a whole lot different in practice.

To be a bit moderate, I’ve been adding only 2 to 3 days of double runs. Pretty much keeping my regular running schedule and then on the days that are easiest for me, running at the opposite end of the day as well.

Let there be no doubt. It’s difficult. More than anything it seems hard to convince myself I need to go back out—again—for a second run when I already got one done for the day. It’s tiring. The first week of these I got more 8-10 hour nights of sleep than I can remember in too long. It makes me mad hungry; definitely been eating a lot more too.

Yet I’m getting in the extra mileage and prepping pretty solidly for both events.

My Ragnar team is all set. I’m runner #2 which means I’ll be totaling about 18 miles across the three legs. The splits aren’t too bad (in my mind at least) with a 4.4, 4.7, and then 9.0 as the miles for each leg. And on the even more awesome side, my last leg is the 7 mile bridge! Score! By the way, my team thinks this mentality is crazy. While I may not know what exactly I’m getting myself into, I am super stoked to get to run the 7 mile bridge.

Luck has been on my side as one of my team members has a spread sheet that when paces are entered calculates about what time of day we can expect for each of our legs. As such, that’s helped me lots in logging runs around the different times I’ll be expecting to run.

By choice, I’ve not been attempting to make these runs at my estimated pace. I’m treating it like a real race where adrenaline and such will have my “race pace” faster than what I’ve been training. But I’ve still managed to log a few good runs in the 8:10-8:30 range, so I feel pretty comfortable at being able to reach what I estimated (a 7:45 pace). Though that last leg is iffy.

Biggest thing I’ve learned from the past few weeks is pay attention to recovery. Those multiple runs in 24 hours come back to haunt you if you aren’t properly going about the post-run routine. I make sure to have a bottle of water with a Nuun tablet thrown in after every run. If not that, a glass of chocolate milk. Extra stretches and compression sleeves as necessary. All are mad important to keep moving about as normal even with the extra miles.

The next 10 days will be filled with prep as I plan out my gear. The rest of my team has been very helpful passing along tips, so expect to see me write at least a little something about tackling that.

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