STRATEGY – MAY – 50K Ultra Training the S.M.A.R.T. Way


Ready for the next challenge

Over the years, I’ve tried many different training programs and worked with several different coaches. Each has their own approach and generally reflects what has worked for them as athletes. For me there are a few things I look for in a good coach; skill, adaptability, proven success and a good sense of humour!

To be clear, I am not an elite athlete nor do I have aspirations of going to the Olympics. That barge has beached. I’m a competitive Masters Age Grouper, who like so many others, train hard and consistently to do well in athletic events.

Competitive runners routinely look for that next big challenge, whether it be to set a new PB at a local race, survive race season without injury or qualify for the Boston Marathon. Whatever your personal goals are, it is the “journey”, that takes you from start to finish and the process which aids in your success.

Establishing proper pace and heart rate zones with the Peak Centre in running and cycling, has significantly improved my cardiovascular ability since 2007 and has allowed me reach target paces I never dreamt possible. Mark Shorter was an excellent coach for me when I was competing in Olympic Distance Triathlon. He motivated and challenged me through some aggressive training that allowed me to move from the back of the pack to the front in my age group.

Riding to a new PB at the Apple Triathlon

The SeaHiker swim coaches taught me skill and confidence in  open water, while significantly improving my technique. Although I still have difficulty “sighting”, and swimming a straight line unless one exists at the bottom of a pool, the fear of being overtaken by hundreds of crashing, splashing , flailing arms and legs during the swim start of an open water race doesn’t intimidate me anymore. I actually embrace the madness because it is part of the sport which makes it so exciting.

Carey coaching the Forerunners club at UBC track

Carey Nelson has probably been the most influential running coach I’ve had the pleasure of training with because he is always fine tuning his program and is up to date on the latest methods for success in road running. A few years ago Carey gave me the book Run Less, Run Faster and since I was off running with my first Achilles injury, I read it along with Natural Running. As I recovered and applied both training methods the results were astounding and yielded me 11 PB’s in 2011, so no doubt I swear by both programs and have encouraged many other runners to follow suit. As a run group leader I want to see my fellow runners do their very best and continue to improve.

Running and exercise in general are a lifestyle for me, so whatever I can do to stay healthy an fit as I age – I say bring it on!

After being “railed”;  unable to run for almost 5 months last spring with my second Achilles injury, I opted for trail running as I gradually recovered and  rebuilt my endurance.  I will admit it was my own fault as I hadn’t taken a break from training or racing in 2 1/2 years – so no sympathy expected.

Surprisingly I had lost my desire to run on the road as the trails offered so much more stimulation for my mind, body & spirit.Forest

The combination of trail running, cross training, strength training & yoga during the “off”season gave me a pretty good base to tackle my next adventure. It would be a 50K Ultra Trail race in Oregon this October 11th.

The Oregon Coast is a very special place for my family and myself as we would camp there almost every summer as kids. Dad wanted his ashes scattered in the Devil’s Churn…where I will run past at some point during the event. Unfortunately dad didn’t make it to his chosen resting place but I’ll be thinking of him as I pass by. My  goal will be to finish. Alive.


Never say “never”, generally leads me to the sign-up page, so as I blog about my journey over the next 5 months to get to the start line unscathed, I hope you will contribute your 2 cents or 5 and perhaps remind me if I start whining, that no-one is forcing me to do this.

Jason Interval & LoutittBrainFreeze
Jason wearing the LoutittBrainFreeze beeni & Interval jersey for RTM line

The karmic reality of Jason Loutitt coming into our “bamboozlness” this past February as our first sponsored athlete has led him to become a friend and a very inspirational coach. His skill, dedication & passion for running and competition both on the road and off; combined with years of experience coaching all levels of runners presented an opportunity for me to learn the ropes from one of the best. While he is in France this summer representing Canada in a multitude of races; testing and racing in the custom ultra running gear we’ve designed for & with him (RTM – Running Through Mountains), he is coaching me on-line.

I thought my journey from road to trail ultra runner might appeal to some of my fellow athletes, so decided to track my progress in this monthly blog.

At CA12345 everything we do is based on the number 5. So I ran the karmic numbers.

1. Jason follows the S.M.A.R.T. training program 5 letters

2. 5 months of macro-cycle training.

3. I started my training plan in the 5th month of 2015

4. I’m 55 (that’s a bonus 5) 

5. I’m running my first 50K.

That’s a lot of 5’s and good enough for me.

Ready, set…let’s roll !!!

May 1 – May 31

Run Distance = 196.2 KM

Run + X Training = 37.75 hours + daily dog walks ( 60 – 90 min/day)

Carey & Darrel & Bev
Shaugnessy 8K Carey 2nd AG + Darrel 1 AG + Bev 2 AG = 5

Race # 1 BMO 8K 2/72 AG 

Race #2 Shaugnessy 8K 2/10 AG






Rocks & Roots
…a rolling stone gathers no moss and neither will I…

NEXT BLOG – June  – “Measure of Success”

“Let’s talk about this Ultra Trail Running nonsense that I sad I would NEVER do”.

One thought on “STRATEGY – MAY – 50K Ultra Training the S.M.A.R.T. Way

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