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Flashback to 2009 Haliburton Forest 100 Mile Training

I’ve kept a training log since I began running year round in 1982. As a runner, and a coach, I’ve always found it fascinating and informative reading old training logs. I also have old books and manuals that contain detailed training logs from some of the greatest distance runners of the past hundred years including Paavo Nurmi, Emil Zatopek, Lasse Viren, Derek Clayton, Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter and Ron Hill. And coaches like Arthur Lydiard, Jack Daniels, and Bill Bowerman, just to name a few. I’ve always felt that so much could be learned from combining the latest training philosophy’s with knowledge from the past, combined with my own trial and error on myself.

I was reading through some of my old training logs recently and was reviewing one of my best training blocks from 12 years ago as I was preparing for the 2009 Haliburton Forest 100 mile. I’d had a really good buildup that year throughout the winter, spring and summer of consistently high mileage (up to 24+ hours per week of running) that included on average 2-3 hours per day of running, combined with lots of hills, decent speed work, strides/accelerations, and many solid long runs. I also tended to do lot of double workouts where I’d often run twice per day to get in extra mileage, while being able to run it faster. I did include some basic core work and other exercises to keep me structurally healthy, but other than that, didn’t include any other cross training. Just run!

The majority of my training was done on the trails around our home in Yarker, but I would usually go to Frontenac Park and Gould Lake at least a couple of times per week to benefit from either longer trails, more challenging hills, or both. Specificity is so important with running, especially on technical terrain, and these two trail systems nicely mimicked the Haliburton race course. We also made a few trips to the Adirondack’s High Peaks Region that summer for training weekends to get in some long, sustained mountain running. The training was hard, but my body was adapting to it and thriving on it.

I always felt that I was in good shape to run a great race when I could stack together a season of consistent (consistency is key), high mileage training. I knew that I was in really good shape going into Haliburton from one of my final longer runs before starting my taper. On this particular run, I drove to Frontenac Park, ran a brisk 7 hour long run and felt fantastic. I remember getting home from this run, hopping out of the car and being surprised that I wasn’t feeling more tired than I was. I honestly felt like I could have headed back out for another long run right then. I knew at that point I was ready. It was that sort of confidence I knew going into the race that allowed me to push the pace harder than I had up to that point in a 100 miler, even in the later stages of the race.

I remember clearly so much about the 2009 Haliburton Forest 100 mile race. I went into it thinking that based on my training I might have a chance at beating the course record. I ended up having a great race. I finished second to Glen Redpath as we both beat the old course record. While I would have liked to have won the race, I was still thrilled that my training, preparations and race itself all went so well and I was rewarded with the satisfaction of knowing that I’d executed a successful plan and run my best race possible.

Sample Training Week before tapering for 2009 Haliburton Forest 100mile…

Monday Aug 17, 2009

(AM) Running 5:07:00 (Cataraqui, K&P and Rideau Trail to Queen’s from home.)

Tuesday Aug 18, 2009

(AM) Running 1:30:00

(PM) Running 1:00:00

Wednesday Aug 19, 2009

(AM) Running 4:33:00 (Hilly Long Run w/Tempo. Cat Tr E-Escarpment-RTA-Everett Lane.)

Thursday Aug 20, 2009

(AM) Running 1:01:00

(PM) Running 1:00:00

Friday Aug 21, 2009

(AM) Running 1:40:00

(PM) Running 1:12:00 (Tempo Run on Cataraqui Trail)

Saturday Aug 22, 2009

(AM) Running 40:00

(PM) Running 52:00

Sunday Aug 23, 2009

(PM) Running 6:01:00 (Frontenac Park.)

Total Training Time for the Week = 24:36


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