I've been thinking a bit recently about how I should train for the WHW race. For the first two ultras I ran I followed a fairly detailed plan doing typically 50 miles per week, and the odd week longer than that. Training took up a lot of time which wasn't always that popular with the rest of the family. Plus, I ended up getting either ill or injured at some point.
Last year, I did much lighter mileage, averaging only 15 miles per week for the five months before the Cateran Trail race, but always including some quality sessions (hills and intervals) and cross training each week. I wasn't as fit for the Cateran Trail race as I had been for the Highland Fling the previous year, but there wasn't that much difference considering how many fewer miles I had ran in preparation. Also, in the five months before the Cateran Trail, I had only done two or three long (15+ miles) runs.
I'm pretty certain that 15 miles a week and a handful of long runs won't really cut it as preparation for the WHW race, but I want to keep the plan simple and make sure I get quality training in rather than getting obsessed with weekly mileages. So my training plan for the WHW race in June 2011 is not really a plan but a set of objectives:
1. Each week, do either one long (4+ hours) run, or 2 fairly long (2+ hours) runs on consecutive days
2. Do one interval session each week - something like 5 x 1km or 4 x 1 mile
3. Do one hilly (at least 400m ascent) run each week
4. Do some cross training each week - most likely mountain biking
5. Try and do a 30+ mile run in each of January, February and March, the Highland Fling in April and the Cateran Trail in May
6. Rest properly and don't get ill or injured
Let's hope it works.