Marathon Training & Ragnar Trail Run Prep

Taking a brief break from crazy-town that is the last 3 weeks of spring semester wrapping up to FINALLY blog a blog. (PS: photo cred to Ragnar’s Twitter for the featured image)

I am inside 8 weeks to my 14th full marathon, the 40th annual Grandma’s Marathon in my hometown backyard, Duluth, Minnesota.  Although I have a bit of a hiccup with my weird foot issue, I seem to have a regimen that isn’t necessarily hindering (though to be perfectly honest, it’s probably not helping either).

Two runs a week.  A far cry from my normal 4-5 a week that I’ve been doing for the last, I don’t know, 2 years or so?  One long run, which is not only surprisingly enjoyable thus far thanks largely to the company of fellow Mom’s Run This Town HoCo runners/moms that happen to motivate me and join me for hours of miles once a week.  But that long run is also at a surprising pace.  I’ve consistently been sub-10 minute miles up to 14 miles so far (minus today, which was a hybrid trail/road run… counts for training and intensity, not for pace!).

My other run each week has either been hills or speedy runs, both of which are just nasty – but necessary.  As for the other components of my training, 2 Power Train classes a week (think 45 minute, high intensity interval boot camp classes), usually one session crosstraining on an elliptical for about an hour (which also allows me to catch up on my guilty-pleasure-TV shows), and yoga where ever I can.  Tune into my IG (@TheFermentedSole) for pics and run/fitness updates throughout the journey.

Alright, now to the good stuff… Friday morning the S’Moregon Trail Runners (yes, S’moregon) of MRTT HoCo take on the Ragnar Trail VA in Pocahontas State Park near Richmond, Virginia.  36-ish hours of trail running, camping, s’mores, and more s’mores!  I just posted a prep-pic on IG showing some of my packing supplies including 3 running outfits, some hearty oats and freeze dried peaches for breakfasts, a handful of Clif Bars, and more!  (I’m really looking forward to my instant loaded mashed potatoes for lunch or dinner!!!)

The trail run prep for this Ragnar is more similar to the Half Wit Half Marathon Trail run prep last summer… The MD50k was just too unpredictable and the weather is nowhere near similar to that experience (thank God!).  Read more about the HWHM prep in my blog here.

Some of the staples include:

#1 – my hydropack.  So so sooooo important on trail races, although this Ragnar is interesting because each leg starts and ends at relatively the same place, and the distances are 4.4, 5.5 and 5.8 miles… nothing I wouldn’t be able to handle without support; however, isn’t it nice to have something in case you need it?  I’m running with my Nathan hydropack.

#2 – Heart Rate Monitor. Most trail runs I would consider this NECESSARY.  However, with hours worth of recovery in between each leg, it’s more just nice to have along to see how hard I’m working…(aka more s’mores and beer!)

#3 – Bug spray.  And more bug spray.  I have 3 different bug sprays: a gear spray, an organic all-natural spray (Thank you Wildroots!!) and the good ol’ standard chemical stuff.

#4Sunscreen. Nuff said.

#5 – Nutrition.  Everyone differs on what they like, what they carry and what they crave when they run and when they camp!  I mentioned my oatmeal/freeze dried peach meals, Clif Bars (because, duh), and my Idahoan loaded instant mashed potatoes… I also have Starbucks instant coffee packets (not pulling a plug here, they’re literally the best ones out there) instant wild rice cups, pre-made pancakes with 2 packets of Justin’s Almond Butter to slather them with, sun dried tomato tuna packets (new version from Bumblebee that are TO DIE FOR! and provide much needed recovery protein), some garden vegetable Ritz crackers and much needed Nuun Energy tabs. Not pictured: beer, because I BMOB like a pro.

#6 – Wet Wipes.  Let’s face it… They. Are. Necessary.  I splurged on some face wipes because they will smell good when I do not!

#7 – FirstAid/Meds.  I might not need them, but they’ll come in handy if I do.  Ibuprofen, Peptol tabs, eye drops, allergy meds… they take up zero space – like Nike said, Just Do it.

Other helpful items include Vaseline, GoPro, spare battery chargers (I have 2 lipstick chargers and a solar buddy to come along).  Also anything weather-friendly, though we’re just a little too far out for now to be certain on those measures.

Again, stay tuned to my IG for the best updates – I love my blog, but at the end of the semester like this and starting a new job… it’s not the first thing to get the update!  I’ll be sure to post a Ragnar Recap without a doubt though!

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