( Hey there - If you are here for the Loup Garou update, scroll down to the next post. :-) )
Since committing to the Cowboy 200 in September of this year (the race is Sept 2024), I knew that a 200 miler would be a whole different animal. When I have done 100 milers in the past, I have just run ... a lot, and it worked. As with anything, the more time you put into being uncomfortable in training, the better your race will go.
One of the reasons I like the idea of the 200 mile distance so much, outside of it being so new and no one really having the distance perfected, is that I don't believe you can just grunt this one out. With 100's, if you are moderately trained and can endure some discomfort, you should be able to finish. This is different.
The most I have done in one go before is 130 miles, and boy do I remember those last 20 miles. They were essentially as fast death march where every step was excruciating. My feet were so swollen that I finished the last 20 miles in flip flops.
That memory is exactly why I am approaching Cowboy from a different angle. Yes, I will still need high mileage weeks and long runs. The difference is that I have added in more strength training than I have ever done. I know that second and third day on the trail will tax ALL of my muscles, so my goal is to try to gain overall strength and fitness to hopefully push that fatigue back as much as possible. While it is inevitable, I'd like to delay it as long as I can.
So, here is an overview of my training:
Through the end of the year, continue to build a base with 30ish mile weeks and strength training 3 days a week. At the first of the year, gradually increase my mileage to 50 mile weeks while maintaining strength work. April 13th is when the "official" training cycle begins and the long runs get much longer and 2 a days will kick in. Just in time for Louisiana summer.
By July, anything resembling a social life will end for a bit while I focus on running, working out and recovering. As an introvert, I don't hate this idea, lol.
And there we have it. The next 9 months of my life, if spent working hard and staying disciplined, should get me to the finish of my first 200 miler in a decent time. (yes I have a time goal, and no I am not putting it out into the world)