Bringing out the Big Guns For Training

Hello readers!

So I’ve got about 12 weeks left before the big 50K. I am roughly two weeks into full-on training and I’ve decided to bring out the big guns. The big guns being my new trainer: Nick Patenaude.

I met Nick last year – he was one of the MEC leaders for the fall training clinic I signed up for. Anyways, I didn’t go to all the clinic sessions as my own training schedule didn’t exactly align with Sunday morning sessions (okay, I usually ended up going out on Saturday nights and was often too hungover to even think about running with a group of bright and bushy tailed people). Anyways, I ran into Nick at my Elk Lake half-marathon last fall and he passed me his card.

Fast-forward to a few weeks ago and I was starting to feel the pressure of only having three full months of training. For those of you who really know me, you know that I’m a self-starter and I tend to thrive on my own. But I’ve never taken on a physical challenge like the Squamish 50K, so I decided I was going to need some help, and Nick popped right into my mind.

Nick left a really positive impression on me from the few running sessions I did attend, and I knew his positivity, easy-going enthusiasm, and his running knowledge would help me give the edge I need. So, I sent him an e-mail and we met up for a smoothie and he said he wanted to do an initial training session to see where I was at.

So this past week we met at the Oak Bay track where he put me through some motion drills (which quickly highlighted how HIGHLY uncoordinated I am, and generally how tense my entire body is). He then timed me on a 5K run around the track, which is 12 and a half laps. To be honest, it was a lot harder than I thought. Not physically really, but the BOREDOM of just going around and around like some life-sized hamster was a mental challenge all on its own. When you’re on the trail you don’t really have time to be bored: you’re too busy scanning for roots, rocks, when the next climb is, or is there a bear – or mountain lion – in the distance slowly stalking my perceived wounded body, honing in on the frantic huffing and puffing.

Ultimately, Nick was there to encourage me the whole way and I was relieved when it was done. The whole point was for him to get a sense of what sort of shape I am in and where I need help (which is basically everywhere in my opinion). Anyways, I am stoked to have him helping me a few times a week and hopefully, it will prepare me even more for my first ultra marathon.

So, here’s what my current training plan looks like for anyone who is interested:

  • Wednesday: Evening training session with Nick that’s going to rotate around strength, mobility, and speed. This up-and-coming Wednesday we are doing hills and trails at Beacon Hill Park.
  • Thursday: Evening trail run with MEC group, usually around 7-8K on pretty technical single-track.
  • Friday: Off day.
  • Saturday/Sunday: Long trail run with lots of climbing (at the moment at least 450M). I am favouring Mount Work at the moment. Future plans might have another training session with Nick that will include the trails too.
  • Monday/Tuesday: Light gym workout that includes cardio on the bike and some leg strength training, or depending on how I am feeling one of these days is an off day.

That’s all for now – time to hit the trails and get that long run in!




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