Yup, I have a coach!

Only 90 days away and there is so much to do .  My training is going well … did I mention I have an awesome coach?  When I first decided to register for MDS, I was planning on training on my own which would have been a total disaster for me.  Derrick Spafford is an accomplished ultra runner who’s done some crazy multi-day races and knows what he’s talking about!🙂

I did have reservations about hiring a coach, after all what’s so difficult about going out and simply logging miles when my goal for MDS is to complete, not compete.   But looking at what would I was planning on doing … running 6 to 7 days a week with minimal cross training and I would have been either burnt out  or injured and MDS would have been a nightmare.

What really proved to me the value of my coach was when I sprained my ankle in November, I was unable to run for 4 weeks.  Instead of sitting idly and freaking out about not being able to train, Derrick had me cross train on a bike, rowing machine and an elliptical climber at my gym.  I may not have been running but I was still able to train for the mountains and sand dunes of the Sahara and yes, MDS is a mountainous event. When I got back into running after Christmas, it only took a week of running to get to my regular mileage!

Derrick has been my coach since August and here are some things I’ve learned:

  1. Rest days are important! I LOVE my Friday rest days!
  2. there are different ways to train for hilly/mountainous races.  Here’s a picture of me and my new running partner Gus, the tire. Gus and I had been going out once a week for about a month until I sprained my ankle … looking forward to reviving this relationship soon!img_20161106_153526
  3. Cross and strength training is essential to being injury free … I’m doing strength training twice a week. It’s mainly body weight lunges, squats, upper body and core but I’ve discovered that I love going to the gym and using free weights! Easy weights and high reps as I’m trying to build functional strength for an event and not muscle mass.
  4. I have also started running twice a day.  At first this was overwhelming because all I seemed to be doing was run, work, run, eat,  sleep and repeat. But I had recently moved into a new job and to a new office building in downtown Toronto that had showers.  Running has now become part of my commute. I take the first GO train into work, get off at one stop earlier and run into work which can net me from 10 to 13k. And I’m still at my desk before 8am😀 And repeat in the evening, going home. Incorporating the runs as part of my commute, I’m only getting up 30 mins earlier and getting home 30 mins later.  Running doesn’t seem like such a chore anymore!

Getting a coach was the right decision for me and it’s making the whole MdS training experience far more enjoyable and exciting



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