Who really knows how it started. I guess, the thought started due to The Ginger Runner and his 100 mile week video. Weeks later, out of nowhere, the urge to put in a hundred mile week hit. I wasn’t sure I had done it before for training. How would my body hold up? Would I feel sore, tired or dehydrated all week? Stop overthinking it. Just run. 

So I immediately looked for The Giner Runner episode and pulled the mileage breakdown. I figured this would be a good schedule. I may see the need to adjust due to work or weather as I’d find out later. Otherwise, it was solid and doable. I also thought about what goals I’d have. Obviously, don’t get hurt. After all, it is going to be a heck of a yeah with Tahoe 200 being the “A” race. I landed on zone 2 as my main goal. Keep your heart rate in zone 2. Train for that all day run. That no effort pace. The week was set. So I got my rest knowing that I’d need it!  

Proposed January 2021 100 mile week schedule

Day one: I had off work Monday for MLK day so I decided to hit the miles around 9am. The weather was like most of the days that week. Mid-20’s and cloudy. Great winter running weather for Wisconsin. Proud to say that 91% of the time, I was in or under my target heart rate. Perfect start to the week. 

Fresh snow after an early morning run

Day two: I’d need to break this up. I ended up settling on 8.61 miles for run number one. Give the time I had that morning and also the route. This entire run was within or under my target heart rate. Run two came in the afternoon and ended up being 6.55 miles. I did end up spending 31% of my time in zone three. Not bad given this would be my third run and a total of 30.72 miles in two days. 

Day three: Another after work run. Clocking in at 10.22 miles and a whopping 59% of my time in zone three heart rate, this wasn’t the best outcome for someone trying to stick to a zone two training cycle. Better luck next time, I guess. The three-day running total adds up to 40.94 miles. 

Day four: With 15 miles on the calendar I had a decision to make. Get up at about 2am or break this one up a little. So I got up early and put in 10.27 miles. 65% of the time was spent in zone two or lower so things were turning around. Run two came in at 4.86 miles and a huge success in the heart rate goal with 96% of the time being on target. The four day total comes in just over 56, at 56.07 miles. 

Day five: It was freezing outside. I didn’t want to go out. I put this run off and put it off. Finally, knowing I was almost a one miles in front of my schedule, I hit the treadmill. After 7 miles, I called it a day knowing that tredmill miles are terrible. Change my mind. The five day total was now at 63.07 miles. I didn’t know it at the time but this would now officially mark my largest volume training week. 

Post treadmill ‘Thank goodness its over” face

Day six: FREEZING COLD! Negative degrees with wind chill. I put this off and put this off and put this off. Finally, enough was enough. I’d just start running and see what would happen. No goal mileage in mind. Just try to get some in before giving up. I put Community on and the movie Unknown. I hit 10 miles and my wife came in and gave me a high five. She came in when I hit 14 miles and started riding her bike. I figure if I could get to 17 miles, I’d could switch up today for tomorrow and I’d still be in the game. Instead of stopping at 17, I made it to 18 miles and called it a day. All of my time being in my target heart rate zone. Just 19 to go. 

Day seven: Today would be mine. The weather was back to being that perfect upper 20’s for winter running. I picked out a fun route that would get me to around 14 miles. This way I’d be able to do the last 5 miles with Jen. It was snowing this morning. Perfectly fitting for the final run. I love snow running! I set out to enjoy the run, keeping it easy, not knowing what my body would say as the miles added up. I was feeling great. No sleep issues. No hunger issues. No hydration issues. Just where I needed to be. The miles just clicked off. Before I knew it, I was picking up Jen for the final 5 miles. Just like that. It was over. Officially 100.18 miles for the week. 

Thumbs up on the last day

So what did I learn during my first training 100 mile week? A whole lot to be honest. Don’t set yourself short. I mean, I knew I could do it but I didn’t think it would go like this. I’m craving more. It kind of felt easy to be honest. Taking care of your body helps. Staying on top of my sleep, hydration and nutrition and not getting behind early on is the key to the 100 mile week, just like it is when it comes to an ultramarathon distance race.