Monday, July 7, 2014

Hood to Coast Training Plan

I'm still doing lots of triathlon training for my September races, but the next focused training and scheduled race is for Hood to Coast, in late August. This is an awesome relay race, 195 miles from Mt. Hood to the Oregon coast, run by teams of 12 people in 2 vans. I've wanted to do HTC since three years ago when my employer had a team and I was just starting to get into running. But there's a limit on the number of teams, so not everyone can sign up, and we haven't gotten a slot since then - until this year! 

Each runner has 3 legs, each between 4 to 8 miles long, and of varying complexity as far as terrain and elevation changes. I'm runner 8, so my middle leg is a relatively tough climb, but not super long. In total I'll run 14.4 miles; these legs are the second to shortest mileage total, and ranked third to easiest in overall difficulty (which accounts for both distance and terrain).

Leg 8

Leg 20

Leg 32

Realistically, training to run 14+ miles over 2 days in a race requires more than 6 weeks, but I wanted to focus on last weekend's half marathon first, knowing that the weekly volume (which I got close to) and speedwork (which I didn't quite meet) planned for the half would be similar to what I'd want to do for designated HTC training. Only real difference would be single long runs versus double or triple runs in 24 to 36 hour blocks, but the total "long" mileage over a weekend would be fairly similar.

Here's my lovely color-coded (Swim, Bike, Run, Other, Race, Life) 6-week plan:

(Yep, doing a race the morning of the wedding! The race is at 8:30 and the wedding isn't until 2:00. We can't even get into the venue until 1:00 and my make-up/hair prep isn't too complex, so I think there's plenty of time in between and Abe and I running together - hopefully him pacing me to a PR - will make for a great start to a great day.)

Had to work the training plan around some important non-training events - namely my wedding and honeymoon! Fortunately half of the honeymoon is going to be on a cruise ship, which appears to have a track, pool (no idea of the pool length, though), and a fitness center which hopefully has a stationary bike and treadmill. Two of the cruise days are at-sea/not docking anywhere, so I loaded up those days with more exercise, and then also some lesser training on days where there's an earlier scheduled departure from the day's docking location (and thus presumably more free time just hanging around the ship those evenings), and left some longer docking days free for sight-seeing off ship.

On non-cruise days, we'll spending a good chunk of time at disc golf courses. I try to play with Abe on some courses, but I'm really not any good at the sport, and many of the courses are in nice parks, so I can do some running while he's playing disc golf. We also have plans to bike around Anchorage one of the pre-cruise days. Fortunately, Abe's training for a fall triathlon now, too, so balancing the vacation and training are important to us both; it's not like I'll be heavily distracting from his enjoyment of the trip by trying to fit in workouts for myself.

Besides some triple runs mimicking my three legs over 30 hours or so (including the same relative distances, and doing hills on the middle leg), anyone with HTC or other relay experience have suggestions for the best way to train?


  1. HTC is a blast especially if you enjoy your van mates. Have a great time! And that Leg 20 is pretty intense especially if you end up on it in the dark.

    Happy wedding wishes :)

    1. Thanks!

      I am definitely a bit nervous for night run (I'm not sure when we get our assigned start time, but I'll definitely be doing some calculations to estimate what times I'll be running as soon as we do!), but overall really looking forward to it!


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