Sunday, July 16, 2017

Dopey Challenge Training: Week 1

Hello, out there! Niffercoo is here and ready to get back to the original purpose of this blog: to journal my experiences while training and racing! As I begin to tackle this exciting event that is the Dopey Challenge 2018, I want to chronicle the ups and downs so I can look back on it later like I have been able to do with my other big events! 

So here we go!


This week was the first week of my training for the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World in January 2018. In case you haven't heard of the Dopey Challenge, it's a 4 day event where participants run a 5K on Thursday, a 10K on Friday, a half marathon on Saturday, and a full marathon on Sunday - all on Disney property! This year will be the 25th anniversary of the marathon and the 5th anniversary of the Dopey Challenge, so the medals and shirts will be special! And that's why I chose to tackle this 'one and done' event this particular year! 

There are a few training plans out there for the challenge, but the one I decided to use to inspire my own training plan was developed by Jenny Hadfield. She's the wife of my beloved Penguin, and she wrote the Marathoning for Mortals book with him that I have used for the majority of my races. She wrote an article for Runner's World in 2013 on How to Train for the Dopey Challenge  - in it, she lays out a sample 8 week rotation for training and I simply used it, expanded it, and modified it to fit my own needs and VOILA! for the first time ever, I have designed my OWN training plan.

Here is what my training for Week 1 looked like:

Monday - 3 mile run [plus a one mile OWS that wasn't on the schedule]
Tuesday - XT (group bike ride, Pure Barre class)
Wednesday - 3 mile run [plus a pool swim]
Thursday - XT (group bike ride, Pure Barre class)
Friday - Long Run #1 (5 miles)
Saturday - Long Run #2 (7 miles)
Sunday - rest day

As you see, there are a few extra workouts being thrown in because I have a sprint triathlon coming up next month! Once triathlon season is over, I will split the XT (cross training) days between swimming and cycling, or I may do shorter workouts of both on the cross training days! Pure Barre is something that I've recently started for strength training. I have always been a big fan of strength training and would use weights in the gym, but this workout pushes me harder and I'm seeing much better results. I still can't even make it all the way through a workout yet, they are that challenging and are hitting my weak points! 

This coming week's training will feature only one long run, and then during Week 3 I will do a Race Simulation (4 back-to-back runs) which will happen once per month. In week 4, I will treat myself to a recovery week and a massage! The rotation continues on (with a few minor variations) in weeks 5-8 with 2 long runs, then one long run, then a race simulation, then recovery. There are rest days built in, and any XT day can be turned into a rest day whenever it's needed! I keep track of my resting heart rate to monitor if I need to take extra rest so I can avoid overtraining. 

For the first time ever, I will get to experience what it's like to fit in training not only around my family's needs but also around my part-time job at the running store! Since I have a gym membership with 24 hour access, I don't think that will be a huge problem! And I figure people have worked their training around work and family (and much more intense schedules than my own) for years and years, and I will have to learn how to be flexible and just do the best I can in the hours that I have available to me! I know it will all work out just fine and I'm not even concerned. This school year I have only one very motivated high school student left to teach, and my work hours are not overwhelming in the least! All in all, I am looking forward to this training season! 

I hope you'll stick around and share my adventures! If you're also training for Dopey 2018, please comment!

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