Finding A Balance

As I wrote in my previous post, my life has become very busy of late. Lots of responsibilities and no more time than the usual 24 hours each day. So time management is now a critical issue. That means I’ve had to re-jig my training schedule for the Niagara 50K Ultra, which takes places in nine days.

The positive side of this is that it’s helped me think more deeply about building my own training schedule, something I’ve been experimenting with anyway over the past couple of months. All through the winter, I stuck to a training program my South African cousin Malcolm sent me that’s targeted at the Comrades Ultra. Did pretty much all of that barefoot on the treadmill, with a few long runs in my VFFs. As warmer weather came, I transitioned to outside, and more barefoot runs. I ran both the Around the Bay 30K and the Mississauga Marathon in my VFFs, the former because it was too cold for a long barefoot race and the latter because I was still healing a small cut on the ball of my right foot.

Post-marathon I got back to barefooting, and, having discovered the art and science of using Krazy Glue to seal the healing wound, have been able to all my recent runs barefoot. Another discovery was some reading I’ve done by ultra-runners who believe that the traditional tapering period before a major race may actually be detrimental in the case of ultras.

And now, finding the time to do any running has become an issue. So I’m forced to become creative.

Long story short: I’m going to run medium-long training runs every other day from now until the Niagara 50K. That means 12K or 15K runs, until three or so days before the 50K, all done at my target ultra pace of 7:00 mins/km. My theory is that this program will: continue to condition the soles of my feet, so I can do the 50K distance barefoot; keep my tone and strength, so I can finish upright and smiling; and give me enough rest and recovery times that I’ll be fresh for the race.

It’s good in theory. Will have to see if it works out.


  1. Alan:

    I think, at the very least, it’s fantastic you have a plan; most people don’t. Further, it is my opinion it is a very good strategy; one that I believe will make you successful. Kudos to you, my friend!


    1. Thanks, Todd! I, too, think it’s a decent plan. If nothing else, I’m pretty sure it will get me to “upright and smiling.” 🙂

      1. Yes, you are very good at “upright and smiling,” as depicted by your marathon picture. I have told many people about that picture and what an inspiration you’ve been to me.


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