North Face DC 50K Training (My Favorite Race!)

Hey all,

This past Monday was day 1 of training for The North Face DC 50K taking place on April 30th. This year will be my fourth time running the course, and it’s my favorite course to date — it’s scenic, so fun, and the volunteers are awesome. (And seeing Dean Karnazes whip by is always fun too!)

While I’ve never trained for time, thinking back to previous years, my times have actually gotten slower. Granted, last year was suuuuper wet and muddy that I wouldn’t call what I was doing “running”. BUT that still doesn’t take away from my disappointment and questioning.

The biggest thing I’m changing this time around is that I’ve just started heart rate training (literally just started — like a couple weeks ago). The biggest reasons I decided to give this a try are that I want to be sure I’m staying in the right training zones for different types of workouts, I want to use the numbers to monitor progress, and clearly what I was doing wasn’t working well, so why not give it a try?

It’s too early to have clear observations about HR training, but I’ll be sure to give you my thoughts after training for some time!

One other thing that’s new for me is I’ve gotten into Pilates (using the reformer). I was skeptical at first, but it’s a lot harder than it looked to me, and I notice the difference it makes in my core strength for sure. I haven’t gone in the new year yet since I’ve been out of the country on vacation, but I’m starting at membership at Pilates ProWorks (Alexandria location) in February, and I’m so excited to continue learning and getting stronger!

Back to North Face, I wanted to share my training plan with you. It’s nothing too crazy — 2-3 easy runs per week, 1 speed/hill workout, 1 long run and 1 recovery run the day after the long run. I’ll also be incorporating strength/core work throughout the week and active recovery here and there on my bike. You can find my 14-week training plan here.

I’ve also decided on my races for the year (race calendar here) — the schedule may change slightly here and there, but my goal is to train for one 50K, one marathon and one 50-miler, with the rest of the year’s races being tune-up races. Last year, I signed up for way too many races with really no rhyme or reason other than they sounded like fun; and while I had a great time, it didn’t lead to any progress for me. So, this year = fewer races, more training.





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