Tag Archives: Dopey Challenge Training

I’m a Streaker!

Recently, I decided to start a run streak. If you’ve not heard of this phenomena then let me fill you in on the challenge.  A run streak is when you run every day rain or shine…or snow or ice…or hurricane for that matter as long as you do at a minimum a continuous 1 mile run. I was contemplating as to when I should publish a blog about my run streak because let’s face it, proclaiming from the mountain tops that you have a run streak of 3, 5, or even 14 days long is not really all that impressive. Therefore, from the mountain top of my recliner where I presently perch I am happy to proclaim that I have so far accomplished a run streak of 78 days! I have ran every day since May 29th for at least 1 mile, but usually more. Today was my 78th

My most active run week so far has been the week of June 16th covering 61 miles. June as a whole was fairly productive as I ran 170 miles and then followed up with a 130 miles in July. August is promising to be a heavy mileage month as it is just August 15th and I have already covered 90 miles!

I have no delusions of grandeur as I am fully aware that many runners put in a LOT more miles than this on a weekly basis, but I must say I have enjoyed running more and I have also gained a considerable amount of speed from all the extra miles. To put it the way the old cereal commercial did, “Mikey likes it!” My body is responding well and adapting to the increased mileage. Considering I am also following the Insanity DVD series while I do this run streak I can say that my body has never felt stronger or more fit!

Why do a run streak on top of Insanity training?  Well, as you know I am training for the Dopey Challenge this coming January. What better way to prepare myself for the challenge of running 48.6 miles across four days than to run every day up until, throughout and after the runDisney’s Marathon Weekend!

I’ve ran Goofy twice (once unofficial) and both times I felt okay afterwards with minimal recovery, but this year I want to run through the parks with ease and be able to have a good time after the marathon without a noticeable limp!

Why else?  I’ve been playing with low mileage training plans for a few years and they have served me well to build a base, however, I have noticed that I’ve stopped improving on speed and endurance. I am interested in running a single day ultra and have tried to make the jump to a longer distance race, but have found that it’s difficult to run a low mileage program and continue training by piling all my miles into my weekly long run. Plus, thru continued reading of research I have found that the usual weekly long run that many plans prescribe may not be the best way to go about training for any distance. So, thru this run streak I’ve decided to run more often and up my midweek mileage runs. The run streak just fits…and it’s a lot of fun too!

Anyway, I hope you have the opportunity to see me streaking thru your neighborhood or on a nearby race course!

Happy Streaking!

Brian

Dopey Challenge Novice Training Program

So what IS a novice runner anyway? While I leave the final definition up to you a good rule of thumb that I use is to look at three criteria.

  1. How long have you been running?
  2. How much have you run in that time period?
  3. Do you consider yourself a novice? (mentality/attitude/applied knowledge)

If you’ve signed up for the Dopey Challenge then I hope you have at least one marathon under your belt as well as a half marathon and perhaps a couple lesser distance races, but if you’ve already paid the registration and you plan to go the 48.6 mile distance across four days then take a look below for a simple program to get you across those four finish lines. First, seriously consider using the Galloway method as described on Jeff Galloway’s website or on the runDisney training website. Next, start training now. My assumption is that you are not starting from zero and you can run a good 5-8 miles right now without worry, but don’t wait to start training. Use this extra time to build base miles and as a good friend of mine says, “Respect the distance!

You may want to look at my previous blog post on the Dopey Training Program that I personally would use. I am not a novice runner as the upcoming Disney Marathon will be my 9th full marathon, but you can see the difference between the two programs. The program that follows is for a novice runner.  It is severely scaled back and cut down in comparison to the first program I posted for more intermediate to advance athletes/runners.  The following program is all about running and is based on the following assumptions.

Prerequisites/Assumptions

  1. You are healthy and injury free.
  2. You’re doctor says it’s okay to do this.
  3. You may have been running only 6-12 months or are returning from a long-ish break from running. (Not returning from an injury)
  4. You may have minimal races under your belt (1 marathon and maybe only 1-2 other long distance races).
  5. You run less than 15 miles a week at present.
  6. You can go out and run 5-8 miles right now non-stop, no problems, no big deal…you would say, “Let’s do this!”

The novice program I have designed is 31 weeks in length meaning you would need to start this plan in mid-June (June 9th I believe, but check my math) to complete it for the week leading up to WDW Marathon Weekend. The first few weeks are fairly light, but then the program ramps up quickly at a rate that is designed to allow your muscles, tendons, and ligaments to adapt to the work you are placing on them. A big component of this program is rest. Even if you feel great on a rest day do not run more or workout as the rest time is needed for adaptation.

Be sure to calculate your own program start date to ensure you have time to complete the plan in full. Details of what to do for the Bike and Core work follow the program table.

Week Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
30 Bike 30 2 miles 3 miles Rest Bike 30 5 miles Core/stretch
29 Bike 30 2 miles 3 miles Rest Bike 30 5 miles Core/stretch
28 Bike 30 2 miles 3 miles Rest Bike 30 6 miles Core/stretch
27 Bike 30 2 miles 5K Rest Bike 30 8 miles Core/stretch
26 Bike 30 2 miles Rest 5K Easy Bike 30 Ellip 30 Core/stretch
25 Bike 30 2 miles 4 miles 2 miles 3 miles 4 miles 8 miles
24 Bike 30 3 miles 4 miles Rest Bike 30 13 miles Core/stretch
23 Bike 30 3 miles 5 miles Rest Bike 30 15  miles Core/stretch
22 Bike 30 4 miles 5 miles Rest Bike 30 10  miles Core/stretch
21 Bike 30 3 miles 6 miles Rest Bike 30 17  miles Core/stretch
20 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 5K Easy Bike 30min Ellip 30 Core/stretch
19 Rest Bike 30 Rest 5K Easy 5 miles 6 miles 12 miles
18 Bike 30 5K Easy 5 miles Rest Bike 30 15 miles Core/stretch
17 Bike 30 5K Easy 6 miles Rest Bike 30 17 miles Core/stretch
16 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Rest Bike 30 12 miles Core/stretch
15 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Rest Bike 30 21 miles Core/stretch
14 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 5K Easy Bike 30 Ellip 30 Core/stretch
13 Rest Bike 30 Rest 5K Easy 10K 8 miles 16 miles
12 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 10K Easy Bike 30 17 miles Core/stretch
11 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 10K Easy Bike 30 19 miles Core/stretch
10 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 7 miles Bike 30 14 miles Core/stretch
9 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 7 miles Bike 30 22.5 miles Core/stretch
8 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 5K Easy Bike 30 Ellip 30 Core/stretch
7 Rest Bike 30 Rest 5K Easy 10K Easy 10 miles 21 miles
6 Bike 30 5K Easy 10K Easy Rest Bike 30 19 miles Core/stretch
5 Bike 30 5K Easy 10K Easy Rest Bike 30 21 miles Core/stretch
4 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Rest Bike 30 23 miles Core/stretch
3 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Rest Bike 30 15 miles Core/stretch
2 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Core/stretch Bike 30 20 miles Core/stretch
1 Bike 30 15K Easy Rest 10K Easy Bike 30 Ellip 30 Core/stretch
0 Rest Rest Rest WDW 5K WDW 10K WDW Half WDW Full

Special Weeks:

Dopey Practice Weeks:

Weeks 25, 19, 13, and 7 are designed to give you a little Dopey Practice to prepare you to run four days in a row at distances that build across the 4 days.

Pull Back Weeks:

Weeks 22, 16, 10, and 3 are Pull Back Weeks designed to give you extra rest from the long run in comparison to the two previous weeks.  As the program progresses these are still fairly long runs, but less distance than the previous 2-3 weeks.

Push Weeks:

Weeks 21, 15, 9, and 2 are Push Weeks which fall between the Pull Back Weeks and Alternative Training weeks.  You will notice the Push Weeks come back strong with the long run pushing out a bit further than before the Pull Back week.

Alternative Training Weeks:

Weeks 26, 20, 14, 8, and 1 are Alternative Training Weeks. These weeks mix things up with a break from the standard schedule, a couple easier and shorter runs, and an elliptical session. These weeks will help you with the mental fortitude and motivation to keep training by giving you a break from the “same old same old” routine.

Taper Weeks:

Weeks 1 and 0 are the days leading up to The Dopey Challenge. Week one is an alternate training week, but also the start of your tapering off period for the 4-days of running you have approaching. Follow the program, trust in your training, don’t add workouts, and if you must change anything opt to be over-rested rather than over-trained. Try to minimize time walking around the Disney parks on the 2-3 days before the 5K and across the 4-days of The Dopey Challenge. It would be a shame to train all this time to just throw it all away by being too tired.  The average park guest walks 8 miles per day when visiting a Disney park.

Types of Workouts in the Program:

Bike:

30 minute bike sessions should be on a cadence/rpm of 80-100. Add a resistance that will allow for you to have a “good effort”, but not so difficult as to make the next day’s run difficult.  RPMs are more important than resistance on the bike. Push with the heel down, NOT the toe when pedaling.

Elliptical:

As an alternative form of exercise that is less impactful on joints, but still works the running muscles I have added an occasional elliptical (Ellip) session during alternate workout weeks.  Notice a Core workout follows these so as to give your legs a rest. If you don’t have access to an elliptical at a gym then just walk for 30 minutes at a brisk pace, but do not run.

Core:

Working your core is imperative for your training as a runner especially for the novice runner.  As you run long distance your core stabilizes your entire body from your upper torso to your hips and more. As your core fatigues your running form begins to degrade and you must expend more energy to keep running or maintain pace. Worse yet, as your core stabilizers weaken across the long miles it is easier to become injured as your ability to recover from a quick side-step or a high curb lessens. DO NOT SKIP your core workouts! Ask me if you don’t know how to do these exercises. I’m happy to explain!

Oh, and forget sit-ups. Sit-ups are worthless.  I almost didn’t add crunches as I don’t do them, but I know the standard crunch is a recognized exercise by many people. Try to move from one core exercise to the next with minimal rest between exercises and only 30-60 seconds of rest between sets. After you finish the core work stretch out the major muscle groups for 20-30 minutes holding for 15-20 seconds for each muscle and do 3 sets each. Hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and calf muscles should all be stretched after your core work.

Standard Plank 60 sec 3
Low Plank with one leg off the ground: both legs 60sec 3/leg
High Plank position. Knee to elbow. Both legs 15/leg 3/side
Crunch with arms crossed on chest 30 3
High Knees 50 3

Rest Days

If you must do something on a rest day then opt for an additional core workout or just take 30 minutes and stretch out the running muscles, but stay off your feet as far as running, walking, elliptical, or anything else as much as possible. Try to get extra sleep whenever possible especially after long runs. Your body needs the extra rest to recover and adapt for the next session.  Shut off the TV, close the laptop, get off Facebook, put away angry birds and go to sleep!  Many times injury happens not because of the intensity of the training program, but because proper rest and recovery wasn’t taken on rest days. If in doubt, trade a bike or elliptical day for an additional rest day if you need it.

I’m here if you have questions. Don’t feel you have to know everything or tackle this alone. I’m happy to answer questions and respond to comments. If you connect with me on Facebook, just let me know that you’re a runDisney/Dopey-to-be runner!

Happy Training!

Brian

Dopey Challenge Intermediate Training Program

I’ve been busy designing a training program for The Dopey Challenge based on where I am in my training so let’s begin with some assumptions of your level of experience and current training level if you were to use this program to train for the inaugural Dopey Challenge. If you are a newbie runner of less than six months running experience then I would seriously consider doing something less than the Dopey Challenge as your body hasn’t the time to adapt to the kind of stress you will need to put it through across four days and 48.6 miles. Specifically, your tendons, ligaments, and muscles need time to adapt. This happens in months of training, not days and weeks.

Prerequisites/Assumptions

  1. You have six months of long distance running experience at a bare minimum (12 months preferred)
  2. You have run at least one full marathon BEFORE starting this training program and in the last six months (2+ marathons in the last 12 months preferred)
  3. At present (today) you could go out and run at least 13 miles with no problem.  You would say, “Yeah, no big deal, let’s do 13 for fun.” (15-18 miles preferred)
  4. You’ve run at least one 5K, 10K, half, and full marathon and can discuss your own pacing differences for each race distance.
  5. Your doctor has said it’s okay for you to do this.

If you meet all five of these assumptions and your physician gives you a green light then this may be the training plan for you.  If you meet assumptions one, two, and three then you will probably be okay.  If you meet only number one and two then you may want an easier plan, but that is for you to decide. If you meet just number 1 or none at all then I’d pass on this program and wait for me to post the novice plan in a few weeks. This plan is not for beginners. This plan is not for newbie runners.  This is a mid-level plan that will help someone cross the finish line four days in a row and still be able to walk afterwards assuming they are healthy and injury free when they start the program. Of course if you meet all of these assumptions and then some I will be posting a more advanced plan after I finish the novice plan.

This is a complete program. If you delete or modify any part then you run the risk of not getting the overall benefits of the program.  I’ve designed in cross training, lifting, rest, and three different types of running to prepare your body for four days of running that will double (or more) in length each day from one to the next.

The Dopey Challenge is quite unique. Some would say that it would be easier to just run 50-miles since you wouldn’t have to worry about having tight muscles, lactic acid build-up from one day to the next, and warming up day after day after day for what will most likely be longer periods of time to warm-up while running on limited rest. Compound this with the fact that you may foolishly go to the parks for more mileage after each race and the Dopey Challenge may prove to be more than some people trained for so with this in mind, read on, enjoy, ask me questions, and let’s get Dopey!

The Program

The program I have designed is 25 weeks in length meaning you would need to start this plan in July to complete it for the week leading up to WDW Marathon Weekend. Make sure you calculate your own program start date to ensure you have time to complete the plan in full. Details of what to do for the Bike, Intervals, Lifting, Tempo Runs, and Elliptical follow the program table.

Week Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
24 Bike 30min 2 miles 4 miles Lift #1 Bike 30min 13 miles Core
23 Bike 30 2 miles 5 miles Lift #2 Bike 30 15  miles Core
22 Bike 30 3 miles 5 miles Lift #1 Bike 30 10  miles Core
21 Bike 30 3 miles 6 miles Lift #2 Bike 30 17  miles Core
20 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 5K Easy Bike 30 Ellip 30 Core
19 Lift Bike 30 Rest 5K Easy 5 miles 6 miles 12 miles
18 Bike 30 5K Easy 5 miles Lift #1 Bike 30 15 miles Core
17 Bike 30 5K Easy 6 miles Lift #2 Bike 30 17 miles Core
16 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Lift #1 Bike 30 12 miles Core
15 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Lift #2 Bike 30 20 miles Core
14 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 5K Easy Bike 30 Ellip 30 Core
13 Lift Bike 30 Rest 5K Easy 5-mile 8 miles 16 miles
12 Bike 30 5K Tempo 10K Easy Lift #1 Bike 30 17 miles Core
11 Bike 30 Intervals 1 10K Easy Lift #2 Bike 30 19 miles Core
10 Bike 30 5K Tempo 7 miles Lift #1 Bike 30 14 miles Core
9 Bike 30 Intervals 2 7 miles Lift #2 Bike 30 22.5 miles Core
8 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 5K Easy Bike 30 Ellip 30 Core
7 Lift Bike 30 Rest 5K Easy 6 miles 10 miles 21 miles
6 Bike 30 5K Tempo 10K Easy Lift #1 Bike 30 19 miles Core
5 Bike 30 Intervals 1 10K Easy Lift #2 Bike 30 21 miles Core
4 Bike 30 5K Tempo 7 miles Lift #1 Bike 30 23 miles Core
3 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Lift #2 Bike 30 15 miles Core
2 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Core Bike 30 20 miles Core
1 Bike 30 15K Easy Rest 10K Easy Bike 30 Core Ellip 30
0 Rest Rest Rest WDW 5K WDW 10K WDW Half WDW Full

Special Weeks:

Dopey Practice Weeks:

Weeks 19, 13, and 7 are designed to give you a little Dopey practice to prepare you to run four days in a row at distances that build across the 4 days.

Pull Back Weeks:

Weeks 22, 16, 10, and 3 are pull back weeks designed to give you extra rest from the long run in comparison to the two previous weeks.  As the program progresses these are still fairly long runs, but less distance than the previous 2-3 weeks.

Push Weeks:

Weeks 21, 15, and 9 are Push Weeks which fall between the Pull Back Weeks and Alternative Training weeks.  You will notice the Push Weeks come back strong with the long run pushing out a bit further than before the Pull Back week.

Alternative Training Weeks:

Weeks 20, 14, and 8 are alternative training weeks. These weeks mix things up with a break from lifting, a couple easier and shorter runs, and an elliptical session. These weeks will help you with the mental fortitude and motivation to keep training by giving you a break from the “same old same old” routine.

Taper Weeks:

Weeks 1 and 0 are the days leading up to The Dopey Challenge. Follow the program, trust in your training, don’t add workouts, and if you must change anything opt to be over-rested rather than over-trained. Try to minimize time walking around the Disney parks on the 2-3 days before the 5K and across the 4-days of The Dopey Challenge. It would be a shame to train all this time to just throw it all away by being too tired.  The average park guest walks 8 miles per day when visiting a Disney park. This is why I’m just doing the marathon this year and saving Dopey for 2015.  I need park time!

Types of Workouts in the Program:

Bike:

30 minute bike sessions should be on a cadence/rpm of 80-100. Add a resistance that will allow for you to have a “good effort”, but not so difficult as to make the next day’s run difficult.  RPMs are more important than resistance on the bike. Push with the heel down, NOT the toe when pedaling.

Elliptical:

As an alternative form of exercise that is less impactful on joints, but still works the running muscles I have added an occasional elliptical (Ellip) session.  Notice a Core workout follows these so as to give your legs a rest.

LSD:

All long runs on Saturday and Sunday are “LSDs” or Long Slow Distance runs.  These should be done at a slow pace under the pace you plan for a marathon.  The purpose of an LSD is NOT speed, but rather just going the prescribed distance.

Tempo:

A tempo run is paced fast enough to where you can maintain the pace for the desired distance, but cannot carry on a long conversation without taking breaks for breathing. Short bursts of conversation would be the most you could do if your pace is fast enough, but you should be able to do this for the entire distance. Most 5Ks at tempo pace can be described as a “Fast 5K” or a PR effort 5K.

Interval Workouts:

Interval #1 (4.25 mile)
Warm-up half mile (800m)
4x400m (400m R.I.)
2x800m (400m R.I.)
Cool-down half mile (800m)
Interval #2 (5.5 mile)
Warm-up half mile (800m)
1600m (400m R.I.)
3 x 800m (400m R.I.)
1600m (400m R.I.)
Cool-down half mile (800m)
R.I. = Rest Interval.  You may slow your run pace significantly or even walk if you need to recover more.

Lifting Workouts:

Weights/Exercise Reps Sets
Lift #1 = Legs & Back
Lift #2 = Legs & Chest/Shoulders
Legs
Walking Lunges 10/leg 3
Leg Curl (lying preferred) 10 3
Calf Raise 10 3
Abduction Machine 10 3
Adduction Machine 10 3
Back
Assisted Pull-up Machine/Lat pull down 10 3
Seated Row Machine 10 3
Pull Over Machine 10 3
Chest/Shoulders
Chest Press Machine/bench 10 3
Shoulder Press Machine 10 3
Chest Fly Machine 10 3
Use a weight that you can comfortably lift for 10 reps.  Rep number 9 and 10 should be the most challenging.
Core
Standard Plank 60 sec 3
Low Plank with one leg off the ground: both legs 60sec 3/leg
High Plank position. Knee to elbow. Both legs 15/leg 3/side
Crunch 30 3

Rest, Skipping Workouts, and Fatigue

As I always say, if at ANY time you feel you need to rest more then REST MORE!  Taking an extra rest day in the form of an easier run, slightly shorter run during the week, or skipping an “easy 5K day” in lieu of more sleep is okay if you need more rest and recovery.  Try not to skip too many long runs (or any at all) as these will ensure you can cover the distance required on Saturday and Sunday of marathon weekend. Realize that you will start to feel the fatigue of marathon weekend about half way through the half marathon on Saturday. Keep to your fueling/nutrition plan and stay the course! You will do great!

Happy Training!

Brian

The Dopey Challenge

Are you Dopey enough?  Of course you are!
Are you Dopey enough? Of course you are!

It’s already started. People are asking that very important question.

How do I train for the Dopey Challenge?

For many, the Dopey Challenge may be the closest they ever get to running an ultra marathon…it seems I may have said something similar to this about a piddly little race called the Goofy Challenge a couple years ago…I’m joking obviously as both are very much a challenge! However, now we can officially be Dopey!

An ultra marathon is defined as any distance beyond the 26.2 mile marathon distance in a single day, BUT most ultra marathoners will tell you that the respect of ultra runners start at the 50 mile marker and not a step before. Anything less is just a “marathon plus”.  The Dopey Challenge will cover 48.6 miles across four days while the shortest official ultra will cover a minimum of a 50K (31.069 miles) in a single day. However, I digress as this post is about the Dopey Challenge.

I’ve decided to post “unofficial” training plans for the Dopey Challenge for my personal use. I’m basing the plans off my experience from training for relays (64 miles), two Goofy Challenges, multiple marathons, half-marathons and other shorter races. My educational background is in Movement and Sport Science double majoring in Exercise and Fitness.

Disclaimer: You should always consult your doctor before beginning ANY exercise program regardless of previous experience.  If you want to use a plan posted here then it is your choice. It’s freely posted on the web and you use the plan at your own risk.

Here are some general guidelines to get you started before I post my training plans:

  1. Start now or as soon as you consult your physician.
  2. Don’t wait or only wait until after you consult your physician.
  3. Start slow regardless of previous experience
  4. Start slowly building your mileage to 50 miles per week over the next several months. (Dopey = 48.6 miles)
  5. Get yourself used to running back to back to back to back days with increasing distance. Start this process slowly and take a few months to build your base miles and consecutive running days.
  6. Cross train. Bike, lift, spin, row, swim, whatever, but do something more than just run and do it weekly until December.  Preferably cross training should use something else besides your running muscles.

Happy Training!

Brian