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Preparing for a Backyard Ultra Running Event: Journal entry two

Athletes Notes: Mik Petrofes

This past month held a lot of mixed emotions for me. I spent the majority of the month in a building phase, clocking some big kms on the legs with a focus on staying consistent with my strength and accessory work to try and injury proof myself as much as possible. 

When things got tough, I felt it x10 - looking back at my Training Peaks comments post sessions I have to laugh at what Jamie has to read as he reads my raw thoughts haha. 

Amongst the mixed emotions of this month, the most prominent ones were of perspective and respect for the sport. Sticking to the plan and trusting the process when I was feeling like I wasn't getting any better, any faster, my HR didn't want to drop... a few days in between sessions and suddenly I'd have one of those classic "light bulb" moments.

Threshold Test  track day with Run Vault Performance
Threshold Test track day with Run Vault Performance

Running a backyard ultra is hard fckn work, of course it is, and the work to get to race day is going to be fckn hard and is not something that will happen overnight. It's hard and then suddenly, I'm doing things I never thought I would be doing. Through this journey so far I'm reminded every week to trust the process and this is something I know I will be reminded of time and time again as October inches closer.

My "theme" for the month: This is hard. Race day will be hard. If my training is hard, then I'm respecting the work and discipline that this sport "demands". And just because it's hard doesn't mean I can't do it. Running is my reminder that I can do hard things. That my mind is strong. That I can get through the things I told myself were impossible. That I'm able to push myself outside of my comfort zone.

'The Run' - Backyard Ultra Race Day Reflections: 

The Run - Video courtesy of The Run Society, instagram @runsociety_

A very good friend of mine had sent me the Run Society's event 'The Run' with a message that said

'This will be a great practice run for you'.

I immediately felt nervous and flooded with thoughts of

'I'm not ready to run a practice BYU, no fricken way am I doing this so soon!'

But sure enough I signed up and off I went. 

'The Run' consisted of a minimum of one, maximum of five laps of 6.7km every hour, on the hour. I originally thought to myself I would just do 3 to test the waters but after encouragement from people in my circle, I knew on race day I was there for all 5.

The overall structure of a Backyard Ultra was something I loved and took so many learning's from. Coming in from finishing the lap and immediately thinking of what and how to refuel myself was a bigger challenge than expected, I'd never done anything like this before. It was a great learning curve for me in the lead up to Garden City Backyard Ultra in October. Upon reflection, I should have hydrated way more and thought of a plan in case the sun started to feel too much (which it 100% did and kinda threw me!) If anything, completing the 33.5km (now my longest ever run!!!!) left me very humbled and with a bigger respect for the feat I'm tackling in a matter of months. 

My main event! The event is to take place in Toowoomba, a town west of Brisbane, Australia on the 05th of October 2024. I'll be journaling my training (both good and bad) leading up to the event which we will publish here.

Keep in touch with me and Run Vault Performance on the socials where we'll update my progress towards this challenge!

Coaches Notes: Jamie Hunter

We're right in the thick of training now! This is a whole new world to Mik and I'm impressed in how Mik has put any preconceived thoughts or agendas around endurance run training aside and trusted the process in front of her.

We as humans are generally impatient people when it comes to challenges like this and tend to rush our progress, this only leads to fatigue, burnout and ultimately injury.

We've kept lots of variety in Miks training which allows the progression to continue without an overload in running. The 5 hour backyard ultra event this month was a perfect opportunity for Mik to test the waters of the format and reflect on her strengths and weaknesses as we continue to train for her big dance in October.

Mik reflected on her event through our training and race reflection document, which we encourage all athletes to complete within one week after an event to help with continual improvement.

Mik leads a very busy life and her raw honesty in communication with me only helps me as a coach provide a better and more personalised service to help her navigate this running endurance journey.

From here on in, we're working primarily on one thing...base endurance. Training will start to get a little boring, a bit tedious so it's important for Mik to stay focused on her end goal. Mik went into the 5 hour 'The Run' this month with a high reaching 3 lap goal and came out with 5 laps and a distance PB.

Want can Mik deliver in Toowoomba in October? Follow along and we'll be sure to keep you updated!

Training Peaks Performance Management Chart
Fitness progression and load - Mik Petrofes

We'll check back in with you in a month, until then...happy running!

Hit us up here at Run Vault Performance for more advice, tips and guidance with your own running journey today!

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