It was only a few years ago that Jeremy Howell would not have considered himself a runner. But a chance opportunity to run this crazy race called the Cascade Lakes Relay ignited a passion for running that he never knew existed within. For the fifth anniversary of that fateful first run, Jeremy is taking on his biggest relay challenge yet – three relays in one summer. An enthusiastic ambassador for our relays, we are proud to call Jeremy part of the Cascade Relays family. He will be sharing his running journey on our blog in the months to come.

3 relays, 5 states, 594.8 miles.

Those numbers and facts are what prompted me to start writing this post. What does running that far even look like? Why do it? How would one even train for it?

I’m just starting to put the answers together. The training will most likely be a half or full marathon training program. This seems daunting, but it all starts with the hardest step first…that first step out the front door.
I’ve found that you have to look at the dates of the events and then plan backwards. ¬†You need to figure out the weeks required to clock the miles, and then start your training in a timely fashion. You have to put in the work or you will soon realize you reap what you sow. I know from previous accomplishments (Marathon Manics and Half Fanatics) that the results will reflect the input for good or bad.

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The first relay will be at the end of May in Nevada for the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey which is 178 miles. The Reno Tahoe is run in the typical relay format – 36 legs divided by 12 runners that are in two vans leapfrogging along the course. I love that in relays, your teammates, who if they are not your friends at the start, will be by the end of the race. Spending every waking moment together (really, who sleeps?) with people for a weekend truly builds true camaraderie. I like to chalk it up as good cheap group therapy.

To prep for this race, I’ll be looking over the course maps to determine the average distance and altitude. I live in Keizer, which is a pretty flat city, so training for hills can be challenging. I tend to head to a hilly section of West Salem across the river. For the true feel of the altitude, I plan to make a trip to both Bend and the Columbia Gorge to do some more running.

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We are about ten weeks out from this race. I’m currently at a 3-5 mile midweek run which will need to bump up to a 5-8 range in the weeks to come. I will also try to add in an 8-12 mile long run once a week. I tend to run this schedule up until the week before the race, at which point I’ll drop back to an easy five miler and then stop altogether two to three days prior. So with my training all planned out, there are only a couple things left to do… lace up and Press On!!

Jeremy will be sharing more of his training regimen and reflections on the journey on the weeks to come. Don’t want to miss a post? Sign up to receive them via email.