Spring in a Nutshell

Finding focus, moving it forward and overcoming setbacks

In a flash… it was gone! With a little over four weeks until the start of the Salomon 4 Trails, I’ve struggled to find a healthy balance between work, training, family time and rest. Feeling like I had a full schedule, the majority of my training for Salomon 4 Trails has been building a solid base and I elected to put the speed work on hold to avoid injury and burnout. While this wasn’t my intention, I think part of being a responsible athlete is to be adaptable and to make necessary adjustments along the way.

Flights and hotels are booked and gear is tested. The excitement is starting to build, which also feeds some additional motivation to push through the last two weeks of hard training before I start my taper. Here is a little summary to catch you up with how my spring training unfolded:

March Training

Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand.

 March was a transitional month for me, where I slowly converted from winter to spring. Our trails still had heaps of snow which made it challenging to add any really long runs but the month brought me focus and I ended up with a nice build from February.

Total Run Hours: 30 hrs & 30 min

Total Kilometers: 200 km

Total Run Ascent: 6370 m

Longest Run: 4hrs / 28km

Largest Running Week: 9.5 hrs / 68 km

Total Training Volume (all activity): 50 hrs


April Training

Forward progress is forward progress.

 April officially kicked off the start of the busy work season for me. My work schedule, at times, bumped to longer days and albeit a little less structured, I tried to take advantage of things like coaching, course marking and recon outings to get my training in. It was time on my feet and helped me build off of my March stats. I kept up my gym sessions but dropped yoga and tried to make up for it with stretching and foam rolling at home.

Run Hours: 34 hrs

Total Kilometers: 235 km

Total Run Ascent: 9,563 m

Longest Run: 4:20hrs / 32km

Largest Running Week: 10.5 hrs / 76 km

Total Training Volume (all activity): 45 hrs

May Training

The comeback is always stronger than the setback.

I feel like May was the calm before the storm 🙂 April was hectic and I knew it wasn’t going to let up until June so I just stayed focused and pressed on. Our son graduated from high school and we had company visit to help us celebrate, which was an absolute highlight! The emotion of it all caught up with me though and I was sick for almost a full week afterwards. I surrendered and just turned it into a rest week. I ended up with 2 hours of running that week, but despite May being a hectic month, I still managed to inch ahead of my April stats which made me happy!

Run Hours: 47.5 hrs

Total Kilometers: 290 km

Total Run Ascent: 10,648m

Longest Run: 6hrs / 34km

Largest Running Week: 11 hrs / 84 km

Total Training Volume (all activity): 51 hrs

June Training


It’s easy to roll the same lingo over in your head day after day. “I am so busy.” or “I am so tired.” or, or, or… so I decided one of the best things I could do is head into June reframing my thought process. I knew my schedule wasn’t going to let up, so I decided to make extra time to be thankful for the time I do have, rather than get drawn into what I don’t have time for. Having more “thankfulness” in your life, in general, can wash away so many other negative emotions and help keep perspective on what’s really important. I am going to soak up the last month before Salomon 4 Trails and carry a more soulful, connected spirit into everything I do.

Targets & Goals – June 2019

  • Focus on vertical training, add more road into my long runs + increase my back to back runs over 20k.
  • Rehab and foam rolling 3-4x’s per week.
  • Weight train 1-2x’s per week.
  • Massage and/or chiropractor rehabilitation regularly scheduled appointments.

Will I hit my targets?  Check in next month to follow along and find out!

Rene Unser



Rene Unser is a professional running coach living in Kelowna, BC Canada. She owns a trail running business called P.A.C.E. Sports Fitnesswhere she coaches trail running clinics, mountain running camps and has a trail race series. Rene will be writing monthly progress reports and sharing stories about her journey as she trains for this year’s Salomon 4 Trails and Transalpine Run. Rene is also a guest speaker at our upcoming 2019 Transalpine Run trail running symposium.