Sunday, January 20, 2013

Refined Training Plans

Veterans of ultra running have a trend of doing less mileage in the winter, and more in the late spring and summer. Whether it's the high peaks opening up, extra hours of sun, or the upcoming big 100 mile races in the summer, veterans know when to turn it on for peak performance. As an eager 26 year-old, I have an urge to start 2013 off with big 100+ mile weeks, but the reality of the situation is that I've got a unique personal reaction to high mileage: thought I do get more efficient and tougher and stronger, I also run slower and am more vulnerable to injury.

Though I am passionate about Angeles Crest (100mi) and doing everything I can right now to put myself in a position for success on August 3rd, I can't help but think back to previous years when I went hard early on, and either injured myself or burnt out. When I really needed high mileage in May and June, I struggled and dragged myself through some slow, burnt out, under fueled long runs. Right now though, I'm in a monthly race cycle that keeps mileage reasonable in order to build speed on dirt. I can't ignore turnover and will be working in some road work, but the past three weeks have shown encouraging signs of gaining some efficiency in the most basic skill of moving quickly over steep and technical terrain.

For example, I ran up Mt. Wilson toll road two Fridays ago and felt flat and lethargic (expected when you climb 13,000 ft. in 3 of the last 4 days), but as I checked my watch at the 8 mile mark at Winter Creek, I was 10 minutes faster than my normal easy days up the toll road. The fact is that my body is finding a balance of construction and destruction. Right now it's ideal for 60-90 mile weeks that allow me to keep some speed and endurance for 50k's and 50 milers. I look to those events to build confidence for AC and help me realize my weaknesses are and what I'm looking to improve on in my high mileage weeks in May/June.

I believe high mileage is a personal thing that must be utilized in unique ways. When a runner hits 1000 miles in 5-7 weeks, they'll come out with some combination of endurance and injuries. Obviously I want to minimize injuries and maximize endurance, but more specifically I want to come out efficient and confident in the idea of running 100 miles very quickly. For that, I'm looking to hit 140-170 miles per week for 4-6 weeks in May and June and rely on speed from The previous 4 months. Come July I'm hoping to be healthy, strong, efficient, and back in the Sierras getting my lungs and legs ready to attack the San Gabes with confidence.

So, that's my plan for the year, I'm going to spend a lot of time on the AC course and at Baldy this winter/spring and do some speedwork with the Brentwood locals during the week. In the 3 weeks thus far, I feel like I have a greater cardiovascular/muscular/mental state than I did at North Face. In two weeks, I'm going to get in on a great early season race at Ray Miller with Tim Olsen, Chris Price, and another 6-8 quick guys. Regardless of the results, I'm excited to get back to really competing again.

Weekly Recap: Jan 14-20

Mon: 3mi, 2,250ft, :33 - Treadmill workout, 3mi in :33 at 15% PM: easy 4mi flat with katie

Tues: 13mi, 5,800ft, 4:30 - Got a new job and celebrated at Baldy with Prizzle taking on Bear Canyon for the 2nd time in 3 days. Very windy, 4-6" of snow, but not too icy.

Prizzle going off piste

Wed: Crossfit moving my apartment to LA by myself.

Thurs: 10mi, 1,500ft, 1:25 - Easy warm up to Sullivan, then a tempo run: 8:00 pace climb up 3.75/1,000ft climb up Sullivan Cyn, then a 5:45 run down.
5mi, 0ft, :50 - Run back from returning a U-Haul

Fri: 7mi, 1,250ft, :65 - Easy morning run up Westrdige with Russell

Sat: 10m, 1,500ft, :72 - Warm up then Baz's WTRS 9.5mi/1,500+ race out at Bluejay good for 3rd in 1:08. Very technical trails with minimal climbing, fun race even on tired legs. Spent the afternoon and evening finishing up my moving/crossfit

Sun: 22mi, 7,500ft, 4:15; - Up Mt. Wilson trail, down Sturdevant, over Zion, and up Winter Creek before heading down Mt. Wilson Trail. Hiked and ran all day, enjoyed the warm temps and the steep trails.

Clear and sunny on the toll road

Weekly total:
74mi, 19,800ft

Shorter mileage, but two workouts, moving, Baldy, and a race keep the quality dense and cut out junk mileage.

Lusine - Another Tomorrow

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