First off, many thanks to the folks out there who shared support after my last blog post. I appreciated all of the blog comments and e-mails.
Saturday's Cheyenne Mountain 50K proved to me that volume-based junk mile training, which I've fallen into this year because I've been lazy and, at times, unmotivated, isn't working. I felt slow and inefficient and my feet were heavy. When you feel that way, it's hard to mentally engage. So Cheyenne was kind of a slog fest for me. With the Bighorn 100 in seven weeks, now is the time to make necessary adjustments.
On Sunday, as I ruminated on my race at Cheyenne (and pulled more cactus needles out of my left hip due to a nasty head-first fall down the trail), I read quite a bit about what happens to us runners when we age, especially when we reach our 40s. I read blogs and articles by Joe Friel, Jack Daniels, Tim Noakes and other highly regarded experts. Here's what I learned: I am doing precisely what a masters runner with a huge endurance base built over a dozen years should NOT do: I am running junk miles, stacking up volume, chasing numbers and neglecting anything that builds speed and strength. That is why I am now weak, slow and inefficient.
So, it's time to hit the reset button. I did basically nothing on Sunday and zilch on Monday in order to speed recovery from the 50K and give myself the freshest start possible. This morning, feeling re-energized, I headed to the track (life makes sense to me at the track) and did 400s to jump-start things in the right direction. A typical week for the next five weeks might then look like:
Monday - Off or cross-training in order to recover; no more Monday junk miles
Tuesday - Intervals such as 8x400 meters in order to promote speed and efficiency
Wednesday - 60-70 minutes at easy pace on mostly trails in order to recover
Thursday - 10x2-3-minute hill repeats in order to promote strength and power
Friday - 60-70 minutes at easy pace on mostly trails in order to recover
Saturday - 10 miles at tempo or steep trail running in order to promote strength
Sunday - Long run of 25-28 miles on mountain trails, staying at "ultra pace," in order to promote endurance and practice nutrition
terms of 2015, I'm staying the course and will line up for Bighorn. I
want to finish Bighorn but I won't be too concerned about my time. I will be
focusing on having fun (and staying qualified for the Western States 100 lottery). After Bighorn, the priority will be to recover, have a great summer with the family (most important of all),
enjoy the Pikes Peak Marathon, and hopefully get qualified for the 2016 Boston Marathon at a late summer race like the American Discovery Marathon.