Sunday, March 8, 2015

Training Week 3/2-3/8 - 16 Weeks to Bighorn

Another solid week in the books--80 miles in a little over 11 hours. I am increasingly finding that my recovery after quality workouts just isn't what it used to be--a product of aging, I suppose. That's why my approach has evolved into going "hard" on days I feel good and going "easy" on days after hard workings and on days I'm feeling rough. Forcing quality on "bad" days isn't going to benefit runners in their forties. It's best to take it day by day and get after it when you're feeling fresh.

Here's how the week went down:

Monday: Easy/recovery
AM: 4.1 miles in 34:45
PM: 0
Just an easy 4 miles on the 'mill to get the week started.
Miles for the day: 4.1

Tuesday: Easy
AM: 7.35 miles with Nick in 1:03
PM: 0
Felt pretty OK. Nick was pokey as hell, so our pace was pretty slow. Very nice weather--31 degrees and clear. Plus, the last 30 minutes were in daylight (not for long). Enjoyed this nice weather while it lasted; the next day's forecast was fierce (ice, snow, super cold).
Miles for the day: 7.35

Wednesday: Mile repeats
AM: 3x1 mile at 6:00/maxed out treadmill with half-mile recoveries; 9 miles in 1:07.
PM: 0
I don't care who you are; mile repeats are tough and they're even tougher when they're at 6,200 feet above sea level. Had to do these indoors as it was 7 degrees and snowing outside. Underneath the snow was a thick coat of ice, so I didn't even flirt with the idea of running outside. Got through my intervals feeling pretty good.
Mile for day: 9

Thursday: Easy
AM: 7.6 miles in 1:04
PM: 3.6 miles in 30 minutes
Super cold but clear in the AM. With ice everywhere, had to watch every step and be careful. Felt good during my PM run.
Miles for day: 11.2

Friday: Easy
AM: 8.3 miles in 1:06
PM: 5.05 miles in 41 minutes, running very muddy trails
I was tired and labored during my morning run. Just couldn't get into a groove and never felt comfortable--probably delayed onset fatigue from Wednesday's intervals. So, I took it easy. However, I felt great during my afternoon run on muddy trails near our neighborhood. My pace would have been much faster had I not been slowed by a combination of mud, ice, snow and deep water. Good training for Bighorn, given the legendary mud there.
Miles for day: 13.35

Saturday: Easy
AM: 10 miles with Nick in 1:26
PM: 4 miles on muddy trails in 35 minutes
Felt brutal during my morning run--tired, groggy, and flat--despite getting a hefty 9+ hours of sleep the night before. So, I bailed after 10 miles. Once again, felt pretty good during my afternoon run, hitting muddy trails and coming back a mess. Not sure what's going on but I'm starting to see a trend of feeling rough in the mornings and good in the afternoons. Started listening to a Talk Ultra interview with Karl Egloff, who broke Kilian Jornet's FKT records on Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro.
Miles for day: 14

Sunday: Long
AM: 20 miles solo in 2:48 plus 1.2-mile cool-down in 13 minutes with Noah; about 1,500 feet of vertical
PM: 0
Don't you love losing an hour's sleep to daylight saving time? Oh yeah, and once again you're back in the dark. Was surprised to still not feel good. Just sluggish, slow and labored. However, the endurance was there (obviously). Made the decision to rest a bit next week. This was my 43th consecutive day of running. Was great to finish the morning's miles with Noah; he's getting faster and really seems to enjoy running. Finished up the Karl Egloff interview plus all the rest of the action on Talk Ultra, which, along with and Trail Runner Nation, is the cream of the crop, in my eyes at least.
Miles for day: 21.2

Total miles for week: 80.3
Total miles for year: 645

The week ended with me feeling less than 100%--a lot less. So, next week will see reduced volume. The only quality will probably be hill repeats--yep, gotta start getting after them. Then the following week the volume will be back up there, hopefully with some real trail running. The trails right now are horrible. It's hard to believe, but the racing season is just around the corner. Fortunately, I feel like my training is in a good place at this early date. Just ordered a new supply of S!Caps to get me through the season. 

Just to elaborate on the podcast rant above, here are my favorite endurance-related podcasts in no particular order:, Talk Ultra, Trail Runner Nation and Rich Roll. There are lots of other good ones but those are my tops.

Onward and upward!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Training Week 2/23-3/1 - 17 Weeks to Bighorn

Another decent week in the books even as it started off on a rough note. I had no energy on Monday or Tuesday. This fatigue problem started the previous Saturday, after the Friday night run. I could barely keep my eyes open all weekend and it went into the new week. By Wednesday, I was feeling a lot better. I'm not sure if I had a bug or if my endocrine system was maybe a bit stressed. Whatever the case, I've started consuming carbs after hard efforts. For the past few months, I've been keeping my breakfasts very low/no carb (Greek yogurt with berries, eggs, etc.) but I think that, with my volume on the increase, it's not working. So, after hard workouts, I'm allowing myself some cereal, toast, etc. But on easy days, I'm keeping my breakfast low/no carb.

On Thursday, I did a 3x1 mile workout and I'm pretty sure it gave me a little fitness bounce that I felt by Sunday. For me, 3x1 mile builds strength, improves leg turnover and enhances mental toughness. I would say it's the single best workout I can do and yet I often slack on it and miss workouts because 3x1 is damned hard. I'm going to make every effort to hit my mile repeats at least twice a month during my Bighorn training, while also incorporating hill repeats into the mix. There is no question that 3x1 works wonders for me.

Monday: Goal: Easy/recovery
AM: 4.1 miles
PM: 0
Felt very drained and tired, like I was battling something (a bug maybe?). Was also tired all weekend. Something amiss.
Total Miles for day: 4.1

Tuesday: Goal: Easy/MAF
AM: 6 miles
PM: 0
Extremely fatigued, so I went easy with Nick. A balmy 10 degrees and icy. The week isn't getting off to a good start...10 miles in two days? This all made me realize that maybe no carbs after my runs might be backfiring on me as my mileage is increasing. Had some cereal after this run.
Total Miles for day: 6

Wednesday: Goal: Feel better
AM: 7.15 miles at MAF
PM: 0
Felt much better. Ran with Nick. The fatigue seems to be gone but decided to hold the mileage for the day down and not do a PM workout.
Total Miles for day: 7.15

Thursday: Goal: Mile repeats
AM: 8.6 miles/3x1 mile
PM: 3.15 miles at MAF
A solid day. With it being 7 degrees and snowy, had to do the mile repeats on my treadmill. Busted out 3x1 mile at 6:00 each (maxed out 'mill) with half-mile recoveries at about 8:00 pace. Also worked in a 6:58 mile for mile 8. Felt good but, yeah, it was a tough workout.
Total Miles for day: 11.75
Friday: Goal: Easy
AM: 8.1 miles on the 'mill
PM: 0
With the temp a chilly 2 degrees and our streets very icy, stayed in for this run. Felt pretty good.
Total Miles for day: 8.1

Saturday: Goal: Easy
AM: 10 miles at MAF with Nick
PM: 3.6 miles easy on the treadmill
Was supposed to be a ski day but it was too cold so we stayed home. This 10-miler with Nick went better than expected despite a 0-degree morning. It was shockingly cold for the first 3 miles but then we got warmed up and cruised right along. Was glad to see Nick go 10 miles. This is his kind of weather--he thrives in the extreme cold.
Total Miles for day: 13.6

Sunday: Goal: Long/tempo
AM: 20.1 miles, averaging 7:30 pace
PM: 0
Very solid run. Started with 5.5 miles very easy with Nick and then did 9 miles at marathon pace/tempo (about 6:45-6:50 pace), and then "slowed" to 7:30 pace for 3 miles and cooled down at about 8:30 pace for 2.6 miles. Felt pretty good. Took in zero calories for the first 17.5 miles. Glad to have also gotten in 1200 feet of climbing. Made a point to hammer the downs as best as I get the quads ready for the trails.
Total miles for day: 20.1

Total miles for week: 70.75
February mileage: 271.75
Total miles for year: 564.7

While the weekly mileage wasn't quite as high as I'd have liked, it was nonetheless a solid week despite the fatigue issues on Monday and Tuesday. In addition to running, I mix in push-ups, core work and some walking (as always). I'll be going for 80 miles this coming week, schedule permitting. On Sunday, if the weather holds, I might head to Mt. Falcon for some vertical. We'll see.