Monday, April 16, 2012

Week Ending 4/15 (Be Sure to Always Refuel!)

Despite a horrendous interval workout on Tuesday--my first time on the track in 2012--I just completed one of my better training weeks all year, setting a new 2012 high of 81 miles. I was in a bit of a funk going into the week (theory below), and so it was nice to feel somewhat strong again. Here's how the week shook out:
From the top of the Manitou Incline on Sunday.

Monday--recovery pace
AM: 5 miles in 40 minutes on the treadmill.
AM: My original plan was to do 2x1600 and 2x800, with the possibility for 3x1600 if my legs were there. None of that happened. I made many mistakes with this workout. First off, I ran a little more than 5 miles before stepping foot on the track--way too much warm-up (I was waiting for a little more daylight before starting my intervals). Secondly, the shoes I wore were too heavy. I should have worn my lightweight trainers (and will do so this week). Thirdly, I didn't do any 100-meter striders beforehand. The net result was a crappy 1600 in 5:48, followed by a 1200 in 4:24 (ugh!) and an 800 in a God-awful, embarrassing 2:59. I just ran out of gas. A nasty wind from the S/SW didn't help, either. Bottom line is that I didn't feel fluid or smooth on the track. My movements were labored and my breathing was off. I think this was just a bad day (and maybe a wake-up call). There's a lot of room for improvement. Totals were 10 miles in 1:13.
AM: 9 miles in 1:10 on the Tomahawk loop. Fairly easy pace. A bit tired this morning.
AM: On the heels of Tuesday's debacle at the track, I somehow busted out a very solid tempo run this morning--hopefully signaling that this slump I've been in is over. Totals were 10.25 miles in 1:11, for an average pace of 6:57. My splits were: 1) 8:41 (warm-up), 2) 6:24, 3) 6:04, 4) 6:15, 5) 6:27 (uphill), 6) 5:57, 7) 6:25, 8) 3:18/3:55, 9) 7:49 (begin cooldown), 10) 7:55, and 10.25) 1:56.
AM: 9.15 miles in 1:11 on the trails near my house.
PM: 5.25 miles in 41 minutes minutes during lunch at work. Ran the single track along the Cherry Creek Trail and then followed up with 7 minutes of barefoot running in the field in front of my office building.
Saturday--long with a semi-fast finish
AM: 16.4 miles in 2:06 on the Tomahawk loop, as well as the trails and dirt shoulders up in the Parker hills. 1,100'. Felt decent for a Saturday--maybe because I slept quite well last night (Noah didn't get up until 6:45!). Finished "fast" with mile 15 in 6:49 and mile 16 in 6:56. My legs were just tired enough for those two "fast" miles (which really weren't fast) to have been decent efforts.
PM: 4.1 miles in 33 minutes on the treadmill. Legs felt very strong--like I could have run forever. Focused on holding good form. 20.5 miles on the day.
AM: 12 miles in 2:31 on the Incline and Barr Trail. 4,000' of climbing. Did the Incline in 28:27--not that great but solid nonetheless. My legs were a bit tired from yesterday's 20.5 miles. After the Incline, I ran up to Barr Camp and then turned around and followed the Barr Trail all the way back down, taking the Pikes Peak Marathon turn-off to get back to my car. This was one of my better Barr Trail descents--my legs were moving well and (knock on wood) I didn't trip on anything. I'm pretty sure my downhill technical running has improved quite a bit since last year--which will bode well at Leadville when I'm descending Hope Pass both ways. The weather on Sunday was a bit dicey from about 9,000 feet up to Barr Camp. It was very windy (gusts of 40+ mph) and cold and I got chilled in a few spots--not what you'd hope for on a Sunday run in April. There was a decent amount of snow on the trail from last night's storm.
Weekly totals:
  • 81.2 miles run
  • ~7,300 feet of climbing
  • Total training: 11:18
  • 9 total runs
  • 7 minutes of barefoot running
  • Averaged 8:22/mile
  • Push-ups and core work
Year to date mileage:
  • 951.7 miles run
  • 118 miles biked
  • 2.6 miles walked

As fas as why I think I was in a funk, obviously the loss of our dog, Sophie, was a major factor, but there was another factor at work, too. I had fallen off the wagon in refueling after every workout with Hammer Recoverite, and so I'd gotten into a recovery deficit that affected my physical and mental condition. Hammer Recoverite delivers a 3:1 mix of carbohydrates to protein and helps you recover from your workout so you're ready for action the next day. When you're training for an ultra and putting in big mileage, you need that "extra" for your recovery. This is where Recoverite makes a huge difference for me. For the most part, I've been religious about refueling with Recoverite after every workout, but sometimes the mornings can be chaotic and I forget. For the past week I've been hitting the Recoverite after every workout and I've noticed the difference. I won't be falling off the wagon again any time soon. By the way, though I am sponsored by Hammer Nutrition, my endorsement of Recoverite is purely on the basis of my experience with this amazing product. The stuff works. Give it a try and you'll see and feel the difference.

My first big race of the year, the Cheyenne Mountain 50K, is now a little less than two weeks away. I plan to get in about 70 miles this week, with strong quality in my intervals and tempo run, and then taper next week for the 50K. My goal for Cheyenne is have a strong race (duh!) with a super-strong finish, and to take off quite a bit of time from last year. The weather may be a factor. Depending on how I feel after Cheyenne, I may (or may not) register for the Colfax Marathon on May 20.

For now, I'm going to keep gradually increasing my volume, mixing in some recovery, with a goal of hitting peak fitness for the Leadville 100.


  1. Keep at that track stuff. I am more and more convinced that sort of stuff is huge for success - even at the ultra distance level.

  2. GZ: I couldn't agree more. When I was achieving my greatest level of personal success in ultrarunning and road running I had a strong commitment to the track. I have really gotten off-course with it in the past two years. I think living at 6200 feet has caused frustrations with the track because I can't seem to hit the times I used to back East--and so I've just avoided it altogether. I need to change my approach and rededicate myself and hopefully the process is now under way. Let me know if you have any recommended track workouts.


  3. I think any of the standards are good. Generally I think work sessions that are including a sum of 15-20 minutes of "work" (not including the interval) are excellent (so, 6 x a half mile, 3 or 4 times a mile, 10 x a quarter, 5 x a kilo). I think the rest for ultra guys is less important than someone training for a 10k or a 5k - the point is driving the neuromuscular stimulus above that typical ultra stuff.

    Mix in the 200 hard strides too.