Some adventures in road and trail running.
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Monday, June 2, 2008

May Training

May is a key month in the ultra season. Time to step it up and prepare the body for the onslaught of the summer races.

Just when I think I have gone out and laid out a super hard training weekend I read the blogs of the ultra runners who I follow. It gives me and idea of just much further I can push.

I was happy with around 240 miles logged for May including some amazing running at Smith Rock, at left.
Then I read Sean does over 1000 km (625 miles) and AJW does 508! Others like Anton K, ride the wind to 200+ miles a week!
Ronda, Micheal and Steve are out doing massive hill repeats every weekend and then hit it again the next day for 7-8 hours more!
These guys are not bragging...they are simply doing.
They inspire me to drag my body kicking and screaming to achieve that next level of fitness.
You will know when you reach it. I had glimpses of my next level on the weekend.

Ronda has written up a plan for the PCT 50 that had me slated to do what I believe is the hardest back to backs I have tried. This on top of being a high mileage week for me (over 70 miles). Saturday was also the first time I did a real workout with the heart rate monitor Trisha got me for Christmas. I love the extra data :-)

My Saturday was warm-up, 3 hills repeats of 35 mins with about 1000 ft of climbing, cool-down
1. 28:37 (117 avg, 143 max) (warm-up)
2. 35:00 (154 avg, 164 max) (up)
3. 20:54 (157 avg, 190 max) (down)
4. 35:00 (160 avg, 189 max) (up)
5. 21:37 (143 avg, 180 max) (down)
6. 35:00 (163 avg, 174 max) (up)
7. 22:07 (142 avg, 155 max) (down)
8. 23:20 (131 avg, 152 max) (cool down)
All three hill repeats I made it to within 10 meters of each other: 1st went the furthest, 2nd and 3rd the same.

Total ~22 in 3:41:51...around 3000 ft of climbing.

On to Sunday and the "recovery run". Normally after a hard Saturday run I would do a 3-6 mile recovery run just to stretch the legs. But no longer. Not in a peak week. The plan called for a Kenyan-style Progression Run (KPR). A great description is embedded at this link.
You start slow and just build the pace naturally. Some say I may have cheated using music to help me elevate the effort but for me it was just part of the experience :-)
I ended up doing all my 3 mile laps around the neighborhood faster than the last one. The final one I really felt the most relaxed and focused of the entire workout. Nothing scenic: just feeling the pace and the exertion. Finished with a 7:10 avg and some baked quads. Nice!

Even just having the training plan "hanging over my head" helps get me out the door and push a little harder/further for those miles. The plan also makes it easier. No question about what to do on any given day or for any workout. All spelled out on paper.
Freedom to enjoy the workouts without worrying about what is next.
Accountability without stupidity.
Working hard and smart directed to a specific target and goal.

Last week was also the Nike mile. Other end of the spectrum in terms of time racing from an ultra but just as inspiring to me.

So cool to see the potential of our body and mind and to learn from all these awesome runners.
I am enjoying my recovery week (including massage!!) but I am also more than ready to bring it for my next build and peak weeks and the rest of June :-)


Rooster said...

Awesome work Darin! I love how you talked about having a schedule actually feels like freedom. I feel the same way but I think we might in the minority but it seems so right?

Nice job on the KPR....I have yet to master that one fully.

saschasdad said...

As you said - Bring It for your next build and peak weeks! Great training, Darin!